An annual challenge of immense popularity and greater prestige, “The Boat Race” enjoyed a new edition last Sunday in which Cambridge University Boat Club surpassed the Oxford institution, a historic rival since 1829, in both the men’s and women’s confrontations and widened the gap in history to 86 wins against 81 in the first (and a draw in 1877) and 47 to 30 in the last.
Unlike close backgrounds, no Olympic athletes participated this year. As for the women’s dispute, the first of the two to take place, the light blue boat from Cambridge crossed the finish point four and a half lengths before the dark blue of its opponent to celebrate with a time of 20.29 minutes. It is a valuable victory given that it is the sixth that it has achieved in a row.
The difference was smaller in the men’s contest, in which the advantage of one body and a third allowed those from south-east England, after seven months of preparation, to reappropriate the conquest that had been elusive to them in 2022. It was the fourth joy in the last five confrontations. In the reserve tests, supremacy was maintained: Goldie and Blondie’s boats won two more victories for Cambridge.
“The team culture we have in Cambridge is very strong and year after year it begins to strengthen. It’s a great place to paddle,” said helmsman and economics student James Trotman after his memorable spring day in the English capital. The strong winds and rough waters presented a double difficulty for the competitors.
The traditional regatta of eight with helmsman (8+), one of the most famous among amateur rowing and sports competitions in general, took place on the Championship Course of the River Thamesis, along the almost 6.8 kilometers that separate the neighborhoods of Putney and Mortlake in west London. The competition was televised throughout the United Kingdom and was also streamed on the event’s official channel.
The World Championship, which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, from September 3 to 10, stands out as the most important event of the year in rowing as it will deliver 336 of the 502 places for Paris 2024. 168 will be for men and the same amount for women. Already in the French capital, the 14 tests will take place at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium, whose construction was completed in 2019 with a view to the Games. As in Tokyo 2020, rowing will include the same number of regattas for men and women.