Follow all the action live as Oxford University and Cambridge University take to the Great Ouse for the 2021 Boat Race.
Due to the pandemic and the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, the race will take place in rural Cambridgeshire with fans not permitted to attend the usually raucous event. The race was called off with only a week’s notice last year, with organisers opting to relocate to the Great Ouse for today’s edition not only for logistical purposes but due to its historical relevance, with an unofficial 1944 wartime race held on the river.
The race will begin at Queen Adelaide Bridge near Ely and will run for 4.89km – significantly shorter than the usual 6.8km route down the Thames – finishing just shy of Sandhill Bridge at Littleport. This year marks the 166th edition of the men’s race with defending champions Cambridge leading 84-80 in the record books, although Oxford are considered slight betting favourites this afternoon. In the 75th women’s race, Cambridge are overwhelming favourites and boast a 44-30 lead. The women’s race will begin at 3.50pm while the men’s race starts an hour later at 4.50pm. Follow all the action live below:
REACTION FROM CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge president Callum Sullivan: “It was a really tough race. [Cox] Charlie Marcus gave us some emotional calls heading into the final straight, telling us how far we’ve come, and it got us over the line.”
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR THE LIGHT BLUES
Against the odds, Cambridge take it! It was another exciting race – Cambridge only won it by a length. They took an aggressive line from the start and it paid off.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERISTY WIN THE 166th MEN’S BOAT RACE RACE
500m TO GO – CAMBRIDGE AHEAD
Cambridge look strong and we’re heading for an upset! Will there be drama at the death?
ONE KM TO GO
We’re into the final straight and Cambridge are still ahead, but it’s close. Do Oxford have anything left in the tank for a final sprint?
NECK AND NECK HEADING INTO FINAL 2KM
This is setting up to be an exciting finish… There was only a split of 1.6 seconds between the crews at halfway.
HALFWAY – CAMBRIDGE HALF A LENGTH AHEAD
STRONG RESPONSE FROM OXFORD
Despite being pushed towards the west bank of the river, Oxford have pulled themselves back into this after Cambridge’s fast start.
OXFORD HOLDING ON
“Charlie, move!” cries Sarah Winckless, instructing the Cambridge cox to sort their line out. A bunch of reeds then pop up into view, causing a moment of alarm for both crews, but they pass without incident.
Really impressive start from Cambridge, they’re almost a length ahead already, but they are being warned by Sarah Winckless after edging towards Oxford’s side…