When it comes to London’s events calendar, few occasions are as eagerly anticipated as the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.
On April 6th 2014, the race will celebrate its 175th birthday, proving that it has a longevity that few sporting events can rival in the capital. The Boat Race has a status alongside the Wembley Cup Final, the men’s singles final at Wimbledon, a Six Nations match against the Welsh at Twickenham or the opening match of an Ashes series at Lords.
When it comes to historical, non-miss occasions like this, you have the perfect excuse to get out the credit card! For what better way to soak up the atmosphere by spoiling yourself rotten with good food and drink, enjoying the company of friends and engaging in a raucous day of fun and frolics.
From 1829 onwards, the race has pitted the crews of Oxford and Cambridge Universities, two of the oldest and most esteemed academic institutions in the world, up against one another. As things stand, Cambridge currently holds the upper hand over their rivals, with 81 wins to Oxford’s 77. Given that the two universities regularly produce Olympic rowers, you could be in with a chance of seeing a future global superstar!
A sight to behold
Watched by millions on television and thousands in the flesh, the crews traverse a 6.779km course from Putney to Mortlake, vying for superiority of the river, zooming through the loveliest and leafiest areas of Southwest London, including Barnes, Hammersmith, Fulham and Chiswick.
On a bright spring day, there is nothing better than sipping on a delightful glass of champagne (or Pimms if the sun really gets going!) and weaving yourself into the fabric of British sporting life. As the crowds cheer, you can glimpse the determination on the faces of the rowers, sweating and striving to etch themselves into their university’s folklore. Should they manage it, they will be heroes of their colleges, feted and celebrated by fellow students and dons alike.
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When it comes to the best of British, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a deserving member of that exclusive club, along with Winston Churchill, fish and chips, The Beatles, red telephone boxes, double decker buses, Bobby Moore, a Sunday roast, Monty Python, and, like it or not – drizzle.
Don’t miss out, just go!
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