Home Sports Boat Race 2024 LIVE: Latest build-up to Oxford vs Cambridge races

Boat Race 2024 LIVE: Latest build-up to Oxford vs Cambridge races

Boat Race 2024 LIVE: Latest build-up to Oxford vs Cambridge races

<p>Cambridge were triumphant in all races last year</p>

Cambridge were triumphant in all races last year

(Getty Images)

Oxford and Cambridge’s best rowers will take to the Thames for the 2024 Boat Race on Saturday afternoon.

The race itself was first held in 1829 and has been an annual fixture since 1856. Last year Cambridge, the Light Blues, were triumphant in both the men’s and women’s races.

The boats start at Putney and travel upstream to Mortlake, 4.2 miles (6.8km) away. The crews were announced on 13 March, and have been preparing for the race for many months.

The immediate build up to the race however has been dominated by concern over the Thames’ water quality, especially given the tradition to throw the winning cox into the river in celebration.

Follow all the live action from the Thames in the blog below and get the latest odds and tips here.


Boat Race 2024: Cambridge bid to defy odds again in men’s race

While Cambridge’s men boast vastly superior Boat Race experience with five survivors from last year to Oxford’s one, the Dark Blues do have Harry Glenister – a member of the British senior team from 2018-23 – in the two seat and 2022 Belgrade World Cup winner Lenny Jenkins in the seven seat.

As well as having the slightly heavier crew, Oxford have been superior in the build-up. In late February, they got the better of a stormy struggle with Leander Club in which umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent stopped the race after Oxford four James Doran lost his oar in a clash between the boats.

When Leander moved out to a lead of three-quarters of a length following the restart, the boats clashed again with Oxford – at fault this time – moving in front before the finish. As it turned out, Pinsent had already decided to disqualify Leander for the first clash of a somewhat unsatisfactory affair.

Cambridge faced Leander earlier this month in a two-piece race. After an even first, Leander opened out to one and a half lengths by the finish. Perhaps significant is that Cambridge have made numerous seat switches ahead of Saturday’s showpiece with only stroke Matt Edge, seven seat Luca Ferraro and three seat Thomas Marsh staying put. Meanwhile, Oxford have retained the same line-up as their Leander meeting.

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 12:00


Boat Race 2024: Oxford women on track to end long drought

Perhaps the most notable result from the pre-Boat Race fixtures was a win for Oxford’s women over Oxford Brookes, one of the UK’s top rowing universities, in late January. The race on the Championship Course was split into three contests of approximately five minutes apiece.

Race commentator and Olympic gold medallist Martin Cross said beforehand that “maintaining contact” – ie. staying within a length – of Brookes would represent good results for Oxford in the first two. They in fact finished three-quarters of a length behind on both occasions with the second more impressive given Brookes had the advantage on the Surrey bend (the longer south curve on the course).

In the final piece, Oxford had the bend advantage and used it to full effect to power clear by an eye-catching one-and-a-half lengths with European U23 bronze medallist Annie Sharp, all six-foot-four (1.94m) of her, gaining admirers. That they have made two changes to the boat since, with Claire Aitken and Julia Lindsay boosting the number of Boat Race veterans to six (including cox Joe Gellett), bodes well for their chances of ending a run of six consecutive defeats.

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 11:50


Boat Race 2024: Oxford vs Cambridge full schedule

12:40 Women’s Boat Race coin toss (Putney Embankment)

13:00 Final road closures in place

13:15 The Men’s Boat Race coin toss (Putney Embankment)

14:00 BBC broadcast starts

14:46 78th Women’s Boat Race

15:01 Osiris v Blondie Race

15:16 Isis v Goldie Boat Race

15:46 169th Men’s Boat Race

16:15 Women’s winning crew trophy presentation (Mortlake)

16:20 Men’s winning crew trophy presentation (Mortlake)

17:00 Hammersmith Bridge Opens to Cyclists and Pedestrians.

18:00 Fan Zones at Fulham and Hammersmith close

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 11:27


Boat Race 2024: Oxford vs Cambridge preview, predictions and odds

The Boat Race 2024 takes place on the River Thames on Saturday afternoon with Cambridge bidding to repeat their men’s and women’s double from 12 months ago (from 2.46pm, BBC One).

First held in 1829 and an annual fixture since 1856, Oxford’s Dark Blues take on Cambridge’s Light Blues in the side-by-side eights race on the river. The crews start at Putney and travel west to the finish at Mortlake 4.2 miles (6.8km) away on the Championship Course. From 2015, the women’s race has been staged on the same day over the same course.

Months of training and preparation took place prior to the announcements of the crews on 13 March. There were intra-university trial races in December – with Oxford experiencing very much the better of the conditions – followed by races against rival universities and rowing clubs in the New Year.

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 11:16


Boat Race 2024: A look at Oxford vs Cambridge form

Recent form suggests Cambridge are favourites here today in both the women’s and men’s races.

Cambridge have won the Women’s race six times in a row since snapping Oxford’s own four-race win streak in 2017.

While Cambridge men have been pushed closer in recent years, but still hold a significant advantage in recent years, edging out Oxford men in five of the last seven races since 2016.

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 11:05


Boat Race 2024: Oxford vs Cambridge

(Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

(Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

(Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 10:53


Boat Race 2024: Divided loyalties for identical twins Gemma and Catherine King

Identical twins Gemma and Catherine King had been poised to race against each other for the first time in Saturday’s University Boat Race and although that is no longer happening, it will still be a weekend of divided loyalties for their family.

Catherine’s back injury means she will not be in the Oxford boat in the elite women’s race taking on Gemma in the Cambridge crew but the former will represent her new university in the reserve race.

That means a tricky time for their parents Liz and Mike.

“It’s definitely been a change for them because they’ve always known who to support, so they’ve got a lot of Cambridge light blue supporters kit over the years. Since I’ve moved to Oxford I’ve been trying my best to change that and give them some Oxford supporter’s kit,” Catherine laughed during a three-way call with Reuters.

“They’ve actually got some half and half Oxford-Cambridge hats and scarves to wear on boat race day, it’s quite funny,” she added. “So they’ll be supporting both of us. They’ve always supported the both of us in everything we did.”

The 24-year-old Kings, from Bagshot, Surrey, played numerous sports as children and were introduced to rowing when they were 12 before going to Cambridge where they raced in the same boat.

“We’re always competing a lot in everything we do,” said Gemma, who is completing a PhD in stem cell biology at Cambridge.

“And it’s so easy to compare to each other because you’re genetically the same. Mostly, it’s been good because it’s helped us to push each other on to become the best versions of ourselves.”

Catherine moved to Oxford last year and it has been the first time the twins have lived apart.

“We still message a lot and I think we’ll always be close,” said Catherine who is doing a PhD in cardiovascular research.

The first men’s Boat Race was rowed on the Thames at Henley in 1829 and the first women’s race took place in 1927.

The women’s event became a permanent fixture in the 1960s and since 2015 both races have been rowed on the same 4.5-mile course — from Putney to Mortlake — on the same day.

“Racing in the Boat Race is a pretty special experience, it’s one of the biggest rivalries in British sport, it’s a great tradition,” Gemma said.

“But it’s a weird race because you either win or lose, so there isn’t really a second place as such.

“We both really want to win, but I would say the Boat Race is so much more than just who wins and loses, and at the end of the day we just want our crews to go out and put down the best race that we can.”

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 10:48


The difference between the Boat Race and rowing for Great Britain

Oxford’s Harry Glenister was asked by PA about the biggest differences between the Boat Race and his time in the Great Britain setup, and the MBA student immediately noted: “First I have to study! I’ve got six hours of classes a day and then rowing twice a day, which is not as much as the GB rowing team but still quite substantial.

“When I was racing for GB I was racing over 2k, this is over seven. It’s a lot longer and it’s a very different style of racing – who gets out ahead first. Whoever gets in front will win.

“You want to go really hard early. It’s go out hard and hang on, and hopefully you break the other crew. Who is the first person in each crew to break?

“The person that breaks is the one that’s going to lose, and the crew that breaks the other person is going to win. It’s a very exciting style of racing. I really enjoy it.

“I’ve been in big races, big moments, I know how to handle the pressure and I’m very used to it, so I can try to hopefully bring that confidence to the crew so we can get it done when it matters.”

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 10:10


Boat Race 2024: Oxford target ‘dream’ victory to snap Cambridge dominance

Harry Glenister hopes Oxford can turn the tide on recent Boat Race history to deliver what would be a “dream” triumph before the Great Britain veteran hangs up his oars.

The 28-year-old spent five years as a member of the GB senior rowing team, narrowly missing out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics then sitting out the entire 2023 season with a back injury.

Cambridge have lost the men’s race just once in the last five years, winning last year’s edition by 1 1/3 lengths thanks to a risky move by their coxswain, but Boat Race debutant Glenister is confident Oxford have what it takes to come out on top in the 169th iteration of the gruelling men’s showdown.

Glenister told the PA news agency: “Winning this race would mean everything to me, just to finish with the sport, it’s a good end for me. Obviously very disappointed not to make Tokyo, but this would be as good for me if I could finish on a high.

“The Olympics is obviously bigger, but this is one of the biggest races in the world, so I would be very, very happy if I could get the win.

“It’s just such an awesome event. There’s so much great energy around it. Every rower wants to do this event.

“We’ve got a very strong team this year, we’ve got some dogs, very excited to see what we can do and turn the tide, try to stop this Cambridge dominance.”

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 09:57


Meet the Cambridge and Oxford crews for 2024 races

Oxford Men

Cambridge Men

Sebastien Benzecry (bow, President)

Jack Rathborn30 March 2024 09:47

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