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Oxford / Cambridge boat race now in a Dyke

bedouin

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16 May 2001
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29,534
Yes, there was a time when the Cambridge crew was mostly undergraduates and the Oxford one was mainly professionals. That was the underlying cause of the 1987 Oxford mutiny - the ringers thought they were above training with the students.

I knew of one international rower who was recruited to Oxford and on his arrival announced that he was going to give up rowing and concentrate on his studies. There was serious talk in his college of withdrawing his place on the grounds of misrepresentation, but sanity prevailed when they realised just how bad that would look.
Yes - I remember Cambridge had a very bad run in the 80s because of that - but then they started playing the same game and playing it somewhat better.

It would be nice to think that everyone in both crews were there on academic merit but I somehow doubt if that is the case.
 

jimi

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St Neots
Youngest daughter was offered the chance of training with the boat race team as cox last year as she had been successful with Lady Margaret, however the time commitment was not compatible with her final year as a vet. She had very mixed emotions when it was cancelled last year! Whatever you say these athletes are serious athletes and certainly at Cambridge are serious students as well.
 

AntarcticPilot

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4 May 2007
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Cambridge, UK
Yes - I remember Cambridge had a very bad run in the 80s because of that - but then they started playing the same game and playing it somewhat better.

It would be nice to think that everyone in both crews were there on academic merit but I somehow doubt if that is the case.
I don't know the current situation, but I understood that Cambridge and Oxford had different rules for qualifying people to row for the University, which in recent years tended to mean that Oxford's crews were older and hence stronger and more experienced.

I was a fairly successful college cox, and seriously considered entering trials for the boat race. But I decided a decentish degree came first!
 

Capt Popeye

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Dawlish South Devon
Cambridge won both races.
Hi thank you Mr P-O cripes was there any skulldugery, fixing the boats by using frogmen or summat ? thought I heard that Oxford were comprimised at the very start by 'something untoward in the river water' did anyone else hear that ? was on TV News i think ?

Was it Cambridge 8th man or akin to ?
 

Daydream believer

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Southminster, essex
Strikes me that it’s more entertaining than the Thames venue, much more intimate.
What? you mean they have to stop for a snog on the river bank?o_O
I can imagine Sue Barker commentating on that one on TV :D
Would definitely get the TV ratings up though, so worth considering (y)
Diversity mob would have a field day :eek:
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Better have a rest - SWMBO says I am getting over excited again :sleep:
 

bedouin

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16 May 2001
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I don't know the current situation, but I understood that Cambridge and Oxford had different rules for qualifying people to row for the University, which in recent years tended to mean that Oxford's crews were older and hence stronger and more experienced.

I was a fairly successful college cox, and seriously considered entering trials for the boat race. But I decided a decentish degree came first!
Yes - it is an interesting choice to be in the blues boat. You give over a large proportion of one year of your life just for a single 18minute row down the Thames that, win or lose, doesn't really lead on to anything more. You can see it as a bit of fun for the established athletes who are or are aiming to be international rowers but for a cox?

It seemed better this year with many more British rowers and even some who had been novices as undergrads - I would rather like it to return to that where you have to be a genuine Cambridge student first before you qualify (possibly only undergraduates).
 

Pump-Out

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Lurking in the Thames Valley
I would rather like it to return to that where you have to be a genuine Cambridge student first before you qualify (possibly only undergraduates).
If by Cambridge you mean Oxbridge (?) I would agree. Undergrads in their first degree. A few years ago one of the Cambridge foreign "post grads" left the university shortly after rowing, and winning, the Boat Race. Not the intent of the founders, I am sure.
 

Metabarca

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Friuli Venezia Giulia
I was a fairly successful college cox, and seriously considered entering trials for the boat race. But I decided a decentish degree came first!
Ditto; I used to stroke our first eight (no, NO, don't say it!) and was invited to trial for the lightweight crew, but luckily thought it best to concentrate on the studies; I would never have made the grade anyway). But I did get to row at Henley one summer, which was fun (if rather short-lived...)
 

westernman

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Costa Brava
Many thank fo all the postings, so far ; just seems to be to be a travesty that OUR Boat Race cannot use the Thames maybe be for our lifetimes ; understand from the clip that it was decided that groups and gatherings along the rought will be a Covid risk , but the 2m rule distancing rule between persons was judged as ok in this instance , crikey just how long are them boats ?
16.93m or 17.63m depending on the model they have chosen.

Empacher Racing-Eight- Empacher Bootswerft
 

westernman

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Perhaps they could turn it in to a championship and find the 2 best universities to race.

If it was an actual covered a sporting event of note, the fella with the garden overlooking could have sold the space to one of the European Broadcasters. People near Wimbledon make a fortune as front gardens are used for commentary positions and the nearby flats end up festooned with satellite uplinks.
There are only two universities in the UK. ;)

 

westernman

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Yes - I remember Cambridge had a very bad run in the 80s because of that - but then they started playing the same game and playing it somewhat better.

It would be nice to think that everyone in both crews were there on academic merit but I somehow doubt if that is the case.
As an undergraduate who had learned to row at Oxford, I very narrowly missed getting into the 1981 Blue Boat. I rowed many times in that boat with Sue Brown coxing. You could have had a glimse of me on all the BBC and ITV news programs on TV on the day of the trial eights race when the other boat sank.

The blue boat was stuffed with previous blues and guys who had rowed for GB at the Moscow Olympics - so I did not have much of a chance. Despite getting the second highest ergo score in the squad.

I rowed in the winning Isis crew. On a good day the Isis crew could beat the Blue Boat in training.

The blue boat was technically very good. The boat was always absolutely level and very smooth. You got the impression you could get up and walk along the side of the boat without upsetting it.

Isis was really rough. But it was full of very very fit athletes. Real crazy head banger types who would never give up.

I did row at Henley 4 years later for Leander A winning the Ladies Plate (with a fastest time of the whole regatta that year - faster than the Grand winners).

I also have bronze medals from the British and French national championships. In both cases beaten only by national squad crews.

I find watching the boat race dead boring.....
 

TLouth7

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Edinburgh
I was a fairly successful college cox, and seriously considered entering trials for the boat race. But I decided a decentish degree came first!
There used to be some rather good posters outside the Cambridge engineering department inviting people to try out, and pointing out that members of the squad were statistically more likely to get a 1st or 2:1 than their peers. I'm sure there was a correlation being dressed up as causation there.
 

WoodyP

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18 Aug 2004
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West Wales
As an undergraduate who had learned to row at Oxford, I very narrowly missed getting into the 1981 Blue Boat. I rowed many times in that boat with Sue Brown coxing. You could have had a glimse of me on all the BBC and ITV news programs on TV on the day of the trial eights race when the other boat sank.

The blue boat was stuffed with previous blues and guys who had rowed for GB at the Moscow Olympics - so I did not have much of a chance. Despite getting the second highest ergo score in the squad.

I rowed in the winning Isis crew. On a good day the Isis crew could beat the Blue Boat in training.

The blue boat was technically very good. The boat was always absolutely level and very smooth. You got the impression you could get up and walk along the side of the boat without upsetting it.

Isis was really rough. But it was full of very very fit athletes. Real crazy head banger types who would never give up.

I did row at Henley 4 years later for Leander A winning the Ladies Plate (with a fastest time of the whole regatta that year - faster than the Grand winners).

I also have bronze medals from the British and French national championships. In both cases beaten only by national squad crews.

I find watching the boat race dead boring.....
You have moved in exaulted circumstances. Rowing a tub 4 on the Severn at Tewkesbury, I bow before you 🙂 I did however enjoy it as exercise as I could no longer play a proper game like Rugby due to a head injury.
 

JumbleDuck

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You have moved in exaulted circumstances. Rowing a tub 4 on the Severn at Tewkesbury, I bow before you 🙂 I did however enjoy it as exercise as I could no longer play a proper game like Rugby due to a head injury.
I rowed for my school junior coxed four in the Glasgow Schools' Regatta. We came second (of two boats) by 1/4 mile (over a 3/4 mile course). They replaced me and four weeks later the amended crew won the junior fours at Henley.

Perhaps the fact that I was so scared of catching a crab that I didn't dare pull on my blade and instead let it be carried along by the efforts of the others had something to do with it. I've only rowed once with a single blade since, in a St Eyles skiff five years ago. I caught a crab.
 

AntarcticPilot

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4 May 2007
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Cambridge, UK
I rowed for my school junior coxed four in the Glasgow Schools' Regatta. We came second (of two boats) by 1/4 mile (over a 3/4 mile course). They replaced me and four weeks later the amended crew won the junior fours at Henley.

Perhaps the fact that I was so scared of catching a crab that I didn't dare pull on my blade and instead let it be carried along by the efforts of the others had something to do with it. I've only rowed once with a single blade since, in a St Eyles skiff five years ago. I caught a crab.
I only rowed for my college at Cambridge, and swapped from rowing to coxing during my second year - - I caught a crab during the Fairbairn Cup race (effectively a time trial over about 3 miles) at the end of the autumn term, caused entirely by the fact that I was really too light for an endurance race and my wrists simply refused to go on feathering the oar! I only rowed at college; rowing in eights is an enormous commitment as if one person doesn't turn up, it ruins the practice session for everyone - an eight has to practise as a crew to get everything working together. I admire and to some extent envied those who made the commitment to row after leaving the university regime, but I had other commitments that meant that rowing would have to be secondary - and that wouldn't have been fair to the crew.
 
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