Rowing Competition - The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race 2010



The annual rowing competition between Oxford University and Cambridge University, sponsored by Xchanging, usually takes place on either the last Saturday of March or the first Saturday of April. The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race 2010 took place on Saturday, 3rd April, during the Easter holiday weekend.

This Boat Race was originally the idea of two Harrow school friends, Charles Merivale, who went to Cambridge University, and Charles Wordsworth, who went to Oxford University. In 1829, Cambridge initiated the move and sent a challenge to Oxford.

After the race in1829 which was competed at Henley-on-Thames, other boat races took place at Westminster in central London. And because of its popularity it quickly became overcrowded. In 1845, the rowing event had to be moved about six miles upstream to Putney, where it stayed to the present day.

This popular rowing event, the 156th Boat Race between the "Light Blues" (Cambridge University) and the "Dark Blues" (Oxford University) has been competed annually since 1856, apart from the years during the two world wars.

It has been the tradition of the boat race that the loser of the previous year’s race challenges the opposition to a re-match.

Over a quarter of a million people lined both banks of the Thames River and the event starts from Putney Bridge and finishes yards before Chiswick Bridge - a distance of 4 miles and 374 yards.

This annual rowing competition was televised by the BBC and watched by over 8 miilion viewers in the UK and many more millions of international audience in 180 countries. The competition is a major international sporting event and makes it the most viewed single day rowing event in the world.

Watch the 156th University Boat Race Video.

Each team is made up of 8 rowers and a cox, who is responsible for steering the boat and keeping the best racing line while making tactical and motivational calls to the crew.

Oxford University was the favourite team to win the 156th Boat Race, having won the previous two races. Oxford won the toss (an 1829 Gold Sovereign was used for this purpose) and chose the Surrey station.

The race started promptly at 4.30pm and Oxford University quickly took an early lead and was a second ahead of Cambridge University at the Mile Post.

The lead widened to half a length by the time they reached Hammersmith Bridge but Cambridge University had to dig deep to maintain that gap.

The Light Blues started to close the gap when they reached St Paul’s Boathouse and continue to narrow the gap past Chiswick Eyot. By the time they reached Chiswick Steps, the Dark Blues lead was down to half a second.

Cambridge took the lead for the first time at the Crossing and the Dark Blues could not respond to the challenge. By the time they reached Barnes Bridge, the Light Blues were two seconds up on the Dark Blues.

The Light Blues crossed the finish line in 17 minutes and 35 seconds, 4 seconds (1 1/3 length) ahead of the Dark Blues.

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