Cambridge win 75th Women's Boat Race by a single lengthCambridge University Boat Club/Twitter

Cambridge's women have beaten Oxford to win the 75th Women’s Race, their fourth victory in a row.

Rowers sped across the Great Ouse, not the River Thames - a change reflecting the recent closure of the midway landmark Hammersmith Bridge for safety reasons. 120km north from the traditional route, the teams set off from Queen Adelaide Bridge and finished at the Victoria Street Bridge. This year’s new course is significantly shorter than last’s - a mere 4.89km to London’s 6.8km.

Both the Men’s and Women’s races lacked more than just a few kilometres this year, however, with coronavirus restrictions banning mass gatherings of spectators. The boats were forced to compete without the usual cheering from the banks above - a change that didn’t seem to faze Cambridge’s team as they raced from Ely to Littleport.


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Today’s race marks the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Boat Race, which first took place in 1927 along Oxford’s Isis River. At the time, large groups of men purportedly congregated to protest women rowing, and the crews raced separately - later judged by ”time and style“. From 1935 onwards, the teams raced side-by-side at a number of venues, with the race finally set at Henley in 1977. It wasn’t until 2015 that Oxford and Cambridge’s Women’s teams joined their male counterparts on the Championship course along the Thames - with the Oxford team cinching that year’s win.

The rivals were neck and neck a few minutes into the race with oars clashing on the much more narrow course. Almost half way through the course, after Oxford seeming to take the lead, Cambridge continued to persevere onwards and gained on their rivals. With less than 1500 metres to go, Cambridge took a quarter length lead with 35 strokes per minute in comparison to Oxford's 33. Cambridge claimed the win with just a single length!

Before the race, President of Cambridge's side Sophie Paine spoke about how it has been so exciting for all of them and that a year without racing gave them a challenge to show what they've got. They certainly did that, well done girls!

Cambridge currently stands at 45 wins to Oxford’s 30.