The race will take place at Ely for the first time since 1944 Sam Holloway

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Join Varsity for all the latest coverage of the 166th Men’s and 75th Women’s Boat Race

  • Cambridge wins the Women's 75th and Men's 166th Boat Races
  • This year’s spectator-less race took place in Ely amidst pandemic-related restrictions
  • All of our coverage in the lead-up to this year's races can be read here

5:25pm And that’s all from us this afternoon - two Cambridge wins and two very close races on the Great Ouse. Thank you for joining Varsity along the way!

5:23pm The men now lift the trophy. A very sunny awards ceremony to fit the victory.

5:18pm Very impressive champagne shower too. Well done Cambridge Women!

5:17pm President Sophie and the team look delighted.

5:16pm Now time to present the winning women’s team with their celebratory champagne.

5:12pm According to the finish line camera, it looks like the winning distance was just under one length. Two very close finishes in both the men’s and women’s races.

5:10pm Another light blue boat full of smiles!

5:09pm That also makes it three Cambridge wins in a row.

5:07pm That makes it a light blue double! Both the men and women won their races!

5:07pm There it is! Cambridge have won it!

5:07pm Looks like Cambridge have it!

5:06pm 750m left. Cambridge’s lead gradually increasing.

5:05pm Cambridge currently averaging 13.1mph while Oxford are at 12.8mph.

5:05pm Final sprint is now underway and no change in Cambridge’s lead.

5:04pm Littleport Bridge is now in sight. Cambridge STILL marginally ahead.

5:02pm Cambridge’s lead gradually increasing again. Nearly half a length.

5:01pm 2km left. Cambridge just a nose ahead.

5:00pm Oxford very slowly making ground. Neck and neck now.

4:59pm Oxford not letting up - just a nose behind.

4:57pm Five minutes in and Cambridge still half a length ahead.

4:57pm Oxford just dodged a sizeable obstacle and making ground on Cambridge.

4:57pm Cambridge not quite reaching a full length’s lead.

4:56pm Oxford stroke’s heart rate currently at 184 bpm. Working hard.

4:55pm Cambridge being warned as they’re not yet in clear water ahead of Oxford but still trying to change stations.

4:55pm Cambridge stroke rates marginally higher at 38/min while Oxford are at 37/min.

4:54pm Cambridge’s lead continues to extend.

4:54pm Cambridge nudging ahead by a quarter of a length.

4:53pm Both crews warned as oars come close.

4:53pm A lot of space between them to start. No clashing just yet.

4:53pm And they’re off!

4:52pm Intense scenes as neither cox is ready.

4:51pm Coxes arms are up. Boats now straightening up to go.

4:50pm Both boats getting ready to set off in a few moments.

4:49pm It will be interesting to see how the men get on with the narrowness here. The women seemed to clash a lot towards the start of the race.

4:44pm Oxford lined up at the starting pontoon. Cambridge just about to join.

4:43pm There are a number of new faces in this Cambridge crew but the bond between them should be strong, considering five of the nine have shared an off-campus house this year.

4:38pm Crews are out on the water heading down to the start line. Just over 10 minutes to go.

4:36pm Plenty of comparisons between these crew reveals and the X Factor/WWE on social media. You can see the similarities.

4:31pm Despite recent history, the bookies seem to have Oxford as the marginal favourites for this one. Sky Bet are offering 4/7 for Oxford and 5/4 for Cambridge.

4:28pm Looks like the men’s crew reveal is going to be just as dramatic as the women. Makes up for the lack of spectators!

4:26pm Cambridge also lead on all-time victories. CUBC have 84 wins, while OUBC have 80. If you think your maths is failing you, you may be forgetting the 1877 dead heat.

4:26pm For a bit of context, Cambridge men have won three of the last four races on the Thames.

4:23pm Now onto the men’s race. Half an hour until they set off.

4:21pm Cambridge’s MP clearly enjoyed that one!

4:17pm That takes the Cambridge women’s winning streak to four straight years, equalling Oxford’s previous streak between 2013 and 2016.

4:15pm That’s the closest women’s race since 2012, when Cambridge won by a quarter of a length.

4:11pm The only difference being nine smiles on the Cambridge boat and nine straight faces on Oxford’s

4:11pm They look exhausted - both crews clearly gave their all.

4:10pm And Cambridge have won it! By a single length!

4:09pm Looks like Cambridge will hold on to their lead… only a matter of metres left

4:08pm Cambridge extending their lead now - nearly a full length.

4:07pm Coxes can see the finish line now at Littleport Bridge. Cambridge still just ahead.

4:06pm Under a mile to the finish line and Cambridge still maintain a half length lead.

4:05pm Cambridge’s lead extending to about half a length.

4:03pm Cambridge take a marginal lead around halfway through the race.

4:02pm Almost exactly nose to nose now.

4:02pm Oxford crew coming across to Cambridge’s station yet again.

4:01pm Cambridge pushing hard to try to make up the half length lead that Oxford have maintained.

3:59pm Oxford continuing to be warned by Umpire Judith Packer.

3:59pm Oxford now in the deeper, faster water. Will they take advantage?

3:58pm 1500m into the 5km race. Oxford just still ahead.

3:57pm Oxford’s boat have taken a tiny lead for the first time after 4 minutes of racing.

3:57pm Oars clashing again!

3:56pm Cambridge still ahead by a nose but Oxford nudging ahead!

3:54pm Very small lead for Cambridge within the first minute. Oxford squeezing Cambridge close to the bank!

3:54pm Oars are VERY close in the narrow Ouse! Very nearly clashing!

3:54pm And the 75th Women’s Race is off!

3:53pm Coxes arms are going up and down!

3:51pm Dead silent on the start line and the coxes have arms up ready to go.

3:50pm Crews straightening up getting ready for the umpire to lower her red flag…

3:49pm James Cracknell says the water is very still and rowing conditions are 10/10.

3:47pm Bookmakers have Cambridge Women as strong favourites to win at 1/6 while Oxford are priced at 7/2.

3:45pm Crews beginning to take their positions on the Great Ouse. Cambridge ready and Oxford yet to arrive. Five minutes to go!

3:44pm Earlier this week, Varsity spoke to alumna Alice White, who broke the women’s record for the Championship Course in 2017. If you want to hear what it’s like to win, take a look here.

3:42pm Under ten minutes to go until the start of the Women's Race!

3:38pm Although the men rowed an unofficial race here at Ely in 1944, there has never been a women’s race staged here.

3:36pm In other news, this year will make history as the first time both the men’s and women’s races will be umpired by women. The umpires will be Sarah Winckless for the men’s and Judith Packer for the women’s.

3:35pm Seems like a gorgeous day for it too! Blue skies, plenty of sun and 15 degrees! A ‘glorious spring day’ according to the BBC!

3:32pm This year’s course is significantly different from the Thames: there are no bends and it is around 2km shorter (6.8km vs 4.89km). As a result, it is anticipated that this year’s race will be more of a drag race. Many have said that whoever is ahead at the first kilometre should be able to take advantage of the central stream and win the race. Only time will tell!

3:29pm Seven of the nine members of the women’s crew were set to race in last year’s cancelled race. Many of them have described it as a two-year campaign building up to today. This is likely to have improved the bond between them.

3:27pm The dramatic reveals seem to have been noticed!

3:26pm The Cambridge women have won all of the last three races, having lost four consecutively before that. Overall, Cambridge’s women lead by 44 wins to Oxford’s 30.

3:24pm Under half an hour until the start of the women’s race!

3:21pm For those not in the UK, international coverage can be found here on YouTube.

3:18pm These team reveals are all very dramatic! BBC have gone all out with the flamethrowers.

3:16pm If you want to know a bit more about Cambridge’s rowers, here are Varsity’s preview interviews.

3:14pm For those of you just joining, the toss to decide stations took place earlier this morning. Oxford won the men’s toss and Cambridge won the women’s. Both have chosen to start from the West station. CUBC President Sophie Paine has explained that this is to minimise the effect of the wind on their boat during the race.

3:09pm Welcome to Varsity’s coverage of the 2021 Boat Races! Seeing as no one can be there to watch today, we’ll be bringing you all the action via live feed.