The Cambridge men’s and women’s crews both took victory in 2021ROESIE PERCY/@A_BLIND_PHOTOGRAPHER

The annual Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Races will return to their usual course on the Thames next year, after being cancelled in 2020 and held behind closed doors in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Boat Race, first raced in 1829, is one of the oldest sporting competitions in the world. The 2020’s cancellation marked the first time the event had not gone ahead since the Second World War, while the 2021 race took place on the River Great Ouse near Ely without spectators attending in person.

The lifting of lockdown restrictions in the UK has enabled the 167th Men’s and the 76th Women’s Boat Races to return in full on Sunday 3 April 2022. The Championship Course, where the races will take place, is over 4.25 miles long and stretches between Putney and Mortlake. The Women’s Boat Race will commence at 14:23 and the Men’s at 15:23.

Commenting on the plans for next year, The Boat Race Company Limited Chair, Tim Senior, said: “The Boat Race is one of the most iconic events in world sport, but our supporters missed out on it over the last two seasons due to COVID-19 so we are looking forward to welcoming them and the crews back to London in 2022.”

Cambridge University Boat Club’s Women President Bronya Sykes said: “I’m hugely excited for The Boat Races’ return to the Tideway in 2022. The Ely Boat Races were the perfect place for the 2021 Races in the COVID-19 pandemic and both Women’s and Men’s Races were great contests. But the Tideway is the home of The Boat Races, and we’re looking forward to the atmosphere and challenge of racing that you can only get racing against Oxford from Putney to Mortlake.”


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Martin Barakso, President of Oxford University’s Men’s Boat Club, also expressed his delight at the arrangements for 2022, stating that “it is extremely exciting that The Boat Race is returning to London after two long years. Oxford is very much looking forward to racing again on the Championship Course”. He continued: “Both the Women and Men have had a strong start to the season and have established a solid foundation on which to build on over the next six months”.

The Boat Race is typically a very popular event, attracting over 250,000 spectators on the banks of the Thames and five million on television in a normal year. Last year, Cambridge’s Women had a winning time of 16 minutes and 27 seconds. The Men’s Race also featured a Cambridge win, with a winning time of 14 minutes and 12 seconds.