Last year’s races took place on the River Great Ouse, as opposed to the usual Championship Course (pictured above), due to the Covid-19 pandemicCambridge University Boat Club

The Boat Race Company Ltd. (BRCL), along with Oxford University Women’s Boat Club (OUWBC) and Cambridge University Boat Club Women’s squad (CUBC), have taken the decision to postpone this year’s Women’s Trial VIIIs races that were due to be held on Sunday 19th and Monday 20th December.

After a confirmed positive case of Covid-19 in both Clubs, the races are now set to take place at a later date in January. The affected athletes have started self-isolation in accordance with Government safety guidelines, while subsequent contact tracing identified a number of close contacts who are also self-isolating.

OUWBC was expected to race on Sunday (19/12) at 11:45 and CUBC was scheduled for the following day (20/12) at 12:20. Revised dates will be issued by BRCL in due course.

Tim Senior, BRCL Chair, commented on the announcement: “This has not been an easy decision and while it is disappointing that the races have been postponed, the safety and welfare of the athletes, staff, and supporters of the event is of paramount importance to us. Our best wishes are with the athletes who have been affected”.

The Trial VIIIs are preparation races in The Gemini Boat Race season, providing rowers and coxes with learning experience over the full 4.25-mile Championship Course from Putney to Mortlake in London. The races typically give the team coaches an opportunity to see how their athletes fare in a side-by-side racing environment and under the unpredictable conditions on the Tideway.


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The Oxford University Men’s Boat Club (OUBC) and Cambridge University Boat Club Men’s squad (CUBC) are currently scheduled to proceed with their races on Sunday (19/12) and Monday (20/12) respectively, with OUBC racing at 13:00 and CUBC taking to the water at 13:35.

Both Clubs will continue to follow national health guidance ahead of the Men’s event, with squads and staff testing regularly and taking all appropriate precautions in the build-up to the action.