The Boat Race: A south west London tradition 188 years in the making

The Boat Race has come along way since it first took place in 1829 at Henley on Thames.

While the essentials have stayed the same, with the race being a clash between Oxford and Cambridge universities, times have got significantly quicker as the technology of boats has improved and it wasn’t until 2015 that the Women’s Boat Race finally moved location to be raced in the same place as the men’s, which saw the renaming of the event to the ‘The Boat Races’.

The Boat Races has been transformed into an all day celebration, long gone are the days when the event was about just the boat races, many spectators have little interest in rowing or either of the universities involved.

Year on year hundreds of thousands of people flock to south west London. Spectators and various pop-up stalls line the entire race route of the River Thames — pubs have a constant flow of visitors through their doors, making it an enjoyable day for all.

Boat info

Like many sporting events these days, whether it be Royal Ascot, Wimbledon or Goodwood Festival of Speed, The Boat Races has been turned into an ‘experience’ that many want to be a part of.

Speaking to a variety of fans on the day gave me a taste of the types of people who come down to support, watch or celebrate this wonderful and booming sporting event.

The Boat Races brings in a whole cohort of people, it was brilliant to join in with the fun and I will most certainly be returning to the river banks in 2018.

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