Another great Boat Race!

Another great Boat Race!

Sunday, 2 April was the Boat Race. This is always a particular highlight of our year here at Barbed, because our Barnes showroom is so close to the River Thames, we can’t help but get caught up in all of the excitement!

This year’s winners were the Oxford team, who finished rowing the course in 16 minutes and 59 seconds. Oxford are slowly closing the overall score gap which now stands at 80-82, with Cambridge now only marginally in the lead.

For the 2016 and 2017 races, the sponsors of the Boat Race, BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management donated their title sponsorship to Cancer Research UK, which was a first in the race’s history! The Boat Race has an interesting history, and it’s something we’re going to go into in this week’s blog!

A long-standing tradition

The first Oxbridge boat race took place in 1829, while the first women’s race took place just under a century later in 1927. As with the men’s boat race, Cambridge are in the lead of overall victories for the women’s races with a score of 30-42 to Cambridge.

The Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world, with the races that occurred this April being the 163rd men’s race, and 72nd women’s race! The first race took place in Henley, and came about because of a bet between two old school friends, one of whom was studying in Oxford, the other in Cambridge.

The course

The Boat Race takes place on what is called the Championship course, which is a stretch of the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake. The course spans 4 miles, or 374 yards, or 6.8km depending on how you prefer to measure distance.

A coin toss is held before the race, and the team that wins the coin toss gets to decide whether they’ll be rowing in the Middlesex or Surrey lane. Both lanes have their own advantages and disadvantages because of the bends in the River Thames.

The record for completing this course was set by Cambridge in 1998: they finished the race in 16 minutes and 19 seconds!

The women’s boat race

Although the first women’s boat race took place in 1927, it didn’t become an annual event until the mid-60s, a whole four decades later. Women who took part in this race faced and overcame hostility and vitriol, especially from male peers who believed women shouldn’t row, let alone in a competitive setting.

The environment for female rowers became more accepting in the late 70s when the race moved to Henley.

When you visit a Barbed showroom, you don’t know what exciting thing is going to happen outside the showroom or even inside! That’s why we highly recommend you visit us often, as it also gives you the opportunity to view our ever-expanding collection of gorgeous outdoor furniture. We have recently opened a new showroom on King Street, and we’d love for you to come visit us!

If you have any questions about the products we stock, you can fill in a simple online form and we’ll get back to you shortly!

26th April 2017

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