Who Will Win The Boat Race?

It’s a new year and I am happy to report that HTBS’s Tim Koch has some interesting Boat Race stuff to bring to the table. Tim writes:

It is interesting to compare the pre Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race coverage recently posted here (HTBS 3 January 2011) with this 1939 offering.


The commentator of seventy years ago may not have known that ‘bow’ of a boat, rhymes with ‘cow’ not ‘hoe’ but I am sure that he would not have used the pointless expression ‘kind of’ five times in thirty seconds as George Nash, the Cambridge President, did. On hearing him speak I was like ‘duh’ but I am like sure he would be like ‘whatever’. It is one of the perils of sharing a common language with the Americans.

Like best wishes for the New Year!


I would like to add some foot notes: Cambridge won the race with 3 lengths in 19 min,. 3 sec. The news reel shows Bobbie Bourne as Oxford’s stroke, but he never rowed in the race. Both his father and grandfather were famous Blues. Bourne would later row in the winning 1946 Oxford boat. ‘Dickie’ Burnell, the tall fellow compared with the very short Oxford stroke in the news reel, would become famous as a 1948 Olympic champion in the double scull with Bert Bushnell. Burnell would write several great books on how to row and scull, but also history books on The Boat Race and the Henley Royal Regatta. – G.R.B.

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