1943: Not a Blue Race

1943 Boat Race
In 1943, Oxford won the second unofficial boat race between Oxford and Cambridge, a race held at Sandford-on-Thames.

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

On 28 November, Tim Koch wrote about Radley College in the post “Radley College: From School To The Somme”. I stumbled upon Radley College again when I was looking for some rowing features on the British Pathé Channel on YouTube. What I found was a short film clip from 1943 about a boat race that has gone down in the history of rowing, not for what it was, but instead for what it was not. It was not The Boat Race. That is, it was not an official University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge.

During the Second World War there were four unofficial boat races between Oxford and Cambridge, in 1940 at Henley-on-Thames, in 1943 on Sandford-on-Thames (finish line at Radley College Boat House), in 1944 on Great Ouse and in 1945 the race was back at Henley-on-Thames. None of the oarsmen who competed in these four races during the War were awarded Blues. Despite their unofficial statues these boat races were met with a large interest from both the public and the media.

HTBS has previously written about the 1944 race earlier this year, take a look at the entry on 25 February 2014 and on 26 February 2014, where we in the latter entry offered three ‘race films’ from 1940, 1944 and 1945. Now we are able to offer you a fourth film to conclude the unofficial boat races between Oxford and Cambridge during the Second World War (the 1943 race was won by Oxford). Enjoy:

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