Tim Koch writes:
The Boat Race Company recently announced that the 162nd Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race and 71st Oxford-Cambridge Women’s Boat Race will take place on Easter Sunday, 27 March 2016. Last year saw the women’s Blue boats racing on the Tideway on the same day as the men’s Blue and men’s Reserve crews for the first time. It is generally agreed that this change was a great success which generated a lot of support and interest both from within and without the rowing community. The one unsatisfactory part was that the women’s Reserve crews raced over the Putney to Mortlake course on the day before ‘Boat Race Day’ proper. I do not think that I was alone in thinking that in the move towards equality this was not a very satisfactory way of doing things, that is having the second best men as part of the big day while having the second best women compete in relative isolation and obscurity. I had thought that the only solution would be to move both of the reserve races to another day as I doubted the practicality of running four races on one tide. However, the Boat Race Company disagreed and announced:
A new addition to the racing schedule will be the Women’s Reserve race, moving from the day before to share the same day as the Blue Boats. This means there will be four races held on the tide: the Osiris-Blondie Race, The Newton Women’s Boat Race, the Isis-Goldie Race and The BNY Mellon Boat Race.
The timings for the races on Boat Race Day 2016 will be:
15:10 The Newton Women’s Boat Race
15:25 Osiris (Oxford Women’s Reserves) v Blondie (Cambridge Women’s Reserves)
15:40 Isis (Oxford Men’s Reserves) v Goldie (Cambridge Men’s Reserves)
16:10 The BNY Mellon Boat Race
At Putney on 27 March, low water will be at 12.37 and high water at 17.36.
With the women taking perhaps 19-20 minutes and the men 17-18 minutes to race the course, the Osiris-Blondie race will start before the Women’s Boat Race finishes and the Isis-Goldie race will start before the Women’s Reserve Race finishes. It is going to be an action-packed 80 minutes.
*Apologies to A.A. Milne.