24 March 2018 – Boat Race Day
Tim Koch meanders from Putney to Mortlake.
Today, 24 March, sees the 73rd Women’s Boat Race and the 164th Men’s Boat Race, both run over the 4 mile 374 yard (6,779 m) Putney to Mortlake ‘Championship Course’. The first race was held over approximately 2 miles and 630 yards (3,800 m) between Hambledon Lock and Henley Bridge in 1829, and the next five (1836, 1839, 1840, 1841 and 1842) took place on a five-and-three-quarter-mile stretch (9,200 m) between Westminster Bridge and Putney Bridge. There was failure to agree on a location for the races in 1843 and 1844, increasing central London river traffic making the old course increasingly unusable.
The current Putney to Mortlake course was first used in the seventh race in 1845. The women’s race, first run in 1927, has had many locations but has taken place on the ‘P to M’ stretch since 2015.
In typical HTBS style, we can ‘preview’ today’s races with the help of those that have gone before.
I conclude by quoting myself from last year:
Most of these intelligent young people will… probably achieve things in life that, looked at logically, will be considerably more important than making one long, thin boat move a little faster than another long, thin boat. However, when in the future they make conversation with strangers, whatever else they have done, it will probably be the fact that they once took part in ‘The Boat Race’ that these new acquaintances will want to hear about. Once they first pass the Fulham Wall, they will be ‘A Rowing Blue’ for the rest of their lives.
Timetable in GMT:
2.41 Coin Toss: The Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race
3.26 Coin Toss: The Cancer Research UK Men’s Boat Race
3.43 OUWBC leave Boathouse
3.46 CUWBC leave Boathouse
4.31 The Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race
4.44 CUBC leave Boathouse
4.47 OUBC leave Boathouse
5.32 The Cancer Research UK Men’s Boat Race
I believe that the first race was from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge, so two and a quarter miles, rather than HRR’s 1 mile & 550 yards.
Thanks, David. Robert Treharne Jones has also pointed this out and the text has been corrected.