In 1946, live streaming boat races was rather invasive.

19 February 2022

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch powers up his Commodore 64.

It is six weeks until the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Races return to the Thames Tideway. The Pre-Boat Race Fixtures, when top British and foreign crews race potential Oxford and Cambridge Blue and reserve crews over the Putney to Mortlake course, have already started with the Cambridge men racing Leander.

The Boat Race website tells us that, “The 2022 series of fixtures has attracted some of the best teams in the world.” That is good news, but I hope that they have also got the interest of some rowing crews and not just opposition from, presumably, football teams, cricket teams and the like.

Fixtures are both a selection test and a provider of important race practice. Such events provide the valuable experience of competing against top-class opposition and they also give opportunities for the rowers to simulate race day as much as possible and allow coaches to see how their charges react under pressure. Further, coxes and crews get to know the Championship Course better by practising routines, racing the Surrey and Middlesex stations and being officially umpired.

This is an amended notice from the one published last December. I have annotated it to show the races that will be live-streamed.

The 2022 series of fixtures has attracted some top crews to race the Oxbridge students, including Leander, Oxford Brookes, Imperial College and Nereus. Sadly, it looks as if the hoped for visit by Washington will not happen, but there is good news in the announcement that five of the top fixtures will be live streamed on The Boat Race’s YouTube channel with accompanying live athlete performance data using Ludum LIVE technology.

In 1948, naval cadets on the training ship Stork (moored at Hammersmith between 1913 and 1950) found the best pre-YouTube way to view the racing.

The Gemini Boat Race 2022 is on Sunday, 3 April. The Women’s Race is at 14:23 GMT and the Men’s Race is at 15:23 GMT.

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