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9.2.2. The Boat Race

Read the text below about the traditional boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities and then decide if the statements below the text are True or False. 

The Boat Race

The Boat Race is a set of annual water sport events. It is a boat race between two boat clubs, namely,  the Oxford University Boat Club  (OUBC) and the Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC).  The boats compete on the River Thames in London. The event is known by several other names; it is also called the University Boat Race, or, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. It usually takes place at the end of March or in early April. The most recent race was the 2015 race which took place on Saturday, April 11th, 2015. Oxford won the race by 20 seconds.

The first boat race was organized in 1829 and it was initiated by Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge University and his old schoolfriend, Charles Wordsworth, who was studying at  the University of Oxford.  The event has been held annually since 1856, except for the years of the 1st and the 2nd world wars. It means there have been 161 official races in 185 years. Cambridge won the race 81 times. Oxford was the winner 79 times, while one event ended a draw. The narrowest winning margin was 1 foot, while the largest winning margin was 35 lengths. The tallest rower was Josh West from the University of Cambridge. (6 ft 9.5 in= 2,07m).

The course is  4 miles and 374 yards  (6.8 km) long. It is an S-shaped stretch of the River Thames in West London from Putney to Mortlake. It is sometimes called The Championship Course.  The race is rowed uptsream and sometimes the weather can be very harsh. The conditions are occasionally so harsh that other boating events are cancelled, but even in this case the Boat Race is organized even in potential sinking conditions. In 1912, for example, due to high winds and poor weather conditions, both crews sank.

The members of both teams are dressed in blue, but while the Cambridge team members wear light blue, the members of the Oxford team have dark blue clothing. 

The race is very popular all over Britain. About a quarter of a million people watch it from the banks of the river, while another 10-15 million watch it live on TV. 


Kérdés 1

1. The Boat Race is held on the River Thames in south west London.

Kérdés 2

2. It is organized between the boat clubs of an English and an American University.

Kérdés 3

3. The Boat Race has a fixed date every spring.

Kérdés 4

4. The race of 2015 was won by Oxford by narrow margin.

Kérdés 5

5. The boat race is usually cancelled in harsh weather.

Kérdés 6

6. Both crew wear blue clothing.

Kérdés 7

7. In the history of the boat race there were no sinkings.

Kérdés 8

8. People can watch the event from the bank of the river or on TV.