Access keys help
bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Video and audio from the BBC News archive WWII and 1950-2005. This site is archived and no longer updated.
3 April  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1954: Oxford wins 100th Boat Race
Oxford has won the 100th Boat Race in rough conditions on the River Thames.

The victorious Dark Blues beat Cambridge - also known as the Light Blues - by four-and-a-half lengths despite windy conditions and rough waters along the four-and-a-quarter mile (6.84km) course from Putney to Mortlake.

The Dark Blues, who have won the race just 11 times in the last 38 races, must now be hoping today's victory in a winning time of 20 minutes, 23 seconds, will turn the tide.

The Oxford team began the race in the lead despite a lighter average weight than their rivals (12st 4lbs vs 12st 11lbs).

Surged ahead

They had won the toss and chose to start the race from the Surrey station with Cambridge setting off from the Middlesex station.

It was a close contest until about half way through the race when Oxford surged ahead.

The increasingly rough weather conditions did nothing to dampen the Oxford crew's quest for victory.

By the time the Dark Blues reached the Chiswick steps they were 11 seconds ahead and the result of the race already seemed in little doubt.

For a fleeting moment, off Duke's Meadows, it looked as if Cambridge might make a last dash for victory but Oxford kept them at bay.

Oxford crossed the finish line at 34 strokes per minute after averaging an impressive 30 throughout the race.

 E-mail this story to a friend


View down river with Oxford leading
The Dark Blues crossed the finishing line in 20 minutes, 23 seconds


In Context
The first Oxford and Cambridge boat race took place on 10 June 1829 - Oxford won.

Originally held at Henley, it was briefly moved to a route between Westminster Bridge and Putney.

It has taken place along its current route, between Putney and Mortlake, since 1836.

The Boat Race did not become an annual event until 1856 since which time Oxford has won 70 out of a total 148 races staged.

The record time on the current course was set by Cambridge in 1998 at 16mins 19secs.

The only dead heat in the history of the race came in 1877 when both teams completed the race in exactly 24mins 8secs.

Stories From 3 Apr


 
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy