What is The Boat Race, when is it on, road closures and how to watch?

Traditions will continue as Oxford take on Cambridge (Picture: Manuela Ricci/KONTROLAB /LightRocket via Getty Images)

The annual competition between Oxford and Cambridge takes to the water this weekend, with the annual Boat Race between the University rowing teams hitting its 194th year.

It is a tradition that dates back to the men’s first race in 1829, with women gaining their own race in 1927.

It’s one of the most quintessentially British events in the sporting calendar and here’s how you can keep up with all the action…

When is The Boat Race 2023?

The Gemini Boat Race takes place today, Sunday, March 26.

Each race will last around the 20-minute mark, and timings are:

  • The 77th Women’s Boat Race: 4pm
  • The 168th Men’s Boat Race: 5pm

Oxford University Boat Club have won the race 81 times but their Cambridge counterparts have edged in front with a total of 85 wins- so they’ll be looking to close the gap.

The Oxford University Women’s Boat Club has won just 30 times, in contrast to Cambridge’s 46 wins, since the Women’s race was first introduced back in 1927.

What is the route and where is a good spot to watch?

Putney Bridge is one place that will offer a good view of the race (Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

The race is 4.25 miles long and takes place along the Thames between Putney and Mortlake.

There are many spots where spectators can gather along the route to catch a glimpse of the action.

  • Bishops Park, Fulham: The race will be shown on a big screen in the park, with rowers also past the park at the very start. The area will be open from midday.
  • Furnivall Gardens, Hammersmith: The gardens will likewise screen the action on big screens, and will also have stands where you can watch the rowers go by in live-action. Open from midday.
  • Putney Bridge, Putney: An ideal vantage point for the starting point.

There are also numerous pubs along the length of the race as well that offer a good spot to catch the rowers, including the Duke’s Head in Putney near the start and The Ship in Mortlake just before the finish at Chiswick Bridge.

Can you watch The Boat Race on TV?

Yes – if you prefer to watch it from a nice (dry) vantage point, BBC One will be broadcasting the event.

Coverage starts at 3:30pm and will run until 5:45pm.

You can also live stream the races via the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and the official Boat Race YouTube channel.

Road closures

There will be a few road closures across the length of the race in West London that you will want to be mindful of if travelling to the area on Sunday.

  • Putney Embankment will be closed in its entirety from 10am until 7pm
  • Thames Bank will also be closed in its entirety from 10am until 8pm
  • Hammersmith Bridge will close at 11am and reopen at 6pm
  • Barnes Bridge will close at 2:30pm and reopen at 6pm.

The Boat Race will be live on BBC One from 3:30pm today, Sunday, March 26

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