The Isle of Ely Rowing Club has a prime view of preparations for the first running of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (or Boat Races as it’s now called with the men’s and women’s races) since 1944. It’s just over the river from the £5m new Cambridge Boathouse, currently hosting the add on of the ‘Oxford marquee’ (in these CV19 days the whole site has a one way system with the different areas separated).
This writer was fortunate to get out on the water three days before the race, driving the launch helping BBC staff, BR organisers and even the Oxford cox across the water. It gave a unique perspective and athletes were out on the water in eights and fours and doubles. It has to be said that the Oxford first boat looked very strong indeed but who knows for Sunday because the Cambridge men were not there for assessment (although an 8 of CUBC women were rowing).
Just to repeat that this will have to be a closed event with roads and footpaths closed around Queen Adelaide and Littleport on raceday – Easter Sunday 4 April. In a tantalising prospect, the crews will race along the fabulous straight stretch of the Great Ouse from Adelaide to Victoria Bridge in Littleport.
On 31 March the BBC talked to IOERC and there will be footage of the interviews on the BBC on Sat 3rd from 0730.
On raceday, coverage of the Women’s and Men’s Boat Races will take place on the BBC from 3pm.