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Georgian House Newsletter!

The Boat Race

This annual race between the two Universities, Cambridge and Oxford.

The Georgian House Hotel is a great place to stay if you are planning to see The Boat Race. The hotel is located in a quiet and safe area of Pimlico near Victoria Station. Rooms are attractive and comfortable, the service is kind and attentive, and prices are very competitive.
The Boat Race

The London Boat Race

The famous London Boat Race between the two universities of Cambridge and Oxford will take place this year on 29th March 2009 at 15.40. This will be the 155th in the series and Cambridge is currently leading by 79-73. Every year thousands of fans line the banks of the River Thames to watch this spectacular display of strength and teamwork, and the race is also broadcast to millions of viewers on television worldwide.

How the Boat Race Began

The idea for the Boat Race began with an idea between two friends in 1829, Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge and Charles Wordsworth who was at Oxford started the tradition which has continued to the present day.

Cambridge sent the first challenge to Oxford on 12th March 1829 and ever since, the loser of the previous year will challenge the opposition to a re-match the following year. Here is a summary timeline of the famous Boat Race:

  • 1829 - First Boat Race held on 10th June at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Newspapers reported that twenty thousand spectators travelled to watch the event. The race was stopped soon after the start, and Oxford was clear winners when they re-started. In the early years, the Boat Race was held at Westminster in London.
  • 1845 - The Boat Race was moved six miles up-stream to Putney as Westminster became too crowded.
  • 1856 - The Boat Race became an annual event.
  • 1873 - First time in the Boat Race where the crew raced on sliding seats.
  • 1915-1919 - No Boat Races were held during the First World War.
  • 1938 - The Boat Race was covered by the BBC for the first time.
  • 1954 - The 100th Boat Race.
  • 1976 - Ladbrokes were the first company to sponsor the Boat Race.
  • 1987 - The Boat Race was officially sponsored by Beefeater Gin.

Preparing for the Boat Race Today

  1. The Boat Race year starts in September when both the universities begin their winter training. All potential Boat Race crew members are encouraged and some will even have competed in other boat races previously.
  2. "Trial Eights" takes place in December between two crews from the same university over the Boat Race course. This helps the coach's decision process in selecting the final crew.
  3. Pre-Race matches take place so that the crew can test themselves against some of the fastest crew in the country.
  4. Finally the coaches will pick the best rowers to enter the Boat Race in the Blue Boat by the start of March. Those members that do not make it to the Blue Boat will be placed in reserve boats - Isis for Oxford and Goldie for Cambridge.

The Boat Race Day

On the Boat Race day, the reserve boats will race first, followed by the Blue Boats thirty minutes later. The race will set off at Putney and land at Mortlake.

If you plan on attending the Boat Race, try to use public transport as it would be very hard to find places to park. The Boat Race will start by Putney Bridge and up to the Fulham Football Club Ground. The course will then go by Hammersmith Bridge and Chiswick Reach, Barnes Railway Bridge and towards Chiswick Bridge.

To find more information on the Boat Race, see:

Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you go to see the Boat Race? You can book online or email to make a reservation on, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438