Boat Race 2021: What time is Oxford vs Cambridge, how do I watch and what is the race route?

What is it?

It’s the 166th annual men’s boat race between Oxford University and Cambridge University, and the 75th women’s race.

The race normally takes place close to Easter each year on the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake. But while last year was cancelled due to coronavirus (the first time that had happened outside of a world war), this year there is another twist…

The showpiece has been moved away from London and will instead take part on a flat and windy corner of Cambridgeshire, on an almost bolt-straight stretch of the Great Ouse. This comes after a combination of strict social distancing and repair work to Hammersmith Bridge forced event organisers to look elsewhere for 2021.

The men’s race has previously been run once at Ely, in 1944, when the war made it impossible to stage in London.

When is it?

The race is on Sunday, April 4 .

What time does it start?

The women’s race begins at 3.50pm and the men’s race follows an hour later at 4.50pm.

What TV channel is it on?

Live coverage of The Boat Race will be on BBC1, with coverage from 3pm.

Where does it start and finish?

This year’s race will start at the Queen Adelaide Bridge near Ely and finish just short of the Sandhill Bridge at Littleport. The course is just over 3 miles (4.89km) long – shorter than the usual Thames route which is about 4.2 miles (6.8km).

Where else can I watch?

Unlike normal years where spectators can pick out several pleasant vantage spots along the river, this weekend’s race will be a ‘closed’ event due to coronavirus, meaning no spectators. 

Footpaths, the windswept banks and the start and finish bridges will all be closed and people are being urged ‘to stay local and stay at home’. Instead the best way to watch will be via the television coverage.

Who has won the most races?

This year is the 166th men’s race – and Cambridge, who are the defending champions, currently lead 84-80. The only draw came in 1877 when there was a dead heat-finish.

Cambridge also won last year’s women’s race and have a healthy 43-30 overall lead over Oxford.

Who will be rowing?

Women’s Blue Boat crews


  • Megan Stoker, bow, (St Peter’s College)
  • Anja Zehfuss, 2 (Green Templeton College)
  • Martha Birtles, 3 (Mansfield College)
  • Amelia Standing, 4 (St Anne’s College)
  • Julia Lindsay, 5 (St Cross College)
  • Georgina Grant, 6 (Harris Manchester College)
  • Katie Anderson, 7 (Brasenose College)
  • Katherine Maitland, stroke (St Hugh’s College)
  • Costi Levy, cox (Exeter College)


  • Adriana Perez Rotondo, bow (Newnham College)
  • Sarah Portsmouth, 2 (Newnham College)
  • Abba Parker, 3 (Emmanuel College)
  • Caoimhe Dempsey, 4 (Newnham College)
  • Anouschka Fenley, 5 (Lucy Cavendish College)
  • Sophie Paine, 6 (Girton College)
  • Bronya Sykes, 7 (Gonville & Caius College)
  • Sarah Tisdall, stroke (Lucy Cavendish College)
  • Dylan Whitaker, cox (King’s College)

Men’s Blue Boat crews


  • James Forward, bow (Pembroke College)
  • Alex Bebb, 2 (St Peter’s College)
  • Martin Barakso, 3 (Kellogg College)
  • Felix Drinkall, 4 (Lady Margaret Hall)
  • Tobias Schröder, 5 (Magdalen College)
  • Jean-Philippe Dufour, 6 (Lincoln College)
  • Joshua Bowesman-Jones, 7 (Keble College)
  • Augustin Wambersie, stroke (St Catherine’s College)
  • Jesse Oberst, cox (Pembroke College)


  • Theo Weinberger, bow (St John’s College)
  • Ben Dyer, 2 (Gonville & Caius College)
  • Seb Benzecry, 3 (Jesus College)
  • Quinten Richardson, 4 (Fitzwilliam College)
  • Garth Holden, 5 (St Edmund’s College)
  • Ollie Parish, 6 (Peterhouse)
  • Callum Sullivan, 7 (Peterhouse)
  • Drew Taylor, stroke (Clare College)
  • Charlie Marcus, cox (Trinity College)

What is the weather forecast?

The current BBC weather forecast is for winds of 13mph, and temperatures of around 13C.

What are the odds?

We will update this section when betting markets release the odds for the 2021 Boat Race.

  • Cambridge – TBC
  • Oxford – TBC
  • Dead Heat – TBC
More Stories
Here’s What The Coronavirus R Rate Is Near You