“The Boat Race” is an annual tradition in England dating back to 1829, where crews from Oxford and Cambridge race over a course of 6,779 meters. The event is also known as the “University Boat Race” or “Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race”, while the formal title is the “Xchanging Boat Race”. The members of the crews are known as “blues” (Cambridge in light and Oxford in dark blue), and millions of spectators will watch from the banks with many more viewing on TV or online to cheer them on.
The race traditionally occurs on the last Saturday of March, or first Saturday of April despite even the toughest of conditions. The competition is for heavyweight eights, meaning eight rowers and a coxswain steering, and strictly for amateur athletes attending the university for whom they race. Preparation is rumored to be quite grueling with as many as six days a week of training for six months prior to the event. As such, many Olympic standard athletes and future world champions have raced for both Oxford and Cambridge crews. For the years since records began to be kept, Cambridge leads the series with 80 wins to Oxford’s 75, with one contest declared a dead heat.
In recent years, Malaysian (and expat) alumni from Oxford and Cambridge extended the tradition to the waters of Kuala Lumpur and continue to hold their own “Boat Race” on or around the same day as the official event. The local Boat Race has been held at Batu Dam and on Putrajaya Lake.
If you are interested in competing in or volunteering for Malaysia’s Boat Race, please send E-Mail to rowputrajaya[at]zoho.com.