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The End of a Century-Old Tradition

rowing races

The famous Boat Race between the universities of Cambridge and Oxford has long been a highlight for fans of rowing races. This duel tradition has been lasting for 200 years. In 2020, the Boat Race will not take place for the first time. The cancellation marked the end of an ancient rivalry, at least for the time being. Many months of hard training  went for nothing for the participants. For the rowers, a place in the team of the respective university means many compromises during the studies. After all, Cambridge won the last two duels, so it’s no wonder that they were burning for revenge in Oxford. But that did not happen; the organizers canceled the race for the first time since 1946.

rowing races
Rowing races

Two School Friends Founded The Boat Race

The tradition-keepers of England were hurt in particular. After all, the teams of two universitieshave been rowing against each other for almost 200 years. The rivalry goes back to the two former schoolmates Charles Wordsworth and Charles Merrivale. Initially, they lost sight of each other and only met again when one went to Oxford University and the other to Cambridge University. They agreed to a first duel on the river and started the  first boat race for men in 1829. At first, there were breaks of several years, but from 1956 the race was held  annualy. Only the First and the Second World War prevented the famous races.

Women  In Dueling

Women got their chance to try more than 100 years after the premiere. Since 1964 the two universities have a competition for women once a year. When the race starts, more than 250.000 spectators have long gathered on the banks of the Thames and cheer for their favourite team. It is not a surprise that the disappointment about the cancellation was particularly significant this year. German rower Tina Christmann is currently the president of the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club. She wanted to crown her career as being a captain of the winner team this year. . Now she is considering another year to be able to enjoy this unique experience. Until the cancellation, Christmann has been training twice a day. For this event, her studies in Oxford had to be postponed for a while. Her Master degree in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management will have to wait a little longer. After all, she had put a lot of time into her training since a very young age. Now she wants to make her dream come true next year and forget the defeat  of the last race.

Women  In Dueling
Women In Dueling

At that time, the University of Cambridge celebrated a total triumph. This school won all four races (for men, women, and both reserve teams) and suffered an impressive defeat to the rivals. The boat race takes place every year at a time when many rowers have not yet started the competition phase in the eight. Of course, all fans are disappointed now. But it can be assumed that this highlight event will be on the program next year.