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Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race

Listed under Spectator Sports in London, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race
  • Photo of Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race
  • Photo of Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race
Photo of Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race
Photo by flickr user anaru
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Tradition is a word thrown around quite a bit now, if an event lasts more than ten years it seems to become 'tradition'. The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a tradition, dating back from 1829 when Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, formulated the idea with Harrow School friend Charles Wordsworth, student at Oxford and also nephew of William Wordsworth.

The race has an odd place in the British sporting landscape. While it is reported on and shown on television, the race doesn't really grasp the nation, possibly due to many feeling excluded by the 'Oxbridge' set. The race still attracts around 250,000 spectators to the banks of the River Thames, with a warm reception greeting you there as old Cambridge and Oxford friends meet and renewing the rivalry that has existed between the two ever since Cambridge was formed by dissident Oxford scholars some 750 years ago.

Don't be expecting rowdiness on the banks however! That's not really how the rival fans conduct themselves, it's more in the form of positive encouragement to one's team and witty (well, in theory) exchanges between fans before everyone packs off to trendy pubs.

Written by  John Johnston.

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