Where is the Boat Race 2021 course? Why is the event not taking place on the River Thames?

THE BOAT RACE is back with a bang after coronavirus caused the event to be cancelled in 2020.

But there will be a change of scenery for the first time in 185 years as Oxford and Cambridge prepare for a race like no other.

Where is the Boat Race?

The Boat Race has been moved from its traditional home on the River Thames in order to avoid large crowds gathering.

Instead, it will take place behind closed doors on the Great Ouse in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The course in the remote Fenlands is three miles long, making it significantly shorter than the regular course (4.2 miles).

Cambridge coach Rob Baker said: “The course is just perfectly straight, with just a very tiny kink in it.

“It is going to be just a big grind really, getting your boat speed up and running, then just seeing who can maintain it through the course of the race.

“It is going to be a fascinating race to watch, to see how the crews cope with that, without any other interference thrown in, like when you come to a bend on the tideway.

“Here, it is just going to be purely about the boat speed and what the crews can deliver, about that true test of endurance.”

Has the Boat Race been moved from London before?

Every race since 1845 has been held on The Championship Course on the River Thames.

However, a number of unofficial races were held in various locations during World War 2.

This included one race in Ely, which was won by Oxford in 1944.

Other races were held in Henley-on-Thames and Sandford-on-Thames during the war.

What time does Boat Race 2021 get underway?

  • This year's Oxford vs Cambridge clash will get underway on Sunday, April 4, with the women's race starting at 3.50pm.
  • The men's race starts an hour later at 4.50pm.
  • The race will get going from the Queen Adelaide Bridge in Ely and will end by Sandhill Bridge in Littleport.

What channel is the Boat Race on and can I live stream it?

  • Coverage of this year's big boat race will get underway from 3pm on BBC One.
  • There'll be no spectators in attendance at any point along the course because of coronavirus restrictions so be sure to catch it on TV.
  • If you want to live stream the event, you can download the BBC iPlayer and stream it from your mobile or tablet device.

Who will be rowing?

Women's crew – (3.50pm)


  • Megan Stoker
  • Anja Zehfuss
  • Martha Birtles
  • Amelia Standing
  • Julia Lindsay
  • Georgina Grant
  • Katie Anderson
  • Katherine Maitland
  • Costi Levy


  • Adriana Perez Rotondo
  • Sarah Portsmouth
  • Abba Parker
  • Caoimhe Dempsey
  • Anouschka Fenley
  • Sophie Paine
  • Bronya Sykes
  • Sarah Tisdall
  • Dylan Whitaker

Men's crew – (4.50pm)


  • James Forward
  • Alex Bebb
  • Martin Barakso
  • Felix Drinkall
  • Tobias Schröder
  • Jean-Philippe Dufour
  • Joshua Bowesman-Jones
  • Augustin Wambersie
  • Jesse Oberst


  • Theo Weinberger
  • Ben Dyer
  • Seb Benzecry
  • Quinten Richardson
  • Garth Holden
  • Ollie Parish
  • Callum Sullivan
  • Drew Taylor
  • Charlie Marcus

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