Where to watch the 2022 Gemini Boat Race

The Gemini Boat Race is back in London for the first time since 2019. Read on for our tips on where to watch the action

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The 2017 Women's Boat Race (c) Naomi Baker

On Sunday 3 April, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will do battle along the Tideway in one of the biggest sporting events in the world: the men’s and women’s 2022 Gemini Boat Race. With the 2020 Boat Race cancelled and the 2021 competition held at Ely, it’s great to see this year’s races return to the River Thames on the iconic championship course from Putney to Mortlake.

This year both Oxford and Cambridge Blue boat crews are of a phenomenal standard, and include Olympic and world-class rowers from all over the world, promising high quality racing on Sunday.

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There are also several GB Olympians amongst the crews. In the Oxford men’s boat, GB rower and Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Angus Groom is joined by Charlie Elwes, a bronze medallist in the GB eight at Tokyo. Tom George and Ollie Wynne-Griffith, also from the Olympic bronze medal-winning British eight, representing Cambridge in light blue colours.

In the women’s race, Tokyo Olympian Imogen Grant is stroking the Cambridge women’s boat while former GB rower and Oxford stalwart Anastasia Posner is going for a fifth Boat Race win.

In terms of stats, the record time over the course in the Men’s Boat Race is 16 minutes 19 seconds, set by Cambridge in 1998 and for the Women’s Boat Race is 18 minutes 33 seconds set by Cambridge in 2017.

What about overall wins? Cambridge University Boat Club have 85 with Oxford on 80. Cambridge also have the edge with the women’s race and lead Oxford 45 to 30.

Thousands of people are expected to watch the 2022 Boat Race along the River Thames to see who will win in 2022. Beat the crowds by following our handy guide to the best places to watch the racing below.

What’s it like to win the Boat Race?

Cox Hugh Spaughton discusses the Boat Race, getting into coxing, and advice for those feeling inspired this Sunday!

Pictured above, Hugh says: “When it comes to motivation to get involved with rowing, naturally watching the Boat Race growing up really inspired me to try out this new sport and to make a team.

“Initially I wanted to row, but I was even smaller than I am now, and after a few weeks of learning to row at my school, my coach pulled me aside and suggested I could be a really great cox. From then, I joined coxing and absolutely loved it! I didn’t come from a sporty background, my parents didn’t row at all, but I loved being around water and it ended up being something I really enjoyed doing!”

Since getting hooked on coxing, the Boat Race became Hugh’s target, ultimately influencing his decision to attend Jesus College, Cambridge, with aspirations of one day making a Cambridge Blue Boat crew – and he did just that!

Hugh celebrates with his crew (c) The Boat Races

Hugh celebrates with his crew in 2019 (c) The Boat Races

In Hugh’s second year at university, he coxed the Cambridge women’s crew that successfully staved off Oxford to win the 2019 Women’s Boat Race by five lengths. Heralding it as a super-fun and unique experience, Hugh would encourage those aspiring to race the Boat Race one day to “start early, learn the Tideway… and don’t neglect the academics!”

He encourages anyone feeling inspired watching this Sunday’s races to get out and try coxing. “The first step is finding your local club and having a chat with the coaches about how to try coxing for yourself!”

Hugh continues to cox on the Tideway, as part of the Thames Rowing Club, and will be supporting Cambridge from there on Sunday.

The 2022 Boat Race dates and details

Date: Sunday, 3 April 2022
11.30 Festival of Rowing flotilla launches
13:50 BBC Broadcast starts with Clare Balding
14:23 76th Women’s Boat Race
14:38 Osiris v Blondie Boat Race
14:53 Isis v Goldie Boat Race
15:23 167th Men’s Boat Race

Start line: Putney Bridge
Finish line: Chiswick Bridge
Distance: 6.8km

Fan zones

If you can’t face the hustle and bustle of the river bank, why not head to one of the Boat Races’ official fan zones in riverside parks? Bishop’s Park, Fulham, and Furnivall Gardens, Hammersmith, will be open from midday until 6pm on 3 April, with big screens showing all of the action. Street food and drinks are available with covered areas, seating and toilets on site.

Both areas are on the north side of the River Thames, with Bishop’s Park located at the start of the Boat Race while Furnivall Gardens is further along near Hammersmith Bridge

Along the river

Hammersmith Bridge will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists between 10am to 5pm on Boat Race day.

Putney Bridge

Get the best views of the start from Putney Bridge, where you’ll be able to see the crews disappear round the Fulham bend, before heading to Bishop’s Park to watch the rest on TV.

Putney Embankment – south side

There are plenty of rowing clubs along this stretch of the river, many of which will be offering tickets on the door. The path runs right up to Hammersmith Bridge, although you may have your view obscured by a couple of bushes…

Fulham Reach – north side

Just before Hammersmith Bridge you’ll find Fulham Reach BC, with plenty of space on the Thames Path for spectators. The Blue Boat pub next door is on hand to offer refreshments while you watch the boats power by.

Chiswick Pier – north side

Situated by the infamous Surrey Bend, could this stretch of the course be where the decisive move is made? Locate yourself here on Boat Race day and you’ll get a great view of the course and possibly see where one of the crews really puts the hammer down.

Pick of the pubs

There are dozens of pubs within shouting distance of the Championship Course, each of which will be welcoming spectators throughout the afternoon.

1 – Duke’s Head 

With river views the Duke’s Head has three floors of fun, takeaway pints along the river and plenty of entertainment.

2 – The Crabtree 

Cross the river and wander along the Thames Path from Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage and you’ll find The Crabtree. Experience the epic Crabtree Boat Race Festival and join them ‘for a spectacular day of live music, entertainment and bundles of fun’.

4 – The Blue Anchor/Rutland Arms 

Near Hammersmith Bridge and situated handily on the tow path, the Blue Anchor and Rutland Arms are right next to each other, making it easy to go to both! Outside tables right on the riverside will ensure that this stretch of the Thames will be bustling all afternoon. The Blue Anchor will have live music and a barbecue.

5 – The Old Ship 

Another characterful pub right by the water, the Old Ship dates all the way back to 1722. It boasts – in their own words – ‘the longest (and best) possible view’ of the Boat Races.

6 – The Bull’s Head 

This pub-cum-jazz bar is a bit further down the river, near Barnes Bridge towards the end of the race course. Unlike the other pubs, it’s not quite on the river, but the Bull’s Head is sure to be lively inside, with the race shown on screens around the pub. You’ll even have time to run down to the water to watch the crews go by as well.

7 – The Ship 

Get the best seat in the house for the finish line at the Ship just down the Thames Bank from Chiswick Bridge. You may even get the chance to call a photo finish.

Give rowing a go

Rowing is a fantastic sport for everyone. Why not head to our website on how to Get Started to find out how you can get involved!

You’ll also be able to see where your nearest rowing club is too.

Thanks to Naomi Baker, AllMarkOne and The Boat Races for photos

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