The Boat Race takes place in London today and, once again, Oxford University and Cambridge University have both battled their way through the qualifying rounds to make it to the cup final.
But, well, unless you’re a keen follower of it, it’s really the quirky stories about the race that capture the interest of the mildly interested fan (a ‘mildly interested fan’ being defined as: well, I’ve seen both versions of ‘Ben Hur’ a few times, so I know a wee bit about team dynamics in a rowing crew). That is to day, unless something memorable happens for a particular race to lodge in the mind, they all tend to merge into a vague memory of the race. So we did some searches in the Archive to see if we could find stories about the various mutinies, wandering swimmers, and sleepy judges (allegedly) and sinkings that have occurred since the race started.
We discovered that in the 1912 race, both boats sank – hmm, so we think this means that the River Thames was the winner that year. So included below is a newspaper report of the 1912 boat race, as well as a dramatic photo of the Oxford boat shipping water.
Next year, we’ll post a report about the 1877 race where, allegedly, the race judge fell asleep and mistakenly called the race a ‘dead heat’, instead of naming Oxford as a winner.
Lichfield Mercury – Friday 05 April 1912
Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.
Evening Telegraph – Monday 01 April 1912
Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.