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Last updated 2 Nov 2003 - Low Graphics    

Some quick and easy fun facts about The Boat Race.

Heaviest and Lightest

The heaviest oarsman ever was Christopher Heathcote, 17 stone 5lbs (110.22 kilos) - Oxford 1990
The lighest oarsman ever was Alfred Higgins, 9st 6.5lbs (60.1 kilos) - Oxford stroke 1882
The heaviest ever crew was Cambridge with an average weight of 14 st 13 3/8 lbs (94.9 kgs) in 1998
The lightest ever coxes were Francis Archer (Cambridge 1862) and Hart Massey (Oxford 1939) - both weighed in at 5 stone 2 lbs (32.66 kilos). There is now a 55kg weight limit for coxes in The Boat Race.

Youngest and Oldest

The youngest oarsman ever was Matthew Brittin, 18 years - Cambridge 1987 and one of the youngest winning oarsman ever was Matthew Smith, 18 years - Oxford 2000. He went on to victories with Oxford in 2002 and 2003 (as President).
The oldest oarsman ever was Donald Macdonald, 31 and three months - Oxford 1987 but the oldest ever to compete was Andy Probert, 38 years - Cambridge cox 1992 .


The tallest oarsman ever is Josh West 6' 9.5" (2 metres 7 cm) - Cambridge 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002
The tallest ever crew was Cambridge with an average height of 6ft 6 9/32" in 1999

Winning margin

The smallest winning margin on record is just one foot, which was the winning margin in 2003. In 1980 it was just a canvas - approximately four feet - to Oxford. In 1952, when Oxford also won by a canvas, the boats were bigger and a canvas was approximately six feet.

Course Record

The current Course Record is 16 mins 19 secs - set by Cambridge in 1998


There have been six sinkings but the race result has only been determined by a sinking on three occasions: Cambridge twice (1859 and 1978) and Oxford once (1925). On 31 March 1912, both boats sank and the race was held again on 1 April. On 24 March 1951, Oxford sank and the race was rescheduled for 26 March, when Cambridge won

First Race

The first Boat Race was held in 1829 at Henley on Thames. The first Boat Race on the current course from Putney to Mortlake took place in 1845


In 1981 Sue Brown (Oxford cox) became the first woman to participate in the Boat Race. 1989 was the first year both Blue Boats were coxed by women

The Boats

The international class eights boats weigh 96kg (211lbs) and are 19.9m (62ft) long


Every member of The Boat Race crews trains for approximately two hours for every stroke in The Race. It takes about 600 strokes to complete the course