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The Boat Race 1845

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7th Boat Race
Date 17 March 1845 (1845-03-17)
Winner Cambridge
Margin of victory 10 lengths
Winning time 23 minutes 30 seconds
Overall record
Umpire W. H. Harrison

The 7th Boat Race took place on the River Thames on 17 March 1845. The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was the first time the event was contested along The Championship Course, from Putney to Mortlake. The race was won by Cambridge who beat Oxford by a distance of ten lengths.


The Championship Course along which the Boat Race is contested

The Boat Race, first held in 1829, is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues")[1] and the University of Cambridge (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues").[1] Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having defeated Cambridge by four-and-a-half lengths in the previous race held in 1842. However, Cambridge led overall with four wins to Oxford's two.[2]

The universities failed to agree on a location or a date for a race in 1843 or 1844, so no contests were held those years.[3] In November 1844, the Cambridge University Boat Club secretary wrote to Oxford in an attempt to re-start the Easter running of the Boat Race.[4] The Oxford committee "seemed willing" and in the Lent term proposed a change to the course, to race above Putney Bridge rather than below it on 15 March.[5] It was the first Boat Race to be conducted between Putney and Mortlake on The Championship Course, previous races having taken place between Westminster Bridge and Putney Bridge, or on the Thames at Henley between Hambleden Lock and Henley Bridge.[6][7] Cambridge arrived in London on the Wednesday before the race, Oxford following two days later. Following their displays in practice rows, Cambridge were considered favourites for the race.[8]

The Cambridge boat was built by Logan and belonged to Second Trinity Boat Club,[9] while Oxford's was constructed by King's of Oxford.[10] The umpire for the race was W. H. Harrison, Commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club,[11] while the starter was Edward Searle.[8]


The Oxford crew weighed an average of 11 stlb (73.8 kg), 6.375 pounds (2.9 kg) per rower more than their Light Blue opposition. None of the crews had rowed in previous Boat Races.[12]

Seat Cambridge
University of Cambridge coat of arms.svg
Name College Weight Name College Weight
Bow Gerard Mann Gonville and Caius 10 st 7 lb M. Haggard Christ Church 10 st 3 lb
2 W. Harkness St John's 10 st 0 lb W. C. Stapylton Merton 10 st 12 lb
3 W. S. Lockhart Christ's 11 st 3 lb W. H. Milman Christ Church 11 st 0 lb
4 W. P. Cloves 1st Trinity 12 st 0 lb H. Lewis Pembroke 11 st 7 lb
5 F. M. Arnold Gonville and Caius 12 st 0 lb W. Buckle Oriel 13 st 12 lb
6 R. Harkness St John's 11 st 0 lb F. C. Royds Pembroke 11 st 5 lb
7 J. Richardson (P) 1st Trinity 12 st 0 lb F. M. Wilson Christ Church 12 st 3 lb
Stroke C. G. Hill 2nd Trinity 10 st 11 lb F. E. Tuke (P) Brasenose 12 st 2 lb
Cox H. Munster 1st Trinity 9 st 2 lb F. J. Richards Exeter 10 st 10 lb
(P) – boat club president


The conditions for the race were "of the most inclement possible" and the water "very rough".[9] Cambridge won the toss and elected to start from the Middlesex station, handing the Surrey station to Oxford. The Light Blues made the better start but swell from a steamer dislodged the oar of Richardson and allowed Oxford to take the lead.[8] Cambridge gradually recovered to draw level and by Bishop of London's Walk were clear. Despite poor steering from both coxes (and Henry Munster losing his hat while waving it at the crowds), Cambridge were three lengths ahead by Hammersmith Bridge.[9] They continued to pull away and won by ten lengths in a time of 23 minutes 30 seconds. It was their fifth victory overall, to Oxford's two since the first Boat Race of 1829.[2] Cambridge inflicted a second defeat on Oxford later that year, winning the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta.[13]



  1. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  3. ^ MacMIchael, pp. 105–106, 117
  4. ^ MacMichael, pp. 121–122
  5. ^ MacMichael, p. 122
  6. ^ MacMichael, pp. 34, 47
  7. ^ "The Course". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  8. ^ a b c MacMichael, p. 123
  9. ^ a b c MacMichael, p. 125
  10. ^ MacMichael, p. 126
  11. ^ Burnell, p. 49
  12. ^ a b MacMichael, p. 124
  13. ^ MacMichael, pp. 130–131


  • Burnell, Richard (1979). One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Precision Press. ISBN 978-0-9500638-7-4.
  • MacMichael, William Fisher (1870). The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races: From A.D. 1829 to 1869. Deighton.

External links

  • Official website
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