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The Boat Race 1964

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110th Boat Race
Date 28 March 1964 (1964-03-28)
Winner Cambridge
Margin of victory 6 and 1/2 lengths
Winning time 19 minutes 18 seconds
Overall record
Umpire K. M. Payne
Other races
Women's winner Cambridge

The 110th Boat Race took place on 28 March 1964. Held annually, the event is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. The Oxford crew was the heaviest in Boat Race history. The race was won by Cambridge by six-and-half lengths. Cambridge won the Women's Boat Race.


The Boat Race 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] The race was first held in 1829, and since 1845 has taken place on the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London.[2][3] The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities, followed throughout the United Kingdom and broadcast worldwide.[4][5] Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having won the previous year's race by five lengths, while Cambridge led overall in the event with 60 victories to Oxford's 48 (excluding the "dead heat" of 1877).[6][7]

The first Women's Boat Race took place in 1927, but did not become an annual fixture until the 1960s. Up until 2014, the contest was conducted as part of the Henley Boat Races, but as of the 2015 race, it is held on the River Thames, on the same day as the men's main and reserve races.[8] This year's women's race was the first to be held since 1952.

Writing in the Financial Times, Joseph Mallalieu noted that the Boat Race was subsidised by The Varsity Match every year.[9] Despite Oxford being "firm favourites" upon their arrival at the Tideway, Cambridge put in better performances in training,[10] and by the time of the race were considered the favourites themselves.[11] The main race was umpired for the eighth and final time by the former Olympian Kenneth Payne who had rowed for Cambridge in the 1932 and 1934 races.[12][13]


Although it was the heaviest Cambridge crew ever, they weighed an average of 13 st 4.75 lb (84.5 kg), almost 3 pounds (1.4 kg) per rower less than Oxford, who were the heaviest crew in Boat Race history.[10] Oxford saw two former Blues return in Miles Morland and Duncan Spencer,[14] while Cambridge's crew included four Boat Race veterans in Donald Legget, Mike Bevan, John Lecky and Christopher Davey. Lecky was a Canadian international rower who had won a silver medal in the men's eight at the 1960 Summer Olympics.[15] Six of Oxford's crew came from Keble College, five of those schooled at Eton College.[16]

Seat Oxford
University of Cambridge coat of arms.svg
Name College Weight Name College Weight
Bow J. Leigh-Wood Keble 12 st 3 lb D. F. Legget Trinity Hall 12 st 10 lb
2 D. W. Steel Keble 13 st 7 lb M. V. Bevan Downing 13 st 2 lb
3 D. W. A. Cox St Peter's 13 st 7 lb M. Muir-Smith Christ's 14 st 0 lb
4 M. Q. Morland Lincoln 14 st 6 lb J. W. Fraser Jesus 14 st 2 lb
5 R. C. T. Mead Keble 14 st 0 lb J. M. S. Lecky 1st & 3rd Trinity 14 st 3 lb
6 D. D. S. Skailes (P) Keble 14 st 3 lb J. R. Kiely 1st & 3rd Trinity 14 st 0 lb
7 D. G. Bray Keble 13 st 1 lb A. Simpson Queens' 12 st 13 lb
Stroke D. C. Spencer Christ Church 13 st 5 lb C. J. T. Davey (P) Jesus 11 st 8 lb
Cox M. J. Leigh Keble 8 st 12 lb R. G. Stanbury Lady Margaret Boat Club 8 st 10 lb
(P) – Boat club president[18]


The Championship Course along which the Boat Race is contested

Cambridge won the toss and elected to start from the Surrey station, handing the Middlesex side of the river to Oxford.[17] With a "calm, following wind",[19] the race commenced at 2.20pm,[17] and within a minute, Cambridge had a quarter-length lead before Oxford closed the gap at Craven Cottage. The Light Blues reached the Mile Post three seconds ahead and crossed over to the midstream. By Harrods Furniture Depository they had extended their lead out to two lengths and passed below Hammersmith Bridge a further half-length ahead. Despite a surge from Oxford, Cambridge were sixteen seconds ahead at Chiswick Steps and increased the gap to twenty seconds by Barnes Bridge. Cambridge won by six-and-a-half lengths in a time of 19 minutes 18 seconds, 23 seconds ahead of Oxford.[17][20]

The victory was Cambridge's 61st in the contest, taking the overall score to 61–48. The Cambridge boat club president and stroke Christopher Davey said: "Everything went as planned, but Oxford hung on more than I would have liked at the end. I would have liked to have taken it to 10 lengths if possible but Oxford kept going splendidly at the end."[20]

In the 20th running of the Women's Boat Race, Cambridge triumphed, their third consecutive victory.[21]



  1. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  2. ^ Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  3. ^ "The Course". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Former Winnipegger in winning Oxford–Cambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  5. ^ "TV and radio". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Classic moments – the 1877 dead heat". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  8. ^ "A brief history of the Women's Boat Race". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  9. ^ Mallalieu, Joseph (28 March 1964). "Two losers on the Tideway" (23, 273). p. 9.
  10. ^ a b "Oxford are likely to win". The Guardian. 28 March 1964. p. 10.
  11. ^ "Cambridge need an early lead in Boat Race". The Times (55971). 28 March 1964. p. 3.
  12. ^ Burnell, pp. 49, 74
  13. ^ "Kenneth Payne Bio, Stats, and Results". Sports Reference. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ Dodd, p. 169
  15. ^ "John Lecky Bio, Stats, and Results". Sports Reference. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  16. ^ Dodd, p. 340
  17. ^ a b c d Burnell, p. 80
  18. ^ Burnell, pp. 51–52
  19. ^ "Cambridge virtue rewarded". The Guardian. 30 March 1964. p. 10.
  20. ^ a b Thomson, Ian (29 March 1964). "Cambridge win 110th Boat Race in a canter". The Guardian.
  21. ^ "Results – Women". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.


  • Burnell, Richard (1979). One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Precision Press. ISBN 0950063878.
  • Dodd, Christopher (1983). The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race. Stanley Paul. ISBN 0091513405.

External links

  • Official website
  • Film of the Cambridge team training and tea at the Cutter in Ely (East Anglian Film Archive)
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