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The Boat Race 1966

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112th Boat Race
Date 26 March 1966 (1966-03-26)
Winner Oxford
Margin of victory 3 and 3/4 lengths
Winning time 19 minutes 12 seconds
Overall record
Umpire Alan Burrough
Other races
Reserve winner Isis
Women's winner Cambridge

The 112th Boat Race took place on 26 March 1966. 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 race was won by Oxford by three-and-three-quarter-lengths. Isis won the reserve race while 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 three-and-three-quarter lengths. Cambridge, however, held the overall lead with 61 victories to Oxford's 49 (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] The reserve race, contested between Oxford's Isis boat and Cambridge's Goldie boat has been held since 1965. It usually takes place on the Tideway, prior to the main Boat Race.[7]

Two days before the main race and in inclement weather, the Cambridge boat began to sink and was pushed into barges and tugs moored below Beverley Brook. The crew were rescued and according to their boat club president Mike Sweeney, the incident would have no impact on the Light Blues: "we shall just get into our other boat and race in that".[9] It was the first Boat Race vessel to sink since the 1951 race.[9] The Light Blues would row in the same boat in which they won the 1962 and 1964 races,[10] while Oxford's craft was manufactured by Swiss firm Stämpfli Racing Boats.[11] Both boats were German-rigged, where the number four and five row on the bow side.[12] The inclement weather continued until the day of the race, with further disruption predicted and the threat of postponement a real one.[10][13] The race was umpired by the former Cambridge University Boat Club president and rower Alan Burrough who took part in Cambridge's victory in the 1939 race.[14][15]

The Cambridge crew were coached by D. C. Christie (who rowed for Cambridge in the 1958 and 1959 races), J. G. P. Crowden (who won Blues in the 1951 and the 1952 races), D. M. Jennens (who rowed three times between 1949 and 1951) and I. W. Welsh (who participated in the 1956 race).[16] Oxford's coach was Ronnie Howard who had rowed for the Dark Blues in the 1957 and 1959 races.[17][18]


The Cambridge crew weighed an average of 13 stlb (85.5 kg), 1.6 pounds (0.7 kg) per rower more than their opponents.[19] Oxonians Chris and Richard Freeman became the first brothers to row in the Boat Race since 1935 race.[20] The Oxford crew contained a single former Blue, the boat club president and number two Duncan Clegg, while Cambridge saw Rodney Ward and stroke Mike Sweeeny return.[21] Oxford's P. G. Tuke was following in the footsteps of his great grandfather F. E. Tuke who had rowed in the 1845 race.[22] There were three non-British participants in the race, the Oxford cox Jim Rogers, and Cambridge rowers J. H. Ashby and P. H. Conze were all American.[23]

Jim Rogers was Oxford's cox for the race.
Seat Oxford
University of Cambridge coat of arms.svg
Name College Weight Name College Weight
Bow R. A. D. Freeman Magdalen 13 st 0 lb M. E. K. Graham Lady Margaret Boat Club 13 st 7 lb
2 R. D. Clegg (P) St Edmund Hall 13 st 3 lb M. D. Tebay 1st & 3rd Trinity 13 st 4 lb
3 F. C. Carr Keble 13 st 4 lb J. H. Ashby 1st & 3rd Trinity 13 st 2 lb
4 C. H. Freeman double-dagger Keble 14 st 3 lb P. G. R. Delafield Jesus 14 st 8 lb
5 J. K. Mullard Keble 13 st 7 lb R. G. Ward Queens' 14 st 12 lb
6 P. G. Tuke Keble 13 st 11 lb P. H. Conze 1st & 3rd Trinity 12 st 10 lb
7 E. C. Meyer University 13 st 4 lb L. M. Henderson Selwyn 13 st 6 lb
Stroke M. S. Kennard St Edmund Hall 12 st 11 lb M. A. Sweeney (P) Lady Margaret Boat Club 12 st 10 lb
Cox J. B. Rogers jr. Balliol 9 st 1 lb I. A. B. Brooksby Lady Margaret Boat Club 9 st 0 lb
(P) – Boat club president[11][25]
C. H. Freeman replaced C. E. Albert four days before the race.[21]


The Championship Course along which the Boat Race is contested

Oxford won the toss and elected to start from the Surrey station.[19] Despite the prediction of poor weather and the threat of postponement,[10] the race commenced at the planned time of 4.15pm.[19] Oxford made the better start and were half-a-length up on Cambridge, but with the advantage of the Middlesex bend, the Light Blues were one second behind at the Mile Post.[26] Oxford reacted to a Cambridge push at Harrods Furniture Depository to maintain the lead which they extended to two seconds by Hammersmith Bridge.[27] The Dark Blues continued to contain Cambridge's attempts to reduce the deficit and by Chiswick Steps had clear water with a three-second advantage.[27] Pushing away once again, and with a two-length lead, Oxford's cox Jim Rogers steered them across the Cambridge boat to the Middlesex side, and were ten seconds ahead at Barnes Bridge.[27] Oxford won by three-and-three-quarter lengths in a time of 19 minutes 12 seconds.[19]

In the reserve race, and after a false start,[27] Oxford's Isis beat Cambridge's Goldie by seventh lengths, their second consecutive victory, in a time of 19 minutes 22 seconds.[7] In the 21st running of the Women's Boat Race, Cambridge triumphed, their fourth consecutive victory.[7]



  • 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.


  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. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d "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. ^ a b "Squall sinks Cambridge crew". The Times (56589). 25 March 1966. p. 12.
  10. ^ a b c Baker, Stanley (26 March 1966). "Oxford favourites to win – today or tomorrow". The Guardian. p. 11.
  11. ^ a b Legget, Donald (20 March 1966). "Boat Race blues as Oxford blunder". The Observer. p. 19.
  12. ^ Dodd, p. 12
  13. ^ "Boat Race may be rowed tomorrow". The Guardian. 26 March 1966. p. 1.
  14. ^ Burrell, p. 49
  15. ^ Dodd, Christopher (13 August 2002). "Alan Burrough". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  16. ^ Burnell, pp. 104–109
  17. ^ Burnell, p. 99
  18. ^ Burnell, 110–111
  19. ^ a b c d Burnell, p. 81
  20. ^ Dimont, Charles (26 March 1966). "Oxford start favourites". Financial Times (23886). p. 7.
  21. ^ a b "Everything happens to Oxford Crew". The Times (56587). 23 March 1966. p. 4.
  22. ^ Burnell, p. 41
  23. ^ Burnell, p. 39
  24. ^ Dodd, p. 342
  25. ^ Burnell, pp. 51–52
  26. ^ Legget, Donald (27 March 1966). "Oxford lead all the way". The Observer. p. 20.
  27. ^ a b c d Baker, Stanley (28 March 1966). "Cambridge unable to challenge Oxford fully". The Guardian. p. 18.

External links

  • Official website
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