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The Boat Race 1982

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128th Boat Race
Date 27 March 1982
Winner Oxford
Margin of victory 3 and 1/4 lengths
Winning time 18 minutes 21 seconds
Overall record
Umpire Michael Muir-Smith
Other races
Reserve winner Isis
Women's winner Cambridge

The 128th Boat Race took place on 27 March 1982. Held annually, the Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. Oxford won by three-and-a-quarter lengths, securing their seventh consecutive victory. Their number five, Boris Rankov, won a record fifth Boat Race as a rower, and Oxford's Clay brothers became the first twins to win the event.

In the reserve race, Oxford's Isis beat Cambridge's Goldie by one-and-a-quarter lengths, and in the Women's Boat Race, Cambridge were victorious.


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] First held in 1829, the race takes place on the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London.[2] The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities and followed throughout the United Kingdom and broadcast worldwide.[3][4] Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having beaten Cambridge by eight lengths in the previous year's race. However Cambridge held the overall lead, with 68 victories to Oxford's 58.[5]

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.[6] 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]

During the pre-race preparations, the Cambridge crew struck a floating railway sleeper near Chiswick Eyot, damaging their boat which needed repair before the race.[8] Oxford's crew suffered illness in the days leading up the race, in particular the president Nick Conington who was moved from stroke to bow to reduce the chances of a possible recurrence of glandular fever.[9]


The Oxford crew weighed an average of just below 14 st (88.7 kg) per rower, and had a 10 pounds (4.5 kg) per man advantage over Cambridge.[10] Oxford saw four former Blues return, including the first female cox in Sue Brown. Cambridge's crew contained a single Blue in boat club president Roger Stephens.[10][11] Despite retiring from rowing, Boris Rankov, a junior fellow at St Hugh's was persuaded back into the crew by the Oxford boat club president Nick Conington.[8] Rankov was rowing in his fifth consecutive Boat Race, alongside Steve Foster whom he supervised in classics.[8] Oxford's crew also contained the Clay twins, Robert and Hugh.[9]

Seat Oxford
University of Cambridge coat of arms.svg
Name College Weight Name College Weight
Bow N. A. Conington (P) Oriel 12 st 10 lb P. St J. Brine Lady Margaret Boat Club 12 st 9 lb
2 G. R. N. Holland Oriel 13 st 12 lb A. R. Knight Clare 12 st 8 lb
3 H. E. Clay Magdalen 14 st 2 lb R. J. Stephens (P) Emmanuel 13 st 12 lb
4 R. P. Yonge New College 14 st 8 lb N. J. Bliss Corpus Christi 13 st 10 lb
5 N. B. Rankov St Hugh's 14 st 12 lb B. M. Philp Downing 15 st 3 lb
6 S. J. L Foster Pembroke 13 st 11 lb C. D. Heard Lady Margaret Boat Club 14 st 10 lb
7 A. K. Kirkpatrick Oriel 14 st 8 lb E. M. G. Pearson Jesus 12 st 1 lb
Stroke R. C. Clay New College 13 st 6 lb S. A. Harris Queens' 11 st 5 lb
Cox S. Brown Wadham 6 st 11 lb I Bernstein Emmanuel 7 st 2 lb
(P) – Boat club president


The Championship Course along which the Boat Race is contested

River conditions were calm: Jim Railton of The Times described the course as "a smooth and flat Queen's highway from Putney to Mortlake."[12] Michael Muir-Smith was the umpire for the race,[11] for which Oxford were "heavily favoured".[11] They won the toss and elected to start from the Surrey station.[13] A good start from the Light Blues saw them a length ahead by Craven Cottage and passing the Mile Post one second ahead of Oxford. From Harrods Furniture Depository, Oxford fought their way back into contention with cox Brown forcing her counterpart Bernstein to steer towards the centre of the river. Both crews shot Hammersmith Bridge a second apart, with Oxford quickly gaining a length's lead and a clear water advantage. Cambridge were nine seconds down by Chiswick Steps and a further second behind at Barnes Bridge. Oxford passed the finishing post eleven seconds and three-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Cambridge, in a time of 18 minutes 21 seconds, to record their seventh consecutive victory.[13]

In the reserve race, Isis beat Goldie by one-and-a-quarter lengths and five seconds in a time of 18 minutes 43 seconds to record their third consecutive victory.[7][12] In the 37th running of the Women's Boat Race, Cambridge triumphed, their first win in three years.[7]


Rankov, who became the first rower to win five consecutive Boat Races (C. R. W. Tottenham had won five as a cox in the 1860s),[11] admitted, "The beginning was all right. We expected them to be up on us before Hammersmith. But the burn we did there was exhausting. It was really hard just to keep in front for the rest of the way."[13] Defeated Cambridge cox Bernstein said, "I can't wait to get back at them next year", while his stroke Simon Harris stated, "we will have six of this crew left next year. That's a good base".[13] The Clays became the first twins to win a Boat Race.[14]



  1. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  2. ^ Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Former Winnipegger in winning Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ "TV and radio". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  5. ^ Dodd, p. 348
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ a b c "Men – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Dodd, Christopher (26 March 1982). "The Oxford don expects to record another first". The Guardian. p. 24.
  9. ^ a b Dodd, Christopher (27 March 1982). "Signs of a tide turn". The Guardian. p. 24.
  10. ^ a b c Dodd, p. 349
  11. ^ a b c d Railton, Jim (27 March 1982). "Oxford's pride to overcome Light Blues' passion". The Times (61193). p. 17.
  12. ^ a b Railton, Jim (29 March 1982). "The neck-snapper who lurks under the bridge". The Times (61194). p. 14.
  13. ^ a b c d Dodd, Christopher (29 March 1982). "Rankov hard-pressed to score fifth triumph". The Guardian. p. 19.
  14. ^ "History of the Boat Race". ITV. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.


  • Dodd, Christopher (1983). The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race. Stanley Paul. ISBN 0-09-151340-5.

External links

  • Official website
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