There are a good few reasons to watch Oxford and Cambridge duke it out on the water this Sunday at Putney Town Rowing Club. Situated on the finish line of the University Boat Race course, we’ll be having a feast of activities to make the most of the day and most importantly with the cold weather forecast, you can keep warm too!
- Fully licensed bar open to the public, serving warm Winter Pimms, Mulled Wine/Cider as well as beer, cider and tea/coffee
- Hot Dogs and onions
- New to rowing? Fancy your chances as a rower? Have a try on our indoor rowing machines in a head-to-head on the big screen and see how good you are.
- Club sweepstake for closest winning time
- Enjoy the build up from 1pm and on TV from 3:25pm
- Watch the race itself at 4:30pm on a projector…
- Then down to the riverside to see the winning crew cross the line.
You’ll find Putney Town Rowing Club located near Chiswick Bridge. Our new steps will also give a great viewing point of the crews finishing, as well as the awards ceremony across the river from our boathouse as well as the traditional throwing of the cox into the water.
FAQ about the University Boat Race
Q. How old is the race?
A. It has been running since 1829 and this will be the 159th boat race. However it’s not always been held on the Thames Tideway.
Q. Is the boat race ever cancelled because of bad weather?
A. Unlike club rowing events which can be cancelled, the Boat Race always goes ahead regardless of the weather and this has led to some notable sinkings in years gone by!
Q. How long is the race and what is the course record?
A. The course is 4 miles and 374 yards (6.779 km) from Putney to Mortlake. The course record is 16:19 set by Cambridge in 1998.
Q. Does that mean the crews are rowing against the stream?
A. They are rowing upstream, but the do so on a “flood tide”, so they are actually travelling in the same direction as the water.
Q. What colours do the crews wear?
A. Oxford in dark blue. Cambridge in light blue-green.
Q. Why is one of the “blues” really green?
A. The light bluish-green worn by Cambridge is believed to be based on Eton Blue, though this is disputed. You can read more about Eton Blue on the Eton College website.
Putney Town’s mens and womens squads are currently looking to recruit both experienced and new coxes to steer them to success. Experienced coxes will find enthusiastic and competitive crews with ambitions on Henley and the major regattas. Newer coxes will be given full support from coaches, strokemen and other coxes at the club to help them progress towards the top boats.
In addition, we’re also like to hear from experienced coxes who would be willing to help out on a more occasional basis, but currently feel unable to give a squad full commitment.
The Putney Town Annual Burns Night Pub Quiz and Supper returns for its eighth year.
The Quiz will be the usual great mix of picture, music and traditional question rounds, with prizes for each round and an overall Champion Team prize! It’s general knowledge not a Burns or Scottish quiz with questions for everyone!
Quiz kicks off promptly at 7pm and supper will be in the interval. Table service during the quiz means there is no need for you to miss questions whilst you go for a drink.
Supper will have Meat & Vegetarian options for only £5!
It’s £2.50 per person to enter. If you wish to attend can you please email your team name and members (strictly max. 6 per team) to email@example.com. If you don’t have a team just email us anyway and we can sort you out with one!
A message for the good people of Putney Town
It may be winter, but lose that frown
For Christmas time is nearly here
A time for much merriment and drinking of beer
And in one week, President’s cheese and wine
To have your company there would be most fine
So pick up your hat and grab your coat
Though you most likely won’t need that in the boat
For festive plum pudding races will proceed
Warm Gløgg, fine wine and a good feed.
So open your diary, and and jot down the time
8th of December for cheese and wine!
The annual Putney Town Christmas Cheese, Wine ‘n’ Glug Party will be on the 8th of December which is open to all members and friends/family.
The festivities will kick-off with the Plum Pudding Races - scratch crews in 8’s and 4’s - everyone welcome, especially coxes! (Please be prepared to cox if you have experience).
This will be followed as always by the Gløgg/mulled wine for those chilly souls who have been on the river. A buffet lunch (£5) follows, as the day gets underway in the bar and there will be a guest ale available.
12:30 - Register in the hall for Plum Puddings
13:00 - Crews announced
13:45 - Races begin
14:30 - Gløgg/Mulled Wine
15:00 - Food
We will be running a bar rota for the duration of the event and will require volunteers to help out. We would also appreciate some help with the food and Gløgg. If anybody has a special mulled wine/Nordic Gløgg recipe they would like to share, wine will be provided.
For the food, help is mainly required for preparation and laying out the tables and a little help tidying up afterwards. If any member would like to make a salad, or bring some mince pies, your efforts will be graciously received!
Please sign up for a one hour slot behind the bar, or to help out with food/Gløgg by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspired by the Olympics? Want to learn to row or get back into rowing? You may be interested in joining one of our squads at Putney Town or taking up a learn to row course.
Learn To Row
Putney Town is pleased to announce it will be running further Learn To Row courses this summer.
A learn to row course for women will be starting Tuesday 18th September 2012 (updated: the first session will be on Tuesday, with subsequent mid-week sessions on Wednesday). Women interested in taking part in the course should come along to one of two open days held on the following dates: -
- Open Day: Sunday 9th September 2pm
- Open Evening: Wed 12th September at 7pm
The Open Days will give you a chance to have a look around the club, take part in the Ergo Challenge and meet previous graduates of the course. If you are interested in coming to the open day, please make sure you have registered your details on the Learn To Row sign up page and let us know you are coming to the open day by emailing email@example.com.
We are hoping to be able to run a mens course for individuals who show promise in the sport around the same time.
Please register your details on the Learn To Row sign up page if you would like to be informed when the course is announced.
More information about these courses is available on the learn to row page.
Returning to rowing?
If you have previous experience of rowing, you may be able to join one of our squads directly.
The men’s squad is holding open days on Saturday 1 and Saturday 8 September, each starting at 9am. Find out more about the men’s squad.
The veteran men’s squad cater for rowers ranging in age from their late 30s to early 70s. Find out more about the veteran men’s squad.
Saturday 21st July 2012
Ramp opening by VIPs at 12:00
Followed by: -
- Club photo on the new ramp
- Fleet review - row past of all the boats in the club house
- Boat naming
- Cake baking competition
- BBQ and afternoon games
- Free event (excludes bar and food) - All welcome
Any enquiries can be directed to Peter Rossi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Charlotte Taylor showed that she is among the top lightweight female scullers in the country by reaching the final of Senior Lightweight Single Sculls, braving some horrible weather conditions at Henley Women’s Regatta.
Having impressed in a hastily arranged time trial, she dominated the quarter-final on Friday afternoon, then won a thrilling semi-final against regular rival Kate Evans of Llandaff before being unable to overcome Elizabeth Polgreen from Isle of Ely in the final.
Because of results earlier in the season, Charlotte had been seeded through the original draw but that was torn up when organisers decided a fast-flowing stream and strong headwind demanded a revised timetable, with a time trial to reduce the field to eight before head-to-head racing.
On informal timing, she was second-fastest in the 16-boat field, three seconds behind Polgreen, who was slower over the first half of the course.
All of the quarter-finals were won with an easily verdict, Charlotte beating Hannah Addley of Queen’s University, Belfast in 8’36. The wind was so strong on Friday afternoon that several singles races took over nine-and-a-half minutes to complete.
With the rearranged timetable, the scullers were given Saturday off, while larger boats raced in winds of up to 40mph.
On Sunday morning Charlotte and Kate Evans met on a start line for the fifth time this season, with the scores level at 2-2 up to that point, and the two were level through the first 500m until Charlotte – who had endured some early wobbles in rough water – moved away through the enclosures to win by three-and-a-half lengths in 7’30.
The duo were watched at the finish by Sir Steve Redgrave and John Inverdale, anchoring the BBC’s World Cup coverage from the garden of Remenham Club.
The umpire’s launch was unable to keep pace with the finalists later in the day: a replacement had to be found and a re-start ordered after the propeller on the original broke and the umpire veered into Temple Island.
Elizabeth Polgreen, who finished fifth in Great Britain Under-23 trials in April, had the better of the start but Charlotte held her to a length until the enclosures, when she pushed on. Polgreen doubled her lead to four-and-a-half lengths in the final 500m, winning in 6’53.
Charlotte’s next event is the British Rowing Championships in Nottingham on 14 and 15 July.
Words by Martin Gough
Putney Town is celebrating a significant year, being in it’s 90th year and having successfully built a new ramp.
On Saturday 21st July 2012, the club will be hosting a large event, starting at lunchtime with a formal ramp opening ceremony (with VIPs). We are hoping to follow this with a row past of the whole fleet, then a BBQ, bouncy castle etc and evening party. Past and present members are encouraged to come and celebrate on a day that will surely be memorable.
And if you’ve not been at the club or rowing on the Tideway recently, then here are some ramp photos in all the glory.
Charlotte Taylor began her multilane sculling career with victory as Putney Town kicked off their summer season on Dorney Lake, at Wallingford Regatta.
Charlotte, who only took up sculling seriously at the end of last summer, won a thrilling Intermediate 3 race at the end of the afternoon division, having finished third in Intermediate 1 in the morning.
In unusually benign conditions at the Olympic venue, races ran to time throughout the day with a morning crosswind the only annoyance. It was a stark contrast to last year’s event, where racing was cancelled at midday.
Putney Town’s women’s senior squad found themselves in the fastest Intermediate 3 heat of the morning but the time of the crew - stroked by Rochelle Morrissey and with several of last year’s beginners’ squad on board - showed them to be right at the front of the chasing pack.
A crew featuring a slightly different line-up took further lessons for the rest of the summer from their afternoon IM2 heat.
Four crews from the Town’s men’s squad faced tough opposition throughout the draw at an event dominated by schools in the build-up to next month’s National Schools Regatta.
However the first eight, stroked by Jack Mellish-Dix and featuring several oarsmen who have graduated from the club’s Learn to Row programme, recorded the fastest time of the day by a club crew at Intermediate 3. A second eight competed at IM3 and a coxless four at IM1.
In the afternoon division, an eight put together recently on training camp in Banyoles, Spain, featured at Intermediate 2, beating the only other club crew in their heat.
Words by Martin Gough
April 2012 saw the PTRC women’s squad descend for the 3rd year in a row (forgive the pun) upon the beautiful waters of Brive la Gaillard, Bordeaux, France for an intense (but enjoyable) week of rowing. Despite varying conditions of wind, hail, thunder and lightning interspersed with the usual beautiful sunshine we had prayed for, the squad successfully made it through an arduous if fun week of preparation for the summer regatta season.
Highlights of the week included a 2k race against fellow campers - Worcester and the Putney Town top eight. Having been neck and neck for the first 1,000 metres after an exciting start, the girls successfully pulled away at the 1,100 mark and by the final 60 strokes had a good length clear which lengthened considerably by the time they hit the finish line. Thanks to our sporting friends for such an enjoyable race!
The week was rounded off with the usual annual ‘minging kit’ games (all still rowing focused of course!), interspersed with more hail and thunder. With the 2 coaches Gary and Emma each heading up a team, Em comfortably took the glory this year with some impressive 360 spinning in sculls and a four and some unusual coxing efforts!
The squad drove away from Brive feeling confident for the coming months with regattas at Wallingford, Metropolitan, Reading & of course Women’s Henley to look forward to.