Boat Race 2019

The Boat race crews were announced last week, with the surprise revelation that Olympic rower James Cracknell will be taking part. James, who at 46 will be the oldest person every to have competed in the Boat Race, will be rowing for Cambridge. The Chiswick resident retired from elite rowing in 2006 but is eligible to take part in the race as he is studying for a Master of Philosophy degree in Human Evolution at the university.

This year the RNLI is the official Boat race charity partner. Their volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service around the UK and Irish coastline, and on the River Thames, and their lifeguards also look after people on busy beaches throughout the summer. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution provides a crucial emergency service, and has saved more than 142,200 lives since it was established in 1824, but many people don’t realise it isn’t government funded; it relies on charity donations. On the River Thames they operate four lifeboat stations. Tower Bridge is the busiest in the whole of the UK and Ireland and Chiswick, which has supported the Boat Race since 2002, is the second busiest.

Image above: James Cracknell OBE;

Images below: Top photograph – 2016 winners by Anna Kunst; Middle three photographs of previous years’ races – Getty Images; Bottom two photographs: Camera crews broadcasting the race live – The Chiswick Calendar


Where to watch

The 2019 Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race takes place on Sunday 7 April from 12.00 noon – 5.00 pm, with the Women’s Boat Race at 2.13pm and the Men’s Boat Race at 3.10pm.

This year Hounslow Council is providing giant viewing screen showing BBC coverage of the races, with food and drink stalls and children’s fairground rides near the bandstand in Duke’s Meadows.

You can also watch the race from Chiswick Pier (which has perhaps the best view of the whole course, accessible by the E3 bus). When the boats flash past, run inside Pier House to watch the finish on the big screen. Chiswick Pier Trust also lays on a Fuller’s bar and live music, as well as hot drinks, barbeque, cakes and ice creams.

The Old Meadownians Football Club, on the Chiswick side of Barnes railway bridge, also opens their club house to the public with a bar, food and TV screens. Or if you prefer the view from the south side of the river, the Bull’s Head at Barnes is a good spot.