Cambridge University to benefit from home advantage in 2021 race; organisers opted to relocate next year’s edition due to ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions and uncertainty regarding the safety of Hammersmith Bridge
Last Updated: 26/11/20 4:06pm
Next year’s Boat Race will be moved from the River Thames for only the second time in its history and instead take place on the Great Ouse at Ely in Cambridgeshire.
Organisers took the decision to relocate the men’s and women’s races – between Cambridge and Oxford Universities – in light of ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions and uncertainty regarding the safety of Hammersmith Bridge.
Since August, boats have been banned from passing under the suspension bridge after large cracks were discovered.
The men’s race was previously held at Ely, in 1944, when the Second World War made it impossible to hold the event in London.
Next year’s races in April will see the 166th Men’s and the 75th Women’s boat races.
Today the @theboatrace announced that the 2021 Boat Race will take place at Ely, in Cambridgeshire.
We are very grateful to be able to race in these strange times and appreciate all the work that has gone into finding a safe alternative to the race in London. pic.twitter.com/rc6YZ08VYD
— Oxford University Women’s BC (@OUWBCsquad) November 26, 2020
Organisers are urging people to stay at home, while they work with local authorities to ensure a safe event for the local community, crews, and coaches, as well as the volunteers and contractors helping to stage the races.
“Organising sport safely and responsibly is our highest priority and moving the Boat Race to Ely in 2021 enables the event to go ahead in a secure environment,” said Dr George Gilbert, chair of The Boat Race Company Limited’s Race and Operations Committee.
The 2020 edition was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019, Cambridge won both the men’s and women’s events at the 165th Boat Race.