Cambridge faces charges of home advantage over boat races

Cambridge faces charges of home advantage over boat races

For nearly two centuries, Oxford and Cambridge rowing crews have been fighting for victory over the River Thames.

But now he faces charges of providing a home benefit after boat race organizers announced that Calibridge would be relocated to River Great Use at Alley.

The decision was made due to safety concerns about the Hammersmith Bridge, which has been closed for 18 months due to structural problems, as well as the desire to hold races in a more remote area to prevent large numbers of spectators from descending along the river. .

This is a handful of times in the history of boating made in London. The last time was in 1944 when D-Day was forced to take refuge with a doodlebug V1 bomb raining down on the capital.

But the decision to relocate the race to the River Great Use area, just a mile from Cambridge University Boat House, has claimed that the light blues will benefit.

Matthew Holland, who joined the Cambridge men’s team in the boat race last year, said, “Every day of the year it’s water and they know it back to back. “It’s a psychological thing to live on the water of your home, you have years or training, study and experience on the rivers and you know how far you are at every stage of the race and how far you have stayed, just by realization. ”

Mr Holland, who is now the rowing umpire, added that the light blue doors and signs of Cambridge would leave the Oxford team everywhere feeling “prisoners of war” running around “in enemy territory”.

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Richard Phelps, a former Olympic rover who sits on the boat race umpires panel, said there was no doubt that the “strong knowledge” of the Oxford Crew River would not be as strong as that of its rivals.

But he added that it was a “very straightforward, asymptomatic course” that the Oxford crew could easily study there.

“If it was a course that was full of turns and bridges and other such features, I can imagine in that case the elephant would benefit a little. But Ellie is fairly straight, there’s an inlet and a bus. Ox Xford Rovers will achieve their approach quickly. ”

Dr George Gilbert, chairman of the Boat Race Company Limited’s race and operations operations committee, said they were doing everything in their power to make it as fair as possible.

“Leaving London, when the decision was a painful one, was the only real option,” he told The Telegraph. “In terms of other locations we’ve looked at all sorts of places across the country. There are a lot of potential sites but that was a question of distance and safety.”

He said he did not want the crew to travel too much and wanted a location that could “effectively shut down” spectators. Both rowing clubs were consulted at the location, he said, and the Oxford crew would be given as much access to the river as needed for race training.

Oxford won when the 1944 race took place in the Great Use River at Alley. Ox Xford and Cambridge athletes are training under the strict Covid-19 guidelines set by British Rowing, the university’s sports departments and the government.

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The crew was on the water for two months before the November lockdown in England, and since then student athletes have been training on rowing machines in their rooms.


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