On Saturday 23/03/19 the Lightweight Boat Race was held for the first time ever on the Championship Course from Putney to Mortlake. Lightweight rowing is famous for producing close racing, and the 2019 race was no different. Oxford won the toss and chose the Surrey station. Cambridge were the slightly quicker crew out the blocks, taking a ½ length lead in the first two minutes. Oxford held this gap round the outside of the bend by Craven Cottage, then a few minutes later began to reel Cambridge back in. The two crews went under Hammersmith bridge dead level, but with Oxford still moving faster and now with the inside of the bend, they soon took the lead. Contact remained between the crews round the Surrey bend, until Oxford made a decisive move as the crews approached Barnes Bridge. Within 1 minute of starting this move they had suddenly opened up a length of clear water and moved in front of Cambridge. The Oxford crew was described by the commentator as “looking supreme” and they continued to open the gap through to the finish line, winning by 2 ¼ lengths and setting a new course record. This was a truly historic day for the club and for the event, drawing large crowds and a global audience on the live-stream.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to make the day happen. The move to the Tideway took a lot of work and without many individuals it wouldn’t have been possible. In particular we would like to thank the race organiser, Paul Crewe, the race umpire, Simon Harris, all of the volunteers who provided assistance on the day, and the sponsors of the event.