Boat Race moved from River Thames for first time in 77 years

The 166th men’s race and 75th women’s race was scheduled for 3 April next year along its traditional west London route

The 2021 race has been moved from the River Thames
The 2021 race has been moved from the River Thames

The 2021 Boat Race won't take part in the River Thames for the first time in 77 years.

The 166th men’s race and 75th women’s race were scheduled for 3 April next year along the traditional west London route.

But fears over coronavirus as well as the safety of Hammersmith Bridge, which is currently undergoing maintenance amid fears over boats passing under it, have forced a switch.

The historic race, first contested in 1856, will instead move to the River Ouse for only the second time having also switched there in 1944.

“Everyone is facing significant challenges right now, especially students up and down the country," Dr George Gilbert, of the Boat Race Company Limited, said.

“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.

“While we are sad to not be able to welcome the usual hundreds of thousands of spectators along the course, we will be inviting our communities and wider audience to get involved via our social media channels, and to enjoy the historic event on the BBC.”

This year's race was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the 2019 race won by Cambridge.

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