Lady Margaret Hall Boat Club
Lady Margaret Hall Boat Club is a rowing club for members and staff of Lady Margaret Hall and was founded in 1899. LMHBC first competed in inter-college OURCs racing events in 1977, when a women's division was established; as the senior women's college LMH was placed first on the river for the inaugural women's division. It is run by an executive committee, elected annually by members of the club at that time, it is affiliated to Oxford University Rowing Clubs. The club shares a club room and boat house with Trinity College Boat Club and Linacre College Boat Club on Boat House Island, Christ Church Meadow; the club has provided rowers for the Boat Race, the Women's Boat Race, the Isis Reserves Race. A former president, Monica Fisher was responsible for instigating some of the biggest changes in Women's Boat Race history, which raised the regularity and status of that event. For a period around 2010 three times World Lightweight Sculling Champion Peter Moir Haining coached LMHBC. LMHBC is the largest sports club within Lady Margaret Hall.
The club is affiliated to British Rowing. The club fields a Men's First VIII and a Women's First VIII in the annual inter-collegiate Torpids and Summer Eights bumps racing competitions, along with second and, from time to time, third VIIIs. Men's crews began competing for LMHBC in 1979/1980; as a new boat, they entered the table at the bottom as 90th on the river. Over the intervening years, the men's first VIII have risen up the rankings. In Summer Eights 2017, the men's first VIII were head of Division 2 and entered Division 1 for the first time and ranked 14th on the river. In Torpids 2012, the men's first VIII reached 8th on the river; the men's second VIII were 60th on the river in 2017. A men's third VIII is periodically fielded; the Men's 1st VIII have raced in the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta on several occasions. Other external regattas include Head of the River Race and Henley 4s and 8s Head; the LMHBC women's first VIII had the Summer Eights headship in 1977, the inaugural year of women's inclusion in Summer Eights as recognised, distinct divisions.
In 2017 it was 24th on the river. The LMH women's first VIII had the Torpids Headship in 1978 and was 20th on the river in 2017; the LMHBC Women's second VIII first raced in 1986 and was 59th on the river in 2017. A women's third eight. There were two LMHBC members in the Oxford men's crew at The Boat Race 2018: Zachary Thomas Johnson and Felix Drinkall; the boat club has an ivory blazer with blue and gold piping and cuff rings bearing the Beaufort portcullis device in blue on the left breast. This may be worn by women who have rowed in the first Summer VIII or first Torpid. Prior to 2005 an earlier blazer had the college arms imposed on crossed oars on the left breast and navy piping and cuff rings; the blazers are supplied by Walters on Turl Street. Lady Margaret Hall Oxford University Rowing Clubs University rowing Eights Week Chart, 1980-2008 Lady Margaret Hall Boat Club Website
Oriel College, Oxford
Oriel College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Located in Oriel Square, the college has the distinction of being the oldest royal foundation in Oxford. In recognition of this royal connection, the college has been known as King's College and King's Hall; the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom is the official Visitor of the College. The original medieval foundation set up by Adam de Brome, under the patronage of Edward II, was called the House or Hall of the Blessed Mary at Oxford; the first design allowed for a Provost and ten Fellows, called'scholars', the College remained a small body of graduate Fellows until the 16th century, when it started to admit undergraduates. During the English Civil War, Oriel played host to high-ranking members of the King's Oxford Parliament; the main site of the College incorporates four medieval halls: Bedel Hall, St Mary Hall, St Martin Hall and Tackley's Inn, the last being the earliest property acquired by the college and the oldest standing medieval hall in Oxford.
The College has about 300 undergraduates and some 250 graduates. Oriel was the last of Oxford's men's colleges to admit women in 1985, after more than six centuries as an all-male institution. Today, the student body has equal numbers of men and women. Oriel's notable alumni include two Nobel laureates. Among Oriel's more notable possessions are a painting by Bernard van Orley and three pieces of medieval silver plate; as of 2018, the college's estimated financial endowment was £81 million. On 24 April 1324, the Rector of the University Church, Adam de Brome, obtained a licence from King Edward II to found a "certain college of scholars studying various disciplines in honour of the Virgin" and to endow it to the value of £30 a year. Brome bought two properties in 1324, Tackley's Hall, on the south side of the High Street, Perilous Hall, on the north side of Broad Street, as an investment, he purchased the advowson of a church in Aberford. Brome's foundation was confirmed in a charter dated 21 January 1326, in which the Crown, represented by the Lord Chancellor, was to exercise the rights of Visitor.
Under Edward's patronage, Brome diverted the revenues of the University Church to his college, which thereafter was responsible for appointing the Vicar and providing four chaplains to celebrate the daily services in the church. The college lost no time in seeking royal favour again after Edward II's deposition, Edward III confirmed his father's favour in February 1327, but the amended statutes with the Bishop of Lincoln as Visitor remained in force. In 1329, the college received by royal grant a large house belonging to the Crown, known as La Oriole, on the site of what is now First Quad, it is from this property that the college acquired its common name, "Oriel". The word referred to oriel window, forming a feature of the earlier property. In the early 1410s several Fellows of Oriel took part in the disturbances accompanying Archbishop Arundel's attempt to stamp out Lollardy in the University. Disregarding the Provost's authority, Oriel's Fellows fought bloody battles with other scholars, killed one of the Chancellor's servants when they attacked his house, were prominent among the group that obstructed the Archbishop and ridiculed his censures.
In 1442, Henry VI sanctioned an arrangement whereby the town was to pay the college £25 a year from the fee farm in exchange for decayed property worth £30 a year, which the college could not afford to keep in repair. The arrangement was cancelled in 1450. In 1643 a general obligation was imposed on Oxford colleges to support the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; the King called for Oriel's plate, all of it was given, the total weighing 29 lb. 0 oz. 5 dwt. of gilt, 52 lb. 7 oz. 14 dwt. of "white" plate. In the same year the College was assessed at £1 of the weekly sum of £40 charged on the colleges and halls for the fortification of the city; when the Oxford Parliament was assembled during the Civil War in 1644, Oriel housed the Executive Committee of the Privy Council, Parliament being held at neighbouring Christ Church. Following the defeat of the Royalist cause, the University was scrutinised by the Parliamentarians, five of the eighteen Oriel Fellows were removed; the Visitors, on their own authority, elected Fellows between 1648 and October 1652, when without reference to the Commissioners, John Washbourne was chosen.
In 1673 James Davenant, a Fellow since 1661, complained to William Fuller Bishop of Lincoln, about Provost Say's conduct in the election of Thomas Twitty to a Fellowship. Bishop Fuller appointed a commission that included Peter Mews. On 1 August Fell reported to the Bishop that: When this Devil of buying and selling is once cast out, your Lordship will, I hope, take care that he return not again, lest he bring seven worse than himself into the house after'tis swept and garnisht. On 24 January 1674, Bishop Fuller issued a decree dealing with the re
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the "Collegiate School" was established by clergy to educate Congregational ministers, it moved to New Haven in 1716 and shortly after was renamed Yale College in recognition of a gift from British East India Company governor Elihu Yale. Restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first Ph. D. in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Its faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research. Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools.
While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school's faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven and forest and nature preserves throughout New England; the university's assets include an endowment valued at $29.4 billion as of October 2018, the second largest endowment of any educational institution in the world. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Yale College undergraduates follow a liberal arts curriculum with departmental majors and are organized into a social system of residential colleges. All members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—and some members of other faculties—teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually. Students compete intercollegiately as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.
As of October 2018, 61 Nobel laureates, 5 Fields Medalists and 3 Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U. S. Presidents, 19 U. S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U. S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 247 Rhodes Scholars and 119 Marshall Scholars have been affiliated with the university. Its wealth and influence have led to Yale being reported as amoungst the most prestigious universities in the United States. Yale traces its beginnings to "An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School", passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut on October 9, 1701, while meeting in New Haven; the Act was an effort to create an institution to train ministers and lay leadership for Connecticut. Soon thereafter, a group of ten Congregational ministers, Samuel Andrew, Thomas Buckingham, Israel Chauncy, Samuel Mather, Rev. James Noyes II, James Pierpont, Abraham Pierson, Noadiah Russell, Joseph Webb, Timothy Woodbridge, all alumni of Harvard, met in the study of Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books to form the school's library.
The group, led by James Pierpont, is now known as "The Founders". Known as the "Collegiate School", the institution opened in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson, today considered the first president of Yale. Pierson lived in Killingworth; the school moved to Saybrook and Wethersfield. In 1716, it moved to Connecticut. Meanwhile, there was a rift forming at Harvard between its sixth president, Increase Mather, the rest of the Harvard clergy, whom Mather viewed as liberal, ecclesiastically lax, overly broad in Church polity; the feud caused the Mathers to champion the success of the Collegiate School in the hope that it would maintain the Puritan religious orthodoxy in a way that Harvard had not. In 1718, at the behest of either Rector Samuel Andrew or the colony's Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, Cotton Mather contacted the successful Boston born businessman Elihu Yale to ask him for financial help in constructing a new building for the college. Through the persuasion of Jeremiah Dummer, Elihu "Eli" Yale, who had made a fortune through trade while living in Madras as a representative of the East India Company, donated nine bales of goods, which were sold for more than £560, a substantial sum at the time.
Cotton Mather suggested that the school change its name to "Yale College".. Meanwhile, a Harvard graduate working in England convinced some 180 prominent intellectuals that they should donate books to Yale; the 1714 shipment of 500 books represented the best of modern English literature, science and theology. It had a profound effect on intellectuals at Yale. Undergraduate Jonathan Edwards discovered John Locke's works and developed his original theology known as the "new divinity". In 1722 the Rector and six of his friends, who had a study group to discuss the new ideas, announced that they had given up Calvinism, become Arminians and joined the Church of England, they were returned to the colonies as missionaries for the Anglican faith. Thomas Clapp became president in 1745 and struggled to return the college to Calvinist orthodoxy, but he did not close the library. Other students found Deist books in the library. Yale was swept up by the great intellectual movements of the peri
British Rowing the Amateur Rowing Association, is the governing body for the sport of rowing. It is responsible for the training and selection of individual rowers and crews representing Great Britain and for participation in and the development of rowing and indoor rowing in England. Scottish Rowing and Welsh Rowing oversee governance in their respective countries, organise their own teams for the Home International Regatta and input to the GB team organisation. British Rowing is a member of the British Olympic Association and the International Rowing Federation known as FISA; the ARA had it roots in the desire to form crews drawn from the leading English clubs'for the purpose of defeating the foreign or colonial invader' although in fact this aim was not fulfilled until much later. A series of meetings were held in Putney from 1877 culminating in the formation of the Metropolitan Rowing Association in 1879 by Cambridge University Boat Club, Dublin University Boat Club, Kingston Rowing Club, Leander Club, London Rowing Club, Oxford University Boat Club, Royal Chester Rowing Club, Thames Rowing Club and Twickenham Rowing Club.
Molesey Boat Club joined soon afterward. In 1882 the Metropolitan Rowing Association changed its name to the Amateur Rowing Association, having gained additional member clubs from outside London, began its evolution into the governing body of rowing. In 1886 the ARA issued General Rules for Regattas; the ARA adopted Henley Royal Regatta's restrictive definition of "amateur" which not only excluded those who made their living as profession oarsmen but anyone "who is or has been by trade or employment for wages a mechanic, artisan or labourer." Moreover, the new rules stated that only clubs affiliated to the ARA could compete in regattas held under ARA rules, that ARA affiliated clubs could not compete under any other rules, nor against crews not affiliated to the ARA. This ruling was socially divisive excluding any club with a mixed membership, it resulted in the formation of a breakaway organisation in 1890, the National Amateur Rowing Association, whose clubs could draw their membership from all social classes and occupations.
The schism in English rowing was to remain for over half a century as a regular cause of controversy and bad feeling. Change only came after the Australian national eight, preparing for the Berlin Olympics in 1936, was excluded from the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley because the crew, who were all policemen, were deemed to be ‘manual workers’; the embarrassment caused persuaded the ARA and the Stewards of Henley Royal Regatta of the need for change, on 9 June 1937, the offending references to manual labourers, mechanics and menial duties were deleted from the ARA rules, with Henley following suit the following day. The ARA and NARA amalgamated in 1956. David Lunn-Rockliffe, Executive Secretary of the ARA from 1976–1987 and co-founder of the River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames, oversaw the transition to a more professional organization. In 1998, the ARA followed FISA in removing all references to amateurism from its rules. Professional rowers are now permitted; the name Amateur Rowing Association remained because of its heritage and because no agreement could be reached on alternatives.
In 2009, a decision was taken to rename the organisation as'British Rowing'. Five English rowing clubs retained the right to appoint representatives directly to the Council of British Rowing, they were: London Rowing Club, Leander Club, Thames Rowing Club, Oxford University Boat Club and Cambridge University Boat Club. This right was, removed from the five clubs in September 2012. Sir Steve Redgrave, multiple Olympic Gold medallist in rowing, was the Honorary President of British Rowing from 2001 until 2013. Dame Di Ellis, former chairman of British Rowing, succeeded him as Honorary President. British Rowing operates a points system to allow rowers to compete with those of a similar standard. Competitors gain points in both sculling by winning a qualifying race; when first joining British Rowing, all members begin at zero points. Points are increased by members winning qualifying regattas; the current status levels are Elite, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Novice. Each crew members' points are added up and this determines the status of the crew.
The crew is only allowed to race at higher. The table below indicates the maximum number of points that may be held by a crew at each status level. Anyone who has competed for the Senior, Lightweight or U23 international squads will be given 12 points; those representing GB at the World Rowing Junior Championships have their points topped up to 6. There are a number of junior categories; the number represents the age competitors must be younger than, before the first day of September preceding the event. Sweep oar rowing is only allowed at J15 and older for both boys and for girls, due to possible issues of asymmetric muscle development. British Rowing has an awards scheme for coaching that up until 2005 consisted of the Instructor's Award, Bronze Award, Silver Award and the Gold Award; these were overhauled in 2006 as qualifications were brought in line with the Sportscoach UK system that many other sports in the UK have adopted. British Rowing now offers the Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 coaching awards and other related workshops and training cou
Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event held annually on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England. It was established on 26 March 1839, it differs from the three other regattas rowed over the same course, Henley Women's Regatta, Henley Masters Regatta and Henley Town and Visitors' Regatta, each of, an separate event. The regatta lasts for five days ending on the first weekend in July. Races are head-to-head knock out competitions, raced over a course of 1 mile 550 yards; the regatta attracts international crews to race. The most prestigious event at the regatta is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men's Eights, awarded since the regatta was first staged; as the regatta pre-dates any national or international rowing organisation, it has its own rules and organisation, although it is recognised by both British Rowing and FISA. The regatta is organised by a self-electing body of Stewards, who are former rowers themselves. Pierre de Coubertin modelled elements of the organisation of the International Olympic Committee on the Henley Stewards.
The regatta is regarded as part of the English social season. As with other events in the season, certain enclosures at the regatta have strict dress codes; the Stewards’ Enclosure has a strict dress code of lounge suits for men. Entries for the regatta close at 6:00 pm sixteen days before the Regatta. In order to encourage a high quality of racing, create a manageable race timetable and to ensure that most crews race only once a day, each event has a limited number of places. Qualifying races are held on the Friday before the regatta; the regatta's Committee of Management decides at its absolute discretion which crews are obliged to qualify. The qualifying races take the form of a timed processional race up the regatta course, with the fastest crews qualifying. Times are released for non-qualifying crews only; this does not stop an enthusiastic band of unofficial timers with synchronised watches working out how fast their first round opposition might be. If it is apparent that there are a number of outstanding crews in an event, they may be'selected' by the Stewards, to prevent them from meeting too early in the competition.
The regatta insists that selection is not the same as seeding, the main difference being that there is no'rank order' as is the case in, for example, a tennis tournament. The draw is a public event that takes place in the Henley town hall at 3 pm on the Saturday before the regatta. For each event the names of all selected crews are placed on pieces of paper which are drawn at random from the Grand Challenge Cup; these crews are placed on pre-determined positions on the draw chart, as far apart as possible. The remaining qualifying crews are drawn from the cup, filling in from the top of the draw chart downwards, until all places have been filled; each event in the regatta takes the form of a knockout competition, with each race consisting of two crews racing side by side up the Henley course. The course is marked out by two lines of booms, which are placed along the river to form a straight course 2,112 metres long; the course is wide enough to allow two crews to race down with a few metres between them.
As such it is not uncommon for inexperienced steersmen or coxswains to crash into the booms costing their crew the race. The race begins at the downstream end of Temple Island, where the crews attach to a pair of pontoons; the race umpire will call out the names of the two crews and start them when they are both straight and ready. Each crew is assigned to row on either the'Bucks' or'Berks' side of the race course; the coxswains or steersmen are expected to keep their crew on the allocated side of the course at all times during the race, else they risk disqualification. The only exception is when a crew leads by a sizeable margin and is not deemed by the umpire to be impeding the trailing crew. There are several progress markers along the course. Intermediate times are recorded at two of them – "the Barrier" and "Fawley", in addition to the time to the finish; the regatta has official commentary, announced at these points along the course. The commentary is renowned for being unemotional and factual, with the commentator only allowed to announce the rate of striking, which crew is leading, the distance between the crews, the progress marker which the crews are passing.
Henley Royal Regatta has always been raced over a distance of ‘about one mile and 550 yards’ from Temple Island upstream towards Henley Bridge. However, four distinct courses have been used over the regatta's history, with smaller changes being made incrementally. Changes to the course have all been aimed at improving the prospects for safe racing; this ran from a point just upstream of Temple Island. At the first regatta in 1839, the finish line was Henley Bridge itself, but it was quickly realised that this had inherent problems. From 1840 onward the finish was moved downstream slightly. A grandstand was erected for their guests outside the Red Lion. Other spectators could watch from the adjacent roadway while those with carriages surveyed the scene from a vantage p
Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam 50 miles north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age; the first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not conferred until 1951. The world-renowned University of Cambridge was founded in 1209; the buildings of the university include King's College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital and St John's College Chapel tower. Anglia Ruskin University, which evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology has its main campus in the city.
Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. More than 40% of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average; the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world, is soon to house premises of AstraZeneca, a hotel and the relocated Papworth Hospital. The first game of association football took place at Parker's Piece; the Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fair are held on Midsummer Common, the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the A14 roads. Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King's Cross railway station. Settlements have existed around the Cambridge area since prehistoric times; the earliest clear evidence of occupation is the remains of a 3,500-year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam College.
Archaeological evidence of occupation through the Iron Age is a settlement on Castle Hill from the 1st century BC relating to wider cultural changes occurring in southeastern Britain linked to the arrival of the Belgae. The principal Roman site is a small fort Duroliponte on Castle Hill, just northwest of the city centre around the location of the earlier British village; the fort was bounded on two sides by the lines formed by the present Mount Pleasant, continuing across Huntingdon Road into Clare Street. The eastern side followed Magrath Avenue, with the southern side running near to Chesterton Lane and Kettle's Yard before turning northwest at Honey Hill, it was converted to civilian use around 50 years later. Evidence of more widespread Roman settlement has been discovered including numerous farmsteads and a village in the Cambridge district of Newnham. Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410, the location may have been abandoned by the Britons, although the site is identified as Cair Grauth listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons.
Evidence exists that the invading Anglo-Saxons had begun occupying the area by the end of the century. Their settlement – on and around Castle Hill – became known as Grantebrycge. Anglo-Saxon grave goods have been found in the area. During this period, Cambridge benefited from good trade links across the hard-to-travel fenlands. By the 7th century, the town was less significant and described by Bede as a "little ruined city" containing the burial site of Etheldreda. Cambridge was on the border between the East and Middle Anglian kingdoms and the settlement expanded on both sides of the river; the arrival of the Vikings was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 875. Viking rule, the Danelaw, had been imposed by 878 Their vigorous trading habits caused the town to grow rapidly. During this period the centre of the town shifted from Castle Hill on the left bank of the river to the area now known as the Quayside on the right bank. After the Viking period, the Saxons enjoyed a return to power, building churches such as St Bene't's Church, merchant houses and a mint, which produced coins with the town's name abbreviated to "Grant".
In 1068, two years after his conquest of England, William of Normandy built a castle on Castle Hill. Like the rest of the newly conquered kingdom, Cambridge fell under the control of the King and his deputies; the first town charter was granted by Henry I between 1120 and 1131. It recognised the borough court; the distinctive Round Church dates from this period. In 1209, Cambridge University was founded by students escaping from hostile townspeople in Oxford; the oldest existing college, was founded in 1284. In 1349 Cambridge was affected by the Black Death. Few records survive; the town north of the river was affected being wiped out. Following further depopulation after a second national epidemic in 1361, a letter from the Bishop of Ely suggested that two parishes in Cambridge be merged as there were not enough people to fill one church. With more than a third of English clergy dying in the Black Death, four new colleges were established at the university over the following years to train new clergymen, namely Gonville Hall, Trinity Hall, Corpus Christi and Clare.
In 1382 a revised town charter effects a "diminution of the liberties that the community had enjoyed", due to Cambridge's pa
The Boat Race
The Boat Race is an annual rowing race between the Cambridge University Boat Club and the Oxford University Boat Club, rowed between men's and women's open-weight eights on the River Thames in London, England. It is known as the University Boat Race and the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race; the men's race was first held in 1829 and has been held annually since 1856, except during the First and Second World Wars. The first women's event was in 1927 and the race has been held annually since 1964. Since 2015, the women's race has taken place on the same day and course, since 2018 the combined event of the two races has been referred to as "The Boat Race". In the 2019 race, which took place on Sunday 7 April 2019, Cambridge won the men's and women's races as well as both reserve races; the course covers a 4.2-mile stretch of the Thames from Putney to Mortlake. Members of both teams are traditionally known as blues and each boat as a "Blue Boat", with Cambridge in light blue and Oxford in dark blue.
As of 2019, Cambridge has won the men's race 84 times and Oxford 80 times, with one dead heat. Cambridge has led Oxford in cumulative wins since 1930. In the women's race, Cambridge have won the race 44 times and Oxford 30 times. Cambridge has led Oxford in cumulative wins since 1966. A reserve boat race has been held since 1966 for the women. Over 250,000 people watch the race from the banks of the river each year. In 2009, a record 270,000 people watched. A further 15 million or more watch it on television; the tradition was started in 1829 by Charles Merivale, a student at St John's College and his Old Harrovian school friend Charles Wordsworth, studying at Christ Church, Oxford. The University of Cambridge challenged the University of Oxford to a race at Henley-on-Thames but lost easily. Oxford raced in dark blue because five members of the crew, including the stroke, were from Christ Church Head of the River, whose colours were dark blue. There is a dispute as to the source of the colour chosen by Cambridge.
The second race was with the venue moved to a course from Westminster to Putney. Over the next two years, there was disagreement over where the race should be held, with Oxford preferring Henley and Cambridge preferring London. Following the official formation of the Oxford University Boat Club, racing between the two universities resumed in 1839 on the Tideway and the tradition continues to the present day, with the loser challenging the winner to a rematch annually; the race in 1877 was declared a dead heat. Both crews finished in a time of 8 seconds in bad weather; the verdict of the race judge, John Phelps, is considered suspect because he was over 70 and blind in one eye. Rowing historian Tim Koch, writing in the official 2014 Boat Race Programme, notes that there is "a big and entrenched lie" about the race, including the claim that Phelps had announced "Dead heat... to Oxford by six feet". Phelps's nickname "Honest John" was not an ironic one, he was not drunk under a bush at the time of the finish.
He did have to judge. Some newspapers had believed Oxford won a narrow victory but their viewpoint was from downstream. With no clear way to determine who had surged forward at the exact finish line, Phelps could only pronounce it a dead heat. Koch believes that the press and Oxford supporters made up the stories about Phelps which Phelps had no chance to refute. Oxford disabled, were making effort after effort to hold their waning lead, while Cambridge, curiously enough, had settled together again, were rowing as one man, were putting on a magnificent spurt at 40 strokes to the minute, with a view of catching their opponents before reaching the winning-post, thus struggling over the remaining portion of the course, the two eights raced past the flag alongside one another, the gun fired amid a scene of excitement equalled and never exceeded. Cheers for one crew were succeeded by counter-cheers for the other, it was impossible to tell what the result was until the Press boat backed down to the Judge and inquired the issue.
John Phelps, the waterman, who officiated, replied that the noses of the boats passed the post level, that the result was a dead heat. In 1959 some of the existing Oxford blues attempted to oust president Ronnie Howard and coach Jumbo Edwards. However, their attempt failed. Three of the dissidents returned and Oxford went on to win by six lengths. Following defeat in the previous year's race, Oxford's first in eleven years, American Chris Clark was determined to gain revenge: "Next year we're gonna kick ass... Cambridge's ass. If I have to go home and bring the whole US squad with me." He recruited another four American post-graduates: three international-class rowers and a cox, in an attempt to put together the fastest Boat Race crew in the history of the contest. Disagreements over the training regime of Dan Topolski, the Oxford coach, led to the crew walking out on at least one occasion, resulted in the coach revising his approach. A fitness test between Clark and club president Donald Macdonald resulted in a call for Macdonald's removal.