The first Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race (for men only) took place in Henley in 1829, but the Boat Races did not return to Henley until 1975 when a Cambridge undergraduate, Richard Bates, organised a Boat Race between men’s lightweight crews from Oxford and Cambridge. Between 1975 and 2018, racing remained in Henley, with the lightweight men choosing to relocate to the Tideway for 2019.

Between 1977-2014, the Women’s Boat Race, which had been revived in the 1970s, was also held at Henley, as well as a race between the two women’s reserve crews, Osiris (Oxford) and Blondie (Cambridge).

The women’s lightweight race was inaugurated in 1984 and remains in Henley for 2019.

A 1,750 metre contest between the two top male and female crews from the Oxford and Cambridge bumps races added in 2010.

Following the Varsity Races in 2019 the record of wins stands as follows -

Women : Cambridge (19), Oxford (17)

Men : Cambridge (28), Oxford (17) (The 2019 race was staged in London)


 (© Big Blade Photography)

History of the Henley Boat Races

The link opposite will take you to a detailed record of racing at the HBR, including a record of the inter-collegiate race between the leading college crew from the Oxford torpids and Cambridge Lents.


The Henley Boat Races Organising Committee gratefully acknowledges the help, guidance and support of many organisations including; RISKpoint, The Copas Partnership, BigBlade Photogrphy, Colwick Park Lifeguard Club, Environment Agency, Henley Contracting, The Stewards, Secretary and staff of Henley Royal Regatta, The Higgs Group, Hobbs & Sons Ltd., Leander Club, Oxford University Rowing Clubs, Remenham Club, River and Rowing Museum, The St John Ambulance, Upper Thames Rowing Club, Henley Rowing Club, Wokingham Borough Council, and all the residents of Remenham.

Also a huge vote of thanks to all the umpires, officials and other volunteers who give up their time so generously to support the event.

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