It’s a British tradition: every year Oxford race Cambridge down the Thames. Learn a little history and prepare for the event with our Boat Race Betting Guide
Boat Race Betting odds
If you bet on sports in the UK, you may get a little bored with the usual diet of football and horse racing. However, this weekend there is an event to liven things up. The Boat Race takes place once a year, and features the fittest students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. They race for over four miles down the Thames, watched by more than 250,000 live spectators and an incredible 15 million at home on television!
The history of the boat race
The 2016 boat race will be the 162nd; it first began in 1829 and, other than during the first and second world wars, has taken place each year since 1856. Currently, Cambridge narrowly lead with 81 wins to Oxford’s 79. There are reserve races and women’s races which you can also bet on, but the men’s coxed eights gets all the attention, on online sportsbooks at least.
The race is often filled with future Olympic medalists, though other celebrities such as famous actor Hugh Laurie also took part. Matthew Pinsent, who won four Olympic gold medals, competed in three boat races as a student; he won twice.
Why is the boat race so entertaining?
The first reason that boat race betting is important is that despite being popular on television, it only gets really entertaining when you have one boat to support. And if you don’t have time to actually study at Oxford or Cambridge, put a little money on one and suddenly you’ll be screaming your support to the television.
Another reason it’s fun to get involved is what can go wrong. In 1978, Cambridge were leading by a distance until the weather took a turn for the worse. Their boat started taking on water and, with not far to go, they sank. They could only watch (and paddle) and Oxford eased to the finish line. This tragic incident was voted one of Britain’s greatest sporting moments.
Why it’s better to stick to boat race betting rather than row yourself
It is estimated that for each stroke of the hour, each competitor will have trained two hours!
This event is one of the hardest in the rowing calendar, with competitors straining to use all their energy for a full quarter of an hour. Rowing has been compared to lifting a heavy bag of potatoes, from your ground to your chin, over 35 times a minutes… not fun. Remember not to pull a muscle when your betting from home on the boat race.
Tips for this year’s Boat Race betting
Oxford have won for the last three years, but Cambridge are the favourites. Some of Oxford’s best have graduated, or taken time off to train for the Olympics. Cambridge, though, have some rowers with great potential. One of their youngest rowers is famed for his incredible stamina; look for them to have a strong finish! It’ll truly make gambling news if Oxford make it four in a row!