FACT FOOD #258

The idea for the annual University Boat race between Oxford and Cambridge came from two friends Charles Merivale (St John’s College, Cambridge) and his Harrow school friend Charles Wordsworth (Christ church, Oxford and nephew of the poet William Wordsworth). On 10 June 1829, the event was held for the first time. Cambridge challenged Oxford to a race at Henley-on-Thames but lost easily. As per the tradition, the loser of the previous year challenges the opposition to a re-match. The second race was held in 1836 and after few disagreements, the race resumed in 1839 which continues to this date.