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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

A week to go until Oxford Cambridge boat race

30th March 2012

The 158th annual boat race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge will take next Saturday, April 7th.

Running from Putney to Mortlake, the course is just over four miles long, and the contest is sure to be a tense one given that Cambridge only lead the overall victory count by four, with 80 wins to Oxford's 76.

Visitors to the capital, as well as existing residents, may be tempted to go down to the bank of the Thames and get a view of the historic battle that has taken place every year since 1856, with the only exception being during the two World Wars.

And with a range of luxury hotels in London, rowing enthusiasts could be looking into a quick visit to the capital over the Easter weekend.

The day kicks off at 12:00pm, with a range of build-up events taking place before the race itself starts at 14:15.

With the BBC providing coverage on TV, radio and online, the nation's eyes are set to be focused on London as the exclusive competition takes place.

Recent years have seen some of the most dramatic contests, with both sides springing surprise victories since the turn of the century.

2002 saw Cambridge leading with a few hundred metres to go, but one of their oarsmen passed out as a result of exhaustion, leaving Oxford to go on and pip their rivals to the post by three quarters of a length.

And in 2010, despite rowing the slower course Cambridge managed to manoeuvre themselves in front of the opposition and claim their 80th victory.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is set to present the winning crew with The Xchanging Boat Race Trophy, and says that the event signifies the capital's position in the sporting world.

"London is rightly recognised as the home of sport," he said.


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