Cambridge won the men's and women's races during two hard-fought battles on the Great Ouse at Ely

Cambridge scored a double victory in the Boat Race 2021, with both the women's and men's crews coming out on top following two thrilling races.

In the closest women’s race since 2011 and the closest men’s race since 2003, Cambridge took both trophies in an unprecedented and unique event raced between Ely and Littleport in Cambridgeshire. The event was moved from the usual course, along the Thames in London, because of a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and repair work on Hammersmith Bridge.

“It was the closest race I’ve ever been involved in; it was a real nail biter,” said Women’s President Sophie Paine. “The main thing for us was that we were able to establish a rhythm really early on in the race which really carried us through. We locked into one rhythm that got us to the end in the right place.”

Cambridge’s Sarah Tisdall added: “Awesome race, massive congrats to Oxford … that’s the closest race the females have had. Awesome day for the sport and really proud of this team.”

“It’s been a fantastically unique season,” said Men’s President Callum Sullivan. “We’ve had to roll with the punches, every step of the way. Just adapt and keep the crew’s energy and momentum really high every week. These are great guys, they stuck together and made it work, every step of the way.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, paid tribute to both crews. "Huge congratulations to both crews in the Boat Race. They did the Light Blues proud in two hard-fought duels against battling and determined Oxford opponents. Every member of every crew played their part in an afternoon of extraordinary sporting excitement."

Speaking on behalf of the Boat Race Company Ltd, Chair Robert Gillespie said: “We are immensely grateful to everyone both on and off the water who helped make today’s event happen. We should acknowledge that every student athlete racing today delivered outstanding performances in uniquely difficult circumstances.”

The victories in both the 75th Women’s Boat Race and the 166th Men’s Boat Race mean that Cambridge extends its lead on Oxford 44-30 in the Women’s Boat Race and 84-80 in the Men’s Boat Race.

Footage credit: BBC Sport/ BRCL

Read more exclusive content about The Boat Race.

Creative Commons License
The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ©University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.  All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our main website under its Terms and conditions, and on a range of channels including social media that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.