Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race cancelled

The event was due to take place on 29th March

The annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge’s University Boat clubs has been cancelled following the government’s decision to tighten measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Boris Johnson called for “drastic action”, advising the public to avoid non-essential contact with others. He suggests that people work from home where possible and avoid pubs, clubs and travelling.

Robert Gillespie, Chairman of The Boat Race Company Limited, released the following statement: “This decision is based entirely on our concern for the welfare of our crews, our spectators, our staff and volunteers. Given the unprecedented situation our country and each of us as individuals faces, the public good far outweighs all other considerations. Cancellation of The Boat Race is therefore clearly the correct decision, but it is not without sad consequence.

“Our thoughts are very much with the athletes who have worked so hard and made immense sacrifices to represent their University and are now unable to do so.

“To cancel is not an easy decision and we realise this news will undoubtedly disappoint all those who look forward to the Race each year – whether watching on the riverbanks, on TV or online.”

Today, British Rowing also announced that no events will go ahead in March and April.

The news comes as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, Graham Virgo, released a university-wide statement stating that meetings and gatherings should not exceed groups of 50 people.

As of 9am this morning, there are 1,543 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.K.

Cover photo: Peter Trimming, via Creative Commons.