Oxford won by three-and-three-quarter lengths. The race was originally scheduled to take place the day before but the Cambridge boat struck a barge before the start and the race was postponed until the following day, making it the first Boat Race to be held on a Sunday. Both crews beat the existing course record.
The Boat Race is an annual rowing eight competition between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. First held in 1829, the competition is a 4.2 miles (6.8 km) race along The Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London. The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities and followed throughout the United Kingdom and worldwide. Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having beaten Cambridge by three-and-a-quarter lengths in the previous year’s race. However Cambridge held the overall lead, with 68 victories to Oxford’s 60.
Originally scheduled to take place on the Saturday, the Cambridge cox, Peter Hobson, steered their boat into a moored barge during the warmup, destroying the bow. The crew paddled to the side of the river where most were able to disembark, but some were forced to swim to safety. The race was postponed to the Sunday where Cambridge competed in a boat borrowed from the Amateur Rowing Association. It was the first Boat Race to be held on a Sunday in the history of the competition. Although the disagreement over the inclusion of Boris Rankov in Oxford’s crew for the sixth time in the previous year’s race had not been resolved, Rankov had left the university after completing his studies so it would have no impact on this year’s race.