Oxford and Cambridge Cup

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This article is about the Australian inter-university eights race. For the race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, see The Boat Race.
The Oxford and Cambridge Cup is awarded for Inter-Varsity Men's Eights in Australia.

The Oxford and Cambridge Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Australian University Championship Men's Eight (formerly the Australian Universities Boat Race), and is competed for annually at the Australian University Games or the Australian University Rowing Championships (in either case, commonly known as the Inter-Varsity). It is the oldest inter-University competition in Australia. The cup is awarded to the winning men's Eight over a standard 2,000m course (1.24 miles).

The trophy was donated in 1893 by Old Blues of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.[1] The original boat race was conducted over a 'Thames Putney Mortlake' equivalent course, which varied between 2 miles and 3½ miles depending on location and conditions.

The current holders of the cup are Adelaide University, who won the 115th competition by 11.8 seconds in choppy, cross/headwind conditions at West Lakes over reigning champions University of Melbourne. The victory is the third in the last four years for Adelaide University, making this the most successful period in its 131 year history.

History[edit]

The first Australian Universities Boat Race was raced in 1888 on the Yarra River, between the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. The trophy was organised by Dr Edmond Warre,[2] Headmaster of Eton College and former President of the Oxford University Boat Club. He suggested to the Old Blues of Oxford and Cambridge that a trophy be donated for Inter-University Eight competition in order to foster a continuing interest in the young competition. In an 1890 letter to Frederick Halcomb (Captain of the Adelaide University Boat Club) he states that “the idea was accepted by them with alacrity” and that they were “proud of the opportunity afforded them of showing their brotherhood, goodwill and interest in the welfare of their kinsmen in the antipodes. The cup was sent out to Australia in time for the 1893 competition, where it was competed for and won by Melbourne.

The cup features scenes in bas-relief of Cambridge, Oxford, rowers and the floral emblems of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. The Angel on the top is pictured in the traditional pose of the Toast to Rowing. This long standing and traditional toast is afforded the winners of the Grand Challenge Cup.

Inter-Varsity competition[edit]

The Australian Universities Boat Race began in 1870 when four oared crews representing Sydney and Melbourne Universities competed over a three-and-a-half mile course on the Yarra River (Melbourne). Members of the crews also took part in the first cricket match between the two universities. The first race was won by Melbourne in 31 minutes and 4 seconds. The 2-man of the losing Sydney crew was Edmund Barton, who went on to become the first Prime Minister of Australia.

The first eight oared race between Australian Universities was conducted in 1888. Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Universities met on the Hombourg reach course of the Yarra River. Melbourne was recorded as having won by 5 lengths over Adelaide and a similar distance to third place Sydney. Adelaide achieved its first win in 1889 at their home course on the Port River, and again in 1896 when stroked by famed South Australian oarsman W.H. Gosse. Sydney's first win was in 1890.

In 1920, Queensland University entered a crew for the first time. The crew came third. Queensland steadily improved and, under the leadership of stroke E.B. Freeman, went on to win the 1922 and 1923 boat races.

The University of Tasmania boated its first inter-varsity crew in 1924. The Taswegians took the trophy home the following year in 1925. This crew, stroked by R.A. Scott, defeated the highly fancied Sydney crew on the Brisbane River.

The West Australians followed their interstate brethren and boated their first crew in 1927. This crew, stroked by F.A. Williams, took the cup home in their debut race.

With the development of tertiary education in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s it was not long before numerous additional universities sought entry into the boat race. In 1956 New South Wales, 1963 Monash, 1966 Australian National and Newcastle, 1969 LaTrobe and 1973 Macquarie Universities gained entry. The Australian higher education reforms of the early 1990s opened the door for many former Technical Colleges and Colleges of Advanced Education to enter the boat race for the first time.

1968 was the last year that the race was held over the traditional 'Thames Putney Mortlake' equivalent course. Due to increasing pressure for a standardised course distance, fairer courses, and the increasing focus of state and national programs on the Olympic distance, delegates from the competing University Boat Clubs of 1968 voted that all future races be conducted over a 2,000m course from 1969 onward.

Results by Year[edit]

Date Venue Distance Winner Runner Up Time Margin
6 October 1888 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Melbourne Adelaide 13:05 4 lengths
21 December 1889 Port River, SA 2.5 mi Adelaide Melbourne 18:06 3 lengths
14 June 1890 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Sydney Melbourne 13:48 5 lengths
4 April 1891 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 17:21 4 lengths
23 April 1892 Port River, SA 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 17:21 6 feet
8 April 1893 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 16:05 2.5 lengths
28 April 1894 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 17:00 10 lengths
11 May 1895 Port River, SA 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:45 6 lengths
2 May 1896 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Adelaide Sydney 20:41 6 lengths
22 May 1897 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 18:08 4 lengths
4 June 1898 Port River, SA 3 mi Sydney Adelaide 18:07 6 lengths
10 June 1899 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 23:02 5 lengths
2 June 1900 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Adelaide 17:01 54 seconds
15 June 1901 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 16:48 0.5 lengths
14 June 1902 Port River, SA 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 16:44 3 lengths
6 June 1903 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:36 5 lengths
4 June 1904 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Melbourne Adelaide 18:01 3 lengths
10 June 1905 Port River, SA 3 mi Sydney Adelaide 17:37 5 lengths
9 June 1906 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 15:15 3 lengths
9 June 1907 Lower Yarra, VIC 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:53 2 lengths
6 June 1908 Port River, SA 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:45 2 lengths
9 June 1909 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:50 5 lengths
7 June 1910 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Adelaide Sydney 17:35 4 lengths
10 June 1911 Port River, SA 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 16:29 1.5 lengths
1 June 1912 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 17:00 3 lengths
7 June 1913 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Melbourne Sydney 15:11 6 lengths
6 June 1914 Port River, SA 3 mi Melbourne Adelaide 17:46 7 lengths
1915–1918 World War I – No competition
29 August 1919 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi 167yd Melbourne Sydney 19:34.5 3 lengths
29 May 1920 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Adelaide Melbourne 14:53 1.5 lengths
31 May 1921 Brisbane River, QLD 3 mi Melbourne Queensland 17:23 1 length
3 June 1922 Port River, SA 3 mi Queensland Melbourne 17:21 4 lengths
1 June 1923 Parramatta River, NSW 3 mi 167yd Queensland Adelaide 17:43 4 lengths
31 May 1924 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Melbourne Queensland 16:14 0.5 length
6 June 1925 Brisbane River, QLD 3 mi Tasmania Sydney 17:56 2.5 lengths
3 June 1926 Huon River, TAS 3 mi Sydney Melbourne  ? 3/4 length
4 June 1927 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Western Australia Melbourne 19:30 1.5 lengths
2 June 1928 Mannum, SA 3 mi Western Australia Melbourne 16:43 2 lengths
1 June 1929 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Melbourne Adelaide 14:27 3.5 lengths
7 June 1930 Swan River, WA 3 mi Western Australia Adelaide 19:57 3/4 length
3 June 1931 Brisbane River, QLD 3 mi Sydney Queensland 17:40 12 lengths
1932 Huon River, TAS 3 mi Western Australia Sydney 17:19 5 lengths
3 June 1933 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Adelaide 16:29 2 lengths
2 June 1934 Mannum, SA 3 mi Adelaide Sydney 15:30 7 lengths
8 June 1935 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.5 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:17 1/3 length
6 June 1936 Swan River, WA 2 mi Sydney Western Australia 12:30 3 lengths
5 June 1937 Brisbane River, QLD 3 mi Sydney Tasmania 17:00 2.5 lengths
4 June 1938 Huon River, TAS 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:44 1.5 lengths
3 June 1939 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 16:38 1.5 lengths
1 June 1940 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 16:57 4 lengths
1941–1945 World War II – No competition
8 June 1946 Mannum, SA 3 mi Sydney Adelaide 17:58 1 length
7 June 1947 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 16:51 1.5 lengths
5 June 1948 Swan River, WA 2 mi Sydney Western Australia 12:11 Unknown
1949 Brisbane River, QLD <2 mi Sydney Melbourne 11:00 2 lengths
3 June 1950 Lower Yarra, VIC 2 mi Melbourne Sydney 10:50 3 lengths
30 May 1951 Huon River, TAS 3 mi = Melbourne = Sydney 14:46 Dead heat
7 June 1952 Murray Bridge, SA 3 mi Melbourne Sydney 17:21 2.5 lengths
5 June 1953 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Western Australia 16:13 0.5 lengths
5 June 1954 Swan River, WA 2 mi Melbourne Western Australia 11:38 1.5 lengths
4 June 1955 Brisbane River, QLD 3 mi Melbourne Queensland 17:54.5 8 lengths
2 June 1956 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.25 mi Melbourne Western Australia 13:07 4 lengths
7 June 1957 Derwent River, TAS 3 mi Melbourne Queensland 15:31 2 lengths
1958 Port River, SA 3 mi Queensland Melbourne 17:48 4.75 lengths
30 May 1959 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Queensland Sydney 16:05.5 0.25 lengths
1 June 1960 Swan River, WA 2 mi Sydney Melbourne 10:21.8 2 lengths
27 May 1961 Brisbane River, QLD 2 mi Sydney New South Wales 11:05 4 lengths
26 May 1962 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:30 0.75 lengths
25 May 1963 Lower Yarra, VIC 2.25 mi Melbourne Sydney 12:14.5 4 lengths
30 May 1964 Huon River, TAS 2.25 mi Sydney Melbourne 15:39 5.4 sec
1965 No competition
28 May 1966 Mannum, SA 3 mi Tasmania New South Wales 16:10 2 lengths
27 May 1967 Nepean River, NSW 3 mi Melbourne Tasmania 15:55.1 0.75 lengths
25 May 1968 Canning River, WA 2 mi 88' Melbourne Adelaide 10:05.3 0.5 sec
31 May 1969 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Sydney 6:26.9 1 length
23 May 1970 Lake Burley Griffin, ACT 2000m Melbourne Sydney 6:38.9 1.75 lengths
22 May 1971 Lake Kurwongbah, QLD 2000m Monash Sydney 6:35.0 0.1 sec
27 May 1972 Taree, NSW 2000m Monash Sydney 7:33.0 1.25 lengths
19 May 1973 Mildura, VIC 2000m Monash Melbourne 5:31.2 0.05 sec
25 May 1974 Nepean River, NSW 2000m Adelaide Melbourne 5:39.4 5.0 sec
17 May 1975 Huon River, TAS 2000m Melbourne Tasmania 5:57.4 3.0 sec
15 May 1976 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Tasmania Adelaide 6:21.6 1 length
22 May 1977 West Lakes, SA 2000m Melbourne Adelaide 6:39 0.75 lengths
20 May 1978 Nepean River, NSW 2000m Monash Adelaide 5:58.1 5.5 sec
19 May 1979 Hinze Dam, QLD 2000m Adelaide Sydney 6:01 2.3 sec
17 May 1980 Lake Burley Griffin, ACT 1800m Melbourne Sydney 5:31.9* 1.9 sec
16 May 1981 Canning River, WA 2000m Melbourne Queensland 6:13.1 1.8 sec
15 May 1982 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Sydney 6:22.0 5.1 sec
21 May 1983 Middle Harbour, NSW 2000m Sydney New South Wales 5:58.4 7.8 sec
19 May 1984 Lake Barrington, TAS 2000m Melbourne Sydney 6:11.56 1.96 sec
18 May 1985 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Monash 6:25.03 6.3 sec
17 May 1986 West Lakes, SA 2000m Tasmania Melbourne 6:41.34 1.73 sec
1987 Nepean River, NSW 2000m Monash Sydney 6:03.0 7.5 sec
14 May 1988 Lake Wivenhoe, QLD 2000m Melbourne Monash 6:18.0 4.0 sec
8 July 1989 Carrum, VIC 2000m Monash Melbourne 6:22.7 6.0 sec
7 July 1990 Lake Wivenhoe, QLD 2000m Queensland Adelaide 5:55.5 1.2 sec
5 October 1991 Nepean River, NSW 2000m Queensland Melbourne 6:12.36 8.10 sec
3 October 1992 West Lakes, SA 2000m Queensland Adelaide 6:48.99 7.0 sec
2 October 1993 Wellington Dam, WA 2000m Sydney Tasmania Unknown Unknown
1 October 1994 Lake Barrington, TAS 2000m Tasmania Sydney Unknown Unknown
1995 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Queensland 5:53.95 2.5 lengths
2 October 1996 Lake Burley Griffin, ACT 1800m U.T.S. Adelaide 5.38.26* 3.3 sec
4 October 1997 Penrith Lakes, NSW 2000m Western Australia U.T.S. 5:54.21 5.15 sec
3 October 1998 West Lakes, SA 2000m Western Australia Melbourne 5:49.95 3.35 sec
1999 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Sydney Unknown Unknown
6 October 2000 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Melbourne Monash Unknown Unknown
28 September 2001 Penrith Lakes, NSW 2000m Melbourne Sydney 5:55.93 0.53 sec
2002 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m U.T.S. Melbourne 5:53.07 0.43 sec
4 October 2003 Lake Wivenhoe, QLD 2000m U.T.S. Sydney 5:41.0 0.75 lengths
2004 Lake Barrington, TAS 2000m Sydney Adelaide 5:57.20 3.18 sec
September 2005 Hinze Dam, QLD 2000m Sydney Queensland 5:51.62 3.08 sec
30 September 2006 Penrith Lakes, NSW 2000m Sydney Adelaide 5:51.76 0.64 sec
29 September 2007 Hinze Dam, QLD 2000m Sydney Adelaide 6:13.00 7.97 sec
3 October 2008 Penrith Lakes, NSW 2000m Queensland Sydney 6:56.03 4.95 sec
3 October 2009 Lake Burley Griffen, ACT 1800m Adelaide Sydney 5:10.09 3.39 sec
1 October 2010 Champion Lakes, WA 2000m Adelaide Sydney 5:47.9 0.6 sec
30 September 2011 Penrith Lakes, NSW 2000m Melbourne Adelaide 6:20.37 11.1 sec [3]
28 September 2012 West Lakes, SA 2000m Adelaide Melbourne 6:02.27 11.8 sec [4]
4 October 2013 Lake Wendouree, VIC 2000m Sydney Adelaide 5:57.97 7.02 sec [5]

Running total[edit]

Eight universities have won the Oxford and Cambridge Cup. Melbourne and Sydney Universities have dominated, between them winning about ⅔ of the competitions. It has been won at least once by every state, but neither of the territories. All of Australia's "sandstone universities" have won the cup, and of the Group of Eight universities, the University of New South Wales is the only one not yet to have achieved a win.

The 115th race was conducted in 2012.

Rank University Winner Runner up First win Last win
1 Melbourne 42 33 1888 2011
2 Sydney 37 36 1890 2013
3 Adelaide 10 23 1889 2012
4 Queensland 8 8 1922 2008
5 Western Australia 6 5 1927 1998
6 Monash 6 3 1971 1989
7 Tasmania 5 4 1925 1994
8 U.T.S. 3 1 1996 2003

References[edit]

External links[edit]