The Boat Race 1856
|13th Boat Race|
|Date||15 March 1856|
|Margin of victory||1/2 length|
|Winning time||25 minutes 45 seconds|
|Overall record |
|Umpire||W. G. Rich|
The 13th Boat Race took place on the River Thames on 15 March 1856. Typically held annually, the event is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The race, the second to be held on the ebb tide, was won by Cambridge who beat Oxford by half a length.
The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues") and the University of Cambridge (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues"). The race was first held in 1829, and since 1845 has taken place on the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London. It was the second race to be held on the ebb tide, the first time since the 1846 race, from Barker's Rails to Putney, approximately 1,200 yards (1,097 m) longer than the conventional course. Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having defeated Cambridge by seven lengths in the previous race held in 1854. Cambridge led overall with seven wins to Oxford's five.
No Boat Race took place in 1855 – severe frost had caused both the Thames (from Oxford to Henley) and the River Cam to freeze, and heavy snow curtailed efforts to practice for the race. Instead the universities faced each other at the Henley Royal Regatta where Cambridge won the Grand Challenge Cup. Despite the victory, Cambridge agreed that they should propose the challenge to Oxford and did so during the October term; it was duly accepted. Both crews raced in boats constructed by Searle. The umpire for the race was W. G. Rich, the former Cambridge University Boat Club president who had rowed in both the March and December races of 1849. The starter was Edward Searle.
|Bow||J. P. Salter||Trinity Hall||9 st 13 lb||P. Gurdon||University||10 st 8 lb|
|2||F. C. Alderson||3rd Trinity||11 st 3 lb||W. F. Stocken||Exeter||10 st 1 lb|
|3||R. L. Lloyd||3rd Trinity||11 st 12 lb||R. Ingham Salmon||Exeter||10 st 10 lb|
|4||H. E. Fairrie||Trinity Hall||12 st 10 lb||A. B. Rocke||Christ Church||12 st 8.5 lb|
|5||H. Williams||Lady Margaret Boat Club||12 st 8 lb||Richard Townsend||Pembroke||12 st 8 lb|
|6||J. M'Cormick||Lady Margaret Boat Club||13 st 0 lb||Arthur P. Lonsdale||Balliol||11 st 4 lb|
|7||Herbert Snow||Lady Margaret Boat Club||11 st 8 lb||G. Bennett||New College||10 st 10 lb|
|Stroke||H. R. M. Jones||3rd Trinity||10 st 7 lb||J. T. Thorley||Wadham||9 st 12 lb|
|Cox||W. Wingfield||1st Trinity||9 st 0 lb||F. W. Elers||Trinity||9 st 2 lb|
(P) – boat club president
Cambridge won the toss and elected to start from the Middlesex station, handing the Surrey side of the river to Oxford. The race commenced shortly after 11 a.m. with Oxford taking an early lead. Cambridge's number six, M'Cormick, caught a wave with his oar by the Ship pub and lost his seat, allowing Oxford to extend their lead. After recovering, Cambridge made a substantial push and passed Oxford to hold a small advantage, to hold a half-a-length by Barnes Bridge. Although they nearly increased their lead to a length, the Light Blues encountered a barge at Corney Reach which caused them to change course and lose ground, enabling Oxford to draw level once again. The crews exchanged leads with Oxford shooting Hammersmith Bridge with a half-length advantage. Cambridge steered closer to the shore and retook the lead. Despite a late surge from the Dark Blues, Cambridge passed the finish first, winning by half a length in a time of 25 minutes 45 seconds. It was Cambridge's first win in four attempts and their eighth win overall against Oxford's five victories.
- "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "The Course". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- "Early races". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- Woodgate, W. B. (30 March 2010). "History of British Boating and Rowing". Salzwasser-Verlag GmbH. ISBN 978-3861953043.
- "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Drinkwater, pp. 40–41
- MacMichael, p. 217
- MacMichael, pp. 218–219
- MacMichael, p. 219
- Burnell p. 49
- MacMichael, pp. 150, 160
- MacMichael, p. 220
- Burnell, p. 56
- MacMichael, pp. 220–223
- Burnell, Richard (1979). One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Precision Press. ISBN 0950063878.
- MacMichael, William Fisher (1870). The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races: From A.D. 1829 to 1869. Deighton.