The Boat Race 1922

The 74th Boat Race took place on 1 April 1922. Held annually, the Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. Cambridge went into the race as reigning champions, having won the previous year's race, and had the significantly heavier crew. Four of the Oxford crew and three of the Cambridge crew had previous Boat Race experience. In this year's race, umpired by former rower Frederick I. Pitman, Cambridge won by four-and-a-half lengths in a time of 19 minutes 27 seconds. It was Cambridge's fourth consecutive victory, the largest winning margin since 1914 and the fastest winning time since 1911.

74th Boat Race
Date1 April 1922 (1922-04-01)
Margin of victory4 and 1/2 lengths
Winning time19 minutes 27 seconds
Overall record
UmpireFrederick I. Pitman


The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues")[1] and the University of Cambridge (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues").[1] 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.[2][3] The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities; it is followed throughout the United Kingdom and, as of 2014, broadcast worldwide.[4] Cambridge went into the race as reigning champions, having won the 1921 race by one length, while Oxford led overall with 39 victories to Cambridge's 33 (excluding the "dead heat" of 1877).[5][6]

Oxford's coaches were George Drinkwater who had rowed for Oxford in the 1902 and 1903 races, E. D. Horsfall (who had rowed in the three races prior to the First World War) and R. P. P. Rowe who had rowed four times between 1889 and 1892. Cambridge were coached by H. Peake (who had participated in the Peace Regattas of 1919), Sidney Swann (who had rowed in the four races from 1911 to 1914) and G. L. Thomson.[7] For the fourteenth year the umpire was old Etonian Frederick I. Pitman who rowed for Cambridge in the 1884, 1885 and 1886 races.[8]


The Cambridge crew weighed an average of 12 st 11 lb (81.0 kg), 7 pounds (3.2 kg) per rower more than their opponents.[9] Five of the Oxford crew had previous Boat Race experience, including cox W. H. Porritt who was making his third appearance in the event. Cambridge's crew also included five individuals who had previously represented the university, including Humphrey Playford and P. H. G. H-S. Hartley who were rowing for the Light Blues for the third consecutive year.[9] Two of the participants were silver medallists in the men's eight at the 1920 Summer Olympics: Oxford's Sebastian Earl, and Guy Oliver Nickalls.[10] All of the participants in the race were registered as British.[11]

Seat Oxford
Name College Weight Name College Weight
BowP. C. MallamQueen's11 st 6 lbT. D. A. ColletPembroke12 st 3 lb
2A. C. IrvineMerton12 st 8 lbA. J. Hodgkin1st Trinity12 st 6.5 lb
3S. EarlMagdalen12 st 6.5 lbK. N. CraigPembroke12 st 8.5 lb
4J. E. PedderWorcester12 st 9 lbA. D. B. Pearson1st Trinity13 st 10.5 lb
5G. O. NickallsMagdalen12 st 8 lbH. B. Playford (P)Jesus13 st 10.5 lb
6D. T. Raikes (P)Merton13 st 6.5 lbB. G. IvoryPembroke13 st 8 lb
7G. MillingMerton11 st 10 lbHon. J. W. H. Fremantle3rd Trinity12 st 6.5 lb
StrokeA. V. CampbellChrist Church11 st 5.5 lbP. H. G. H.-S. HartleyLady Margaret Boat Club11 st 6 lb
CoxW. H. PorrittMagdalen8 st 10 lbL. E. StephensTrinity Hall9 st 4 lb
(P) boat club president[13]


Cambridge won the toss and elected to start from the Middlesex station, handing the Surrey side of the river to Cambridge.[9] In a light wind and with a good tide, umpire Pitman commenced the race at 4:40 p.m., which resulted in a false start, with Cambridge being released from their stakeboat too soon. After the restart, Cambridge were clear by the Mile Post and two lengths ahead of Oxford by the time the crews passed under Hammersmith Bridge.[14]

According to Oxford's bow, George Drinkwater, Cambridge were "rowing well within themselves" and passed the finishing post four and a half lengths ahead in a time of 19 minutes 27 seconds.[14] It was their fourth consecutive victory, the largest winning margin since the 1914 race and the fastest winning time since the 1911 race. The win took the overall record in the event to 3934 in Oxford's favour.[5]



  1. "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  2. Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  3. "The Course". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  4. "Former Winnipegger in winning OxfordCambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  5. "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  6. "Classic moments – the 1877 dead heat". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  7. Burnell, pp. 110111
  8. Burnell, pp. 49, 108
  9. Burnell, p. 71
  10. "Great Britain Rowing at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  11. Burnell, p. 39
  12. Dodd, p. 322
  13. Burnell, pp. 5051
  14. Drinkwater, p. 140


  • Burnell, Richard (1979). One Hundred and Fifty Years of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Precision Press. ISBN 978-0-95-006387-4.
  • Dodd, Christopher (1983). The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race. Stanley Paul. ISBN 0-09-151340-5.
  • Drinkwater, G. C.; Sanders, T. R. B. (1929). The University Boat Race Official Centenary History. Cassell & Company, Ltd.
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