The world famous Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities is rowed between competing eights each spring on the River Thames in London. It takes place generally on the last Saturday of March or the first Saurday of April. On 24th March, 1951 the race was, for the first and only time, re-rowed because one of the crews, on this occasion Oxford, sank.
Each crew has gone under before, Cambridge most recently in 1978, and in 1912 the race was rescheduled because both crews failed to finish.
But in 1951, it happened before the end of the Fulham Wall, and by the rules of the event any equipment failure before that point means that the race has to start again. Two days later Cambridge won by 12 lengths.
Why did Oxford sink ? On the Saturday ( March 24th) Oxford won the toss and chose Surrey. The conditions were appalling with a strong west wind against the tide. Oxford had waves breaking over their washboard even on their stake boat. Oxford sank within a minute and the umpire stopped the race and a re-row was arranged for the following Monday. IF YOU CLICK ON THIS LINK YOU CAN SEE THE ACTUAL SINKING IN GLORIOUS … BLACK & WHITE!!
UPDATE : April 7th 2012 …. JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK INTO THE WATER …
This year’s Boat Race most certainly did not pass without incident … a swimming protester caused the race to be stopped. It was eventually re-started but there was a clash of oars during which one of Oxford’s broke. Cambridge went on to win and a crippled Oxford limped over the finishing line with only seven oars working.