Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

The 2011 Boat Race in HD for first time

Clare Balding and Andrew Cotter

The 157th Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge takes place on Saturday 26 March and for the first time every stroke will be available to viewers in glorious high definition TV, as well as radio, online and mobile.

Coverage starts at 3.45pm on BBC One and BBC One HD with the race taking place at 5.00pm. BBC Radio 5 Live will have all the build up as part of 5 Live Sport's output from midday and live commentary of the race at 5pm.

Action will be streamed online and available to watch again for seven days on the BBC iPlayer. The Xchanging Boat Race will also be broadcast internationally with distribution to over 150 countries, and will be seen by millions around the world on BBC World News and BBC America.

Clare Balding presents the TV coverage with Andrew Cotter leading the commentary. Alongside him will be former Oxford rower and coach Dan Topolski and former Cambridge President Wayne Pommen, who will be based out on the water travelling alongside the crews.

Sonali Shah will be out and about reporting from among the crowds and four time Olympic gold medallist Sir Matt Pinsent will give his expert view on the course, showing viewers where the race can be won and lost. Olympic silver medallist and double Boat Race winning Cox Acer Nethercott completes the team as expert analyst.

Guests include five times Olympic Gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and former Oxford president and rower Dan Snow, plus Team GB Olympic gold medallists and former Boat Race winners Tom James (Cambridge) and Peter Reed (Oxford).

In addition to great rowing names, guests with links to the waterways and the race will feature during the television programme, including well known waterman Griff Rhys Jones.

The Radio 5 Live commentary team is led by Jonathan Legard, along with the aforementioned Peter Reed. There will be analysis from 5 Live's rowing reporter and Olympic Gold medallist Martin Cross, with Amanda Davies as reporter.

As well as live coverage of the race itself, the BBC will offer viewers an insight into the technical elements of the race and what is involved.

For the first time we will identify the "ideal racing line" on our 3D map of the course, demonstrating the path of least resistance and giving the viewer an added appreciation and understanding of how the race is unfolding. This map comes up on screen at intervals during the race.

Short films will give an in-depth look into the intense preparation and build-up to this annual event, plus a look behind the scenes at the personalities and stories.

Dan Snow presents The Sewers, taking a look at the major engineering project to extend London's sewers under the Boat Race course and how this might impact on the race in the future.

In Rower For A Day, comedian Ed Byrne will join a crew from one of the Thames rowing clubs to row the course, proving just how hard it is for a novice even with a high level of fitness.

Notes to Editors

How to follow the Boat Race, Saturday 26 March


All the build up, features and live coverage of the race. BBC One and BBC One HD, 3.45pm-5.50pm.


Radio 5 Live will have all the build-up, live race commentary and reaction, (from 4pm,tbc).

BBC Sport website

Information, background and statistics as well as live streaming of the race. 3D map of the course with "ideal racing line" mapped. Also available on mobile phone. Please note that the ideal race line is not an official tool and will not be available to umpires.


The race can also be watched again for seven days afterwards at


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