The Other Boat Race
In the 19th century, servants at Oxford and Cambridge held a biennial boat race that was easily the equal of the students’.
On 18 July 1850, a Thursday evening, domestic staff from Oxford and Cambridge universities sat down to dinner together at the Hoop Hotel to celebrate the first College Servants’ Boat Race, held earlier that day on the River Cam. Oxford were the victors, making the 80-mile journey by stage coach to Cambridge well worth their while. Both crews enjoyed the contest so much that just a few weeks later a rematch was held in Oxford. Again, Oxford won. It would be the start of a long tradition, with races held between the two rivals for a century.