FAQs

“Stay safe, stay away, watch The Boat Race 2021 live on the BBC.”

When and where will The Gemini Boat Race take place?
The Gemini Boat Race will take place on Sunday 4th April 2021, on the River Great Ouse at Ely in Cambridgeshire.

2021 will see the 166th Men's Boat Race and the 75th Women's Boat Race. 
Cambridge are currently the defending champions in the Men’s and Women’s Races.
Click here to see the 2021 course map.

What time are the races?
The Women’s Blue Boat race takes place at 15:50 and the Men’s Blue Boat race takes place at 16:50, live on BBC One. The Reserve Races will take place at a later date.


Are spectators allowed?
There will be no access to spectators, to enable one of the world’s oldest and most famous amateur competitions to return to the British sporting calendar in a COVID-secure way. We would like to thank all fans, and the local communities of Ely and Littleport, for their incredible support and ask them to please help make this a safe and secure event by staying home to watch it on the BBC.
 Working with local stakeholders and all relevant agencies, we are confident of the delivery of a COVID-secure event for the athletes who have been training hard for this race, and for fans watching the event on the BBC.

Are there any closures in place?
There are a number of road and footpath closures in place which will affect residents in Ely and Littleport on Sunday 4th April, between 12:00-18:30. We are personally advising all residents in the local area about which road closures will be in place and if they have special access requirements.

Click here to see road and footpath closures in place for the event.

How will this impact the local community?

It’s fantastic to be bringing The Gemini Boat Race 2021 to Ely. It has been held on the River Great Ouse once before, when the race took place for the first time ever away from the Thames, during World War Two, so there is a rich history associated with the location. We understand how excited the local community are that the races are coming to Ely, however, there will be NO access to spectators and we ask for the local communities’ support in following our “Stay safe, Stay away. Watch The Gemini Boat Race 2021 live on the BBC.” message.



How can I watch The Boat Race? Is it on TV?
The Gemini Boat Race will be live on BBC One, from 15:00-17:30 on Sunday 4th April. You can also follow live updates on social media #TheBoatRace

Will the event be COVID-safe?
We are taking every safety measure possible to ensure that the races are COVID-safe for athletes and all staff working at the event. Working with Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council and the Environment Agency, the event site will be closed, to ensure the safety of the local community, and all of those involved with the event, and to stop spectators from gathering, with a heightened stewarding and police presence on the ground. Within the event perimeter, staff will be working to COVID guidelines, wearing PPE and following strict distancing. Crews and contractors will be in bubbles, and protocols will be in place to aid COVID-safe movement around the site.

Can I follow The Boat Race on social media?
You can see the latest updates about the races and safety information at

Facebook - facebook.com/theboatrace
Twitter - twitter.com/theboatrace
Instagram - instagram.com/theboatraces