The rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge Universities competing in the annual boat race can trace its origins back to 1829 for men and 1927 for women.
It remains one of the biggest live sporting events in the world, attracting over 200,000 to banks of the River Thames, and seen around the world by hundreds of millions on television and online.
The races, currently named The Cancer Research UK Boat Races, raise money from sponsors for the cancer charity.
The official timing sponsor in 2017 was Parmigiani Fleurier, which enjoys the link between the precision and accuracy of what has become a high-tech sport, and the heritage of an event that is celebrating its 188th anniversary and the 163rd time the men’s race has taken place.
“In watchmaking, the required precision of a hand’s movement can be as small as three hundredths of a millimeter. A watchmaker must train each gesture relentlessly ; he must practice again and again until his brain and his hands achieve the perfect motion. I feel a close affinity to rowing because it involves the same self-control, focus and training that are fundamental as a watchmaker,” says Parmigiani Fleurier founder Michel Parmigiani.
On April 2, 2017, the 163rd Boat Race for men and 72nd Women’s Boat Race took place on the Championship Course. The Champion of the men’s event was the Oxford team, who won by 1 & ¼ lengths and with a time of 16 minutes and 59 seconds. On the other hand, the Cambridge women’s team was victorious over Oxford by 11 lengths and with a record time of 18 minutes and 33 seconds.