Visit the historic city of Oxford for its annual rowing event, the Oxford City Bumping Races. Teams of coxed 4’s row along a course in single file, the challenge being to catch the boat in front. Once within reaching distance the aim is to “bump” the other boat with your pole. Once a bump has occurred points are awarded, the team with the least over the course of the competition being declared the winner. The Oxford City Bumping Races take place on the river Isis, along a 1800m stretch of water. This event has been a tradition at Oxford University since 1815.
Birmingham International Airport is an hour away from Oxford by train. It is also easy to reach the races from all major London airports. However you arrive in Oxford the river is within walking distance. For those competing, all crews and their team must arrive at the rowing club for 8.15am. Races then take place for the duration of the day at regular intervals. The event is free to watch, although check the official website closer to the date for further details. Taking part costs £55 per crew, which will consist of 4 rowers, a cox, a pole man and judge.
As a spectator, this event is open to all the family making it a fun and free day out. Visit the river Isis and choose your spot along the river bank. The races start from the Iffley Lock, ending at Folly Bridge, although both ends may get busy. The afternoon session attracts more spectators, but is also when the racing is at its most exciting. As this is outdoors be mindful of the unpredictable English weather. If you are wishing to take part, ensure you have a British Rowing License, or the appropriate racing insurance, before contacting the Oxford Rowing Club.
If you are visiting the Oxford City Bumping Races, choose from a selection of houses, flats, spare rooms, B&B’s and other private rentals close to the University. It is easy to get around Oxford and reach the rowing on foot. Check our accommodation in Oxford.
While at the rowing make the most of Oxford University. Join a guided tour or take a walk through the beautiful grounds. The Pitt Rivers Museum is also within the University Museum of Natural History. The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest in the world, or take in historic architecture all around the city.
Find out more about bump racing here, including: a more detailed explanation on bump racing, its practice and procedures, rules and regulations, organisations and other regattas, races, results and video clips of previous Oxford City Bump races.
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