Extra Security Laid On for this Year's Boat Race Day

To ensure last year's disruption by Trenton Oldfield is not repeated

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Extra security has been laid on for this year's University Boat Race following the disruption caused last year when Trenton Oldfield swam into the river.

The race takes place on Easter Sunday, March 31, starting at 4.30 pm at the University Stone in Putney. and the Race Director David Searle has said that safety has been reviewed and security increased for this year's race.

Last year the world’s media showed Trenton Oldfield being arrested at Chiswick Pier after recklessly swimming in front of the rowers, which led to him being later jailed for six months.

This year, Race Director David Search told the BBC: "We are taking additional measures this year and we have looked at all of our actions last year.

" What I would say to anybody thinking of doing that, is that it's unbelievably dangerous. You risk getting killed, which would be tragic for them and for the people involved.

" Nobody wants that to happen. This is just a sporting event."

This year marks the 159th Boat Race, the course itself is four miles 374 yards (6.8Km) long and the race starts an hour before high tide so that the crews can row with the fastest current. There are two sides to the river; Fulham and Chiswick are known as the Middlesex side and Putney and Barnes are the Surrey side with each boat sticking to its own side.

Oxford have won 76 of the 158 races, Cambridge have won 81 times, while the 1877 race was classed as a dead heat.

Cambridge traditionally wear light blue, with light blue blades, though in the first race in 1829 their colour was pink. Oxford wear dark blue with dark blue blades.

Local people can watch the action from two of the best vantage points on the route, Bishop’s Park in Fulham and Furnivall Gardens in Hammersmith.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council will be hosting two family friendly Boat Race in the Park events, where revellers can catch all the action on giant screens for free, accompanied by beer tents and food.

The Bishops Park event will also feature live music, children's rides and a static rowing challenge to keep guests entertained until the big event.

Both events take place from 12noon to 6pm, with the race itself starting at 4.30pm.

Bishop’s Park has the added advantage of being at the start of the race and Furnivall Gardens takes in the middle of the course where the race starts to heat up as the crews make their move under Hammersmith Bridge.

These Boat Race in the Park events are organised in partnership by H&F Council and The Boat Race Company Ltd.

For further information on the Boat Race visit the Boat Race website or contact the council's Events Team on 0845 337 0314 or events@lbhf.gov.uk

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March 22, 2013