Last European Universities Championship is about to begin as the best European university rowers gathered in Swedish city of Jonkopping. This is the last EUSA competition before the fifth European Universities Games in Belgrade and because of that it is more important.
Also, this is a great opportunity to tell a story of University sport classic – event that is another name for University sport – rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge universities. Two universities that are best ranked European universities compete almost two centuries.
Traditional race between the universities first was organized exactly 190 years ago, when Charles Merivale from Cambridge challenged his friend Charles Wordsworth and his rowing team from Oxford University. Race did not become a tradition right away and we had to wait for seven years for the second one.
Pause between the second and the third race was two years old and in 1839 race that officially opened a traditional rowing regata. That tradition was organized every year, except during first and second World War, and so far there were 165 events in the last 180 years.
Although they lost the first race in 1829, boys from Cambridge have better score than their opponents with 84 wins, while Oxford has 80. So far, only one race ended in a draw because in the 1912 both team concluded the race in the same time. Having in mind that the visibility was bad during the bad weather, referee decided not to separate the two teams.
First female race was held in 1827 and it also became a tradition 55 years ago. Each year around 250 000 people watches the race live each year, while millions follow the event on television.
To all university sport lovers is an obligation to follow the same path with the European Universities Games so they also become something that people will know university sport from. We hope that even then they will speak about European Universities Games in Belgrade as the one of the biggest and the best organized EUSA event ever.