Boat being named in honour of war time boat race win

Mark Goddard and Martin Whitworth

Mark Goddard and Martin Whitworth - Credit: Archant

The conclusion of the Oxford and Cambridge war-time boat race series will be commemorated in Ely Cathedral - seventy years after the Cambridge success of 1945.

Honours Even

Honours Even - Credit: Archant

During the event, the man who helped take the Light Blues to victory, Martin Whitworth, will name a boat, Honours Even, to mark the occasion.

He is now president of the Isle of Ely Rowing Club, based on the Great Ouse near the scene of the 1944 race - in which he also took part.

It was rowed just outside Ely at Queen Adelaide – the only time the university oarsmen have met away from the Thames in 186 years - and was commemorated with a diamond jubilee event in 2004 when Martin was among the guests.

Cambridge convincingly won the first war-time race by five lengths at Henley in 1940. There were no races in 1941 and 1942. But in 1943 Oxford seized the chance to level and won by two-thirds of a length at Sanford.

Oxford won again at Queen Adelaide in 1944 but the following year Cambridge won by two-and-a-half lengths to level the series at Henley.

Mr Whitworth said: “I have fond memories of my university rowing which happened in very uncertain circumstances at a time when it was a case of making the best of things in the worst of times.

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“At the same time I am immensely proud of the fact that Isle of Ely Rowing Cub has been established, having been inspired by events that happened all those years ago”.