Inaugural Youth Boat Race to take place on 26 March 2024

Fulham Reach Boat Club and the Boat Race Fund will host young rowers from seven local schools for a race down the Championship Course just four days before the Gemini Boat Race


Fulham Reach Boat Club and the Boat Race Fund have just announced the inaugural Youth Boat Race.

The Youth Boat Race will see young rowers from schools in the West London area compete on the iconic Boat Race course on Tuesday, 26 March 2024.

Inspired by The Gemini Boat Race, the Youth Boat Race is a joint endeavour between Fulham Reach Boat Club and the Boat Race Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Boat Race family.

Jonny Searle, Chairman of the Oxford and Cambridge Rowing Foundation says “We are so excited to be working in close partnership with the highly professional team at Fulham Reach Boat Club to put on this ambitious and innovative event.”

The event will see mixed crews of boys and girls representing Kensington Aldridge Academy and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in race one (11:45), and mixed school and gender crews from Sacred Heart High School, Holland Park School, Hammersmith Academy, Fulham Boys’ School and West London Free School in race two (12:45), competing in match races over the first part of the Boat Race course on a low water flood tide, umpired by Gemini Boat Race umpires, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Judith Packer.

Racing will conclude with participation prizes given at Thames Rowing Club on Putney Embankment with the medals being presented by Her Worshipful The Mayor of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Councillor Patricia Quigley.

The Youth Boat Race aims to provide a unique and powerful opportunity for locally based youth rowers to become a part of the historic and high-profile sporting event that is the Gemini Boat Race.

Siobhan Cassidy, Chair of the Boat Race Company Limited sees the Youth Boat Race as having the potential to have a transformative effect: “Drawing on the traditions of resilience, excellence and teamwork that epitomise the Gemini Boat Race, the ambition is that The Youth Boat Race will inspire the young people competing and connect the Gemini Boat Race to the community in which it has lived for almost 200 years in a shared experience of race preparation and competition.”

Adam Freeman-Pask, CEO of Fulham Reach Boat Club is equally enthusiastic: “Fulham Reach Boat Club has been at the heart of the local youth rowing community for many year and the chance to be part of the Gemini Boat Races has created a real buzz that is going to have long-lasting effects – this is an amazing opportunity for our young athletes who are so pleased to have been made part of the Boat Race family.”

Funding for the Youth Boat Race 2024 is being provided by The Boat Race Fund, which is run by the trustees of the Oxford and Cambridge Rowing Foundation (UK registered charity 292325). The Boat Race Fund works closely with local youth clubs based on The Boat Race course, and across the UK, providing financial support to further the education and development of youth rowers in the context of rowing, and the wider life-skill.

The 2024 Gemini Boat Race takes place on Saturday, 30 March.