Boat Race trophies go on display at Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge
Five trophies associated with the Boat Race have been put on public display for the first time.
The Fitzwilliam Museum will be the home of the trophies from yesterda (November 9) until March 27, 2022, with this year’s races to be held on Sunday, April 3.
Until now, the two Boat Race trophies, for the men’s and women’s races, have been in the offices of sponsors and only brought out for race day.
But it has been decided that the responsibility for the safe storage should now pass to the winning university, and with it being a clean sweep for Cambridge University Boat Club, they will be housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum until next year.
Nick Brooking, Cambridge University’s director of sport, said: “When we were made aware that the Boat Race trophies needed a new home we were keen to find somewhere that they could not just be kept secure but also viewed by the widest possible number of people.
“We were delighted when our colleagues at the Fitzwilliam Museum reacted so positively to our request for help and have added their professional expertise to make sure the trophies now shine brilliantly and also to tell the story around them.”
The five trophies are the Aberdeen Asset Management ‘Quaich’ (for the men’s race), the Newton Trophy (for the current women’s race), the Francombe Cup (the original women’s race), the Goldie-Isis Cup (the men’s reserve race) and the Blondie-Osiris Cup (the women’s reserve race).
Dr Victoria Avery, the keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, said: “The Boat Race is an annual sporting highlight for millions but very few people have ever had the chance to see the winners’ trophies up close.
“And even fewer realise that the Blue Boat trophies are actually significant examples of contemporary British silver. I am thrilled that this year’s double Cambridge Blue Boat victory has given the Fitzwilliam Museum a unique opportunity to display both trophies side by side.
“For the first time in Boat Race history, people will be able to see for themselves just how beautiful these iconic trophies are, and appreciate all the skill and thought that has gone into their design and making.
“The Blue Boat trophies are joined by three other key trophies connected with The Boat Race: the original women’s Blue boat trophy, first awarded in 1936, and the cups awarded to the men’s and women’s reserve boats.”
Tim Senior, chair of The Boat Race Company Limited (BRCL), added: “Aside from being the rewards for immense sporting endeavour, the Boat Race trophies are beautiful works of art in themselves.”