The infamous Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge returns to the River Thames this Sunday after two years away.

Cheshire-born Amelia Standing is representing Oxford in the Boat Race for the fourth time.

The current President of the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club is in her Masters year studying Engineering, so feels this will be her last race.

She said: “I think this will be it, the plan is that this is my last boat race, it’s been a lot”

The rowing season begins in September, with Standing training twice a day, six days a week.

“It usually ends up taking about six hours of each day that we’re training, so trying to balance that around an Oxford degree can be quite challenging”

In the week lead up to the race, the team is moves into a London Tideway house so they can train on the race-day course as much as possible.

Boat Race
Photo provided by Amelia Standing

“I’ve been selected for the Blueboat every year of my Undergraduate degree. In my first year I was the youngest person out of the four Blueboat’s.

“I was stroking the Oxford one, so I was at the front of the boat and everyone had to follow, so I had quite a lot of pressure on me”

The race was called off in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, and last year, the race was moved to the River Great Ouse due to restrictions.

“Last year’s race wasn’t really a normal race, so that took the pressure off.

“There is probably the most pressure on me for this race out of all of the years I’ve done it”

The 22-year-old will be the youngest rower in her boat, sitting in the three seat.

Originally from Helsby, Standing rowed at King’s School in Chester.

“I was very lucky to go to a school that offered rowing, but I actually got into it [rowing] watching the 2012 Olympics.

“I remember watching one of the races and thinking wow this is so cool, it was something I was really inspired by”

Standing was a member of the school’s rowing team during her time there, competing in competitions.

“I was the first girl that the school sent to international competition for rowing so I competed for Great Britain when I was 17 through the school”

The Women’s Boat Race was only moved to the same course as the Men’s in 2015, and has 91 races less.

“Its taken a while to build up the prestige and the tradition in the same way that the Men’s race has had for years

“It’s good that things are progressing and moving in the right direction”

The Boat Race will be live on BBC One this Sunday with the Women’s Race at 14:23 and the Men’s at 15:23.

Featured image courtesy of Amelia Standing