The Cancer Research UK Boat Race has had a long history and a rivalry comparable to if not greater than that of English football’s Manchester United and Liverpool. Prior to 2017 only two men had crossed the line to row for both Cambridge and oxford. There is only meant to be two choices for participants Oxford or Cambridge, not both. However, in 2017 a third man is set to cross the divide and face former teammates.

When the 163rd Boat Race takes place, William Warr will be rowing for Oxford against Cambridge after the former Cambridge student undertook his PhD at Oxford University.

Crossing the divide

Warr rowed with Cambridge in 2015 and lost to Oxford but didn’t row last year when Cambridge ended a 3-year win streak by beating Oxford. He told the BBC that many of his former teammates and friends no longer speak to him and hope that he loses. He said that it was “the hardest decision” he had to make but life goes on and that he made his decision to further his work and career.

He now studies his PhD at Oxford and explains "I came to Oxford to do this PhD on how to prevent chronic disease in some of the poorest parts of the UK.” His aspirations stretch to entering the Olympics in 2020 and after a talk with the Cambridge president, he felt that this was the best option for himself.