Last night, the Official Challenges of The BNY Mellon Boat Race and The Newton Women’s Boat Race were issued by Oxford at the Autumn Reception, the event which acknowledges the start of The Boat Race season.
Both the Presidents and some members of The 2013 BNY Mellon Boat Race squads attended and, for the first time ever, the event also welcomed the Presidents and some members of The Newton Women’s Boat Race squads in recognition of the move towards parity that will see their Race relocate to the Tideway in 2015.
The Official Challenges are laid down at the start of every season by the previous Race’s losing University Boat Club President to the President of the victorious Club. Both the Cambridge Men’s and Women’s Blue Boats triumphed in the 2012 Races, so it was up to Alex Davidson and Bridget Fryer of Oxford to issue the Challenges on behalf of their Clubs.
The reception was held at the offices of the new title sponsor, BNY Mellon. Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman, EMEA, BNY Mellon commented: “BNY Mellon has a long history of partnerships with institutions worldwide to bring iconic events and exhibitions to a broader audience. As our most significant partnership to date, what the Boat Race represents fits very well with our values as an organisation - commitment to a single goal, the technical expertise that is required to be successful, and the heart and character needed to win. We are excited about building our relationship with the two clubs and growing the franchise of The Boat Race.”
Robert Gillespie, Chairman of The Boat Race Company Ltd, commented “This is a special year in the history of The Boat Race. We are delighted to have new title sponsor in BNY Mellon, who values the history and heritage of the Race but is also committed to enhancing the event’s appeal to a UK and global audience. Newton has provided incredible support in the development of the Women’s Boat Clubs over the past two years and we are very excited about the prospect of the Women’s Boat Race coming to London in 2015.”
Simon Pryke, Director and Chief Investment Officer at Newton Investment Management commented: “Newton is delighted to be sponsoring The Newton Women's Boat Race, and the open weight Women's Boat Clubs at Oxford and Cambridge, for the third year running. We hope that our funding continues to make a real difference to university and women's rowing - areas that as we all know have historically been very underfunded – and diversity in sport generally. We are proud to partner at this historic time in rowing and are thrilled that the vision of parity between the women's and men's club is now a reality.”
The 2013 BNY Mellon Boat Race will take place on Sunday 31st March 2013. The Newton Women’s Boat Race will take place in Henley on Sunday 24th March 2013.