Charity Boat Race, Oxford – Sunday 6 April

On Sunday 6 April – the day of the Oxford v Cambridge University Boat Race on the River Thames – Pacific Row will be hosting their own university (city) challenge, with the hope of giving Oxford the home advantage and raising funds for charity.


Pictured above l-r: Darren Taylor, Allan French (the coach, and the rowing coach at Oxford Brookes University), Simon Tyrrell, Spike Miles and Ben Bishop.

A four-man crew from both the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) will take part in a charity boat race on that afternoon – in advance of showing the main event live on a large screen in Christ Church College meadow. The teams will race each other over a distance of 1km, with the finish line being just short of Folly Bridge, opposite the meadow.

The event will be free for all to watch and enjoy – just come along on the day. People with collection buckets will be on site and donations are actively encouraged. The event will be raising funds for the Fire Fighters Charity, the Cure Parkinson’s Trust* and Pacific Row . Darren Taylor, half of team Pacific Row, is a firefighter for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue – and will be rowing for his city in Sunday’s charity boat race along with colleagues from White Watch, Rewley Road Fire station.

*NB. This coming Monday 7th marks the start of Parkinson’s Awareness Week. 

This charity race, which it’s hoped may form a permanent fixture in Oxford’s events diary, is being supported by OFRS and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), and pre-event publicity will be arranged by OCC.

A large outdoor screen, located close to the finish line in Christ Church meadow, will display the charity boat race, which will take place at 17:30 and last approximately 5 minutes, before displaying the 160th Oxford v Cambridge London Boat Race at 18:00 for the general public to watch.

The event is open to the public, and will be publicised through various media.

“We can envisage this taking off as an annual ‘must attend’ event for Oxford,” says Darren. “This year it’s fire fighters, like me, but it could be any profession – teachers, lawyers, members of the council…

“It could grow to have a women’s and youth race – or maybe the one race becomes a mixed gender event,” he concludes.

Sponsors are still invited to get involved and buy allocated time packages to have their brand and messages displayed on the screen before the charity boat race and in the lead up to the main event.

For further information check out the Pacific Row website at

EDITOR’S NOTE: For further press information and high-resolution images, please contact Gaynor Edwards on Tel: 07956 142214 or email

Billy Connolly“My very best wishes go out to Alex Flynn and Darren Taylor, who will be taking part in the Pacific Rowing Race later this year. Having personally been diagnosed with the early signs of Parkinson’s, my thoughts will especially be with Alex, who has the same disease and will be rowing to help raise awareness via ‘The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’.”
Billy Connolly