The Boat Race 2022
BETTER BY WATER
After three years away, the Boat Race made its long-awaited return to the River Thames in 2022. As one of the river’s greatest and longest-running traditions, its return to the Tideway marked a hugely welcome return to normality following the coronavirus pandemic.
Livett’s were proud to play a key role in the planning and execution of the event, both during the build-up and on race day itself.
Here’s how we helped make it happen…
HOW LIVETT'S MADE IT HAPPEN
With the 2020 Boat Race being cancelled and the 2021 edition taking place on the River Great Ouse near Ely, Cambridgeshire, welcoming the universities of Oxford and Cambridge back to the Thames was long overdue.
Owing to the extended break between races in the capital, preparation was of the utmost importance. Livett’s worked extremely closely with the Port of London Authority (PLA) and race organisers during the planning phase, particularly regarding camera and drone positions throughout the river, to ensure the BBC’s television coverage did justice to this always-exciting spectacle.
In the week leading up to race day, there were extensive trial runs on the Championship Course, with Livett’s managing director, Chris Livett, closely monitoring the results. This formed a key part of event preparations, helping to test and finalise the complex vessel movements to ensure a smooth race.
With trial runs successfully completed and finalised plans in place, race day soon came around on Sunday 3 April. On the day, several vessels from our diverse fleet were in action: recent addition Charlie Lima was used as a low wash camera boat; members of the media, including the BBC’s Clare Balding, were transported on Indigo Lima; whilst Echo Lima I was deployed as a safety boat.
As owners and operators of Putney Pier – which is located alongside the Boat Race’s starting line – we were also able to welcome guests of both universities aboard two luxury passenger services stationed at the pier. More information about their involvement on the day can be found on the Thames Luxury Charters website.
But it was our versatile new landing craft, Bravo Lima GB, which really came into its own. As well as picking up passengers and equipment direct from the foreshore courtesy of her drop down front, Bravo Lima GB was deployed as a floating Thames drone platform. This provided the perfect base for drone operator Steve Peters to capture spectacular footage of the race for broadcasters.
Steve is one of our recommended drone operators on the River Thames and had this to say about his experience working aboard Bravo Lima GB:
“When we were first asked to provide drone coverage on the River Thames for the Boat Race, it was clear that the only way to do this sensibly was to take off and land from a boat. The obvious choice was to engage Livett’s through the Boat Race company. Livett’s has a vast fleet of suitable craft, but it quickly became apparent that Bravo Lima GB – with its stern steering console and adaptable load space – would be the perfect vessel for our needs.
“Using the bow door made loading and unloading extremely easy and accessible at a technical base in Mortlake and having the ability to strap a platform to the deck to enable us to take off and land safely was equally useful.
“The crew from Livett’s were utterly professional, extremely competent and able to keep me as a pilot safe and with good visibility of my aircraft and the surrounding vessels.”
Thanks to all stakeholders working closely together, the Boat Race 2022 went off without a hitch. Some 250,000 spectators enjoyed proceedings from the banks of the river, watching on as Cambridge Women and Oxford Men both rowed to victory on what was a truly oar-some day on the Thames!