The Boat Race Company is delighted to announce British Heart Foundation (BHF) as the official charity partner for The Gemini Boat Race 2024.

The charity partnership is particularly poignant as it follows the tragic death of former Chair of The Boat Race Company, Tim Senior, who died of a cardiac arrest in 2023.

The Boat Race Company (BRCL) and BHF hope the partnership will save lives by raising awareness of the risk of cardiovascular disease, and creating a lasting legacy by improving the chances of survival among spectators of The Boat Race, by encouraging them to learn CPR via the BHF’s RevivR app.

The BHF’s presence at The Gemini Boat Race 2024 will include a stand in the Fan Park where visitors will have the chance to demo RevivR, BHF’s free digital tool that teaches you the lifesaving skill, CPR, in 15 minutes, using just a phone or tablet and a cushion. come and see us to learn how you could save a loved one’s life.

The heart charity will also have volunteers present along the famous Championship Course collecting vital funds for their lifesaving research.

The British Heart Foundation is funding a four-year PhD in cardiovascular science at the University of Oxford for Boat Race hopeful Catherine King, who faces the possibility of racing against her identical twin sister, Gemma – a member of the rival Cambridge University Boat Club.

The partnership announcement comes as both universities approach the final stages of their preparations for the latest installment in one of the world’s most famous annual sporting events.

The Gemini Boat Race 2024 takes place in Putney on Saturday 30th March – with the Women’s Race starting at 2:46pm and the Men’s Race at 3:46pm – renewing an intense rivalry which stretches back nearly 200 years.

Providing free access to watch the races unfold on the River Thames, The Boat Race is regularly attended by over 250,000 spectators on the riverbank and watched by millions more on television.

Chair of the Board of The Boat Race Company, Siobhan Cassidy, said: “Despite the rivalry between the two universities we are all united behind a shared goal; helping British Heart Foundation save lives. Together we can raise vital funds so the charity can continue to fund ground-breaking research and help ensure that everyone is aware of lifesaving CPR and improve survival rates not only in the rowing community but across the whole of the UK.”

The BHF is the biggest independent funder of heart and circulatory disease research in the UK. Investing £100 million into research each year the charity currently funds six Centres of Research Excellence at Universities all over the UK including Oxford and Cambridge. The BHF also currently supports £440m of life saving research programmes across the UK including 48 four-year PhD programmes, like Catherine’s, across UK universities.

Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation said: “Rowing, like research brings people together with a shared objective that can yield the incredible results. As research scientists, Catherine and Gemma King know better than anyone that medical breakthroughs are key to unlocking future treatments and cures to save and improve lives. Hearing that Catherine is one of the next generation of cardiovascular scientists making these discoveries is inspiring.

“Through our partnership for The Gemini Boat Race 2024, the BRCL and BHF will work to save and transform the lives of many more – by training a nation of lifesavers in CPR with RevivR, and by funding the world’s brightest minds at the BHF’s centres of research excellence at Oxford, Cambridge and universities across the UK.”

To take on your own rowing challenge and raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, visit To learn how to save a life go to

Photo: Tim Bekir – British Heart Foundation