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Blood Over Water

David Livingston (2001, Biology)

The Boat Race is one of the most divisive events in amateur sport. For me personally, every year it causes a rupture within my family as my older brother James dons his light blue (Cambridge) jacket and I put on my dark blue (Oxford) jacket to support our respective teams. We once again become part of warring factions.

James and I have just released a co-authored book about our Boat Race experiences, called Blood Over Water which was published by Bloomsbury publishing. On an overcast day back in April 2003 James and I raced each other in the 149th Oxford Cambridge Boat Race. It was the first time brothers had battled each other in this gladiatorial and quintessentially British tradition for over 100 years. Sitting on the start line back then we knew that only one of us could be victorious.

Told in alternative narratives we have given a locker-room insight into one of the least understood national sporting occasions, normally on view for only one day a year. It is an emotional and searching joint self-portrait of our relationship which was tested to breaking point and explores the darker side of sibling rivalry. The race itself was the closest in history; it was decided by just one foot after four and a quarter miles. Video of the race

Blood Over Water is available to purchase from and has already received excellent reviews.


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