BBC to air 2011 Boat Race in HD
Monday, March 21 2011, 16:04 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin,

The BBC has confirmed plans to broadcast the 157th Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge this weekend in high definition.

On March 26, the Boat Race coverage will start at 3.45pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. BBC Radio 5 Live will also air live commentary of the race, which kicks off at 5pm.

Clare Balding will present the TV coverage, with Andrew Cotter leading the commentary team alongside former Oxford rower Dan Topolski and former Cambridge president Wayne Pommen.

Sonali Shah will deliver reports from the crowd, while four time Olympic gold medallist Sir Matt Pinsent and double Boat Race winning cox Acer Nethercott will both offer expert analysis.

The Radio 5 Live commentary team will be led by Jonathan Legard, supported by analysis from 5 Live's rowing reporters Martin Cross and Amanda Davies.

The television coverage will also include a 3D map of the course showing the "ideal racing line", which will pop up at intervals during the race.

Backing up the Boat Race coverage will be a series of TV programmes, including Dan Snow's The Sewers, taking a look at the engineering project to rebuild London's sewers under the Boat Race course.

Rower For A Day will follow Irish comedian Ed Byrne as he joins a crew from one of the Thames rowing clubs to try out the boat race course.

The actual Boat Race will be streamed live online and made available to watch again for seven days on BBC iPlayer. International viewers in more than 150 countries will be able to watch the race via the BBC World News and BBC America channels.