Published on 04 Apr ‘21
The Boat Race 2021 calls on Bolina for safety & navigation support


Oxford and Cambridge rowers to be protected by new booms at historic closed 2021 race.

Bolina, an Ecocoast company, has been appointed by the Environment Agency to provide demarcation booms for The Boat Race 2021. The race, which is one of the world’s oldest and most famous sporting events, will take place in a new location for 2021, and will be a closed event for the first time. Bolina’s safety booms will support the event organisers and participants in operating to the highest standards in waterway safety and navigation.

The Bolina booms will secure a reach of the River Great Ouse in Ely, Cambridgeshire, to allow both the men’s and women’s races to take place within a cordoned-off, patrolled, exclusion zone. This will prevent disruptions to racing, which can upset these high-performance craft.

Physical closures are put in place with Bolina TCB400 Traffic Control Booms that are designed to control access for safety and navigation purposes. For The Boat Race, a section of the River Great Ouse is closed between Ely and Littleport. A total of three booms are required to effectively manage the traffic control within this zone of the river. 

Describing how these booms will be deployed on the river, Chris Rogers, Operations Manager at Bolina and former rower and coach says:

The Environment Agency will utilise work boats and regular 4X4 vehicles equipped with trailers and a small team. This particular boom is easily portable, relatively compact (to fit within trailers for onward deployment) and flexible. This design of booms is easily adaptable, can span varying river widths and provide the flexibility to be opened to let boats through if necessary. The boom is also highly visible and suitable for use under various flow and weather conditions yet strong enough to provide protection against all sorts of craft.

Although initially required for The Boat Race 2021, the reusable nature of Bolina’s booms means that the Environment Agency can reuse them when other river closures are required, and during incidents, emergencies and potentially for scheduled planned works. Such future-proofing ensures that Bolina’s contribution to protecting safety in the UK’s waterways will be realised for many years.

Bolina, headquartered in Exeter, has a long-term history of supplying the Environment Agency with booms across England. This includes numerous safety booms currently installed along the River Thames and other UK rivers.

Commenting on the partnership, Rogers concluded:

We are proud to support this British institution with a proudly British product solution. We wish all the teams a safe race – disruption free.

He went on to say that he wouldn’t let on if he would be supporting the light or dark blues as he watches the race on Sunday and he hopes to be back on the Tideway next year watching the race in person on the Thames.

Spot our booms on TV, the Olympic Channel, or The Boat Race YouTube channel today!

Bolina has been manufacturing flotation products for 30 years and has installed a wide range of systems around the world. Bolina concentrates exclusively on waterway barriers and floating booms, providing a complete service including surveying, pile design, custom boom designs and support right through to deployment. For more information, please visit https://www.bolinabooms.com.

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