Hundreds of Cambridge students take to the river for the cardboard box boat race

Cambridge University students have taken part in the chaotic and boozy carboard box boat race on the River Cam for the first time since the pandemic after a scorching weekend heatwave came to an end. 

Hundreds of students across 60 teams took part in the annual event to celebrate the end of their exams, with boats including a Boris Johnson masthead and a number participants drinking bottles of alcohol while sat upon what appeared to be a DIY dragon.

Around 2,000 spectators also gathered on the river’s banks to watch the carnage unfold as the event took place for the first time since 2019.

Students spent the majority of the day constructing their makeshift rafts with cardboard, glue and gaffa tape before climbing inside and attempting to float along the water.

The vast majority of the boats, including another raft named Party Gate within which six students wore masks of Boris Johnson and wife Carrie, sank within minutes of taking to the river.

Those whose rafts quickly fell were then able to soak fellow students with a plethora of water pistols. 

The event took place as this weekend’s heatwave, which saw temperatures soar to as high as 32.7C (91F) on Friday, though it was far cooler yesterday with much of the UK experiencing rain.

Thousands of onlookers gathered along the River Cam in Cambridge today to watch the unusual annual boat race for the first time since pre-Covid

Among the 60 boats taking part in the race today was a raft with a Boris Johnson masthead above the name 'Tory Tears'

Among the 60 boats taking part in the race today was a raft with a Boris Johnson masthead above the name ‘Tory Tears’

Students, armed with a plethora of water pistols, drank from bottles of alcohol on another boat that appeared to be shaped like a dragon

Students, armed with a plethora of water pistols, drank from bottles of alcohol on another boat that appeared to be shaped like a dragon

Thousands gathered along the river's banks to watch hundreds of students across 60 teams take part in the annual event today

Thousands gathered along the river’s banks to watch hundreds of students across 60 teams take part in the annual event today

Two students pictured as they made their way out of the River Cam following the sinking of their cardboard boat during today's festivities

Two students pictured as they made their way out of the River Cam following the sinking of their cardboard boat during today’s festivities

More students clamber towards the river's banks after their DIY raft fails to stay afloat

More students clamber towards the river’s banks after their DIY raft fails to stay afloat 

Students taking part in the event were armed with a plethora of water pistols, while some onlookers jumped into the river to join in on the fun

Students taking part in the event were armed with a plethora of water pistols, while some onlookers jumped into the river to join in on the fun

Three students inside a duck-shaped boat begin to sink during the Cambridge Carboard Boat Race on Sunday

Three students inside a duck-shaped boat begin to sink during the Cambridge Carboard Boat Race on Sunday

A group of students wearing masks depicting the faces of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie jump into the river as their Partygate boat begins to sink

A group of students wearing masks depicting the faces of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie jump into the river as their Partygate boat begins to sink

The majority of the students ended up in the river just minutes into the race, having spent most of the morning constructing their boats

The majority of the students ended up in the river just minutes into the race, having spent most of the morning constructing their boats

A group of students struggle to stay afloat as their cardboard raft begins to crumble as they try to row along the River Cam

A group of students struggle to stay afloat as their cardboard raft begins to crumble as they try to row along the River Cam

Students fire water pistols at each other as they let off steam following a period of the academic year that is filled with exams

Students fire water pistols at each other as they let off steam following a period of the academic year that is filled with exams

And parts of the UK were today hit with rain, with further showers forecast for this evening. 

Today marked the 11th version of the unusual race, with the first race taking place back in 2010.

Many students downed wine, beer and shots as they struggled to stay on board their flimsy rafts – many deciding to purposely jump into the water as part of the fun.

Crowds clapped, cheered and laughed along the course, which runs from  Jesus Green to Magdalene Bridge.

Earlier in the day thousands of students attended ‘Suicide Sunday’ parties around the city to celebrate the end of their exams.

The Sunday immediately after the end of the summer term at Cambridge is known as Suicide Sunday. By this date, most students have finished exams but most of the results have not been published, so it is traditionally a period of nerves and suspense.

Next week many of the students will attend the lavish May Ball parties at the university colleges.  

A group of students try desperately to paddle along the River Cam as fellow participants do their utmost to splash them with water

A group of students try desperately to paddle along the River Cam as fellow participants do their utmost to splash them with water

A boat named Leo Lahjani on the River Cam today, before it inevitably sank alongside the 59 other teams taking part in the event

A boat named Leo Lahjani on the River Cam today, before it inevitably sank alongside the 59 other teams taking part in the event

Another group of students hang onto their DIY raft after it sank minutes into today's race, the first since before the Covid pandemic

Another group of students hang onto their DIY raft after it sank minutes into today’s race, the first since before the Covid pandemic

Students topple over each other as their boat, made of cardboard and gaffa tape, falls apart moments after entering the water for the race

Students topple over each other as their boat, made of cardboard and gaffa tape, falls apart moments after entering the water for the race

More students clamber to stay afloat as the water plays havoc with their morning's constructions

More students clamber to stay afloat as the water plays havoc with their morning’s constructions

Crowds along the river cheered as the vast majority of boats sank just minutes into the rather unusual annual event

Crowds along the river cheered as the vast majority of boats sank just minutes into the rather unusual annual event

A group of students in a boat mimicking ET paddle along the River Cam during today's Cambridge Cardboard Boat Race

A group of students in a boat mimicking ET paddle along the River Cam during today’s Cambridge Cardboard Boat Race

A student dressed as a pirate is pictured rowing along the river moments before her boat becomes the latest in the event to capsize

A student dressed as a pirate is pictured rowing along the river moments before her boat becomes the latest in the event to capsize

The Partygate boat included a 'BYOB' message as the students poked fun at the Prime Minister's fine for breaching lockdown restrictions

The Partygate boat included a ‘BYOB’ message as the students poked fun at the Prime Minister’s fine for breaching lockdown restrictions

Pictures from today’s event showed students donning party hats and fancy dress as, for the most part, they became drenched.

It has become a much anticipated event at the university for students to let off steam following a stressful period of the year filled with exams.

But oars were of little help as the vast majority lasted a matter of minutes before succumbing to the river. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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