Case Study

University of Oxford – ‘Hybrid’ Summer Regatta

Client: University of Oxford
Date: June 2021
Services: Filming - Livestreaming - Video Production


  • University’s first ever hybrid rowing solution delivered
  • 4-days, 147 boats, 1500+ participants
  • 56 races mixed live and clipped for on demand viewing
  • 4 cameras covering 2 mile course
  • Giant LED screen for socially distanced outdoor spectators
  • Creation of Media Hub
  • Custom built landing page and streamed via YouTube
  • 40,000+ viewers from 95 countries
  • 112 hours of footage


Oxford University Rowing Club was challenged to still execute their Summer Regatta during the pandemic amidst COVID-19 restrictions and bring thousands of spectators and rowers together for the highpoint of the rowing year. First Sight Media was brought on board to produce the University’s first ever hybrid regatta involving 147 boats and over 1,500 participants with just five weeks to go!

The regatta could only take place if spectators were successfully persuaded to watch high-quality live footage of each race rather than supporting their fellow students from the riverside. In addition to the timeframe of five weeks to turn around planning, filming permissions and all tech checks, the remote location meant reduced connectivity, as well as all vision mixing and streaming needing to be done from a Boat House on the River Thames with audio from other remote and in-person teams.


First Sight Media:

  • Worked closely and coordinated a core team at the University
  • Carried out multiple, extensive site visits over a short period to secure filming locations and permissions
  • Identified and overcame connectivity challenges due to remote location
  • Created a custom-built landing page enabling the University to share information to all participants and spectators including students, families, alumni and donors
  • Transformed The City of Oxford Boathouse into a media hub to broadcast the nail-biting live action!
  • Provided a team of four cameras which lined the two mile course, streamed back to the main mixing hub where cameras were live mixed with audio overlaid
  • Coordinated remote commentators so the entire feed could be broadcast to the custom-built landing page and via YouTube
  • Edited and clipped coverage by race for on-demand viewing
  • Installed and provided a giant LED screen at Christ Church College for outdoor spectators to enjoy live action, socially distanced


“A bumps regatta is normally a highpoint of the Oxford rowing year and it was particularly pleasing to be able to run this in a COVID secure way, nearly two years after we were last able to offer this experience to students. By working with First Sight Media, we were able to stream high quality footage so that we could effectively discourage spectators from attending but also make the event accessible to students’ families and our alumni around the world. It is a format we will definitely consider using beyond the pandemic.”

David Seale, Bursar, Linacre College, Oxford University


  • A traditionally Oxford event was transformed into an international hybrid regatta watched by over 40,000 people from 95 countries
  • The University of Oxford was provided with content to share across its communications channels which was proven to increase engagement with key stakeholder groups including students, families, alumni and donors
  • Rowers that took part reported a sense of “exceptional support from all over the world” a feeling that would have not been possible unless the event was live streamed
  • The University of Oxford reporting that their first hybrid regatta was a resounding success

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