In most years, athletes from Oxford and Cambridge join together to compete in the ‘Transatlantic Series’, the world’s oldest international athletics match series. Their opponents are a combined team from the American Ivy League Universities.
The world’s first international athletics match took place at the Queen’s Club, London in 1894, where Oxford beat Yale by 5-1/2 events to 3-1/2. The match proved to be a big success. The following year, Cambridge travelled to the US where they were beaten by Yale by 8 events to 3. The teams first paired up in 1899, after which the combining of teams became a set feature of the series. Princeton and Cornell joined the series in 1921, with Pennsylvania replacing Princeton in the early 1950’s.
The series now follows a four year cycle:
- 2016: No Match
- 2017: Oxbridge tour to US
- 2018: Visit of Penn and Cornell
- 2019: Visit of Harvard and Yale
The home fixtures are usually held shortly after Trinity (summer) term, in late June. The US tour takes place during the Easter vacation. The Oxbridge team is picked by captains from both of the individual clubs, assisted by the Achilles Club. Members of OUAC and CUAC are eligible to compete in each fixture in the series once at home and once in the USA. The matches are typically of the highest quality, and in the past have provided a stage for some of the sports’ great names and a setting for two world records and some notorious head-to-head encounters. The matches provide a unique experience for everyone who has the privilege to be a part of them.
Results of the Americas series can be found on the Achilles website. In 2013 the Oxbridge team travelled to the USA at the end of March to take on the Ivy League universities during a two week tour. The cost of the tour is generously, heavily subsidised by the Achilles club and members selected for the tour are encouraged to join.