Happy Easter everyone. Well now, today was the annual boat race between Oxford University Rowing Club and Cambridge University Rowing Club-as they rowed down the river Thames in London. Of course men and women row separately. The race usually takes place in the last week of March or the first week of April. The 2016 annual race, was held today, on Easter Sunday. It was fantastic as usual. It was pretty gripping viewing and at one point, it looked like a swimming contest, as the girls’ boat took on a lot of water.
The first race was held back in 1829 and has been held annually since 1856 (except during WWI and WWII). The course covers a 4.2 mile stretch of the Thames in West London. As of 2016, Cambridge have won the race 82 times and Oxford 79 times-with one dead heat. Cambridge have led Oxford in cumulative wins since 1928. Like wow.
The race is pretty popular as up to 250K people watch the race from the banks of the river each year. In 2009, a record 270K people watched the race live while a further 15 million or more watch it on the telly.
Back in 2012 the race was interrupted and halted for over 30 minutes, when a lone protestor, Australian Trenton Oldfield, entered the water and deliberately swam between the boats. He was protesting against spending cuts and what he saw as the erosion of civil liberties and a growing culture of elitism within British society. Oh my word. Get over it, mate. There is elitism in EVERY society. That is not news. Perhaps a letter to the PM might have been a better option. Anyway, the race was stopped for safety reasons then restarted a short time later.
Oldfield was later convicted in October 2012 of causing a public nuisance and subsequently fined £750 and sentenced to SIX months’ imprisonment. In June 2013, he was refused leave to remain in the UK (which he successfully appealed-as the appeal judge stated that there was “a public interest in providing a platform for protest at both common law and the European Convention on Human Rights”. Ahh, you just gotta love judges.
So, today’s race was pretty fab. Here is the lowdown:
- Oxford had dominated the race in the past, today Cambridge men took an early lead.
- Cambridge men claimed their FIRST boat race since 2012.
- Cambridge women battled on and narrowly avoided sinking. Yes. The boat was taking in so much water that water was washing over their thighs. It was too much for the pumps. The Thames was too mighty. Oxford women won. Don’t believe me? Watch this…
In the finish, it was a good race-both men and women. Fantastic to watch, now back to your books, you mighty cerebral thinkers, you.