The Eaton Diary of London 2002
The Boat Race.
Another lovely spring morning. Going down to the river this afternoon to watch 'The Boat Race' - very big event in London - just a 2 boat race from Putney 4 and a quarter miles upstream to Mortlake. Oxford vs.. Cambridge Uni rowing clubs. A long tradition of rivalry. Now they have huge media coverage - 16 page liftout in the morning paper (that's one page per rower! - if one uncharitably overlooks the coxswains). 2 Aussies in Cambridge crew (one Scotch old scholar, Lukas Hirst, who is quoted in the programme as saying about the history of the race that it is "older than my home state of South Australia"). I chatted to one of the Cambridge coaches yesterday, as I did my walk along the river. They've installed huge screens, and PA all along the river. Great day for it.
|Well it was Oxford's day.
I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere at Putney (the Start) - with huge crowds lining both banks of the river and the bridge.
Support boats follow
Cambridge led most of the race, but Oxford remarkably overtook them against all odds on the unfavourable bend of the river for them, as they had to come around the outside of Cambridge, approaching Mortlake. - to win by 3 quarters of a length - one of the closest finishes, and the closest since 1980.
Watched the race on the big screen set up on the Bishops gardens side of the river.
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