Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Helluva Race

Last Saturday we experienced the
quintessential London outing.  

We attended the
158th Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames.  

It was such a fun day and
the race turned out to be quite eventful!

Our vantage point was the beautiful
Hammersmith Bridge.  


It was cloudy and a little chilly,
but we grabbed a few Pimms Cups and found a spot on the bridge.  

There were thousands of people lined up along the banks of the river.  

There were also several parks where you could watch on big screens.  

The Reserve Crews race first.
 The first clue that they are coming is the helicopter and then you can hear the crowds start to yell. 
Finally, you can see them come around the bend in the river.

The Championship Course is 4 miles long and the two teams are in 8-oar rowing boats.

The person in the back,  known as the Cox, steers and watches for obstacles. 

The teams are made up of students from the two Universities.  Cambridge is in light blue and Oxford is in dark blue. 

The race began at 2:15 and they came into view a few minutes later.  

The crowd is very enthusiastic and cheers them on with gusto.  It was so exciting.
They are followed by a dozen other boats. 

Once they passed the bridge, we headed to a local pub to watch the end of the race.  

On the way there, Matt called his parents and found out that the 
race had been stopped shortly after passing the bridge.  

There was a man in the river!

It's the only time in the race's history that this has ever happened. 

Apparently, he was protesting elitism in sports or something.  In the news footage, the Aussie appeared quite proud of himself as he was hauled away. 

He is lucky he wasn't killed. You can see the footage here

 We joined the crowd at the The Bridge for all of the excitement.  

After about a half hour delay, they restarted the race from a spot along the course and continued. 

 There was another exciting moment when the two teams clashed oars and one of the Oxford oars was broken off.  

Cambridge won and we shared a Proseco toast to the Victors

There was more drama when one of the Oxford oarsman collapsed at the finish and was taken to the hospital.  Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery.  

It was quite an eventful race and I'm so glad we were there.

We decided to walk along the river as the crowds died down.

And, as always, London surprises you!

We stumbled upon a New Zealand Haka!

 It's a traditional Moiri ancestral dance and it is the coolest thing!

 Everyone was feeling pretty festive and didn't seem to mind the crazy lady with the camera. 

Everyone loves a good Guns & Roses song!

 I love the umbrella stuck in the grass.  

Aren't they adorable and so very English?

 These rowdy New Zealanders were giving them a hard time for their "pretty jacket."

We chatted with them for a bit and told them we had seen a NZ Haka earlier.  
They were almost convinced to give us their version of one.  Then the warriors from earlier walked by.  

They were pretty excited.  And of course, I had to get in on the action.

Hot Mess.

It was probably one of my best days in London so far.  
We had such a great time.  

Sorry there are so many photos in this post.  I took over 250 shots in just a few hours.  I just want to capture everything.

Thanks for going along with me on another adventure!


1 comment:

  1. What a fun day! My daughter had to do a Haka dance in PE this year. It was so funny to see a 9 year old try to master those moves.


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