Sasha Wilkins

Narnia, otherwise known as London in March, is a pretty chilly place to be. I felt for the Oxford & Cambridge crews at The Boat Race 2013 on the Thames at Putney. It was bitterly, bitterly cold. Luckily for me, I wasn’t huddled on the banks and bridges of the river for long, but snuggled warm and happy inside The Bollinger Boat House (more usually known as The Thames Rowing Club).

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race is an annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights on a 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of the Thames in West London, from Putney to Mortlake  It usually takes place on the last Saturday of March or the first Saturday of April, which is why this year it fell on Easter Sunday.

The first race was in 1829 and the event has been held annually since 1856, except during World War I and World War II. Members of both teams are traditionally known as blues and each boat as a Blue Boat, with Cambridge in light blue and Oxford dark blue. In 2010 an estimated quarter of a million people watched the race live from the banks of the river and millions on television. (Thank you to Wikipedia for this information.)

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Here’s dearest Chloe, who came as my guest, looking as stylish as ever

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

There are many men wandering around the boathouses in Putney in blazers. Unfortunately for my female (and some male) readers, I failed to capture on film the jaw dropping specimens of American male Ivy League rower, who were making ‘most every woman’s heart beat faster.

Here’s an English version. Somehow, just not quite in the same league…

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

This was the second year that Bollinger celebrated being The Official Champagne of The Boat Race by hosting a viewing party. I wasn’t supposed to be in England, let alone helping Bollinger celebate but, given that my plans for France were cancelled, they very kindly invited me to drown my sorrows with them. What lovely people they are.

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

Here are the bearded men. Tom Harrow of WineChap, and Mark Westall of FAD. (Hannah & Mark live just behind the boathouse, so joined us for celebratory drinks.)

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

Some of the guests were training their palettes for future usage.

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

At 430pm, the race starts Minutes later the two crews hove into sight, neck and neck.

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

Trailed by a small flotilla of judges, stewards, coaches, sponsors, guests and interested parties…

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

And all that’s left is their wake…and inside the boathouse we all switched to watching the TV screens.

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

After 17mins 28s, Oxford snatched their 77th victory by a length and a half, celebrating, naturally, with Jeroboams of Bollinger Special Cuvée. I believe this is called the money shot:

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

Bollinger at the 2013 Boat Race

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

The Boat Race 2013 & Bollinger

Enormous thanks to Bollinger for their very generous hospitality, and to Goat for the loan of the beautiful cream wool coat that I am wearing.

(The rest of my outfit: Black Leatherette Rocket jeans by Citizens of Humanity – from my trip to meet the CoH team in LA back in November, this navy cable knit Chinti & Parker sweater for extra warmness, and black suede Jaime Mascaro ankle boots, which I bought in Paris a few seasons ago, and which are the most comfortable boots I own.)

 

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10 comments

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Love your look! It’s simple but perfect.

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WOW LOOKS FUN, and you look stunning 🙂

http://haideeandco.blogspot.co.uk

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The Goat coat is beautiful, and I clicked on the link to you wearing the blue Chinti and Parker sweater – how gorgeous and classic with a twist. Shame they don’t sell it anymore. Did you wear your Heattech underneath?

The picture of the chap in the striped blazer is far too Bullingdon Club looking for my tastes.

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@Catherine: I think yu may find it on the Chinti website here http://www.chintiandparker.com/product/CP299N/Aran+Sweater
LLGxx

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@LLG: Thank you for the link. Is the jumper at all itchy?

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“I believe this is called the money shot”……You just cracked me up with that one. I used to row at school and was “Head of Boats” so I love this post, just a shame you didn’t get more photos of the rowers up close!!

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Lovely coat, Sasha and somehow the balloons at the light post captured so much of a chilly but celebratory English afternoon.

Oh, and yes, -haha- loved the money shot! As also not by half did I mind the big trophy/win shot, too. What’s not to like about yummy rowing boys whatever the weather? #zoominginonipad!

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Please put your bloody amazing legs away, Wilkins xxxx

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I actually think it’s a real shame that Bollinger sponser the Boat Race, and not a home-grown brand like Nyetimber. For something so quintisentially British, it’s sad that the sponsors aren’t also British.

Also, I think it’s a little sad you didn’t mention the women’s Boat Race, or distinct lack of it on the Tideway.

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@Katherine: That’ll be because a) the women’s race took place on the 24th March, and b) I was there to watch the men’s race.

To be honest that’s a bit like saying oh what a shame that *insert name of tiny British brand* isn’t sponsoring, well anything British. Of course Nyetimber aren’t going to be sponsoring it: it’s a large financial commitment. (The Boat Race itself it sponsored by an American bank.) In this fiscal climate, an event is lucky to have any sponsorship at all. In this case Bollinger was actually founded in the same year as the Boat Race so there is a clear connection. And what is British anyway? As we discussed at Crafted last week, very few brands of any size can truly be called British because of both manufacturing and investment. LLG

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