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 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.)
Here’s dearest Chloe, who came as my guest, looking as stylish as ever
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…
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.
Some of the guests were training their palettes for future usage.
At 430pm, the race starts Minutes later the two crews hove into sight, neck and neck.
Trailed by a small flotilla of judges, stewards, coaches, sponsors, guests and interested parties…
And all that’s left is their wake…and inside the boathouse we all switched to watching the TV screens.
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:
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.)