Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race

Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:31 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race

How big of a deal is the Boat Race? I am just really behind with my school work and I don't think I can spare a day to watch it live tomorrow. I was thinking of watching on TV.

Is it something I would always regret not doing in person?

Thanks.
JoeTro is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:52 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,259
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never seen it in person (or indeed on television since I was in short trousers) and have never doubted the soundness of my apathy on the matter

And given what the weather (and the flowers, and the boidies, and...) was like in Oxford this morning, in your shoes I'd regret being stuck in London tomorrow infinitely more.

But why ask us? What do your fellow-students think? Has anyone apart from the more intellectually challenged members of Oriel or SEH really taken any interest in this non-event since Bertie Wooster's day?
flanneruk is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:54 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's been so amazing the past two days in Oxford. I've been finding excuses to run errands outside.

My friends are all British and have gone often, so it isn't as much of a once-in-a-lifetime thing for them as it would be for me. They've said it's nice but not the most amazing thing they've ever done. There are a few people from college going tomorrow, so there is definitely interest here in it.

It also seems like it can be hard to get close to the water, and the race itself is pretty short. I think it's more about the atmosphere.
JoeTro is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:42 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,259
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you been to the Varsity Match? (for other readers' benefit, that's the name still given to the annual Oxford-Cambridge rugby match) If so, you'll realise "atmosphere" at sports occasions involving our ancient universities isn't quite what happens at their North American equivalents.

If you've not, it might be worth going on anthropological grounds.

For rather complicated reasons, I got involved in Homecoming activities on the Berkeley campus last autumn, and these included watching the cavortings before the "football" match, as well as listening to the Gubernator's incoherent ramblings about it during a purportedly serious, broadcast, political debate later in the evening.

While ghastly (and in the case of Rambo's burbling, simply defying parody), they were almost the highlight of the trip: something I'd have paid real money to steer clear of under normal circumstances, but an extraordinary insight into an aspect of American life that's the polar opposite of its UK equivalent.

I very much doubt the Boat Race has much going as spectacle: unless you're in the accompanying boats, you can't see very much, and - except round Mortlake - you'll be away from the result anyway (the race doesn't last long, but the course is easily long enough to make visibility impossible).

But, as you've surely discovered by now, Oxonians really can't give the proverbial about their university's sporting activities. This isn't affectation or stiff upper lip: they simply aren't interested. Comparing the live (though you'd scarcely believe it)audience at the Boat Race with whatever you're used to at your American alma mater will be an experience.

But I suspect you'll get the same experience watching it on the box in your college JCR or MCR. And you can use the time you've saved to see if the fritillaries are out yet in Magdalen Fellow's Garden.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Absolutely. Rowing is not very interesting to watch at the best of times, unless you have some sort of emotional involvement with one or another competitor.

The Boat Race is even less interesting than most because the nature of the conditions and tactics tends to mean that once a crew is ahead it stays ahead, and it turns into a procession of two.

If you're trying to watch it from the riverside, you will at best catch about a ten second glimpse as they go past, followed by the diverting spectacle of all the people down near the edge trying to get away from the wash of the following launches.

I was brought up in Putney near the start, and we would occasionally go to try to see the start and rush home to catch the end of it on TV. That soon palled, for the reason above, but at least it takes no more than 20+ minutes out of your day.

Atmosphere is highly subjective, but I don't enjoy milling around in a crowd of people who don't quite know why they're there, but think they ought to be because it's an event. If you're having a good time with a bunch of mates it can be spoilt by the crush to get into a decent pub.

I would have said, for both atmosphere and spectacle, try the Head of the River, but that would have been last Saturday, if it hadn't had to be cancelled anyway because of the wind.

I really don't think you would regret missing it at all.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2007, 06:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,502
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's probably not a good idea to try pinching a policeman's helmet these days, either. ;-)

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2007, 02:45 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live quite close to Putney and Boat Race day is one of our seasonal nightmares (along with the rugby tossers). You can't move for MPS yahoos.

It is a big day out for lots of people who use it as an excuse to spend the day in the pub by the river. I'm not sure how much they care about the rowing - it's a social event.

In any case my local has morris dancing on that day - so I'll be going to that.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2007, 03:22 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,056
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't even be bothered to watch it on TV. As they have said, it's just a hoorah henry social event.
nona1 is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2007, 09:55 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Goodness. Spurs AND morris dancing. Glutton for punishment, aren't you? (Not the Castle, by any chance?)
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2007, 11:22 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well I can now say I'm glad I missed it, since That Other Place won.
JoeTro is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2007, 08:55 PM
  #11  
mjs
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Best school wins!
mjs is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2007, 01:05 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ahem!

there were no "schools" participating
sheila is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2007, 03:03 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Goodness. Spurs AND morris dancing. Glutton for punishment, aren't you? (Not the Castle, by any chance?)>>>>

You're showing your age old chap - the Castle is now yuppie flats and has been for ages. The pub is the Bricklayers.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2007, 01:43 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well it is quite a long time since I left Putney. Glad to hear the Brick is still going, though Trixie must by now be hogging the seat nearest the fire in a much happier place....
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2007, 03:12 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,057
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Brick was closed for years - but it's back now and it's a free house, and by far the best pub in Putney.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
MDLinDC
Europe
12
Oct 7th, 2007 08:36 AM
annesherrod
United States
7
Jul 15th, 2007 07:32 PM
cosmos
Europe
7
Jan 15th, 2006 11:44 PM
Arista
Europe
4
Nov 7th, 2004 11:22 AM
mrsgo
Europe
5
Jun 20th, 2004 10:06 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:11 PM.