This year’s Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge race will go down in Barbers Cutter history as one of the worst in terms of rowing conditions. After a very pleasant row to the start line close to Hammersmith Bridge we turned west for the ‘precession’ (only the Oxbridge boats are allowed to race on Boat Race day) back to Chiswick. Minutes into the ‘race’, there was a flash of lightning (setting a tree alight) and a loud clap of thunder, followed by torrential rain that soon became large hail stones, hitting our bodies with the force of catapults.
Despite this, the Cutter Crew, along with seven other boats battled through to the end against the wind, ending with four rather warm oarsmen, but with a cox and passenger close to hypothermia.
Similar to the Diamond Jubilee precession, it will go down in the annals of cutter history and not be forgotten in a hurry. What an Easter!