A stiff breeze runs down the path of the tidal Thames where in just under 3 hours the annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge will take place, this year being the 160th event since its inception in 1829. Cambridge have won this race 81 times to Oxfords 77 with one race declared a draw. The race is set on the Championship Course, a 4 mile, 374 yard stretch of the Thames from Putney to Chswick Bridge. On a few occasions the race has be rowed the opposite way.
Living on the river between Hammersmith Bridge and Barnes Bridge our annual pilgrimage to the Surrey side to watch the sweat and sinew of the two crews as they pull hard and full strokes as they start to round the bend under Barnes Bridge past the Bulls Head and White Hart and onwards to finish line at Mortlake.
The previous year was marred by the intrusion of a protester in the water near Chiswick Quay, hopefully this year the race will be incident free, however incidents are par for the course with this event where a clashing of oars or a sinking boat is not unheard of.
At low tide yesterday I walked down onto the foreshore a took in the view both ways where later today a flotilla of vessels will proceed with pace behind the rowers. A couple of years ago I witnessed sea trout breaking the water in a bid to get out if the way of the mass of hulls in pursuit.
Which of these teams will lift the BY Mellon Trophy later, on previous form the light blues were favourite but having seen both team in action over the last week I think the dark blues may set the pace.
On the point of trophies, I found at a table sale yesterday a fishing trophy won by C.S.T. Smith 1953-1954 titled the B.A.S. K.O. Comp. it would be interesting to know who this person was and what B.A.S stood for.