At approximately 4.30pm tomorrow two sets of eight will compete in the annual Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, sponsored by BNY Mellon. Starting at Putney they will compete against each other until they drop down just past Chiswick Bridge.
I have watched the light and dark blues over the last few weeks practicing as they pull their strokes past The Terrace in Barnes and up past the turn in the river by the famous White Hart pub that majestically overlooks the river with view down to Barnes Bridge and up to the old Stag Brewery.
Yesterday I witnessed one of the highest Spring Tides, it was so high it came up through the storm drains and flooded the road in Barnes at the start of the High Street and under Barnes Bridge, had the wall not been there along the Terrace then most of the riverside properties would have been flooded.
Last year the race was halted when an imposter swam out into the path of the boats. Hopefully this year the race will run its course without any interruption. The Marines have been drafted in to guard the river this year and at high tide today a flotilla of dark ribs cut through the tope coloured water.
Over the last few years the race has been run under leaden grey clouds and this year looks to be no exception. Just after 4.50pm today the heavens opened with a barrage of fine hail to give the garden shed roof a dusting of white.
Having lived for a good part of my life in Buckinghamshire and then Oxon I will be supporting the dark blues, though having said that, if the sky could show some light blue I’m sure that would raise a cheer.