So there haven’t been a huge amount of posts recently and this is the main reason, I have been doing a lot of rowing. A couple of weeks ago I raced for my colleges first boat in Summer Eights. In this competition all the boats line up equally spaced along the river, a cannon fires and the race begins. The aim is to try and physically hit the boat in front of you whilst avoid being hit by the boat chasing you. If you manage to ‘bump’ the boat in front of you, without being bumped first, on the next day you get to start from their position on the river, one place higher than where you started the day before.
In addition to the bumping the goal of the competition is to make your way to the ‘Head of the River’ where you have no one else left to bump. However this is not possible for the vast majority of crews as they start too far down and therefore many crews aim for the target of winning their oar (or blade). Blades are achieved by bumping at every available opportunity and it is a highly decorated achievement. Blades were last won by my college first boat in Summer Eights in 1998. However the hundreds of hours we put in to training as a crew paid off this year and we managed to win blades.
The races run from Wednesday to Saturday and attract over 20,000 spectators on the final day of racing. It is a very unique way of racing and competing in a sport and one that is great to participate in. As you can see by my elation in the above photo (even in hail) it is even better competition to win. The many hours of training with those 8 other guys will stick with me for years. You just can’t beat the feeling of hard work paying off. This is without doubt the best team I have ever been apart of and I am glad we ended our time together winning.