Saturday morning was spent watching some 420 crews row down the River Thames from Mortlake to Putney. Because it was easy to get to from our hosts (Thank you, Rob and Sue), we stood in the middle of Putney Bridge to watch the crew finish. Our pleasure at the spectacle - the crews start at 10 second intervals, so there is some overtaking - was enhanced by the weather which was very pleasant.
Once crew no. 385 (St Aidan's College, Durham II - coxed by no. 2 son, Thomas) had finished, we walked along the embankment on the Surrey side past all the boathouses. London Rowing Club, Westminster School, and the various others to sample the atmosphere. It was brilliant. The various crews and their teams created the most hospitable chaos. The boats were being derigged and loaded onto trailers, trestles were put out for the boats to rest on, oars were gathered up and loaded into trailers, post mortems were undertaken, pints of ale were supped, beefburgers were consumed, girlfriends were regaled with the triumphs or disasters of the 20 minutes of intense physical activity, and, best of all, everyone looked happy.
Thanks Thomas, for an opportunity to enjoy the best Saturday morning I've had for absolutely ages. Please enter again next year.
One other discovery that impressed us was the volume of noise that my daughter can make when she shouts her support. The St Aidan's College, Durham 2nd eight looked somewhat surprised by the shout of support as they prepared to paddle back.....
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