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The Boat Race!

Our trip to London on Saturday was fun, minus the extreme wind all day and torrential downpour in the afternoon. We rode on the famous “London Eye,” which was fun but I’m not sure worth the $30/person or hour-long line. We wanted to take in a show, but most matinées started at 3:00, which was too late to see the race. What a shame because we could have gotten half-price tickets to see Chicago, Cabaret, or Les Miserables. Instead we took another tour of Kensington (not nearly as pretty in the rain), mostly because we knew there was food and potentially less of a crowd, and we were hungry, wet, and freezing. Then we took the tube to Putney Bridge, where the start line of the boat race is located. Turns out this is definitely the place to watch the race if you plan on getting obscenely drunk and obnoxious. After fighting a huge crowd, we finally realized there were much fewer people (and more calm) on the other side of the river, so we made our way across the bridge. After another hour of standing around in the cold and rain, the race finally began. Although we could only see the first 30 seconds, it was very exciting! I was impressed with how quickly the boats lined up at the stakes given the weather. And the size of these men–woah Nelly. Not the kind of people you could piss off and live to tell the tale. It was great to be part of a crowd this enthusiastic about the sport so dear to our hearts, not to mention that it’s usually completely ignored by everyone around us! After the race, we went home to watch the tape we had made. They had live coverage on one of our main TV stations, which included an hour of pre-race back story and speculation–the first ever sportscast I’ve been engrossed in. If you haven’t heard yet, Oxford won by at least 5 lengths of open water! You can see results and video here:
This weekend is our big trip to Paris, and I can’t wait. I’m praying they have better weather–I don’t care if it’s low 50’s as long as the incessant wind is gone. We’ll be gone Saturday to Tuesday, and I promise to have the full story and pictures upon return.