The Boat Race 2017
On April 2nd 2017 it was the 163rd Boat race and the 72nd Women's boat race between Oxford and Cambridge and I was lucky enough to be watching it live from the banks of the Thames.
It was a beautiful spring day and perfect conditions with calm waters on the Tideway.
I had been working with the Women's Boat Club providing Sports Massage and Soft Tissue Therapy and now I would get to see them in action, doing what they had trained to do for the best part of 8 months. This meant training 2 and sometimes 3 times a day 6 days a week through the dark, cold winter months.
There were 2 teams rowing for each of the clubs but only the Blue Boats were televised. Osiris, Oxford's reserve boat, would be racing Cambridge's reserves 20 minutes after the start of the Blue Boat Race.
The Blue Boat coin toss
The blue boat lost the coin toss and Cambridge chose to start on the Surrey side of the river, potentially giving them the advantage.
Osiris Coin Toss
Unfortunately for the Blue Boat, they didn't have the best start, catching a crab on the start line. This didn't leave them much of a chance to catch up with a very strong Cambridge Blue Boat and they eventually lost, with Cambridge setting a new course record.
Although it would have been easy to feel that all was lost after the poor start, Oxford's Blue Boat persisted and fought the whole way. To use the 4 seat, Rebecca Esselstein's words: 'There was never any sense of panic or frantic aggression, just the poise and composure we've come to expect from ourselves as a crew.'
A cruel twist of fate saw exactly the same thing happen to Osiris, helping Cambridge to make it 2 out of 2 wins in the Women's races.
I was incredibly proud of the girls and their determination and commitment to the whole process. The outcome is no reflection to the effort put in over all those gruelling training sessions and early mornings on top of their required studies.
They made me feel very welcome and a part of the team, I had a great day, despite the heart-breaking outcome and have enjoyed my time with them this season.
Minibus selfie taken by the captain, Harriet Austin.
Group photo with the Blue Boat Crew at the house