Boat Race weekend

It’s Boat Race weekend!

April 11th marked an historic event. The women’s Oxford vs Cambridge boat race held on the same course and day as the men’s. Both races were a fine spectacle marking a British tradition which inspired a poem which features in our new book, The Very Great Britain in Poetry.

Feel the ambience at the riverside...
Feel the ambiance at the riverside…

Cox and Rowers

An annual spectacle of tradition and pace

Honed athletes in tune with rich poise and grace.

After Goldie v Isis, the main event’s on

Oxford and Cambridge: colours they don.

The mother of all boat races, heritage rich

Get there early for front line, and line up your pitch.

Since 1829 when this fine race panned out

A gold sovereign is tossed for commencement and clout.

Which side of the river for teams in the zone?

This coin’s filled with passion, each mind on its own.

Secure in the moment, a blood rush which smarts

They’re off with precision; each coxswain imparts.

Suppressing the nerves, they position their eights

And vy for best water, whilst crowd’s breath abates.

Instructions, fine tuning, keeping in time

Muscles holding the line, pure poetry in rhyme.

On Putney embankment strong words are the cry

From spectators on towpath as boats pass them by.

Then drama ensues with the umpires launch

“Watch out for the waves now…they’ll cover your haunch!”

On north bank the winning cox dunking takes place

Respectful, the smile firmly stays on his face.

Resplendent, the glory of taking the cup

Another race over…we’ve champagne to sup.

Anita Williams

One Reply to “Boat Race weekend”

  1. What a fantastic British tradition the Oxford vs Cambridge Boat race is!
    Just one of many traditions featured in our latest poetry collection. 🙂