Monday, 9 April 2012

The Oxbridge Boat Race

Hey guys!

Hope you are having a lovely Easter. Thought I'd share with you one of the things I got up to this weekend: watching the Oxbridge Boat Race! Although I couldn't be there in person this year, I watched it on TV and let me just say that this year has to be the most dramatic one that has happened in recent history~

Song of the day: Mama by EXO-M (eeeeee!!)

But first, a little background information about this event. For those of you that don't know about it, the Boat Race is a rowing race between the varsity teams of Oxford and Cambridge University. It occurs once a year on the river Thames in London, on the last Saturday of March or the first Saturday of April and has been going on since 1829 (wowww!).

Source here!

Members of the teams are known as 'blues', with Oxford being the dark blues and Cambridge sporting light blues. You can also earn a 'blue' by being on the varsity team of other sports at either unis. Oh, what I'd give to earn a blue!

Have a look on the Wikipedia page or the official page for bits of trivia and lore about the race, such as how it first started, accounts of mutinies and incidences of when the boats sank. One of the recent mutinies got made into a movie, but I hear from a friend that it's not very good. However, if it's like the Lifetime movie adaptation of the Royal Wedding, then it'll be so bad that it's fantastic... :D

This is a map of the race:

Credit here for the image!

Now, this year, Cambridge's boat were heavier than Oxford's by about 8 stone, so they were relying on brute power whilst Oxford were going for co-ordination and speed. The bookies placed Oxford as the favourites to win, and it really looked like they were going to pull ahead seven minutes in when all of a sudden, the boats stopped:

Because there was a guy swimming in the river... :|

It gets worse. Turns out he was intentionally there to block the boats ~ here is his manifesto. As someone from Facebook says, "I like the part where he implies the boat race causes genocide and transatlantic slavery" ... :|

This made me quite upset and angry because in his manifesto, Trenton Oldfield makes a sweeping statement about elitism and denounces Cambridge, Oxford, St. Paul's and a whole other number of institutions for being 'elitist'. After reading up his background, I found that he was privately educated, a graduate of LSE, and a member of the RSA (which, whilst open to everyone, would not be accessible to members of society who cannot afford the membership fees) ...he seems to embody the very thing he is "fighting" against, making him a complete hypocrite. Someone pointed out to me that I myself was being hypocritical to make judgments about him, but there is enough evidence out there for my judgment to be justified whilst he makes the assumption that everyone who attends what he classes as elitist institutions comes from an elitist background and is therefore elitist. To me, this is just blind sighted and utterly prejudiced.

If he really wanted to, he could have googled the facts and figures and seen the stats himself. It's just plain offensive to everyone who actually worked hard to get to where they are ~ I for one don't come from a privileged background and worked hard to get my grades. And if he felt so strongly about a political issue, he really should have taken it to a political platform...rather than cause a national disturbance and put himself and twenty other people in danger...hardly a peaceful protest. I will be very surprised if he gets taken seriously in the future.

Finally, he just comes across as a bit of a <insert profanity of choice>  in that manifesto.

</end rant>

After this disturbance, the boats restarted the race, but Oxford got too close to Cambridge and there was a collision:

Oxford lost an oar, and that was effectively the race over since without an oar, they were one man down. Cambridge cruised to their victory, but you had to give Oxford credit for finishing the race. In fact, their bowman overworked himself in order to try to make up for their loss that he collapsed at the end of the race and was unnoticed for about four or five minutes before he was attended to and taken to hospital... :|

It was pretty upsetting to see, and even though I supported the light blues, I felt really hollow about the victory. All in all, a dramatic day, and something of a distraction from revision~

Hope you guys had a good weekend! :)

Yishi xxx

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