Storytime : The Oxford v Cambridge boat race 2017

Hello fellow budget hunters

Today is another storytime – My last one was the most popular blog post I’d had so I thought I’d write another one/ review of what it’s like to visit the historical boat race. On Sunday 2nd April, my partner, two of his friends and I decided to head to London for the grand event. It was a lovely sunny day and we had not worn enough suncream as we would later find out. It ended up costing me the train fare to London and £4.80 on the tube – also picnic and drinks from Aldi (so probably £10 in total)

As the other three are Cambridge students, I had no choice but to support the light blues. Also as my partner was a cox for his college and I am a novice cox, we decided it would be a fun opportunity to be ‘boaties’. (Rowers can sometimes be a dreadful breed but we do love being part of the crew – visors and blazers are optional!)

The train from Cambridge to Kings Cross was entertaining and filled with a smashing picnic that we made from available food in Aldi. There can never be too many scotch eggs for an occasion like this – we also started on the ciders there.

Upon arrival and after the obligatory toilet stops (free ones at st pancras) we got the tube from Kings Cross to Putney Bridge. and eventually found some space along the wall in time for the womens race at 4.35pm. After we were breathing down some people’s necks for the first part of the race, they left and we managed to get a good view from the front! (Being a short ass is not fun in a crowd)

It turns out we could see about the first 1/3 of the course before they go around the bend and we had to track the progress online. We were lucky enough to see the Oxford number 4 catch a crab and for the team to struggle with the start, ultimately giving the race away to Cambridge.

We then watched the same thing happen with the reserve crew (although Oxford was on the Middlesex side that time) which wasn’t televised before watching another male crew warm up under the bridge – which we think was a reserve race.

Then it came down to the real race, which went off without a hitch and we saw Cambridge leading initially before Oxford taking lengths off them. From there we could no longer tell, who was ahead and we rushed to find the screen in the Park. Sadly we couldn’t find it, so sat down tried to find a feed on our phones and ate a bar of chocolate. We knew that Oxford were leading so it was a moment of comissaration.


Overall I would describe this as an experience to have once, if you are a boatie, oxbridge student or just interested but you are better off watching it at home. There is so much more to see on the TV and although the atmosphere is great – invite a bunch of pals around to make noise and wave flags, which will give you the same element. I’m glad I went, it was relatively uneventful for me and we had good company. (Apart from being too short for the carriage door to sense me – so I got stuck between two of them)


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