Saturday, 11 April 2015
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race - Medal Winners & Makers
In a rapidly churning world it is nice to have recognisable signposts up ahead to help us get our bearings. The English social season can help us maintain a familiar course each year. This weekend we have the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and the Grand National. I think they coincided last year too. Was this always the case?
If you ask me — though I wouldn't, as I know nothing about rowing — I have a good feeling about outsiders Cambridge this year; but you need to paddle hard, lads (inspiring motivational talk in case they read this before the event).
In which case, the Cambridge crew would be quite within their rights to swank around in 'full blue' blazers, like the ones supplied by Ryder & Amies (Cambridge University Outfitters since 1864). If they lose, they may wish to throw their blazers in the Thames in abject frustration. It's their call.
The photo above is from a promotion of Henley Regatta last year, and features Canadian Geoff Roth from Cambridge Boat Club swathed in the famous light blue.
Meet Their Sponsors
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race — a tradition started in 1829 — has been sponsored since 1976. Logos are not allowed on the boats, and until recently weren't displayed on the crew's kits during the race itself. The name is sponsored though. We're meant to call it the BNY Mellon Boat Race at the moment, which some may think goes against the Corinthian spirit of the competition a tad. I imagine most others would consider this an acceptable sacrifice to ensure the continuation of the race and its popularity. Note that for the first time this year the women's boat clubs from each university will also compete on the same course. Like all the best traditions, it evolves yet stays the same.
Look out for the fine-looking medals (below) when they're being slung around the rower's necks; and consider their manufacture by Royal Warrant-holders Thomas Fattorini Ltd (1827), a family-run gold and silversmiths — now in its sixth-generation — based in Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter.
(Idle thought: Tweed Pig lapel badges so that we can recognise each other in pubs and at racecourses.)
Hackett is one of the official partners of the race and they hedge their support with an all-encompassing split polo shirt (bottom).