Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Boat Races - and Wellington Boots

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Tillerwoman and I were able to watch the Boat Races today on American TV only about 6 or 7 hours after they actually happened. They were shown on the Universal Channel which, according to Wikipedia is "a television channel specializing in movies and television series in the thriller, drama, comedy, horror, crime and investigation genres."

I am not sure which of these genres the Boat Races are classified in, but they are certainly a "series" as the men's University Boat Race has been held 161 times going back to 1829. A bit older than the America's Cup you should note.

What is even more amazing is that my own alma mater, Cambridge University, has qualified for the boat race finals in every one of the 161 times it has been held. A bit better than the New England Patriots record in making the Superb Owl you should note.

Anyway, the program on the Universal channel - in line with its reputation for horror series - first of all showed the plucky ladies from Cambridge almost sinking on their way to a honorable second place in their race.

And then on to the men's race featuring Cambridge and some other dudes.

I must admit both Tillerwoman and I very much admired those fetching Wellington boots that the Cambridge men wore when launching their boat, and again while spraying each other with champagne at the awards ceremony. I can just see me wearing some boots like this when launching my RS Aero at Massapoag Yacht Club.

Apparently "The Official Men's Cambridge Boat Race Boots" can be bought for only £100 at this website but it doesn't say if they deliver to the USA or if £100 is the price for one boot, or a pair.

I did point out to Tillerwoman that I would look even more fetching if I had a pair of those matching pale green tights worn by a couple of the Cambridge men in the photo at the top of this post. Not to mention that they would be very convenient for protecting my sensitive parts from the very rough anti-skid on the RS Aero. Tillerwoman didn't seem to share my enthusiasm for this option.

Anyway, be that as it may, Cambridge beat the other dudes... making it a very happy Easter.

For anyone interested in my own Cambridge rowing career, check out My Rowing Career.


O Docker said...

I think that clothing - both the trousers and the boots - explains why these races are rowed by crews of eight. If individual crew members wandered into a pub dressed like that, they could be in for a rough time of it. And two crew members dressed like that, wandering into a pub together, could be in for an even rougher time of it.

I can see how a minimum of eight crew members dressed like that might be required to spend an evening in a pub and emerge safely.

Patrick Hay said...

This used to be a race between the Dark Blues amd the Light Blues. This year Cambridge sent a team of ringers wearing pale green, I feel disqualification is in order, since it's clearly not a genuine Cambridge crew.

Up the Dark Blues!

Tillerman said...

Hmmm. That's a bit extreme Patrick. But I am glad you pointed it out because I did fear that I was going color blind. Those togs look pale green to me too. When did Cambridge decide that they were really Pale Greens and not Light Blues? Further research is indicated.

Tillerman said...

O Docker, you may be right. But training for the Boat Race is so intense that those fellows in the fetching pale green tights and matching wellington boots don't have the time for anything so normal as going to the pub. Just as well really.

Tillerman said...

I see that there is a lot of anger in the twittersphere today about how the BBC trivialized their coverage of the Boat Races by including some interviews with a comedian called Sean Walsh.

"Abysmal" and "Throw him in the river" and "What a cox" were some of the kinder comments.

As of now, there doesn't appear to be a wave of righteous indignation from the British upper classes about Tillerman's trivilaizing of the Boat Races.

I was thinking that the TV coverage on the Universal channel would have been improved by some commentary from that Irish fellow who covered the Laser Radials at the 2012 Olympics.

JP said...

I feel you have a public duty to buy some of those light blue Cambridge wellies and show how multi-function they are by wearing them while sailing an Aero.

For Blighty and Cambridge.

However I'd also suggest that for the public good there is no need to emulate the rest of the outfit. Seriously, please don't.

Tillerman said...

Thanks for the advice JP. But I think I will go for the pale green wellies and tight black shorts look. I do have amazingly handsome knees and I think the world deserves to see more of them.

JP said...

I feel we should listen carefully to what Tillerwoman has to say on that subject

O Docker said...

I would hardly characterize your coverage of this event as 'trivializing' it.

Already, especially here in the comments, some serious journalism is being done by Proper Course. In no other media reports do I see mention of the significant 'greening' of the Cambridge blue.

Left unreported, such changes can have lasting effects on social and cultural institutions, the long-term impact of which is often not noticed until too late.

I noticed this same greening when I witnessed the Boat Race in 2013, but attributed it to the fact that I spell 'colour' without the 'u' and might thus perceive blue differently than British people.

But it could be that both you and I see green where younger people see blue, as our age has left us both with a more jaundiced view of the world.

In any event, please take JP's advice about your wardrobe.

Tillerman said...

I have done some research on the greening of the blues and plan another blog post on the topic soon. I do feel that this an important sociological and medical issue as there is a danger that generations of Cambridge students will have their vision damaged while at university and will have to spend their whole lives thereafter suffering from green/blue colorblindness.

And I always listen very carefully to Tillerwoman. But these days I don't always remember what she said.

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