On the day of the annual boat race between Oxford & Cambridge University’s, gig rowers took to the Thames in the original boats, Isis and Cam, in two teams – a London Cornish Pilot Gig Club crew and a mixed CPGA Barbarians comprimising of several different rowers from other clubs.
The crews were competing for the Oxbridge Watermans challenge cup. Racing on the boat race course in wooden replicas of the original 1829 boats used in the first Oxford Cambridge boat race. The boats are built in a similar style to the Cornish pilot gigs we row today but have 8 rowers.
The Cambridge boat Cam, was crewed by a mixed crew from the London Cornish Pilot gig club.
The Oxford boat Isis was crewed by a barbarians crew selected from applications at random from CPGA gig clubs from across the south and west of England.
The day started at midday, launching the boats from University Boat Club London, near the finish of the race, and rowing to the start in a procession to Putney bridge, meeting the Glorinia before the start of the race.
London Cornish, rowing in Cam gained an excellent location at the start, positioning themselves in the middle of the river on the Middlesex side of the Thames, forcing Isis to the north bank on the unfavourable[MS1] surrey side of the river. London Cornish took an early lead off the start, pressurising the barbarians crew rowing in Isis.
Then followed a hard fought battle between the 2 crews. The Isis crew managed to edge ahead by Hammersmith bridge to take the advantage of the bend in the river. Once ahead the Isis crew managed to keep Cam at bay finishing marginally ahead in a time of 27 minutes 17 seconds, providing Oxford with the only win of the day!
CPGA Barbarians crew
Hilary Hooper – Clevedon
Sharon Hunt – Langstone
Matt Netherway – Exmouth
Zack Such – Mounts Bay
Lizzie Maunder – Tamar Tavy
Neil Wittridge – Rock
Katherine Money – Dart
Matthew Suter – Poole
Photos from Facebook courtesy of Matthew Suter, London Gig Club & Hilary Hooper