Images from Tideway Week

How they train for the Great Boat Race – 1910.

In the week preceding the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race, the crews, coaches and support staff move to residences near Putney to train daily over the course. By this stage of their training, the hard work is done and the work is light and technical. It is an opportunity for the coxswains especially to hone their knowledge of the course. It is also during this week that the rowing and non-rowing press start to write about the race and all concerned get very used to having their photograph taken at every opportunity. In these days of sponsorship and PR, the coaches reluctantly but dutifully attempt to answer questions (though without actually saying anything beyond that they are well prepared and confident). A report on the Friday Press Conference is on the Boat Race website.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Putney Embankment 2014.

Putney Embankment 1882, the Hanlan – Trickett race.

Mr. Trapmore coaching Cambridge, 2014.

Mr. Muttlebury coaching Cambridge, 1892.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, 2014.

Gentlemen of the press, 1880.

Practice at Putney, 2014.

Practice at Putney, 1877.

Images of Oxford.

Oxford are based at the Westminster School Boathouse (with ‘JH Clasper’ on the gable end). They are flying their dark blue flag while next door, Crabtree (Cambridge alumni) flies the light blue of Cambridge and the gold of Goldie.

Coach Sean Bowden gives good advice passing Barn Elms.

Passing Harrods.

Approaching Hammersmith Pier.

Nearly home. Approaching Putney Bridge.

Capturing Cambridge.

Hammersmith Bridge

Nearing Harrods.

Near Barn Elms.

Helge Gruetjen (5) and Matthew Jackson (6).

A last burst before going in.

The view from the Media Centre (aka Thames Rowing Club).

Caught from the balcony of Thames RC – the ‘Spare Men’s Race’. In my recent report on the Henley Boat Races, I said that there were nine Oxford – Cambridge Boat Races (vets and men’s and women’s Blue boats, reserves, lightweights and Head of the River crews). I forgot this event – which makes it ten. The veteran women will be the next addition I suppose.

The Cambridge Press Conference.

The 2014 Umpire, Richard Phelps, in front of a picture of his grandfather, Dick Phelps, who won Doggett’s in 1923.


  1. Jonny, As Tim has been busy following some boat race down the Thames from the comfort of one of the press launches I thought I would reply to your interesting question.

    “In match races each sculler was followed by a pilot barge [usually rowed by eight oarsmen with a passenger in the bow] from the bow of which some friend urged him on and at the same time intimidated the opponent; it was win at any cost.”

    This is from the 'Friends of Rowing History' website which you will find at this link:

    The pilots also helped the 'pros' steer a good course and perhaps after yesterday, it's time to think about them been introduced to the Boat Race!

  2. Dear Jonny and Greg ~ while you will find 10 (!) people in the eights in the image above (1 cox, 8 oarsmen, 1 pilot), I am wondering if this is actually correct. How would you fit 10 grown-up men in a shell, unless it really was a barge? On HTBS, on 3 September, 2010, I have posted a photograph from the 1898 Wingfields with a cox, seven oarsmen and the pilot in the bow seat facing forward. This photo will give you a good idea how it looked. Take a look here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.