The ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ trophy for the Men’s Lightweight Boat Race perhaps symbolises the freedom that we have temporarily given up in recent months.

19 May 2020

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch reminisces about the good old days (two months ago).

The BBC news website recently noted that ‘What was ordinary just a couple of months ago seems almost unrecognisable’. This may not be breaking news, but the article also asked people to post the last ‘normal’ photo that they took with the hashtag #lastnormalphoto.

The last normal scenes that I captured with my camera were outside Fulham Reach Boat Club, Hammersmith, and at the Oxford – Cambridge Men’s and Women’s Lightweight Boat Races over the Putney to Mortlake course, both on 15 March. At the time, all the actives pictured were in line with government guidelines.

A group going rowing from the Fulham Reach pontoon.
Then, a promise of things to come.
Before the start of the Women’s Lightweight Boat Race. As the crew had no doubt been regularly bathed in each other’s sweat during training over the last year, one ‘high five’ probably did not matter.
During the women’s race, strict social distancing was observed. For the first half, Cambridge stayed away from Oxford, then during the second half, they thoughtfully exchanged places.
Strange to us now, but at the prize giving at London Rowing Club, a lot of people stood closely together in one room. Perhaps they were all members of the same student household?

One comment

  1. Keep going, Tim, keeping us interested and entertained throughout! Where do you get all your historical info from? Best – Paul

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