Oxonian Rhapsody: Magnifico-o-o-o-o

Looking like the famous opening shot of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” video, “Track”, the crew that won the intra-OUBC Trial Race at Ely on 19 December, are perhaps wondering ‘Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy?’ Picture: Row360.

13 January 2021

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch is Queen for a day.

The new OUBC YouTube channel is now live and has posted the 2020 Trial Eights Race drone coverage. It was a great contest and the video also tells us a lot about the bouncy conditions that can be encountered on the Ely stretch. It looks like the railway (left) side is the better station and I imagine that it will be the choice of whoever wins the toss. I was surprised that the centre line was so strongly fought for as the stream is relatively slight on the Ouse. If you want to watch the race before looking at my screenshot spoilers below, click here for the 15-minute video.

On the start. “Track” is on the left in blue and “Trace” is on the right in white.

Track: So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
Trace: So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

4m 35s: “Trace” soon took the lead, but “Track” maintained both composure and overlap.

Track: Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.

8m 50s: “Trace” crabs but perhaps not due to a clash? At this point, “Track”, who had been slowly moving up, put in a push and took control of the race.

Trace: Mama, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.

9m 20s: The crews draw level, but “Track” is moving away.

Track: Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

14m 10s: “Track” finish two lengths up.

Track: Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine,
Body’s aching all the time….

Sean Bowden (pictured in 2018).

Sean Bowden, OUBC Chief Coach, said, ‘(We) saw an interesting battle develop with “Track” coming through in the second half benefitting from some good efficiency and better skill in the rough water. “Trace” lost ground too quickly as they struggled to deal with the bouncy water and fatigue….’

Sean to Trace: Didn’t mean to make you cry…

Crew names for Track are here and for Trace are here. Of course, some members of the losing crew will still probably be included in the final selection.

Sadly, and more seriously, the pachyderm in the boathouse is, will the 2021 Boat Race actually take place? England is under strict ‘Tier 4’ restrictions, the numbers infected are increasing and there is every chance of stricter measures on movement coming into place. This is with less than 12 weeks to go.

Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, written by Freddie Mercury.

One comment

  1. I find it difficult to see why two coxes on a straight course have to clash. Over 66 years ago when I was taught to cox on the tideway I was told that you should try to get your crew the best possible water but most important a good clear run. I still cox now (virus allowing) ans still try to follow that rule. Stay safe. Jimmy Pigden KRC/AKRC.

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