4 March 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
At the first race on 30 March 1912, in terrible weather, both crews got waterlogged, the Light Blues by Harrods and the Dark Blues at Chiswick Reach. Oxford managed however to get into shore to empty out the water from their boat. After the crew had taken a couple of strokes to continue on their way to Mortlake, the launch with umpire Fred Pitman showed up. Pitman told them that he had called off the race due to the weather conditions, which upset the Oxford crew as they were still afloat. When Bob Bourne, who was rowing his fourth race against Cambridge, picked up his oar again, Pitman barked at Oxford that he had postponed the race, whereupon Bourne said: “We are going to Mortlake ……. because there’s where we have our clothes”.
On 1 April, at the re-row, where the above photograph probably was taken, Bourne stroked his crew to a comfortable victory, at 22 min. 5 sec., six lengths ahead of Cambridge.