The Boat Race is taking place in Ely this year for the first time since the wartime race in 1944. Because of Covid-19 it is a closed event with no spectators but six Juniors from the Isle of Ely Rowing Club have volunteered to be one the pontoons at the start.
On Friday they spent the day helping to set up the race. Their first job was to lie on the pontoons as the umpires launch, two coaching launches and the BBC rib passed through at speed as if they were following the race.. It was a choppy ride but the pontoons held and stayed in position.
Each of the Oxford and Cambridge men’s and women’s crews were allocated time slots and were able to do some practice starts with the Juniors holding the stern of each boat in turn.
What did they find?
- It is not easy holding a smooth and slippery boat when our hands are wet and cold
- It gets easier with practice
- It makes us quite nervous to think that so many people will be watching
- We won’t ever get another chance like this
- It is really exciting to be part of such an famous event
- We can’t wait for Sunday
- We have the perfect view of the start or the race
Despite a bitterly cold day the Juniors remained positive and couldn’t stop smiling. They were a credit to the club!