The second day of Tideway week dawned bright and blue; the glorious weather that the crews had enjoyed yesterday was here for day 2.
Indeed, temperatures reached a positively tropical 16 degrees while the distinct lack of wind and rain created ideal conditions for pre-race outings.
All four crews were in action, with the Oxford Men’s Blue Boat kicking off proceedings at the sprightly time of 8:55am. James O’Connor was once again deemed unfit to row so James Mountain took his place for the outings. Both Cambridge Blue boats shortly followed suit and all three crews rowed up towards Hammersmith Bridge, disappearing around the little elbow that slides out from Craven Cottage.
The Oxford University Women’s Blue Boat was accompanied by the press launch for their 9:45am outing. The session consisted of a paddle to just past Wandsworth Bridge and back, a row which was filmed by CBS News for their piece on fellow American and the stroke of the Oxford crew, Caryn Davies.
In the afternoon, the crews were not accompanied by any official press, meaning the focus was solely on maximising the potential gains from training. The Oxford Men’s Blue Boat came past the Putney boathouses practising race pace bursts and starts while Cambridge looped the Championship Course.
Although the hot weather is a spectacle to be admired, the crews will not be allowing it to act as a distraction amid the hustle and bustle of the Putney Embankment. Every stroke taken in training, every metre covered in the carefully devised sessions is a step closer to Saturday and The BNY Mellon Boat Races. For all the athletes involved, this is their most important races of the year. For many, it is one of the most important of their lives.