Day three saw media interest in The BNY Mellon Boat Races notch up another level as television crew from as far afield as China and New Zealand descended on Putney.
The atmosphere on the river is beginning to change as Saturday draws ever closer; the outings are shorter and preparations are in full swing.
The crews were greeted by another spectacular skyline this morning above a flat and docile River Thames. The Cambridge University Women’s Blue Boat was tailed by the press launch on their outing- they paddled up to just past Chiswick Eyot before turning and heading back under Hammersmith Bridge to practice the start sequence. Tension ensued as the Oxford Women’s Blue Boat passed in the other direction but both crews appeared unperturbed by the proximity of their opposition. That’s as close as the two might come to each other before lining up to race on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Men’s squads boated later in the day. Cambridge came blasting past the Putney boathouses at high rate while Oxford went back to basics, performing a number of technical exercises mid-afternoon. Oxford were once again without James O’Connor today, who remains sidelined with an illness. As has been the case since Monday, James Mountain sat in the two seat of the Blue Boat.
Twitter was buzzing with Boat Race related activity today as sponsors and broadcasters begin to turn their attention to the racing. The RNLI will be laying the stake-boat moorings below Putney Bridge tomorrow while Tatler have published a bespoke guide to Saturday’s racing on their website.
Hosted at Thames Rowing Club, the BT Media Centre has seen a few familiar faces pass through its doors over the past few days. Boris Rankov and Simon Harris, who will be umpiring the Men’s and Women’s races respectively, have taken the coxes out in launches to steer the course while commentary legends Barry Davies and Jonathan Legard were snapped eating lunch together this afternoon by Rachel Quarrel. It’s an exciting time to be in Putney this week!