Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Friday, April 6, 2012

Getting Ready For The 158th Boat Race

On the left, the Dark Blues’ coach Sean Bowden, president Karl Hudspith, and cox Zoe De Toledo met the ladies and gentlemen of the press during an Oxford media conference at Thames RC. In the middle of the photograph, sport journalist Martin Gough, and on the right, Rachel Quarrell and Chris Dodd of the Rowing Voice, where now also Gough contributes. Up on the wall is Hugh R. Riviere’s famous 'In the Golden Days'.

On Saturday, it is time for the 158th Boat Race. HTBS’s reporters Hélène Rémond and Tim Koch are getting ready for the race. Hélène writes about the crews' outings yesterday, that she had a little difficulties getting used to the temperature along the Thames, coming from “the summer weather we’ve had in Brittany”.

Junior rowers can take rowing courses during Easter the poster tells us. In the background the Goldie oarsmen are getting ready for an outing.

Hélène was welcomed to the Media Centre, located at Thames Rowing Club, by media staff Liz Box, who coxed Cambridge last year. Hélène first witnessed the Goldie crew take to the water, and then the Oxford boat. The Dark Blues are the favourites this year amongst the bookmakers in London. The Oxford oarsmen being the favourites, “I couldn’t miss their outing at 11:30”, she writes, and she continues, “Zoe De Toledo, the Oxford cox, was happy to pose for me, and I managed to shot some pictures of Roel Haen, too”.

Thames RC is a busy club, not only was their boat house acting as media centre for the journalists covering the Boat Race, a wedding party also showed up. The contrast could not have been larger between the elegantly dressed wedding guests and the scruffy oarsmen.

At the Oxford press conference, Coach Sean Bowden, President Karl Hudspith, and Zoe De Toledo answered the questions from the press. Karl said that he, ahead of the Boat Race, was inspired by Mike Tyson, which was also mentioned in an interview by a journalist from the Associated Press. And Martin Gough posted on Twitter: “Sean Bowden said this year’s crew compares well with 2011 version who won by 4 lengths”.

That being said, Zoe told the gathered journalists that “there are still things to work on with the pressure to perform well”. Zoe is a motivator, sometimes a mother, a timekeeper, a person who steers and is making sure the boat is safe”. As a cox, Zoe said, she needs to “make good decisions, have a clear head, and stay calm even under pressure”.

Below: An outing for Oxford.

Follow the Boat Race on the following Twitter accounts:







We will hear more from Hélène and Tim tomorrow - A bientôt!

(Photographs/copyright: Hélène Rémond)

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