One of the sporting highlights of the Oxford calendar has always been the annual Boat Race. Not only because it is one of the oldest and most traditional rowing races in the world, but also because many of us Oxford boaties spent countless hours on the Isis trying our luck to win blades in college rowing. Many of us looked up to the few selected men and women, who actually made the Blues rowing team (OUBC) and sacrificed so much of the otherwise hallowed student social life for the potential of earning eternal glory by beating the Tabs on the Tideway.
So now several years after leaving behind the Isis waters, we still gather in Munich at the Isar River (notably similar to Isis actually) to watch the race of our university day heroes and heroines – who we feel so closely connected to, because these part-time athletes are training and studying in the same place where we used to be a few years back.
This year, the Oxford Munich Society organised the viewing event, which was last held in 2015, right next to the Ludwig Maximilian University at CADU. Surrounded by libraries and lecture halls, and young lads carrying piles of books the CADU actually provided a very student-y vibe for the event. With more than 40 alumni, the event had a huge turn-out and it was a pleasure to co-host the event together with the Munich Cambridge Society, who braved the century-old animosities and showed up in amicable fashion. A definite highlight was seeing so many alumni turning up in their old rowing blazers and stash. The mix of dark blue and turquoise – excuse us – light blue fashion items from both Oxford and Cambridge showed that the divide from our student days have indeed been bridged – and that together we celebrated this piece of British sporting tradition, that you could’t find in Germany.
Therefore, we hope that the Boat Race viewing event will continue to be a reference day for both Oxonians and Cantabrigans in Munich, to meet in merriment and sporty admiration for each others rowing wizardy (e.g. catching a crab at the first stroke at the start). Oh yes, and did we talk about the results yet?