Head o’ the Cam


Tis a beautiful first of May and also the Head of the Cam which Chesterton (hurrah!) organises, I think in conjunction with Press, though most of the marshalls and organisation looked to be Chesteron folk to me. I was marshalling for the first division, and my call sign was “Mr Asbo”, since I was on “Asbo corner” better known as Ditton corner. My pic shows the first boat down, Caius [update: and as it turns out, the winners (oops no I’m wrong: as it turns out (thanks to James T for correcting me), that was their M2 (9:42); M1 were in div 3. Looking very good for an M2)], and this is traditional because they were first off last year too. I love the “tucked in” look of their boat; I’ve no idea if it has any advantage or merely looks good.

DSC_4488-mr-asbo In fact Mr Asbo was disappointingly civil today – apart from a token display he left the boats alone and seemed to be content to nibble at grass. His partner was nest-sitting in the cut, and perhaps we can expect renewed hostilities when they hatch out.

DSC_4489-ditton-corner Ditton corner is a very pleasant part of the world to sit on a sunny day and watch the boats go by. I was merrily chatting to – Bill Keyes I think it was – about our respective veteran-hood (though he is now a Master) and commenting on the boats when he (who happened to be looking up course) alerted me to the hapless Churchil ladies who had somehow contrived to steer into the weeds off on the far bank. How they managed that is a complete mystery (update: apparently there was some kind of Churchill-Newnham “incident”) – Grassy corner a little further up course is the one where coxes traditionally come adrift. As marshall it was clearly my duty to run around like a headless chicken, but while I stood ready to shout at them they managed to lever themselves off without backing into the next boat, so All was Well.


This is Magdalene (I had to look up their colours, sorry) with a bonus Asbo in the background. They don’t look too bad – fractionally out of time perhaps. And to quibble, although they are nicely around their rigggers, their outer shoulders are all dropped and their inside arms are perhaps too straight. Caius looked better. Also compare last year’s winners, Jesus.


What do you think of Pembroke? They’ll do. I have contgrived to take them at the moment which most exaggerates any timing errors. They were number 11. Anyway, I took most of the first division (when not forced to pay attention to my actual duties, of course) which you’ll find on flickr. Technically I claim copyright on them, so if you nick any please let me know – an email would be appreciated.

Last year’s winners were Jesus in 8:56, and Cauis were 8 seconds adrift (but they won in 8:41 this year). There is an enormous pile of photos from last year if you feel inclined to poke through them.


  1. #1 James

    Believe it or not, that Caius boat you photographed was their second boat! Caius M1 rowed in the 3rd division in their shiny 5-day old Empacher, although we could have disqualified them for not having registration numbers on their boat…

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