The Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society Boat Race Celebration was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015, one week after the races themselves. The celebration was held in the older mansion section of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Forty- five Ox-Cam members and guests attended the gathering, and enjoyed meeting old friends and acquaintances while making new ones.
Enjoyable wine and beer selections were obtained from Tuscany Village liquor store, while Cook’s Day Off again served assorted, and tasty, hors-d’oeuvres which accompanied sweets and cheeses, and in particular the scrumptious contribution of selected Saltspring Island cheeses, again generously supplied by David Wood (Exeter, 1963).
Videos showing both boat races were shown – both because this was the first time that the women’s race was held on the same 6 km tide-water course as the men’s race, moving from the traditional Henley location for the women’s race This was an historic occasion, and meant that true equality had finally come to the Ox-Cam boat race. In the women’s race, Oxford starting on the Surrey side, took an early lead and never looked back, eventually winning the race by about six lengths. Stroked by a winner of several Olympic medals, Caryn Davies, Oxford had been the betting favourite to win the race. In the men’s race, with Cambridge starting on the Surrey side, both teams held fairly close until about mid-way into the race, when Oxford took the lead and eventually also won by about six lengths.
The Cambridge women may have a better chance next year, because Caryn Davies will have completed her one-year MBA program at Said Business School. However, it should be noted that both Osiris (the Oxford women’s second crew) beat Blondie (their Cambridge counterpart) and Isis (the Oxford men’s second crew) beat Goldie (their Cambridge counterpart). It should also be noted that, from an historical perspective, the Cambridge women still lead Oxford by 41-29, while the Cambridge men still lead Oxford by 81-79.
Clive Timms (Clare, 1964) toasted Oxford in masterful fashion, adding fascinating comments about his own personal history of rowing at Cambridge. In response, John Leslie (Wadham, 1959) provided a lively toast to Cambridge, while congratulating Oxford on their double victory. We are indebted to both these toasters for contributing in this way.
The evening ended with the now customary silent – and not so silent – auction, with four participants obtaining quantities of David Wood’s Saltspring Island Cheese, and others obtaining copies of Musica Victoria’s CD of Philippe Giusiano’s rendition of piano works by Frederic Chopin, generously contributed by Alan Lupin (St. Catherine’s, 1953), in both cases to later enjoy. Reg Mitchell (St. John’s, 1962) again walked away with the grand prize of a night’s bed and breakfast accommodation at John Lewis House, again generously supplied by Becky and Bob Vander Steen (Queens’, 1968).
The VIOCS organizing team, which is most ably led by Dorothy Kennedy (Exeter, 1997), warmly thanks everyone for attending this year’s boat race celebration, and especially all those who gave generously to make the silent auction a success. The auction continues to be necessary to cover cost over-runs on this and occasional other events. Our next VIOCS event will be a presentation by Jack Lohman, the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal BC Museum, to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in the social suite at the Shoal Point Building at Fisherman’s Wharf, and to be followed by a reception in the residential suite of Marg Gardiner and Brian Scarfe (St. John’s, 1963). We very much hope that many of our members will choose to attend this event. Jack Lohman is known to be an incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, and we are most fortunate to be able to host this event.
For the VIOCS Organizing Team