The Cambridge Cardboard Boat Race returns

Caius is head of the river once again

boat race Cambridge cambridge tab cardboard cardboard boat race

Caius’ team have been announced victorious in the annual May Week Sunday Cardboard Boat Race.

With University Challenge and the headship of Bumps under their belt, is there anything to stop this college’s continuing triumphs? 

There was a viking ship…

The Boat Race was a roaring success, with spectators packing both sides of the river at Jesus Lock. Over 120 teams signed up, with at least fifty making it to the river.

We saw some incredibly well engineered boats, with a Viking longboat taking third place and a raft staffed by Queens’ students providing entertainment for those who stayed until the end.

Only at Cambridge

The winning boat was made fully of gaffa tape. A Peterhouse team told us that they had in fact ‘done the maths’ for their boat, showing that engineering at Cambridge is useful for at least something.

A giant boat with a figure-head called ‘Punt the Magic Dragon’ had a huge crew, and provided great amusement for the bank-side watchers.

Not the winning boat

Town and Gown were out in force, including many young families, but the rules required at least one team member to be a student.

Several hundreds turned out expecting to see people fall in the river and they were not disappointed, with about half the boats ending up at least partially sunk.

A member of the organising committee claimed that there were no incidents of illness reported last year, and every team entered were fully aware of the risk of Weil’s disease and other illnesses.

The president had posted a disclaimer about gastroenteritis, so any illness was at the competitors’ risk.

Yet critics have nevertheless argued that the event was reckless, especially since GPs at Trumpington Street surgery have recently sent an email warning students of diseases in the Cam.

Reckless young tearaways

The most exciting spectacle was perhaps the spotting of Daily Mail reporters with their cameras and judging eyes. Spectators will be pleased to know the event made it onto everyone’s favourite tabloid’s annual May Week Sunday report.

This is perhaps no surprise given Cava was flowing on many of the boats. But surprisingly, the article came to focus on the glamorous ‘MILIBOAT’ raft with members wearing masks of former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Fearless, crazed Cambridge undergraduates

The Mail did not, however, pick up on a boat named ‘Gunboat Diplomat’ crewed by the Cambridge Rifle Association. The boat was intended to express support for our dear departed former MP Julian Huppert, clearly a powerful political statement in these heated times.

The active political sphere of Cambridge University

Water pistols and champagne were spraying both from and onto boats. Thankfully the race finished before the drinking societies were on the river but the punting committee heading home reported much revelry from students in blazers and punts.

All in all, however, we can report a great event, with the punting president calling it ‘extremely successful’. Hundreds of people turned out and hopefully there will have been no fatal diseases contracted.

Roll on the rest of May Week.