Sport: The Day

It dawned warm and windless. By 8:30, the hot chestnut men were out. Hawkers barking blue dolls (royal blue for Oxford, light blue for Cambridge), windmills and crossed-oar badges took up stands they hadn't filled since the last Boat Race Day, seven years ago. By 11, just before high tide, when the Thames is quiet and indulgent, a half-million Londoners had lined both sides of the Thames's tow-paths as their fathers & grandfathers had before them, off & on, for 117 years. Almost everybody brought hampers of food, and some brought stepladders. It was England's first big sporting event since the...

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