The drive to the 2016 Boat Race Festival was a long one. Everyone was eager to arrive as soon as possible and set up their temporary homes for the weekend and make memories.
By five o’clock, there were at least 200 tents set up in the Lounge Camp Site. Certain areas were so packed that getting through was almost impossible. Some of campers were far more prepared than others and even brought hazard tape to section off their respective areas. I’m not sure if this stopped the intoxicated from tumbling into their tents accidentally in the middle of the night, but it’s definitely worth a try for next year!
Hundreds of bodies made their way to the dance floor once the night hit, moving to beats by Kyle Cassim, Chunda Munki, Science Frikshun and plenty more well-known artists. The weekend had started and the place was packed with purple overalls. Trading stalls were lined up to the left of the entrance, so any hunger arising after hours of partying was easily cured by Chip ’n’ Dip, pizza or boerewors rolls.
Despite a little rain, the party went on until two in the morning – a fairly early end to the night. It was all for the sake of the rowers, who started off their Saturday morning clinging to ores. The Rhodes University A crews (male and female) both came second to the University of Pretoria (UP) in the final. It was rather surprising that other competing universities, including the University of Cape Town (UCT) and UP to name a few, weren’t intimidated by the wild cheers – which were not in their favour – coming from the banks of the river.
I’ve truly never seen so much spirit coming from a crowd of students, especially students who were likely to have had hangovers. Despite RURC coming second in both the male and female final races, the celebrations continued throughout the day.
The light rain turned heavy as day turned to night and the puddles seemed to take up at least two thirds of the campsite, but this didn’t stop anyone. Be it ‘Dutch courage’ or just general bravery, most people were not afraid to get dirty. The crowd became a mass of muddy shoes and dripping clothes, but they soldiered on through the night with the help of The Kiffness, Sketchy Bongo and Veranda Panda.
The weekend was definitely worth the festival flu and mountains of laundry left behind. Overall, it was a great success and excitement has already set in to see what Boat Race has in store for us next year.
Image sourced from Boat Races official Facebook page.