With beautiful weather and the fitting setting of the LMBC, there was an expectant air as alumni across different generations along with friends and family either connected or reconnected.
The President of the Club, Fela Akoni (Wolfson, Cambridge), was on hand to welcome guests, including past presidents of the Club – Professor Theo Ogunbiyi (St. Catherine’s, Oxford) and Dr Eyimofe Atake SAN (Darwin, Cambridge). Other attendees included Dr Isaac Akinrele (Selwyn, Cambridge) who was also present last year and Dr Michael Omolayole (Corpus Christi, Oxford) who remarked that he had been looking forward to the occasion. Also present were Professor Bomi Ogedengbe (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford), Dr Greg Ero (Green Templeton, Oxford), Ms Stella Amachree (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford), Mr Dele Martins (Trinity, Cambridge), Ms Funke Adeyemi (Churchill, Cambridge), Mr Jonathan Millard (Linacre, Oxford), to name but a few.
The Alumni Offices of the Universities had generously provided flags and memorabilia for the event so alumni were befittingly marked as Light or Dark Blue. With food and drinks flowing, attention turned towards the races. The victory of the Cambridge women’s boat was met with celebration by the Light Blue ranks and jubilant waving of their flags. This set the tone for the men’s race as the President reminded members that in 2016, Dr Akinrele had generously sponsored a champagne toast to celebrate Cambridge’s victory and asked if senior members would be willing to do the same this year. This was graciously accepted on all sides; gauntlet thrown, attention once again turned to the race.
The Men’s Dark Blue crew performed remarkably, leading from start to finish to complete their fourth victory in five years despite a dogged attack from the Cambridge boat. It was the turn of the Oxford brigade to celebrate and after the expected banter and waving of flags, champagne was used to toast the victory. Everyone had a cracking time and there are huge expectations for next year’s race.
At the end, the spoils were shared! Congratulations to both Oxford and Cambridge!