The eagerly anticipated Punt Race 2019
Friday, the 2nd August was the day which gave the answer to one of the biggest questions on Earth (well Quayside); who rules the River Cam?
“Glory isn’t a right, glory is something that’s earned. History is written by winners; the losers shall forever be forgotten – lost in time. A one mile sprint through The Backs shall provide the answer to a question that’s been asked for millennia – who is the fastest Punter in the universe?
Soon we shall have the answer.”
The punt race was organised by locals who work on the river in celebration of this (amazing!) industry. In order to find out who is the fastest amongst the punters. Therefore contenders come from all different punting company‘s in Cambridge. Hence all the seventeen participated of the 2019 race wanted to be crowned as the greatest punter ‘of the universe’. Besides the title, the winner also gets a magnum of champagne, a small cash prize and the best uniform ever worn; the golden waistcoat.
Thus the race started at 8pm and involved the competitors pushing a single punt just over one mile down the river. Equally starting at Jesus Lock the race path followed the river to Clare Bridge, where each contender had to go through the right arch, turn and punt back through the left arch of the bridge, before the final sprint back towards the finish line; Magdalene Bridge.
Punt Race 2019
Hence, as mentioned earlier all of the contenders are professional punters, who work long hours in summer and are very skilled at manoeuvring these vessels. However, the punts for this race were very different to the ones used on a daily basis by the Tour Guides to transport customers up and down the Cam, which are bigger, heavier and more balanced. Moreover the lighter, single punts, definitely made this race more challenging for the competitors.
Once there was a lot of excitement around this punt race within the industry, a brilliant atmosphere was created welcoming all spectators, who lined up by the river banks at Jesus Green and Quayside. In order words, everyone was cheering for their favourite Tour Guide, their company, their friends as well as others who were celebrating one of Cambridge’s most recognised activity.
In case you wondering who ended up being the King of the River? Watch this video to find out: