Now, most people are at least vaguely familiar with the concept of rowing. However, have you heard of how they “row” in Oxford? If my memory serves correctly, the term is actually called “punting” because instead of simply rowing and seeing who can cross the finish line first, the entire point of the race is to bump into the other boats. Essentially, the more boats you bump into or even cause to flip over…the more amazing you are! Way to turn up the pressure Oxford. Apparently, people take this competition seriously. For example, around 150 years ago one of the competing universities affixed a saber to the front of a boat and ended up gruesomely killing someone! However, don’t fret! They ended up being banned for over a hundred years in retribution.
These rowing events occur sprinkled throughout the year, but one of the most premier ones occurs in the month of May, called “Summer Eights”. Basically, it’s like tail-gating Oxford style. There are a bunch of bars set up by the various colleges in the university alongside sizzling burgers, and of course, boats being bumped. Although I personally did not get to witness the iconic boat bumping, I did get to sip on some Pimms with friends while sitting on my college’s rooftop. Pimms consists of the liquor itself, as well as, an amalgamation of various fruits and mint. We all felt very classy sitting on the roof in the blazing sun sipping Pimms and watching the action unfold below us in the true Oxford fashion!