To celebrate 150 years since David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, a special regatta was held on the Zambezi River at Livingstone. Crews from Oxford, Cambridge and leading South African Universities; Rhodes, UCT (University of Cape Town) and UJ (University of Johannesburg) competed in a regatta on the Zambezi at Livingstone. The races consisted of a 2000m race, a 500m race in 8 s and a 300m flat water rafting race.
The crews spent the week prior to the race training and experiencing what Africa had to offer. We were given incredible hospitality, enjoyed fantastic accommodation and many delicious local dinners. As well as rowing with hippos and crocodiles on the Zambezi everyday we were also fortunate enough to have spare time to visit the edge of the falls, go on a game drive, watch beautiful sunsets and visit Livingstone and the local markets.
On Race Day there was an incredible atmosphere at the Boat Club. There were races all day including events participated in by locals. Racing in the 38oC sun was very tough and a couple of 500m re-rows due to steering faults made it even more so! However by the end of the day and some tightly fought races, Oxford came out on top to claim the ‘BA Victor Ludorum’ Trophy with both Men and Women’s teams winning the 500m race and coming 2nd in the 200m race. The week culminated in a fantastic party and a day of “racing” down the rapids white water rafting. There are many sponsors and organisers who make this incredible trip possible – a list far too long to include here. However I would like to thank Richard Fishlock and Peter Jones for the organisation of the whole trip and regatta.
Claire Weldon recounts her trip to Zambia (2005)