Goldie called at the toss and won, selecting the Surrey station.
It was an unusually warm and pleasant spring day with a brisk west-south westerly wind running against a neap tide making for relatively slow conditions. This resulted in a cross head wind off the start, moving to a cross wind from Barn Elms to Hammersmith Bridge before hitting the brunt of the head wind from St Paul’s School and along Chiswick Eyot where conditions were choppy. The water flattened from the bandstand to Barnes Bridge, finally returning to a head wind albeit with relatively flat water approaching the finish.
The crews got away cleanly from the start, with Goldie making the better of the initial stokes hitting 45 strokes per minute vs. Isis on 44, and by the time the crews reached Crabtree boathouse Goldie had taken a two seat advantage. At this point Goldie were striking 40, Isis 39. Goldie were warned three times along the boats as they looked to take advantage of their strong start. Reaching the Town Buoy both crews had settled to 36 with Goldie extending their advantage to nearly half a length. Goldie continued to press Isis hard approaching the Fulham bend and were warned repeatedly, Umpire Clegg finally ordering Goldie to “Move over!” which Goldie responded to with relatively heavy rudder. This did not hamper Goldie’s rhythm however and they continued to look noticeably the stronger of the two crews, pushing hard and maintaining their rate at 36 while Isis had settled to 35. By Barn Elms Goldie had increased their lead to about 1 length, with both crews warned at the exit of the Fulham bend.
Approaching the Mile Post Goldie were warned three more times as they looked to capitalize on their lead. Passing the Mile Post Goldie continued to look in a very strong rhythm, striking 35 to Isis’ 34 and moving out to approximately ½ length of clear water. Isis, perhaps taken slightly by surprise by Goldie’s very strong start responded along the Fulham reach and raised their rate of striking to 34 ½ approaching the Harrods wall. Passing Harrods both crews were striking 34 and Isis were warned twice as they moved slightly on to the Surrey line with Goldie’s puddles passing under Isis’ hull. At no time to this point were the crews line astern, despite Goldie’s advantage.
At Hammersmith Bridge, Goldie led by 5 seconds, or 2/3 length clear water. Reaching the end of the bend at St. Paul’s School both crews hit the strong head wind down Chiswick Eyot and Isis put in a substantial push, maintaining their rate at 34 into the wind. This galvanized the crew and Goldie, suddenly starting to look a bit tired at not having shaken off Isis, were not able to respond. Both crews were warned repeatedly to stay on their stations as Isis started to close the gap and halfway along the Eyot Isis had regained overlap with Goldie.
At Chiswick steps Goldie held a 2/3 length advantage over Isis, but as the advantage of the Surrey bend ran out then Isis again put in a substantial push, called in memory of Daniel Topolski who had passed away 7 weeks earlier. Both crews raised their rates as the head wind faded, but it was by now Isis who looked the stronger crew, rating 36 to Goldie’s 34. More warnings were issued as at this stage both crews were substantially over to the Middlesex station, with Goldie warned to move back to Surrey. Passing the bandstand the crews were level.
More warnings were issued to both crews, but approaching Barnes Bridge Goldie had returned to the Surrey station. Isis, rating 35 rapidly extended their lead to one length as the final bend swung in their favour and Goldie started to tire. Shooting Barnes Bridge Isis were warned three times as they extended their lead to clear water. Hitting the head wind again as the crews approached the finish Isis maintained their rate at 34 and extended their lead over Goldie who after putting in so much at the start of the race slipped down to 32. Isis finished the race in 18:11, 10 seconds or 3 lengths ahead of Goldie in what was a remarkable race with great courage shown from both crews.