April the 11 2015 saw the Women’s university boat race between Oxford and Cambridge run for the first time on the Tideway one hour before the mens race.
The first womens race was run in 1927, but was competed mainly on the Thames in Henley.
I was given exclusive access to both crews in the build up to this historic moment.

“Ergo” is derived from the word “Ergometer” – rowing machine. I recorded a 20 second piece of audio of one of the crew on a rowing machine inside the Goldie boat house in Cambridge which then looped, adding a piano track and sound FX in Logic Pro to create the soundtrack.

Early on in cutting the footage together with the sound that the speed and tempo of the Cambridge women on the Ergo’s was the same as the Oxford crew on the Thames in Wallingford.

It became a labour of love to cut the imagery to the tempo of the track.

I went for the repetitive feel after watching the crews in training. It takes a lot of practice to maintain that pace and speed.

The Video is HERE on Vimeo, or in the MOTION section of my WEBSITE

About Gray Hughes photographer

Gray Hughes grew up in southwest London but has always had strong connections to the USA. He has spent many summers on road trips, visiting family in California. In his early twenties he moved to New York and assisted various fashion photographers before returning to London to shoot editorial sports and lifestyle. He soon graduated into shooting commercially for brands including Coca-Cola, Asics, Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Powerade. Gray has always loved film and music – his mother exposed him to Hitchcock at an inappropriately young age. As a young teen he used to record music demos on a four track recorder. Then in 2001 he took a break from photography to pursue a career in music, remixing dance music for four years before returning to his first love, photography. Gray’s personal projects have taken him to cowboy country in Montana, USA as well as Rio de Janeiro and more recently, around the grassroots rugby clubs of Britain. His film, ‘Heartland’ was a finalist in the 2015 AOP awards, with the accompanying photographs featured in the Sunday Times Magazine. He directed his first commercial for Glamorgan Brewing Company in 2015 and then subsequently joined Ridley Scott Associates where he was added to the photgraphy and moving image roster, he is on an indenpendent arrangement while he grows his show-reel so is free to collaborate with other production companies. So far this year he has directed films for Reebok and Standard Life and has shot a global advertising campaign for Vodafone.

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