- The horizontal axis records time: the first and second columns of text display the starting and ending orders of the college boats. The zigzagging lines delineate each boat's movement over the four days of the race.
- The vertical axis serves dual functions: it both gives the current ranking and maps to the physical location of the boats along the river.
- What we care about is the movement of a boat over the four days; what we really care about are boats that have moved a lot, either up or down. The chart manages to highlight precisely what we want to see: the larger the movement, the steeper the line, the more attention it gets from our eyes.
- Focusing on #10 and #11: the criss-crossing lines tell a rich story of tit-for-tat over four days, in which the boats exchanged bumps during the first three days, with the Jesus boat leading after day 4.
- The story at #1 (Caius) was altogether different: as "Head of the Cam", this strong boat eluded the chasing fleet all four days.
- My alma mater started and ended at #3 (Trinity Hall)
A truly spectacular chart can be produced by placing all the historical 4-day charts side-by-side, painting a rich history of the rise and fall of different boat clubs over decades. If anyone has seen such a chart, please send it my way!