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By former World Rowing Champion Chris Baillieu
The only island on the course, Chiswick Eyot (pictured) is situated on the outside of the long Surrey bend, and just past the halfway point in the race.
The prevalent southwesterly winds can on occasion make this an extremely rough section of the course for the crews.
Steps have traditionally been placed along the river embankment for safety reasons, but often, as in this case, they marked a ford or ferry point further along from the Eyot.
Until the building of the bridges these were often the only way to cross the river, and the ferry between these steps and the Drawdock opposite was still in use in the 1930s.
With the advantage of the Surrey bend now over, the crew on the Surrey station will have consolidated or they may have to face the consequences.
The Steps mark the point where the river begins to swing back to favour the Middlesex station - providing the crew still has the strength to take the opportunity.
How to get there:
Tube: Turnham Green (District)