The rowing club and boathouse have sadly long since closed but the above brings back a few memories.
In fact the racing eights themselves have changed but not the shape or the rowing arrangements.
Both the boats and the oars tend to be made these days of super light materials such as I assume carbon fibre. However the rowers still have to work hard as well as of course build up their strength.
At Beaumont my recollection is that those in the 1st VIII were given Guinness with their school lunches though sadly not for me in the 2nd VIII.