On the Isis — The Oxford University Summer Eights were begun in fine weather yesterday. Our photograph, taken near the finishing-post, shows a general view of the river during the racing.
The First Division race in the Oxford Summer Eights on Saturday, when there was a considerably larger attendance than on the previous days of the races. The photograph, which was taken by a staff photographer of The Times, shows Christ Church easily maintaining the headship of the River, and Magdalen on the point of being bumped by Brasenose. Christ Church have been head of the river for the past four years. The races will be continued until Wednesday.
Christ Church start Head of the River for the third time, and thus have an opportunity to equal the record of four successive years. This was achieved by Magdalen, 1892–1895, and New College, 1896–1899. Christ Church, on the face of it, should not have much difficulty in so doing, for, although one can have too many Blues in a Summer Eight, the weight of metal in the Christ Church crew seems inevitably too great for anybody else. Shaw, the President, is rowing at No. 6, with the other two Blues, Rathbone and Edwards, at No. 5 and No. 7. All are rowing well, and particularly Shaw, who evidently is glad to be back on stroke side again. Merrill, who has now rowed two years in Trial Eights, strokes them, and although he is obviously a make-shift stroke, he is rowing well and fits in with the other men in the stern. For all this, it is not really a satisfactory crew. It lacks rhythm and has not the length one expects in a crew with three Blues. Certainly it is not in so safe a position as in the two previous years.The article give the start order and times (4, 5 and 6 o'clock) of Divs III, II and I, but doesn't mention the 4th division.
Magdalen, who rowed second, are the most stylish crew on the river, but have suffered from the most unusual run of bad luck. After Johnson, the Blue, had been out of the crew for a week they lost in quick succession their two heavyweights, and have only been together for about ten days in their present order. Their paddling is well together and rhythmical, and they have considerable length, but they do not get very quickly into the water and their rowing clearly is not so good as their paddling. As things are, they will have a very hard struggle to keep their place, whereas, but for their misfortunes, they would have been just the sort of crew to go Head.
Brasenose, who follow them, are a rough but hard-working crew, exceedingly well stroked by Graham, a past stroke of the Eton Eight. He reminds one strongly of W. P. Smith, the First Trinity stroke, particularly in the way in which he lifts his body back from the stretcher. He has given his crew life, and is one of the men most to be watched for the future. If Brasenose are fast enough to bump Magdalen they will make Christ Church row very hard.
New College, behind them, show evidence of the good coaching they have received from Mr. Pitman and Dr. Bourne. Of all crews, they are the best drilled, and their wristwork is particularly good in a year in which this is not generally so. McCulloch, the New South Wales stroke, is a most useful man, and it is likely the crew will once more become one of the first four boats, where they were for so many years. Their great drawback is their shortness of swing.
Merton are not a very good crew, and are the more disappointing for teh college that has for the first time gone head of the river in Torpids.
Behind them are Exeter, who are the most discussed crew on the river. They have been coached by Mr. Steven Fairbairn in rather an exaggerated form of the so-called Jesus style, and are the first Oxford college crew to adopt it. They row with swivels and use very long slides. They are not so good a crew as the Selwyn Cambridge crew of last year, and have not the same poise, but they are reputed to have done exceedingly fast times over short distances, and the writers has no doubt that this is so. Those who still tread the steep and narrow path of orthodoxy will hope that a sudden success of Exeter may not cause this style of rowing to extend among Oxford colleges, as it has at Cambridge. Such an event would seriously narry the field of choice of University oarsmen, but they must be prepared to see Exeter improve their position.
Wadham and Lincoln are good crews, and an interesting struggle should be seen between them. Both are higher than usual on the river, while Queen's are notable for the presence of Kingsbury. Apart from his, they are not a good crew, and, with more weight on his shoulders than he had in the Boat Race, he is inclined to swing rather less long.
One of the three best crews on the river is Worcester, who will start 11th. Stroked by Hankin, the University stroke, with Whiting, the University bow, behind him at No. 7, as he was last year, they make a neat and even crew, with extraordinary level weights throughout.
Magdalen II. are the last boat in the first division, and they, too, were exceedingly promising earlier in practice but have suffered from the drafts that have had to reinforce their first crew. They still maintain some of their pace, however.
The most notable crews in the Second Division are St. John's, the "sandwich" boat, a well-drilled but slightly ponderous crew, Pembroke, who have command of a higher rate of striking than any other crew on the river, Balliol and Christ Church II. Balliol have at stroke Llewellyn, who stroked the University until he fell ill, and Peppercorn, the spare man, at No. 6. They row much in the same way as all Balliol crews, a little stiffly, but they should, with a racing stroke of Llewellyn's calibre, be able to improve their position. Balliol crews in the past have not often fulfilled the promise given by their good form in practice, but this year should, owing the Llewellyn, prove to be an exception. The Christ Church second crew are a really good crew, and, so far as rhythm is concerned, have a superiority over their first crew. It would be surprising if they did not improve their position, and their form promises well for Christ Church rowing next year.
In the Third Divisions there is no crew which can be picked out as markedly superior to the rest this year, but perhaps than the usual number of bumps and counter-bumps can be expected to balance any lack of distinction in the rowing.
There seemed to be much less enthusiasm than usual in the opening day's racing in the Summer Eights at Oxford, and there was certainly as smaller attendance on both the barges and the towing path, although the weather was beautiful. Christ Church fully justified their position at the Head of the River, as they rowed up in very easy fashion 2½ lengths ahead of Magdalen. Exeter, who are rowing in the Cambridge style, justified themselves by catching Merton before reaching the Boathouse. There was a fiasco in the Third Division, when St. Edmund Hall and Lincoln failed to get clear of the following boats, and the question of the bump will be decided at a Captains' meeting.
[Div II] Queen's II., who were late in getting to the starting post, were caught by Worcester II. after a few strokes, Queen's having failed to get their boat into position.
The disputed bumps in the Third Division on Thursday were dealt with at the captains' meeting, in it was finally decided that all of the six crews below Lincoln and St. Edmund Hall should keep their places, while a fine of £5 was inflicted upon both the latter crews for not having drawn into the bank and given the following boats a clear course.
Christ Church again kept their place without any difficulty at the Headship of the River, but now that they have Brasenose immediately behind them their task will not be quite such an easy one. Few anticipated Magdalen's defeat at the hands of Brasenose, but Brasenose showed themselves a much improved crew, and coming with a rush from the Boathouse, caught them opposite the Magdalen College Barge. Exeter never got near enough to New College to cause them any anxiety, but Merton had an exceedingly hard struggle to escape Wadham. Worcester, light crew though they are, continued their upward career, thanks in a measure to the fact that one of the Lincoln crew caught a crab near the Weirs Bridge.
Those people who thought that there was a possibility of Brasenose making a fight for the headship with Christ Church must have been very disappointed, as the latter were never compelled to exert themselves unduly, and paddled up with fully two lengths in hand. New College were faster than Magdalen, but never got near enough to cause them any anxiety.
Owing to a dispute with regard to certain bumps at the bottom of the Third Division it was decided at a Captains' meeting last night that the two boats in the Fourth Division and the last three in the Third Division should row again at 2.30 p.m. to-day.
[Div III] ... There was a most exciting race between the next three boats, as while Hertford II. were being hard pressed by Pembroke II., the latter were losing ground to Keble II. In the end Pembroke bumped Hertford II., while Keble II. were disallowed a bump over Pembroke, and being unable to get clear were caught by Exeter II.
The Oxford Summer Eights were concluded yesterday, when the racing attracted an immense attendance to the towing path ... From the start the headship was a foregone conclusion for Christ Church, which was hardly surprising seeing that their crew included three Blues and a trial eightsman. On no occasion have they had to get beyond a steady paddle, and a great matter for regret is that, owing to Schools, such a really first-class crew will be unable to represent Christ Church at Henley.The article also lists the top three crews (although the print is rather blurred).
Besides Christ Church there were very few crews of any distinction, and it is rather remarkable that in the seven [sic] days' racing only two bumps were recorded amongst the first seven boats. Possibly Magdalen II. were as fast as any and they looked like making a "record" by finishing higher up in the first division than any other second crew had ever done before, but the fates were against them yesterday and they not only had victory snatched from their grasp by an unfortunate crab before reaching the Weir, which enabled Wadham to escape them, but they also lost the place that they had gained from Worcester on the previous evening. This was not the only mishap during the afternoon, for No. 6 in Lincoln II. broke his oar for the second time near Weirs Bridge just as they looked like cathching Queen's II. A similar misfortune befell Oriel II., who proved easy victims to Christ Church III.
The dispute with regard to several bumps in the Third Division on Tuesday was adjudicated on at a special meeting of the Boat Club which decided that the boats concerned — Hertford, Pembroke Keble, and Exeter — should be rowing in the Fourth Division. The result was that Pembroke II. succeeded in bumping Hertford II., who also provided Keble II. with a victim later on.
No single crew succeeded in making a bumps each night, and, besides Magdalen II., Brasenose [II] was the only other that could boast a record of five bumps. The most unfortunate crews were Trinity and Oriel, who lost a place each time they raced.
|B:||E. Hodgkin (Eton)||11st 2lb|
|2:||W. M. Acton Adams (Christ's College, New Zealand)||10st 7lb|
|3:||A. T. D. Winnifrith (Westminster)||11st 1lb|
|4:||M. G. Pettiward (Eton)||12st 5lb|
|5:||W. Rathbone (Radley)||13st 12lb|
|6:||T. W. Shaw (Shrewsbury)||12st 5lb|
|7:||E. C. T. Edwards (Westminster)||12st 10lb|
|S:||J. L. Merrill (University of California)||11st 9lb|
|C:||A. W. Parker (Christ's Hospital)||9st|
|B:||W. L. Antrobus (Haileybury)||11st|
|2:||K. J. Oakley (Winchester)||11st 7lb|
|3:||P. E. Chapman (King's College School)||12st 1lb|
|4:||J. D. Barbour (Shrewsbury)||12st 9lb|
|5:||H C. Morphett (Geelong)||12st 2lb|
|6:||N. D. Burnell (Eton)||12st 8lb|
|7:||L. C. E. Balding (Radley)||12st 3lb|
|S:||A. Graham (Eton)||10st 13½ lb|
|C:||Sir J. Croft (Eton)||9st|
|B:||J. H. Dutton (St. Peter's, Adelaide)||11st 8lb|
|2:||J. D. Jameson (Bishops Stortford)||12st 1lb|
|3:||D. Richter (Oundle)||10st 8lb|
|4:||H. Slade (Eton)||10st 10lb|
|5:||J. C. Eccles (Melbourne University)||12st 3lb|
|6:||C. A. Pollock (Toronto University)||11st 7lb|
|7:||C. A. Saltzmann (United States Miliary Academy)||11st 12lb|
|S:||L. E. CLarke (Wanganui, New Zealand)||10st 7lb|
|C:||J. H. S. Black (Winchester)||9st 0lb|
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