The Oxford Summer Eights were begun in fine weather yesterday afternoon, and our photograph shows the scene on the Isis at the finish of the Fourth Division race.(I'm guessing that the two crews shown are Pembroke II and Keble II.)
[Christ Church] With the ex-President stroking, a tireless worker at No. 5 in Murray-Threipland, and material equal if not superior to that of any other crew, they combine all the faults which were outstanding in the University crew. They are slow into the water, they kick their slides away and wash out at the finish, and their wrist work and watermanship leave much to be desired. Only the immensely hard work and enthusiasm of the crew tempts one to thing that, aided by clear water, they may by staying head a fifth year create a "record".
Everything points, however to Brasenose, who lie second on the river, going head. They are excellently stroked by Graham, who stroked the Isis crew that made so favourable an impression at Putney, and the President, Morphett, is at No. 7. Although he is rowing well he does not stand out in the crew, which has good material all through, with perhaps the greatest acquisition at No. 6 in Waterer, late of Sidney Sussex, Cambridge, and the Maidenhead Rowing Club. He is at the moment producing better form that that which in the Cambridge Trial Eights of 1924 made him one of the most fancied candidates for a Blue.
New College are stroked most excellently by Godber, and it is hard to see where a better University stroke is to come from next year. He is at the moment not only a good stroke, but the best oarsman in the University, and he is backed up most excellently by McCulloch at No. 6. Ever since McCulloch has been at Oxford he has improved steadily, and the coaching he has had in this crew has made a fine oarsman of him. Behind him the material is weak, but the crew certainly have possibilities. They remind one of the best of post-War crews at Oxford, the New College crew of 1921, which did 6min. 57sec. in the final of the Grand. This year's New College crew should improve still further before Henley.
Exeter, who start behind them, are the problem of the races. It is impossible to say whether they are better or not than the three crews in front of them, but the general impression at Oxford is that they and Brasenose will fight for the Headship. It is little short of wonderful what Mr. Fairbairn has done for the rowing of this college in the last two years, and it must be admitted that the success of his method of coaching has not been very enthusiastically received in Oxford. It is to be hoped that in the probable event of Exeter improving their position even further more attention will be paid by other colleges to those virtues which he inculcates in his crews than to certain of his methods of attaining them, which are liable to be abused by some of his imitators.
Wadham are rowing with a most ingenious rowlock, This is the invention of Mr. G. C. Drinkwater, their coach, and as it combines the virtues of fixed and swivel rowlocks is likely to be adopted widely.
Of the other crews in the First Division Magdalen II. are probably the fastest. Worcester, with their two old Blues at stroke and No. 7, are somewhat wooden, though Hankin is giving them a very nice length. Pembroke also have pace for a short distance.
[Div IV] Hertford II. were unfortunate, their rudder line being broken at the start, and they ran into the bank. Exeter II. then went in pursuit of Keble II., and, although gaining ground, finished three lengths behind...
[Div III] There was a most exciting struggle between Merton II., Queen's II., and Lincoln II., but coming through the Gut Queen's II. saved themselves by bumping Merton II.. Lincoln II., who were right up at the time, failed to get clear, and St. Edmund Hall, who were pressed by University II., rowed past Lincoln II.. After a keen race University II. bumped St. Edmund Hall opposite Talboy's Barge. ... The question as to whether St. Edmund Hall obtained a bump by passing Lincoln II. will come before the Committee for decision.
[Div I] Soon after the start Brasenose began to draw on Christ Church in spite of the faster stroke of the latter boat, and getting well up on coming out of the Gut they spurted hard along the Willows and made their bump near the Red Post... There was an exciting race between Magdalen II., St. John's, and Pembroke. St. John's got right on to Magdalen II., who had caught a crab, but they caught one themselves with the result that Pembroke bumped them at Weirs Bridge.
Lincoln II., St. Edmund Hall, and University II., to row again yesterday morning. The race proved disastrous for Lincoln II., who got away badly, collided with the bank, and the caught a crab. St. Edmund Hall, who were being pressed by University II., bumped Lincoln II..
[Div II] The second division was even more prolific [than Div III] in bumps, and only one crew, New College II., rowed through, an almost unprecedented occurrence.
[Div II] ...whatever chance New College II. had of overhauling Queen's was spoiled through No. 7 of their crew catching a crab and losing his oar opposite the Magdalen barge... Balliol II. were unfortunate as, soon after the start one of their men caught a crab, and subsequently lost his oar, and they were bumped by St. Catherine's below the Weirs Bridge.
Brasenose at the Head of the River
The Oxford Summer Eights ended yesterday, when Brasenose retained the Headship of the River which they secured in the first day's racing last Thursday.
Excellent racing was seen in the First Division and, as does not often happen, the five boats finishing first on the river were probably the best five in order of merit. Certainly Brasenose and New College were the best two, and they, together with Magdalen, Christ Church, Exeter, and Magdalen II., were all crews well up to what is expected in Summer Eights. Brasenose, the Head of the River crew, gained in length during the races, and while not up to Grand winning standard they should prove good enough to win a heat, or, if they prefer to enter for the Ladies' Plate, they would require a great deal of beating.
New College, as was anticipated, were also an improving crew throughout the races, and may well be faster than Brasenose when Henley comes. Magdalen just failed to stay second because they were on the short side and without rhythm, but they were a crew well worthy of their place for their neatness and racing qualities.
Christ Church, who should have been the best crew of all, suffered from too many of the faults of the University crew, and Exeter were a trifle disappointing, but these were all reasonably good crews. Magdalen II. and University filly justified the faith that had been placed in them, the latter adding some length to their other good points during the races.
The following are the names of the Head of the River crew, and also of the Exeter II. and St. Catherine's crews, who made the record of the races with six bumps each:—
|B:||H. L. Puxley (Eton)||11st 4lb|
|2:||R. J. L. Oakley (Winchester)||11st 4lb|
|3:||P. E. Chapman (King's College School)||11st 8lb|
|4:||J. D. Barbour (Shrewsbury)||12st 8lb|
|5:||L. C. R. Balding (Radley)||12st|
|6:||R. R. Waterer (Claysmore, Winchester)||12st 12lb|
|7:||H C. Morphett (Geelong, Australia)||12st|
|S:||A. Graham (Eton)||11st 1lb|
|C:||J. Barbour (Rugby)||8st 6lb|
|B:||L. R. Lockwood (Reading)||10st 2lb|
|2:||P. Juliff (Cheltenham)||11st 3lb|
|3:||E. G. S. Apedaile (Christ's Hospital)||11st 11lb|
|4:||A. E. T. Benson (Wolverhampton Grammar School)||10st 4lb|
|5:||J. McCann (Beaumont)||12st 4lb|
|6:||J. L. Willis (Tonbridge)||13st 1lb|
|7:||E. W. Rowbotham (King Edward School, Birmingham)||10st 8lb|
|S:||P. D. Thomas (Clifton)||10st 8lb|
|C:||K. H. Drewett (Tonbridge)||9st 9lb|
|B:||J. A. Franks (City of Oxford)||10st 7lb|
|2:||R. W. Bonham (College for Blind, Worcester)||11st 5lb|
|3:||A. J. Phillips (Eltham College)||10st 7lb|
|4:||E. J. Johanson (Wisconsin University)||12st 6lb|
|5:||P. C. Kimball (Utal University)||13st 7lb|
|6:||A. V. Barber (Columbia University)||11st 10lb|
|7:||C. E. Dean (Reading)||10st 6lb|
|S:||A. E. Drew (Bishop's Stortford)||11st 10lb|
|C:||F. W. Haworth (Blackburn Grammar School)||8st 4lb|
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