The Oxford University Summer Eights begin to-day at 3 o'clock...
Brasenose are scarcely likely to be displaced from their position as the Head of the River crew. They are the only really stylish crew on the river and the only crew who possess what, in the old days, would have been considered length. Graham is stroking with far greater steadiness than he did in the University crew, but he does not seem to be able to whip the stroke up with this college crew as he did then. Even the substitution of 12ft. for 12ft. 3in. oars has not given them the liveliness which is so important in bumping races. Notwithstanding this their stride and the smooth run of the boat should enable them to keep away from any of the next three crews. Certainly at the moment Brasenose seem likely to prove the most fruitful nursery for future Oxford oarsmen.
New College, who are second on the river, are neat and smooth, but short forward and very clipped with their finish. They have a fair turn of pace for a short distance, but as a crew they seem to lack power. Godber is rowing well at No. 6 and McCulloch is, as always, seen to great advantage in his college crew. Strangely enough, the New College second crew, who start as low as 17th, create a better impression in some ways than their first crew. They are well balanced on their feet forward, as, unlike almost all the other crews at Oxford, they now have been taught not to ride their slides up before their bodies come over. They should improve their position.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Eights is that Magdalen are rowing with swivel rowlocks. As the greatest stronghold of orthodox oarsmanship at Oxford, after New College, during the past 40 years their departure shows how much ground the swivel rowlock has gained since the War, and at the same time how anxious those responsible are to infuse new life into Oxford rowing ... The Magdalen crew are frankly disappointing. They had at their disposal the University No. 6 and No. 4, who are rowing at No. 5 and No. 6 respectively, but they do not look like threatening Brasenose and, indeed, they may find themselves in danger from Exeter, who start fifth, if this crew this year fulfil their practice expectations. In Dodds Parker, who is rowing at No. 4, Magdalen have a heavy-weight who shows promise of being a worthy successor to his father, the Blue who rowed in the fine Magdalen crews if the late eighties. The Christ Church crew are neat, but inclined to shortness in the manner of Christ Church crews 20 years ago. No. 5 in this crew looks like a promising man.
Exeter have nominally abandoned Mr. Fairbairn's style for the orthodox, but in point of fact they are rowing more like a Jesus [Cambridge] crew this year than they ever did last year, and their boat moves better than those of Lincoln, Magdalen, or Wadham. They look like springing a surprise again this year as they did last, and they are probably the only crew within reach who could press Brasenose.
The best crew on the river below Brasenose are University, and though they have not as good a rhythm or combination as Brasenose, they are probably considerably faster. Starting 10th, it would be surprising indeed if they did not go up four places or more. Tinné is rowing at No. 7, and though he might not be as stylish now as he was at Putney, he has inherited the family genius for making a crew go fast when he is in the stern. He is admirably backed up by Lowe at No. 6, a very hard-working oarsman who attracted favourable notice last year. This crew can command a high rate of striking, and a most uneven finish does not seem to detract materially from their pace.
Magdalen II. are distinctly ragged and are not likely to maintain the highest position which a second crew has ever reached. Wadham and Lincoln on swivels give much the same impression as Magdalen I., but have not the staying power. The bottom of the First Division is indeed stronger than the middle, and Pembroke and St. John's are both hard racing crews. Juel-Brockdorff is particularly good at No. 5 in the Pembroke crew, and is the steadying factor in the boat, which was essentially not in the University crew.
One does not look for many bumps at the top of the Second Division. Balliol and Trinity are both sound crews but undistinguished.
A remarkable incident occurred in the Fourth Division. New College III., a new crew, started fourth instead of sixth, their official position, and as a consequence were able to claim a bump on Hertford.
[Div III] Exeter II. ... were run into by Pembroke [II] near the Weirs Bridge and both boats were severely damaged, Exeter sinking. Keble II. in consequence found their course blocked and Trinity [II] ran into them.
The Boat Club Committee dealt with the situation that had occurred on Thursday in the Fourth Division through the boats starting in the wrong order by ordering the five lower crews to row again at 2 o'clock.
[Div IV] It was fine, but dull and oppressive, when the fourth Division crews rowed, and those who gathered at the finish were surprised to see that neither Corpus II. not Oriel III., who had both made bumps on Saturday, rowed through, being bumped by St. John's II. and Jesus [II] respectively. Corpus broke a slide immediately after the start, and were caught at the Ferry. Oriel were more or less waterlogged owing to a leaky boat, which had been holed in Saturday's race, and they had to give way to Jesus at the Cherwell, after an heroic effort to get home.
[Div II] St. Catherine's had hard luck, for, intent on maintaining their winning sequence, their coxswain committed an error of judgment on coming round the corner at the entrance to the Gut and ran them into the bank. Jesus rowed past them, thus making the third re-bump during the afternoon.
Brasenose remain Head of the River
After a week's continuous fine weather the Oxford Summer Eights were brought to a close yesterday, when Brasenose retained the Headship of the River.
Brasenose had no difficulty in maintaining their position, and New College also rowed through. University wound up a series of successes with a fine victory over Magdalen, and their time of 6min. 23sec. is not far off a record. Pembroke made their fourth bump.
Balliol maintained their position at the head of the Second Division. St. Catherine's again improved their position, and but for the unfortunate mishap on Monday, when the catching of two crabs caused them to run into the bank, they might have gained more than four places. Wadham II. finished in brilliant fashion by bumping Corpus before getting to Iffley Reach, this making their sixth bump, a remarkable feat, seeing that they were one of the lightest crews on the river. Trinity II. were also a very successful crew with five bumps to their credit.
The following are the names and schools of the Head of the River crew, Brasenose, and of University and Wadham II., who each made six bumps.
|B:||H. L. Puxley (Eton)|
|2:||E. K. Sloan (private tuition)|
|3:||R. A. J. Poole (Eton)|
|4:||C. M. Johnston (Shrewsbury)|
|5:||L. C. R. Balding (Radley)|
|6:||H C. Morphett (Geelong, Australia)|
|7:||R. J. Oakley (Winchester)|
|S:||A. Graham (Eton)|
|C:||J. Barbour (Rugby)|
|B:||J. M. Freeman (Charterhouse)|
|2:||N. W. Lawrence (Eton)|
|3:||N. K. Hutton (Fettes)|
|4:||R. H. Dutton (St. Peter's, Adelaide)|
|5:||Count Czernin G. Onuriden (Austria)|
|6:||R. V. Low (Winchester)|
|7:||D. E. Tinné (Eton)|
|S:||C. E. Martineau (Harrow)|
|C:||H. A. G. Durbridge (Malvern)|
|B:||R. D. Houghton (Cheltenham)|
|2:||D. A. J. Gamble (Shrewsbury)|
|3:||A. Bilbe Robinson (Rigby)|
|4:||P. E. Lissant (St. Paul's)|
|5:||J. A. Gostling (King's, Canterbury)|
|6:||H. L. Hensman (Emmanuel)|
|7:||P. Goldsmith (Malvern)|
|S:||S. V. A. Jackson (Lancing)|
|C:||M. V. Edwards (St. George's)|
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