[After a general discussion of the present state of Oxford rowing...] The real problem is whether University College can go Head. They start fourth and there is no question that Tinné, who has seen them up so far in the last two years, will not be happy until he gets them back to the place to which his uncle took them in 1914. It may be taken that they are the best crew on the river, and they have worked hard. At the same time there has been a hint of ponderosity about them which, with all their roughness, they did not have last year and which can be traced to recent acquaintance with the Putney course on the part of half of the crew. All the same their work is together, they are longer than most crews, and keep their pace better over the second half of the course, so that it will be surprising if they do not make three bumps in the six nights at their disposal.The article gives division times of 3, 4, 5 and 6pm.
It must not be forgotten that the Brasenose four — Johnstone, Graham, Poole, and Balding — very clearly showed last November in the Coxswainless Fours that University was not the only college responsible for the renaissance of Oxford rowing. These men are all in the Brasenose Eight, and if Johnstone has lost some of the length he gained in the University crew, a tendency towards shortnes is not always such a bad thing over a mile course as long as the crew has plenty of life, and life this one possesses. Moreover, Brasenose have the benefit of Mr. Haig-Thomas's advice, and it is only to be expected that they should acquire something of the virtue of Third Trinity [Cambridge] as a result. The worst point of the Brasenose crew is a tendency to hurry the finish. Barring accidents it seems fairly certain that the first duel between them and University will be on Saturday, and it should be well worth watching. Should University be successful the starting pace of Brasenose renders a re-bump far more probable next week than is usually the case in the first division.
New College start second, and while they are a nice enough looking crew when paddling, Godber, the old Blue, who is stroking them, cannot drive them along at anything like a racing stroke when rowing. Indeed, they can scarcely expect to keep their place. Macdonald-Smith is rowing well enough at Six, but a rather doubtful expedient has been adopted by introducing a complete novice in the shape of a very powerful Rugby footballer at Four. His timekeeping is so indifferent that it really does not give Stroke much of a chance.
Exeter, who lie third, have renounced the style of Mr. Fairbairn, by which they attained their present position, for something more orthodox, but whether it is due to the great difficulty of rowing well in the orthodox manner or merely the absence of good men the crew has not the pace it had in the last two years.
Magdalen have Ingles, the old Blue, at Five, but they are short, and it seems as if they are destined to go even lower than fifth after having remained in the first three, with the exception of 1914, since the middle of the eighties.
Christ Church start sixth. They should have been very good; practically all the men rowed in their school eights. Rathbone, the brother of the old Blue, is a Trial Eights man. Lord Forrester is a very powerful, if rough, oarsman, and in Edwards at Five and Clive at Six they have the best oarsmen in the University and the most promising. It needs only two such men rowing together in a college crew with others round them such as they have capable of profiting by their example to start of school of first-class heavy-weights. Unfortunately these two are more obviously suffering from too much rowing at present than the Brasenose or University Blues, and unless Christ Church develop during the races pace which they have not got now, they will be hard put to it to go higher than third...
As a contrast Pembroke, who start two behind Christ Church, are the crew who have made the very best of their opportunities. Coached by Mr. Pasolt [presumably Pazolt], whose reputation for producing comparatively fast crews from the lightest material, and with a restricted choice at Beaumont, is second to none, it would be surprising if they did not improve their position. There is no man in the crew with any considerable pretensions as yet to oarsmanship, though Three, who has only just started rowing, merits a protracted trial next November. But the crew as a whole has just that stride and liveliness which served University in good stead last summer. They are truly together, can row the fastest stroke of any crew on the river, and if some of the other colleges would take a lesson in style from this Pembroke crew they would benefit thereby.
Balliol are stroked by Waterhouse, who has lost none of his form, although he is in the stern of the boat, and he has succeeded in making the men behind him copy him, but the crew as a whole rather lack life.
The most noteworthy of the other crews are Queen's, who should make a number of bumps, for Dr. Mallam has taught them how to use their legs, and there is no harder working crew on the river. There are also St. Catherine's and St. Edmund Hall, in both of which clubs a good rowing tradition has grown up in the past five years; Jesus, who are coached by J. du B. Lance, late captain of their sister college at Cambridge [correction on Friday: The Jesus Eight was coached by the Rev. S. J. Selwyn, and Mr. Lance was on the towpath one day only], and Hertford. It cannot be claimed, however, that the standard of the lower colleges and the second crews is what it should be.
The Summer Eights were begun at Oxford yesterday... The entry of 47 crews was the largest that has ever been. The new-comers were St. Peter's Hall, who met with such a remarkable run of successes in the Torpids...
There was a large crowd present at the racing in the First Division in the anticipation of an exciting struggle between Brasenose, the head crew, and University College, who had four Blues and two Trial Eights men in their crew. It was not for lack of trying that University did not succeed. C. F. Martineau, the Oxford University stroke, spurted again and again, but the Brasenose stroke, C. M. Johnston, was equal to the occasion, and Brasenose, who finished in dashing style, passed the post about a length in front. Unless there is a big reversal of form after the week-end there seems to be little chance of Brasenose's being deposed from the head.
Brasenose again Head of the River
The Oxford Summer Eights were concluded yesterday afternoon in favourable weather. The attendance had been less than usual on the early days, but there was a large crowed on the towing path yesterday to watch the final struggle for the Head of the River between Brasenose and University College. There was a stiff south-westerly wind blowing, and a few thought that might turn the scales in favour of the heavier University crew. It blew across from the Berkshire bank, but its force was broken by the line of spectators that extended from start to finish and its effect lessened.
University made a great effort to catch Brasenose. As the boats came out of the Gut tehre was less than half a length between them. University further reduced that distance, but after passing the Willows University began to fall off and Brasenose got away again and finished head of the river for the third successive year with three quarters of a length in hand.
These two crews were quite in a class by themselves, and of the remainder Pembroke, a small college with great rowing traditions, was possibly the fastest. They did remarkably well in making three bumps. Balliol and Worcester were other crews with considerable success in the First Division, each gaining four places. On the other hand, Merton lost and went down each night, and Magdalen II. fell five places. Magdalen started by losing three places, but they almost won one back on Wednesday.
The lower divisions included a number of moderate crews, but St. Edmund Hall made seven bumps in the six days and St. Peter's Hall might have had a similar record but for the wayrwardness of the Keble II. cox on Monday night, when he ran his boat ashore and Queen's [II] escaped St. Peter's Hall by rowing past them. St. John's II. started well by making four bumps in the first three races, but then found their level, while the first crew, on the other hand, lost five places.
The following are the crews of the two leading boats on the river and of St. Edmund Hall.
|B:||J. R. Kent (Sherborne)|
|2:||V. C. Fairfax (Geelong)|
|3:||G. M. L. Smith (Wincehster)|
|4:||C. F. B. Gilman (Bradfield)|
|5:||L. C. R. Balding (Radley)|
|6:||R. A. J. Poole (Eton)|
|7:||A. Graham (Eton)|
|S:||C. M. Johnston (Shrewsbury)|
|C:||E. W. Parsons (King's School, Worcester)|
|B:||J. M. Freeman (Charterhouse)|
|2:||P. A. Tinné (Eton)|
|3:||A. M. Emmet (Sherborne)|
|4:||R. H. Dutton (St. Peter's, Adelaide)|
|5:||N. K. Hutton (Fettes)|
|6:||R. V. Low (Winchester)|
|7:||D. E. Tinné (Eton)|
|S:||C. F. Martineau (Harrow)|
|C:||H. A. C. Durbridge (Malvern)|
|St. Edmund Hall|
|B:||H. E. Pegg (King's School, Canterbury)|
|2:||J. C. Gates (St. Peter's, York)|
|3:||J. H. Tyzack (Shrewsbury)|
|4:||D. K. Dixey (King's School, Ely)|
|5:||M. J. V. Print (St. Edward's Oxford)|
|6:||A. F. Cloborn (Derby)|
|7:||E. L. G. Powys (Monkton Combe)|
|S:||W. W. J. Bolland (Durham)|
|C:||B. M. Forrest (Shrewsbury)|
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