Oxford Summer Eights — Merton about to bump Worcester as the Second Division crews drew alongside the College Barges in the Oxford University Summer Eights on Saturday. In the beautiful weather the river banks were crowded and some interesting rowing was seen.
In Division V there was an unusual occurrence, New College III making a double over bump at the expense of Magdalen IV but the incident has resulted in an objection and there may be a re-row to-day.
As a results of a captain's meeting at the O.U.B.C. on Thursday night, the double overbump claimed by New College III over Magdalen IV was disallowed together with the two intervening bumps and yesterday the six crews concerned started in Thursday's order. The same course was adopted in dealing with a protest involving Pembroke II, Balliol IV, and Worcester II in Division 4, but in the third division another protest resulted in Brasenose II, St Catherine's, Balliol II, Exeter II, and Trinity II being ordered to rerow yesterday morning with the result that Trinity II bumped Exeter II.
In Division II Worcester II have claimed that they were obstructed, and the matter will come before a committee meeting. In Division I Trinity were never challenged for the headship, and New College failed to press Oriel as hard as they had done the night before.Although the Monday report states that Merton bumped Worcester on the Saturday (as, indeed, it looks quite likely from the photograph), subsequent results only make sense if, instead Worcester were instead given a bump on Corpus Christi.
As was expected Trinity College rowed over at the head of Division I and their polish and pace preclude any possibility of their being deposed from that position to-night.
A Low StandardEights week finished at Oxford yesterday with Trinity unchallenged as Head of the River after, at least in the first division, a remarkable scarcity of bumps. Trinity were rather a rough crew, and inclined to row out, but they had better length than most and, above all, far more determination and dash.
Magdalen bumped Oriel on the first night but never seriously challenged Trinity. They seemed quite fast for a short distance, but were undistinguished over the second half of the course, and were bouncing their boat very badly.
New College, finishing third, were quite neat and, like Magdalen, fast for a short distance, but apt to die away. Oriel lost three places and might have lost more if it had not been for P. N. Brodie, the new president, and J. R. Smith. Christ Church and Brasenose made three bumps, to finish fourth and sixth respectively. Both were fairly well together and the latter were also powerful, if somewhat rough. St. Edmund Hall lost three places, in spite of valiant efforts by P. H. Mathews to keep them away.
It could not be pretended that the to six crews were of a very reassuring standard, but below that it was immediately apparent that Oxford rowing is facing a crisis. Crews at the bottom of the first division had such dirty finishes as almost to amount to crabs, and were nearly all rushing forward hopelessly. After last year's promising start, this dearth of good summer eights is most disappointing. It may reflect the failure of the Boat Races; it may be due to lack of coaches. A lot of crews have gone back to fix [sic] pins, and the tendency is towards orthodoxy, but the distressing thing is that the rowing seems to be falling into the most obvious pitfalls which beset Oxford orthodox rowing in the late twenties and early thirties.
Most sinister of all is the lively recovery. Crews are clipping their finishes and bouncing their bodies over in an attempt, presumably, to be quick at the finish. Whether or not the sound of a fixed pin finish is an aid to good timing may be a controversial question. But it is quite certain that a ragged finish is immediately audible on fixed pins, and many of the crews at Oxford sound like the rattling of musketry. Some of the crews which are rowing on swivels make almost as much noise.
Further down the divisions the standard was not so different from normal, but the average of the first and second division was certainly low.
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