Queen's II being pressed by Jesus II in Division IV of the Oxford University Summer Eights which were continued on Saturday. College barges provide a picturesque background to this picture taken by a staff photographer. There were 26 bumps during the day's racing.
The weather was ideal for the opening of the Oxford University Summer Eights yesterday and there was a very large attendance of the public both on the barges and on the tow path.
In Division VII St. Peter's Hall [IV] made an over-bump and the number of bumps was 27. A disputed bump between St. Catherine's and Exeter in Division II is being settled by the committee. Oriel III and Jesus III had to re-row when Jesus made a bump [?]. Merton should have no difficulty in keeping at the head of the river.
Ther was an unusual incident in the second day of the Oxford University Summer Eights yesterday. This happened in Division VI and six boats were involved. Magdalen IV and Jesus III both made bumps and Oriel III rowed on to make a double overbump against Balliol IV. There was a protest and the five [sic] boats re-rowed after the 6.30 race [ie Div I] with exactly the same result but without, this time, a protest.
Balliol go HeadThe unexpected, though not perhaps the altogether unforeseen, happened at Oxford on Saturday, when Balliol bumped Merton near the O.U.B.C., abd thus went head for the first time since 1879.
They were within feet along the Green Bank, though even then it looked as though Merton might have got away if they could have rallied; instead they became very ragged, and a determined effort gave Balliol their well-deserved reward. Balliol are an exceptionally strong crew and row with great determination and dash. They must now have an excellent chance of remaining Head, though in this year's Eights anything might happen. For, although they have not been very many bumps at the top of the river, the crews so far have been most unpredictable in their daily performances. Merton, for instance, were pressed if not threatened by Magdalen on the first night before Magdalen themselves succumbed to Balliol. On Friday Merton looked safe, while Magdalen closed up on Balliol; and on Saturday, while Balliol were catching Merton, Magdadlen went down to New College, who really looked more likely to lose places than to gain them.
Balliol not PressedExcept along the Green Bank, where Merton gained slightly, Balliol were in no danger of losing the headship of the river which they gained in the Oxford Summer Eights on Saturday.
Balliol stay HeadIn the fifth day's racing in the Oxford University Summer eights, which conclude to-day, there were 25 bumps, bringing the total to 129 in addition to overbumps and a double overbump.
A strong westerly wind which sprang up late in the afternoon handicapped the crews, particularly in Division I. Balliol easily maintained their position at the head of the river. In Division III the second boats of St. Peter's Hall and St. Catherine's have now bumped each other twice. There is to be a re-row to-day in Division IV between the third crews of Balliol, Brasenose, and St. Catherine's. In yesterday's race Brasenose bumped Balliol but this was followed by a protest.
Balliol Head of the RiverThe Oxford University Summer Eights were concluded yesterday, with Balliol head of the river, a position they secured on Saturday when they caught Merton.
Earlier in the day the third crews of Balliol, Brasenose, and St. Catherine's re-rowed because of a disputed bump on Tuesday in Division IV and St. Catherine's bumped Brasenose.
Eights Week ReviewedIt was not only the fine weather during this year's racing but the improved standard of most of the crews which helped to revive memories of the glories of past Eights Weeks at Oxford. Certainly the crowds must have been the greatest since the war, though many might well have deplored the changes of fashion which have deprived the occasion of any pretence at smartness.
There were many surprises in the first division, even though six days' racing produced only three bumps among the top seven crews, a fact which in itself was a timely reminded that four days would generally be quite sufficient. Those who saw Balliol only on the last night, when they were rowing over comfortably in the place of honour, might well have been misled into thinking them a better and more polished crew than they really were. But they earned their success last week when they bumped Magdalen and then Merton by virtue of sheer hard work and determination. Their boat club must have absorbed some of that genius for producing coordinated variety which has long been a feature of the college. For theirs was no crew of ready-made oarsmen, and must surely have been the first ever to go Head under the leadership of an Etonian, and assisted by one Yale and one Harvard man, and five others, none of whom came from a major rowing school. It was a great triumph for J. G. C. Blacker, who rowed in eights which won the Ladies' Plate for Eton and the Grand for Leander before gaining a Blue at Oxford in 1949, and who has been debarred from rowing a gain for the University, and therefore deprived of a place in this year's winning crew, on medical grounds. K. H. Keniston must be the first man to have rowed in crews that beat Yale, won the Grand for Harvard and the Boat Race for Oxford, and finally went Head at Oxford.
Merton had been looked on as almost certain to retain the Headship, and it is possible that they would still, in fact, beat Balliol over the Henley distance. But, while one is at grips with Eights Week, one may deplore the shortness of the course and the methods it encourages, but one can seldom ignore them with impunity. Merton were long and reasonably well together, but they lacked the dash and drive which took them Head last year. New College must have been well pleased to finish third and on Merton's tail, for they looked more likely to go down. Magdalen started the year with a serious shortage of material, and, while they had not much pace, were probably doing well enough to finish fourth. The next three crews rowed through the week without change of position, and Trinity were possibly the most polished crew at Oxford, at least when paddling. But they had weaknesses which became very apparent when rowing.
|B:||R. A. Parkhurst (University College School)||11st|
|2:||R. J. Robinson (Poole G.S.)||11st 10lb|
|3:||W. A. Brooks (Bristol G.S.)||12st 5lb|
|4:||K. H. Keniston (Harvard)||12st 12lb|
|5:||A. C. Chapman (Accrington G.S.)||12st 13lb|
|6:||D. D. Cadle (Yale)||13st 12lb|
|7:||J. G. C. Blacker (Eton)||12st 1lb|
|S:||F. J. Lindars (Leeds Modern School)||11st 4lb|
|C:||W. D. Stone (Rugby)||9st 8lb|
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