Title is between Christ Church and KebleBy Jim Railton
The start of the Oxford Summer Eights today promises some intense rivalry between Keble, the present holders, and Christ Church. Clearly the title lies between the two, but a victory by Christ Church would mark a much needed revival in Oxford rowing.
Christ Church are coached by their boatman George Harris and have concentrated on the necessary techniques required to move a boat. The newly-elected Oxford Secretary, Keith Bolshaw, who rows six in the House crew, tells me that the boat is balanced and runs between strokes to give a feeling never acquired in this year's Blue boat. Altogether the Christ Church crew contains five Blues — Parish, Bolshaw, Nevin, Dart, and the Oxford cox Eastman.
Unlike Christ Church, Keble have made appearances in two Thames Regattas. A few weeks ago, Keble were beaten by a Thames Tradesmen's eight in the final of senior eights at Hammersmith, and were eliminated by the eventual winners, Bewdley, in senior eights at Wallingford just over a week ago. Keble contain four Blues — Lonsdale, Dale, Hall and Hunt — as well as three Isis oarsmen.
Keble should still be smarting from their defeat by Christ Church in last October's coxless fours event. On that occasion, Keble suffered mainly from an air of complacency and lost by a margin of 1.5sec. This week should see four days of tough competition between the leading two crews, and much depends on Keble's attitude to the event. The lesson learnt last October should be enough to release some adrenalin.
Oriel, in third place, should hold their position, despite including seven freshmen in their crew. They include Crawley and Thring from this year's inconspicuous Isis crew. Oriel finished fifth in last Saturday's Head of the Cam and were the first Oxford college home, but basically this is a crew with an eye to the future. Other colleges in the first division likely to improve their positions are St. John's, Queen's, and Jesus.
First day bumps for five Keble crewsBy Jim Railton
Keble's crews sampled the bitter taste of defeat yesterday when their first, second, third, fourth and fifth crews were bumped on the opening day of the Oxford Summer Eights. Keble's first two were bumped by Christ Church crews and their noses rubbed in the dust with the House catching Keble's first boat alongside the O.U.B.C. in full view of both boathouses.
Christ Church gained ground on Keble's first crew in the first few strokes of the race and clsoed rapidly on the leaders as they raced through the Gut. Keble maintained a high rate in a desperate attempt to hold off the challengers but Christ Church went up to a rate of 39 before applying the final coup de grace.
Oriel, Queen's and St. John's rowed over in Division One with University, St. Edmund Hall and Jesus all gaining promotion at the expense of Balliol, Merton and Lincoln.
Christ Church ahead as Keble plots failsBy Jim Railton
Keble changed their order of rowing yesterday in an unsuccessful attempt to regain their headship, having been deposed by Christ Church on the opening day of the Oxford Summer Eights.
The Keble captain, Burns, moved back to four allowing the 1970 Blue boat stroke, Lonsdale, to lead the crew. They made a furious attempt to catch Christ Church in the first part of the race, closing to within three-quarters of a length of the House as they came out of the Gut.
Along the Green Bank, Christ Church almost seemed to change gear, lengthened and smoothly moved away to finish just over two lengths and a half clear of their challengers.
The final order in Divsion One could be Christ Church, Keble and Oriel but St. John's still constitute a threat. Yesterday they came to within a canvas of St. Edmund Hall almost to make an outstanding overbump, which would have been the only one of the day.
There were only two bumps in Division One. Queen's caught Merton by Donnington Bridge and Lincoln succumbed to Wadham before reaching the Gut.
St. Hilda's, the only women's crew in the event, sadly descended yet again, being caught by Exeter IV and start ahead of Pembroke VI [actually V] today. The two "équipe mixte" Wolfson and Linacre had mixed fortunes. Wolfson, with three oarswomen aboard, bumped St Catherine's IV after having rowed over yesterday.
Linacre, with the Dutch oarsman, Joost Crouwel, at seven and including two women crew members, were victims of what appeared to be a poor umpiring decision. But the protest was not upheld and their run of success halted momentarily.
Christ Church keep Keble at bayBy Jim Railton
Christ Church kept Keble at bay once again in yesterday's Oxford Summer Eights. Keble held the head crew through the Gut but were noticeably short along the Green Bank, allowing a more efficient House crew to cruise home. Altogether there were four bumps in the First Division, all early in the race but the first four places now seem secure.
Apart from the Head crew, Christ Church, "bump suppers" awarded to first boats gaining four consecutive bumps looked well within the grasp of St. Catherine's, St. Peter's and Wadham. Christ Church appear set for a double celebration with their second crew now placed highest among the second boats.
Some explanation must be offered over St John's III descent [of 3 places] in Division Five. After being bumped by Jesus II, the St. John's crew obstructed St. Edmund Hall IV, who, as a result, were overtaken by Oriel III. After much deliberation between the four crews involved, it was agreed that St. Edmund Hall and Oriel would move up one place each but the bump between the two crews would be disallowed. St. John's III admitted fault for the incident, agreeing to move down two places and start today as sandwich boat in Division Six.
Return to Bumps Index