Pembroke's strength gives them air of authorityBy a Correspondent
With Oriel's dominance of the headship unlikely to be challenged, it is the women's first division which promises excitement in the Oxford summer rowing eights, which start today.
While Somerville's coaches are confident of their crew's form, they acknowledge the quality of the competition, and other observers feel that they are weak enough to fall victim to a strong Osler House. Pembroke, at three, though, are looking good and have the capacity to catch Osler House either today or later in the week.
The action today will be a matter of which crew can bump first, with nobody in the top five secure. New College, starting sixth, have also shown good form but will need an overbump to challenge for the headship.
The men's first division will have to rely on St Edmund Hall and Balliol, who both look set to rise, for some action in the middle ranks, while in the second division St Peter's are the crew to watch.
Heavy rain last week and over the weekend raised the spectre of possible further disruption to college racing, but though the ground is waterlogged, river levels are safe.
Oriel set to retain Headship in eights
A strong Oriel crew will probably remain Head of the River in the Oxford Summer Eights, which begin today, having failed to achieve the honour on only four occasions since 1978.
St Edmund Hall look the fastest of the rest but, starting fifth, they will have to make a bump each day if they are to challenge for the Headship on Saturday.
Somerville have dominated the women's divisions in recent years and look to be the best of the women's crews again but they will need to watch Osler House, who have been climbing back towards the top recenty and start second today.
Recent heavy rain seems unlikely to interfere with the event, although Oxford's bumping races have been unlucky with the weather for the past two years.
Last term's Oxford Torpids were reduced to one day because of dangerous conditions on the Isis, limiting information about potential form for the Summer Eights, while last year the strong stream caused the men's and women's lower divisions in the Summer Eights to be cancelled after the first day.
Oriel stay clear of the fieldThere were no surprises in the top divisions on the first day of Oxford University summer rowing eights on the Isis yesterday
Oriel, at the head of the men's first division, finished well clear of their nearest challengers, Pembroke. The only crews to move up were Christ Church and Brasenose.
In the women's first division, Osler House bumped Somerville to move to the top. Pembroke, expected to catch Osler before they made their bump, made no impression.
Pembroke make no impressionOriel comfortably rowed over at the top of the men's first division on the second day of Oxford University summer rowing eights on the Isis yesterday. They finished three lengths ahead of Pembroke, who were a similar distance clear of Christ Church. It seems unlikely the top three positions will change today or tomorrow.
In the women's top division, Osler House moved well clear of Somerville, who were bumped by Pembroke. New College and St Hilda's made their second bumps and St Catherine's caught Oriel.
Pembroke beaten by six lengthsIn the third day of the Oxford University rowing eights on the Isis yesterday, Osler House rowed over at the top of the women's first division six lengths clear of Pembroke who were under no pressure as third-placed Somerville were caught by New College.
In the men's top division Brasenose achieved their third success, catching University, and St Edmund Hall bumped Christ Church.
Osler muscle their way to fine position
By John Allen
Both Oriel and Osler House looked unassailable as they rowed over at the head of the men's and women's divisions respectively on the third day of Oxford Eights. Pembroke continue to occupy second position in each section.
The supremacy of the Osler women's eight rests on evident experience and almost as strong musculature. Certainly Osler are a tough-looking bunch, while Pembroke's prettier rowing could succumb to New College, who made today's contribution to Somerville's free fall.
St Hilda's, St Anne's and SEH are three more women's first eights who will be looking for one more bump today to win their blades.
Men's first eights with sights on a fourth bump are Brasenose in the First Division, Trinity in the Second and Linacre, who made it to the Third Division in the shadow of another late starter, Osler House.
A misdemeanour of St Antony's in contrast brought the college first boat down to bottom in the eigth division, with the added ignominy of a £25 fine for an alleged assault on the chief umpire.
Keble, St John's and Magdalen closed up tightly on their starting positions without making contact at the foot of Men's Division One. A bump today looks a very distinct possibility with the odds marginally favouring Keble.
Despite the coaching of Matthew Pinsent, St Catherine's have enjoyed mixed fortunes. But the admiration for the involvement of an Olympic gold medallist and world champion with the grass-roots is almost tangible.
The article includes the complete bumps chart.
Oriel rally to defeat PembrokeOriel and Osler House rowed over untroubled to finish head of the men's and women's divisions in the Oxford University Summer Eights, which ended on the Isis on Saturday.
Pembroke made a brief challenge to Oriel in the men's top division, which they could not sustain, and the Osler House first women's crew crossed the finishing line unchallenged when Pembroke were bumped by New College along the Green Bank.
New College bumped up each day but their assault on Osler House will now have to wait 12 months.
Balliol's contact with University College was the only disturbance to the starting order of the first 19 men's crews on the last day of Oxford Eights.
Osler's supremacy predictably went unchallenged as New College quickly dislodged Pembroke from second place in the women's divisions where St Hilda's comeback gathered strength with a decisive bump on Brasenose.
At the top of the first division Oriel again looked to be in an unassailable position; their crew including 1 Blue and 4 Isis rowers. Saint Edmund Hall were tipped by many to pose the most serious threat to Oriel. On the first day Oriel rowed over 3 lengths clear of Pembroke. S.E.H. lost their chance to go ahead [sic] as Christ Church bumped out ahead of them on the first day. S.E.H. would bump University and Christ Church to finish in third position. Oriel maintained the headship, comfortably, over the next three days rowing at least three lengths clear of Pembroke on each day. No crew other than Oriel won blades in the first division. Brasenose were unlucky not to get blades bumping St John's, Worcester and University. On the Saturday Christ Church denied them.
In the second division Trinity gained their blades by bumping Queen's, L.M.H., Wolfson and Oriel II; Oriel II succumbing more easily than had been expected, due to equipment failure after seven strokes. Merton also gained their blades and entered the second division in doing so.
At the top of the women's first division Somerville, the head crew, were being chased by an Osler House VIII packed with Blue boat and Osiris oarswomen. On the first day despite a valiant effort from Somerville, Osler House bumped onto head. Osler House maintained the headship easily for the next 3 days. New College bumped up to second place gaining blades in the process. University, Brasenose, Somerville and Pembroke were the displaced crews. St Hilda's and St Anne's also gained blades, further down the division. The steady rise of Oriel's women was at last ended, as they suffered the ignominy of being bumped every day (before the gut!).
In the women's second division S.E.H., Hertford, Worcester and Linacre all won blades. Linacre going up six places as they bumped into women's division II.
|| B: ||
A. M. Shaw || Rainford HS
|| 2: ||
B. D. Mays || St Edwards'
|| 3: ||
E. O. Pearse || Leys
|| 4: ||
M. P. Brown || Queen's Park HS
|| 5: ||
R. F. Morrison || Reading Univ
|| 6: ||
P. A. J. Bridge || Eton
|| 7: ||
T. B. J. Anderson || Eton
|| S: ||
J. P. Hodges || Abingdon
|| C: ||
C. B. Toogood || The Abbey School
|| Coach: ||
|| B: || Catherine Magill
|| 2: || Susan Snape
|| 3: || Helen Swannie
|| 4: || Denny Levett
|| 5: || Joanna Skillman
|| 6: || Melissa Holden
|| 7: || Tamsin Dodd
|| S: || Penny Webb
|| C: || Penelope Bryant
|| Coach: || Pete Sudbury
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