There was a good attendance for the first day of the Torpid races at Oxford yesterday. The river was bank high, and the crews had an exceedingly strong curruent to contend with.
An exciting race took place between the first three boats. At the boathouse Merton were not more than four yards ahead of Balliol, but they then drew away and gained on University, who lost the Headship of the River near the Magdalen College Barge.
The Torpid races were continued at Oxford yesterday. Heavy rain fell throughout the day, and the river banks and college barges were almost completely deserted. The river is still rising, and the crews have had very hard work in pulling against the strong current.
The weather was so rough at Oxford yesterday that the afternoon's racing in the Torpids had to be cancelled. A strong southerly wind met the stream, with the results that from the Cherwell to Iffley there was a long succession of white-crested waves. The bank gave little or no shelter, the river being nearly level with the towing path. Worcester II. were one of the first crews to get afloat, but no sooner had they left the raft than the boat began to fill, and one or two members of the crew had difficulty in getting ashore. Racing was then postponed for half an hour, but the same thing happened to St. Edmund Hall, who, on going down, had the water breaking in fore and aft near Saunders Bridge. Fortunately, the University crew had not gone out, and the President decided that no more risks should be taken and cancelled the day's racing.
The only previous occasion on which the Torpids have been postponed was during the long frost of more than 30 years ago [presumably referring to 1895, when Torpids was cancelled]
A Captains' meeting was held at the University Boat Club yesterday, when it was decided to extend the Torpid races over to-mrrow. The weather yesterday [Tuesday] was very variable, and rain fell heavily during the racing of the Second Division, but Monday's gale had entirely died out.
[Div III] Wadham [II] were being hard pressed by University II. Wadham, in order to escape, went right across to where the Magdalen [sic] boat had drifted, and collided with them, while University crashed into Wadham II. The impact smashed the bows of the Magdalen boat, and the force of the wind and stream severely damaged the two othe boats, with the result that all three sank, and their crews had to swim for the shore. Wadham [sic] claimed the bump, which was subsequently allowed.Note: Magdalen II were still racing so it is more likely that it was either the Queen's or Christ Church II boats, which had bumped out. Also, given the next day's starting order, it was Univ II given the bump on Wadham II.
The Torpid races were concluded at Oxford yesterday, when Merton finished at the head of the river for the first time in the history of their boat club. St. John's, who have recently passed through a lean time in rowing, made a bump on each day, but University, who started at the head of the river, went down a place on each day. Forty-five bumps were made in all.The article actually lists 10 members of the Merton crew, but only specifies names for the bow, stroke and cox's seats.
[Div I] The race for the headship of the river provided an excellent struggle. Balliol, rowing a much faster stroke than Merton, gradually crept up and, coming through the Gut, got to within a quarter of a length. Bad steering, however, lost them a length at the Long Bridges, and Merton got away. Balliol went after them again and gained rapidly until nearing the Cherwell, where they again lost ground through getting into the stream. Another spurt brought them up close again, but, on reaching Christ Church Barge, Merton made a determined effort and reached home with barely half-a-length to spare.
|B:||H. M. Lawrie (Shrewsbury)||10st 8lb|
|2:||E. Hunsworth (Silcoates)||10st 1lb|
|3:||R. R. Sheldrick (U.New Brunswick)||10st 5lb|
|4:||C. E. W. Harrison (Beaumont Coll.)||11st|
|5:||G. E. Scott (Marlborough)||12st 4lb|
|6:||R. G. S. Whitfield (Rossall)||11st 6lb|
|7:||C. Holyman (Queen Mary's)||11st 9lb|
|?:||A. A. Reynolds (Hastings)||10st|
|S:||R. Phelps (Radley)||11st 3lb|
|C:||J. M. Cole (Christ's Hosptial )||8st 13lb|
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