The Torpid races were begun at Oxford yesterday, and although the weather was dull little fault could be found with it from a rowing point of view, as the stream was almost normal and there was no wind.
The Third Division provided no excitement and only one bump was recorded [...] The Second Division rowed over without a single bump, a remarkable record for a first day's racing.
[Div I] Merton, although losing ground to Balliol, were never in any real danger of being caught and passed the post with a length in hand. Magdalen made a fine effort to overhaul Balliol after being a length behind at the Boathouse. All the way up the Wall they steadily reduced the deficit, and a few feet from the finish their cox shot, but just missed.
[Div I] Merton kept well away until coming out of hte Gut, when Balliol began to gain appreciably. Merton then regained some of their lead at the crossing and at the Boathouse were about a length in front. Coming up the Wall Balliol again made good headway, but Merton still had a comfortable lead when the boats passed the Cherwell, and were a quarter of a length in front at the Christ Church [unreadable] barge. Balliol then made a great effort, both crews being splendidly steered. Bit by bit Balliol crept up, but they just failed to obtain their bump, and the semaphore fell a fraction of a second before the Balliol bows struck the Merton rudder. The Merton boat was swamped, the crew having to swim for the shore.
[Div I] Balliol came up well from the Long Bridges and were only half a length behind Merton at the crossing. Continuing to gain, they were right up at the Cherwell, where the Merton cox was keeping his boat too close to the wall. Apparently one of the Merton crew struck the wall, with the result that Balliol ran right into them and boat boats were swamped.
[Div I] Balliol did not have to exert themselves to keep their place, but Merton, who had to enlist the services of their reserve man, were bumped by Magdalen when passing the Corpus barge.
[Div I] Balliol had a difficult task to escape Magdalen, who had gained a lot along the Green Bank. Only a length separated them at the Boathouse and Magdalen improved their position along the Wall, but they never got near enough to strike and Balliol finished with three-quarters of a length to spare.
Balliol Head of the River
The Torpids were concluded at Oxford yesterday. The racing had at first been uninteresting, but in the end 42 bumps were made in the six days.
Balliol finished Head of the River, and once having got there were never in danger of losing their position. Magdalen certainly succeeded in finishing within their distance yesterday, but Balliol were hardly all out. They have experienced many ups and downs since the War, the time on which they were Head of the Torpids being in 1911. Merton lost their stroke through indisposition, and this in a measure accounted for the fact that they went down four places. There was no phenomenal performance by any crew, but Lincoln, Queen's, St. Catherine's, Exeter II., and University all gained four places.
|B:||G. H. S. Du Pontet (Harrow)||10st 0lb|
|2:||The Hon. E. J. Stanley (Eton)||11st 13lb|
|3:||A. N. Mitchell (Shrewsbury)||11st 0lb|
|4:||J. K. G. Syme (Durham)||13st 0lb|
|5:||M. Hammond (Harvard)||13st 0lb|
|6:||P. J. Thompson (Malvern)||12st 2½lb|
|7:||J. S. Orivin (Eton)||12st 5½lb|
|S:||R. I. Douglas (Eton)||12st 0lb|
|C:||H. J. Pelham (Harrow)||8st 8lb|
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