Oxford Torpids — A fourth division race in progress during the Oxford University Torpids, which were continued yesterday over a shortened course.
The Oxford University Torpid races begin to-day and conclude next Wednesday. Forty-six crews are competing against 50 a twelve-month ago. Among the head crews Worcester, Lincoln, and Magdalen appear to have the best chance of making bumps. New College, the head boat, are the only college to put on three crews.
Oxford University Torpid races were begun yesterday over a course shortened by about 80 years because of a strong stream. There were 16 bumps in the four divisions.
New College, stroked by R. K. Webster, a Trial eights oarsman, who have been Head of the river since 1949, had little difficulty in maintaining their position, though it is generally expected that Worcester will give them a hard race to-night. There were four bumps in Division II, including one by the highest placed of the second crews, New College. The third division rowing was notable for the second success of the sandwich boat, University II, who had earlier in the day caught New College III. In the fourth division St John's II fouled the bank and Magdalen II rowed past them, which is equivalent to a bump, while a crab cost Trinity II a place.
The Oxford University Torpid races were continued yesterday when there were 15 bumps and two re-rows. One of these was in the Second Division in which St. Catherine's, Jesus, and Exeter were involved.
On Thursday Jesus claimed a bump against St. Catherine's, but later this was refused, and so the three crews rowed over yesterday morning and finished as they had started. Later St. Catherine's made a bump over Wadham, and Queen's caught Exeter, so the lucless Jesus crew were denied a bump. Worcester, who had to change their stroke because of illness, failed to deprive New College of the Headship of the River though they gained on them. When Christ Church II bumped Oriel II in the Third Division their boat was damaged and the crew had to be hauled out of the water. After the last race St. Catherine's II, Trinity II, and Hertford II were ordered to re-row, but no bump was recorded.
There were 16 bumps in the Oxford University Torpid races on Saturday, making the total 46 for the three days. Heavy rain storms and a strong wind were great handicaps to the crews in the open reaches and as the river had risen a foot during the night the course was again shortened, this time at the starting point.
The three head boats New College, Worcester, and Christ Church, kept their distance, but Worcester, whose stroke has been ill with influenza, hope that he will be well enough to return to the boat to-day. Lincoln, the fourth boat, went up for the third time, and University College second crew also made their third [fourth?] bump, while the second Magdalen crew have registered four bumps.
On the fourth day of the Oxford University Torpid races Worcester, with their stroke recovered from his illness, gave New College, the head boat, a hard race. Along the Green Bank they got within half a length of them but afterwards New College drew away.
There were 13 bumps. University College and St. Peter's Hall are so far among the most successful crews. University College I have made three bumps and their second crew five bumps, and St. Peter's Hall I three bumps and their second crew four. Merton and Magdalen II have each made four bumps. The weather was fine overhead but the water was choppy and a strong cross wind added to the difficulties of the crews. The shortened course was again used.
There was no improvement in the weather yesterday for the fifth day of the Oxford University Torpid races. Rain persisted throughout the afternoon and there was a strong stream with a high wind.
New College kept their position at the head of the river and there was rather an unusual incident in Divison I. In Saturday's racing University College had bumped Magdalen but there was a reversal of this order yesterday when, in their turn, they were bumped by Magdalen. University II continued their run of success by recording their sixth bump, while St. Peter's Hall II have gone up five places.
There were 12 bumps during yesterday's racing, the lowest number recorded so far.
New College finished head of the river in the last day of the Oxford University Torpid races, a position they secured two years ago.
During the six days' racing, rowed under the most unfavourable conditions, there were 85 bumps. The highest individual score was made by the second crew of University College, with seven bumps. St. Peter's Hall I, with three bumps, and their second crew, with five bumps, have also good reason to be satisfied with their achievements. On the other hand Wadham and Balliol II each lost six places [as did New College III]. There were 14 bumps yesterday.
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