Little enthusiasm for Torpids — rowing poor through lost training
Oxford University Torpids, with 54 crews in five divisions, will be begun to-day with the first race at 1.30. Though there are one or two fair crews, the standard of rowing is poor, and for this there are some obvious reasons. It is a general opinion that this may be the last year of the Torpids and there is certainly not much enthusiasm. With the floods and fog at the beginning of the term at least a week of training was lost and this is reflected in much of the rowing, Influenza, too, has been disruptive and caused late changes in personnel.
Queen's will start head but their hopes of staying there are not bright. On practice times Balliol, who are now second, are the fastest crew on the river and to-day they should displace Queen's without much difficulty. Worcester, starting third, are in a precarious position as behind them they have Christ Church and St. Edmund Hall. St. Edmund Hall look better than most crews and their chances will depend on their ability to race all the way. If they can catch Christ Church to-day they could be in a position to challenge for the headship on Saturday. In the second division the best crews seem to be St. Peter's Hall, Lincoln, and University. University use their legs well, a virtue which is missing in many crews.
Ideal weather for Torpids — Balliol go Head of River
Conditions could not have been better for rowing on the first day of the Torpids at Oxford yesterdsay. There was no wind; with no rain for a month there was little stream and for the first time for a month there was warm sunshine. On the whole there was some good racing with 16 bumps made in the five divisions. As was expected Queen's lost their place at the head of the river when Balliol bumped them coming out of the Gut.
Worcester, Christ Church, and St. Edmund Hall had an exciting three-sided battle. Christ Church must have been intensely relieved when they caught Worcester along the Green Bank. When they made their bump they were themselves in dire peril as St. Edmund Hall were only a few feet away and gaining with every stroke. Hertford fell quickly to St. John's who made their bump at the concrete bridge. New College were gaining on Oriel along the Green Bank, but they faded away and Oriel finished their full distance in front.
Many bumps in Torpids — Balliol threatened by Christ Church
Balliol had an easy journey at the Head of the River when the Torpids were continued at Oxford yesterday. They were able to paddle home easily after Queen's had been caught by Christ Church along the Green Bank. Christ Church nearly made their bump coming out of the Gut, but they steered wide and had to go another 200 yards before they finally achieved their objective.
Balliol, with Christ Church now behind them, will not find things so easy to-day, and St. Edmund Hall, having caught Worcester yesterday along the Green Bank, should easily deal with Queen's today, to get another chance of making a bump on Christ Church, which they just failed to do on the first day. In addition to Balliol, the only other crews in the first division not to be concerned with bumps, either for or against, were Magdalen and New College.
Lincoln are doing well, catching Pembroke, at the top of the second division, they put themselves safely into the first by bumping Merton. St. Peter's Hall had an unfortunate day in the second division. Soon after the start two of the crew parted company with their slides, and it was easy for Wadham to make their bump. In the third division Lincoln II made heavy weather of catching Magdalen II. Three times along the Green Bank they tried to make their bump and misjudged it but, just below the University boathouse they managed it at the fourth attempt. Twenty bumps were made yesterday, bringing the total to 36 for the two days' racing.
First question answered — Balliol still head of Torpids
There was a sharp wind across the river at Oxford yesterday. It dropped for the last division, but is some explanation of the number of bumps, 21 in all, recorded in the day, when one would have expected the number to decrease.
The first question of this year's Torpids was, barring accidents, settled when Christ Church failed to bump Balliol at the head. Coming out of the Gut the House [Christ Church] were challenging, but Balliol were cool, and, rowing with confidence, drew away steadily, so that by the Boathouses there was a length and a half of clear water between them, and at the finish the distance was two lengths. Unless they make a mistake Balliol should not be displaced to-day.
To-day's interest will centre on whether St. Edmund Hall will bump Christ Church. One expects them to, and quite quickly, for they are probably the fastest crew at Oxford and bumped Queen's well before the Gut. Worcester and Magdalen had a good race. In the Gut Magdalen began to close up, and by the O.U.B.C. Boathouse there was less than a canvas of clear water. Here Magdalen spurted ineffectively and Worcester seemed to draw away. It looked even as if they might escape, but the effort was too much, and Magdalen secured their bump in good time.
Balliol Head of the River — triumphant week in Torpids
Four days without snow, rain or frost — indeed, sometimes there was sunshine — meant unexpected but welcome good weather for the Oxford University Torpids which finished on Saturday. The crews seemed to appreciate it, too, for there was some lively and exciting racing.
If Balliol had any doubts about their ability to keep away from Christ Church and hold their place at the head of the river, they were soon dispelled. Coming out of the Gut Balliol were nearly two lengths ahead, whereas Christ Church must have been aware that in a few strokes they would be bumped by St. Edmund Hall, a bump which had been deserved on the first day and which, if it had happened then, might have altered the whole shape of things. Now it can only be a matter of conjecture whether, given the chance, St. Edmund Hall would have caught Balliol.
Rose four places
For Balliol it was a triumphant week. The first boat regained the place it had lost to Queen's two years ago; the second took the lead among the second crews; and the third kept its place at the top of the third boats. The first crew were solid workers who used their legs and kept their blades covered, which is more than can be said of most other crews.
If any of the deposed Queen's first boat are reading classics they will now appreciate the sense of Virgil's words on the descent to Avernus. In turn they fell to Balliol, Christ Church, St. Edmund Hall, and Magdalen. Yet their prospects need not seem too bleak, astheir second boat was one of the few to rise four places.
On Saturday 18 bumps were made, bringing the total to 75 for the four days.
|B:||G. D. Nicholson (Queen's Coll, British Guiana)|
|2:||S. T. Spence (Winchester)|
|3:||M. N. Mitchell (Shrewsbury)|
|4:||J. Simenson (Oslo University)|
|5:||J. L. Platts-Mills (Bryanston)|
|6:||C. P. M. Gomm (Cheltenham)|
|7:||N. P. D. Eadle (Winchester)|
|S:||Lord Clydesdale (Eton)|
|C:||R. H. Donaldson (Huddersfield)|
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