Expensive price of shaping up
Oriel look set to retain their position as head in this year's Oxford University torpids, which start today (a Special Correspondent writes). Both Oriel and the second-placed crew, Keble, have had the advantage of an additional two weeks training.
While the Isis was closed due to dangerous stream conditions, both crews ignored the ban on college rowing and trained regularly on the Godstow stretch, upstream of Oxford. However, their action cost them dear — both colleges were fined £650.
This year Oriel are stroked by the American blue, Pete Gish, who rowed in last year's successful Oxford boat race crew. In the women's first division, Osler House, strengthened by the addition of several ex-Cambridge oarswomen, will provide problems for the head crew, Somerville, who lack the experience of last year's boat.
Oriel look too strong for their opposition
Oriel and Keble, heavily fined for illegally practising for two weeks on a swollen river, were never challenged at the top of the men's first division on the opening day of the Oxford University Torpids on the Isis yesterday (a Special Correspondent writes).
Oriel, who look unbeatable, had a five-length advantage over Keble at the University boat house. But Keble will face stiffer competition today from Christ Church, who bumped Pembroke to move up to third place.
At the top of the women's first division Osler House had an overlap on Somerville, the leaders, but failed to make a bump
Demotion for Worcester
By a Special Correspondent
Oriel were again in a class of the their own in the Oxford University Torpids on the Isis. They quickly opened up a lead of four lengths over Keble and maintained it to the finish.
There was confusion lower down the top division yesterday due to a late acknowledgement by Worcester that St Catherine's had made a bump. Worcester were penalized five places and moved out of the division.
In the women's leading division, Osler House gradually wore down Somerville, the leaders, and made their bump along the Green Bank.
Oriel face rivals from new quarters
By a Special Correspondent
Oriel will be tested by new opponents on the last day of the Oxford University Torpids on the Isis today. Keble, who failed to make any impression, were caught by Christ Church and will be hard-pressed to hold onto third place from Oriel II, who closed to within half a length at the Gut.
Oriel II did not have the best preparation for the race. On their way to the start their bow broke a rigger and the boat was forced to return to the boathouse for repairs, which delayed the start by 15 minutes. There was no change in the women's top division, where the first seven crews rowed over.
Record 17 wins in a row for Oriel
By a Special Correspondent
Oriel's rowing supremacy was confirmed again on the Isis on Saturday when the retained the Headship of the Oxford University Torpids for a record seventeenth consecutive year.
They may consider the £650 fine imposed for flouting a rule which prohibited training on a dangerously swollen river, a small price to pay for success, but Keble, fined a similar amount, gained nothing from the extra two weeks on the water.
Caught by Christ Church on Friday, they suffered a greater indignity when Oriel's second crew bumped them along the Green Bank 24 hours later.
Osler House finished at the top of the women's first division.
A complete bumps chart was published in The Times on Tue 1st March.
Some very exciting racing in Torpids this year offered relief from the dullness of the weather: though the heavy rains of January had stopped, their aftermath still lingered in the form of the fast stream. Earlier in the term this had been high enough to be dangerous, and the Isis was closed to crews for a period.
The excitement did not, by and large, surround the tenure of the Headship: it was held with some ease, for the seventeenth year, by Oriel. Second place was at last relinquished by Keble, being bumped by Christ Church on the third day: the latter were at the time under severe pressure from Oriel II who made up for this, the only day on which they did not bump and on which they almost fell prey to New College, by bumping Keble on the last day and going third on the River. The next 2nd Torpid is twenty places below.
Their first victims, Worcester, were not up to the standard of the division, and dropped twelve places, as did Exeter in the Second Division, where much in the way of good racing was to be seen all week. Magdalen in particular raced very well: their fourth bump, on Trinity, proved crucial to their success, as they had been following them up on the first three days, and had to bump them off the head of the division to be able to move into the First. This they achieved in fine style within a very short distance of the finish line. Slightly less spectacular, but no less commendable, blades were won by Hertford in the First Division, and by Wolfson amd University in the Second.
The Women's Headship changed hands when Somerville were bumped by Osler House on the second day of racing. But apart from L.M.H. bumping St Hugh's on the first day, the top seven crews otherwise rowed over, in some cases with considerable distances between them. Many crews, such as L.M.H., did not feel they reached their potential: but some good rowing was nonetheless seen at this level. St Hugh's II moved up two places and thereby regained some of the ground lost since they were in high position similar to that of Oriel II. New College entered the Division, winning blades with little trouble: a swift exit was made, however, by Worcester, though their fall was not as rapid as that of their menfolk.
Return to Bumps Index