Oriel men plan to steer clear of penalty
The Oxford University torpids start today under a cloud of proctorial disapproval. After several serious accidents and increasing morning activity on the river keeping students away from lectures, the proctors asked OUBC to ban outings between 8am and 1pm. For torpids week the start has been put back to noon.
Oriel look set to bump back to the men's headship they lost last year through technical penalties. The head crew, Christ Church, is showing indifferent form and should be easy meat for Oriel.
The situation at the top of the women's first division is more open, with Osler House aiming to regain the headship after last year's demotion by Somerville. This year's Osler crew has more raw power than last year's, but less experience than in previous years.
Oriel's return to top overshadowed
Oriel's return to the top of the men's first division of Oxford University torpids yesterday was marred by the death of John Hebbes, an Oriel man, the previous day [rowing for the OUBC squad].
Oriel decided to row only after a lengthy meeting, and once on the river, wore down Christ Church and made the bump 50 yards from the finish. They were tipped to catch Christ Church and Hebbes's death made the crew all the more determined. The other bump in the division was by Magdalen on St Catherine's.
In the women's top division, the expected challenge by Osler House on Somerville never materialised. Somerville pulled away from the start, and there were three clear lengths between the crews as they passed the University boat house.
There was no change at the top of the men's and women's first divisions of Oxford University torpids yesterday.
In the men's race, Oriel only just held off Brasenose and, at the finishing post, a canvas separated the crews. Brasenose, one-and-a-half lengths down at the Boat House were the stronger crew over the last quarter and an exciting finale is in prospect today.
Somerville's win at the top of the women's division was emphatic. They pulled away from New College and opened up a two-lengths lead at the Boat House and maintained the margin.
Threat to Somerville
Oriel and Somerville finished head of the men's and women's divisions in Oxford University Torpids (a Special Correspondent writes).
Oriel finished a length up on Brasenose; Somerville, whose domination could be threatened by the decision to admit men to the college, confidently rowed over.
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