This term was never going to be easy for W1. Blighted by illness, injuries and exams, only three members of our Blades-winning Torpids crew were able to return full time. We resorted to begging, stealing and borrowing returning Blues, last year’s W1 girls, and some of W2, and ended up with three different racing crews across the four days. Unfortunately, this lack of consistency and limited water time meant that we fell victim to crews who were simply better than us.
Wednesday saw Wadham II gain a swiftly executed and totally unexpected bump by Donnington Bridge. We managed to hold on slightly longer on Thursday, but were bumped by Corpus Christi. We rowed over on Friday, but Saturday’s sunshine was not enough to help us hold off a determined Brasenose crew who bumped us just as we were exiting the gut. It definitely wasn’t the result we had hoped for, but I was really impressed by the crew’s ability to maintain a positive attitude through wind, hail and lost blades.
Many thanks to George Blessley and David Locke for their coaching and support all term. Thanks also to Mark Robson and his family (our biggest fan club despite the weather) and to the various rowers, coxes and coaches who were recruited to sub in, often at very short notice.
Despite a fairly chaotic start to the term and changing the crew on every day of Summer Eights, W2 pulled out all of the stops on every day. On Wednesday they valiantly rowed over but were unfortunately bumped by a strong Trinity W2 on Thursday. On Friday they were awarded a technical row over in very difficult weather conditions, and on Friday they bumped St Hilda’s W2 impressively quickly! Most importantly, they enjoyed what was a first bumps race for many.
M2 started their summer eights campaign in a difficult position, at the bottom of the fixed divisions. This meant that on the first couple of days they were chased by the fastest crews from rowing on. These contained rowers who had previously raced in their college first boats, or in some cases for the university. This put the crew in a difficult position as bumps racing is always more difficult when you start going down and meeting fast crews bumping up. Unfortunately they ended the week down four places, nevertheless for a crew with limited experience they preformed admirably, improving each day. Hopefully gaining experience which will allow them to help with lmh’s inevitable progression to the top of the bumps charts. Thanks go to all those that helped with the crew this term, in particular Jason Ellar, Paul Taylor and Gordon Stevenson.