With a much altered crew from Torpids, the men’s 1st boat was confident of a strong regatta given the return of James O’Connor and James Mountain from their OUBC exploits. It also saw yet another return for Lloyd Chapman in what is now officially his last ever Summer Eights representing LMHBC. Day 1 saw Brasenose bump out before LMH had a chance to get close, but on day 2 M1 bumped St John’s outside the LMH boathouse having held off Mansfield at only a few feet for most of greenbanks. Another bump on Lincoln followed on day 3, but the main excitement came on the start line with a delayed start due to a hailstorm. On Saturday M1 were again chasing Brasenose, and although they couldn’t get a bump, the boys could be very proud of a strong race and reaching the highest position M1 has ever been in Summer Eights!
W1 had a strong crew with high expectations of a successful week of bumps racing. W1 also began their campaign chasing Brasenose, and were very close to a bump but only just ran out of river. On the other days they had almost no chance of a bump as the crews above them bumped out on every day very quickly before W1 had a chance to close. The rest of the regatta was spent comfortably holding off Wolfson W2 with the exception of a technical row over awarded after the crew had to stop in the gut to get around crews which had bumped out.
Although M2 qualified from rowing on in a very promising 7th place, the were unfortunately chasing equally competitive crews on the first 3 days. Each day they closed on the crew ahead and left the chasing crew far behind, but could not get an elusive bump. Finally on Saturday they were due their bump until disaster happened with a seat coming off the slides. Despite only having 7 rowers they were still catching the crew ahead and were very close when the crew behind caught them. This was disappointing for the crew as they had easily held off Oriel M3 on previous days when it had been a fair fight. Nevertheless, M2 retained a position at the top of div 6 with a return to fixed divs still on the horizon.
W2 sadly were awarded spoons for the 2nd year running, but were a vastly improved crew from the previous year, and received compliments from other coaches on the bank saying they were much much better by the end of the regatta and did not deserve their spoons. Day 1 nearly changed the regatta entirely as they were bumped only moments before they could convert their overlap on the crew ahead into a bump, from then on it was an unlucky draw that saw them valiantly holding off crews which should have been several divisions higher. The girls stayed positive throughout and have gained valuable experience that will bode well in the future as they look to start moving back up.
For the first time in several years, LMH fielded a 3rd boat, all of them started rowing in the summer term leaving 4 short weeks of training before rowing on. Ultimately the boat did not qualify, though due to availabilities it was mostly girls, and had they been a W3, they would only have missed qualifying by 5 seconds, a testament to the speed at which the crew picked up rowing. Another few weeks and they may well have qualified. This did not dishearten the crew, and many have vowed to row again next term and aim for Christ Church Regatta and beyond!