Summer Eights 2014


The Women’s 1st boat had a successful Eights going up 2 places overall despite having to follow Brasenose up through the division. On the first day they were unable to catch Brasenose before they bumped St Hilda’s, but caught St Hilda’s quickly the following day. The same pattern repeated itself on the third and fourth days, with Brasenose escaping W1 by bumping Queen’s on the third day and W1 catching Queen’s on the last day.

The Men’s 1st VIII started their Eights week well by getting revenge on Brasenose who had bumped them to win blades on the final day last year. On the second day prospects again looked good for bumping back St Anne’s from last year, and M1 managed to get overlap by the gut, but failed to steer the corner in time and crashed so were bumped back by Brasenose. Predictably, a row over followed the next day as Brasenose caught St Anne’s, but the final day brought the much awaited bump on St Anne’s and meant that M1 finished up one overall.

The Men’s and Women’s 2nd boats had difficult preparation for Eights, being composed mainly of novices who had been unable to get any water time until Trinity Term due to the bad weather, and fell 2 and 5 places respectively despite putting in valiant efforts to avoid being bumped.

Summer Eights 2013



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.

Torpids and Summer Eights 2012



“Klaxon-Klaxon, stop rowing!!”, thirty seconds into the race on Saturday our Summer Eights abruptly ended. We had gone into the final day hopeful of blades, having achieved decisive bumps on Jesus, Exeter and St Anne’s. It was not to be. For those that care to look there is a particularly heartbreaking video on YouTube which shows just how close we were to bumping New and achieving blades.

In Torpids we had also gone up three bumping Wadham, Hertford and Oriel (right in front of their boat house!). Unfortunately on the Saturday we could not close down St John’s before they bumped St Cat’s.

Up three in both Torpids and Eights undoubtedly represents a successful season, the manner in which we were denied blades on the Saturday was gutting but that is not what we will remember the season for. What we will remember is being part of a crew that demonstrated a commitment and intensity to our training and racing that made us one of the fastest boats on the river.


W1 began the year with a fierce ambition to match the performance of the year before. We had a good amount of returning rowers – and a star cox from his year abroad (!) – as well some exciting new people coming up.

We used Michealmas as an opportunity to train as a W1 and W2 squad. Waking up to icy blades, battling through hour long ergs and giving up large amounts of weekends to ploughing up and down the Isis. The term finished with two eights in the last Isis Winter League both of whom performed strongly.

Before we knew it, Hilary and Torpids were upon us. Words like ‘starts’, ‘stride’ and ‘flutter’ were bandied around with everyone forbidden from speaking the B word (and I don’t mean bump). W1’s training paid off with the new Filippi storming up the Divisions until we found ourselves half way up Div 2 with one bump between us and (don’t say the word) b*****, and we still hadn’t rowed past Donny bridge. Saturday finished spectacularly (if quickly) with W1 bringing home blades in Torpids for the second year running.

Trinity always brings its normal challenges in losing crew members to finals. This year there was the added difficulty in an almost constant red flag and a serious lack of water time. We rowed strongly all four days racking up one bump and three fierce row overs.

Its been an emotional year for W1, with successes, hard work and, for many, a last chase down the Isis. Many of the people rowing were in their last years and we shall miss them in the year to come. We can only hope they take with them a lot of fond memories!


The “Gentleman’s” Third VIII made their mark by being the first LMH men’s third boat to qualify for Summer VIIIs since the 1990s and by doing it in style. They were drawn at the foot of the river and rowed over every day, always giving it their all whilst living up to their name and offering a sporting chance to their adversaries. They sadly failed to qualify for torpids but were ever present to offer their support to all other LMH crews. The Third VIII trained hard through the tough conditions on the Isis this year and was often forced by the hostile weather to make up for that training in the gym at LMH. They impressed all who had the privilege to coach them by showing commitment, fortitude and enthusiasm in the face of all circumstances, ever cheerful and ever hungry for improvement.