St Cross Win Blades at Torpids 2017


Torpids, one of the University's two annual bumping races (the other being Summer Eights) took place from the 1st to the 4th of March 2017.

Wolfson College Boat Club, with whom St Cross students row, had a hugely successful Torpids Campaign this year. Below is a report and results summary from Jessica Dunham, WCBC President.

Congratulations to all involved! 


Bumps racing in Oxford has a long history of being both exciting and unpredictable at even the best of times, but never so much as in Torpids.
This year, in what would turn out to be a historic campaign, Wolfson and St Cross entered three men's and three women's crews into the four-day competition, with high hopes for upward mobility.
However this is Torpids, and the best-laid plans of mice and rowers often go awry. In fact, this year's campaign featured a number of tragedies, including bank entanglements, sudden illnesses, broken riggers, dangerous crashes, and one snapped-off rudder.
But the rowers of WCBC do not go down without a fight, and performed admirably even in the face of adversity and misfortune. All six of our crews did an absolutely phenomenal job this campaign: our men's second and third boats both maintained their highest-ever positions on the river and the men's first crew started and rowed over at 3rd on the river (Men's Division 1) for the first time in club history.

The women's side, too, came out blazing and, at least in my mind, showed that WCBC has one of the strongest women's rowing programs in Oxford. As they say in bumps racing: "great crews bump up three, lucky crews get blades," and going into Saturday, all three of our women's crews had bumped up every day without being caught. At the end of the day, W3 was finally bumped by the slightly quicker W2 crew that had been following them all week before moving on to their 4th bump in as many days, and W1 (starting from their highest held Torpids position since 1979) suffered a tragic equipment failure just a few feet off bumping the crew ahead, which would have landed them blades and 3rd on the river overall (Women's Division 1).
But above all, our W2 came out gloriously victorious, with a campaign for the record books. Not only did they manage to bump up +5 over 4 days, winning blades in the process, but this formidable crew also went from Women's Division 3 to Division 2, beating out other college's 1st crews to maintain status as the highest W2 boat currently on the river by a wide margin, and achieving the highest position that a WCBC women's second boat has ever reached in Torpids. All other tragedies aside, this is truly something to be celebrated, and I hope you will join me in congratulating them.

The women's second crew this year featured:
Cox - Sophie Schauman, St Cross
Stroke - Philippa Hammond, Wolfson
7 - Tabitha Serle, St Cross
6 - Verena Wiedemann, St. Cross
5 - Zoë Goodwin, Wolfson
4 - Jill Marcum, Wolfson
3 - Bronwen Hudson, St Cross
2 - Sophie Diarra, St Cross
Bow - Jessica Hoff, Wolfson


Finished at initial starting pos of 5th in MDiv5 - still highest pos. held (total net +0)
Weds hit bank bumped -2 then bumped +1 (net -1)
Thurs Row Over (RO) +0
Fri revenge bumped Merton +1
Sat klaxoned, Technical Row Over +0

Finished 5th in WDiv4, W3's highest pos. ever in Torpids (total net +3)
Wed bumped up +1
Thurs bumped up +1
Fri bumped up +1
Sat bumped by Sommerville -1 then bumped Lincoln +1 (net 0)

Finished at initial starting pos. of 8th in MDiv3, still highest ever (total net +0)
Wed bumped Balliol +1
Thurs broken rigger, Technical Bump -1
Fri bumped -1
Sat bumped +1

Finished at 11th in WDiv 2, highest ever pos. in Torpids and still highest W2 on the river. Bumped up all four days, winning BLADES! (Total net +5)

Started highest ever pos. in Torpids, finished 8th in MDiv 1 (total net -5)
Wed RO +0
Thurs bumped -1
Fri Catastrophe, bumped -4
Sat RO +0

On Saturday, started from highest pos. in Torpids since 1979 (4th), finished 9th in WDiv 1 (total net -2)
Wed, Thurs, Fri, bumped up before gut, +3
Sat broken rudder, -5

Photos: WCBC, Andrew Balin, and Gareth Ardron. 

Ella Bedrock

Tuesday 14 March 2017