Last weekend, ten Hertford members (or at least they became ‘Hertford’ for the purpose of BR entries) decided to accept how much they missed rowing over the summer, and entered into the local City of Oxford Royal Regatta.
With a total of nine races, five categories and three boats entered, Hertford undoubtedly brought, as one of our members put it, ‘the hype’.
On the women’s side, we completed the course a total of three times, sadly losing out narrowly in the Semi-Final, in a situation that can only be compared to Bumps Racing. Despite this unfortunate collision with our opponents from Jesus College Cambridge, which put an end to our dreams of more silverware and holes in our BR cards, it has to be said that the day of racing was nevertheless extremely successful. Fielding a crew made up of one recently turned alumna, Joe, two overly enthusiastic first years and a stray American, it was amazing to see the level of enthusiasm and commitment that was brought to the table after only one outing together.
In the midst of this carnage, Chris Jones’ performance in the Novice Single Sculls was an impressive feat, progressing to the second heat, where he was sadly defeated by a City sculler. Although he claims to have had to row almost double the length of the course on account of his steering, it was nevertheless a great achievement considering this was his first ever singles race.
A couple of familiar Hertford faces returned to race on the Isis with Phil Robinson and Jon Beckett teaming up with Steve Crabb and two members of Broxbourne to enter a coxed four into the Saturday mornings races. After a comfortable win in the first round against City of Bristol a semi final against Linacre loomed. After sticking to the race plan of starting steady they just could not make up the difference a less than stellar start left them with.
Moreover, following a rather swift exit on Saturday, the men’s side was reinvigorated at the prospect of Sprints on Sunday, advancing to the Semi-Final. Despite crashing into the bank almost immediately after the start in one of the heats, they beat both a Merton composite and Cantabrigian with great fervour. However the OUBC Development Squad 4 which they were faced with in the semi- final proved a little too strong and thus an end was drawn to their day of racing there.
All in all it was a great weekend of racing and it was great to see so many people come back and be down at the boathouse together again. If there is anything we can take from this, it is certainly that both sides thoroughly enjoy the concept of crashing into other boats, which can only be promising for Torpids and Summer Eights.