Torpids 2016 – Friday Race Reports

W1 Race Report

With a plummeting Teddy Hall in sight and a raging Balliol behind (who had however lost their Bow girl due to appendix problems unsure emoticon ) W1 pushed off confident with our beloved Leslie. All ready to go, our start was aborted- it turns out there was a deer in the river! Taking that to be an omen i.e. that everyone should clearly Fear The Deer, including OURCs, . During the delay, as we tried to stay warm, Caroline philosophised about the distance it would take us to bump Teddy Hall, putting it just before Donnington Bridge, a prediction that to us seemed somewhat optimistic. Nevertheless, we set off on our speedy start, surprised by the start gun. With the call of ‘half a length’ from Joe before we hit the stride, the stride again was just omitted and we entered straight into a power ten, followed by that 18 stroke push we all know so well to mean ‘finish it’. All there is to say, is that we did in fact bump before Donnington Bridge, only four strokes later, leaving a disheartened Teddy Hall behind, with Balliol closing. Although the 42 stroke (thank you Abie for counting that on the video) race was rather short, it was still a valiant effort all around and we look forward tomorrow. As New attempt to gain that bump we deprived them of yesterday, we will be looking towards John’s ahead!

Marie Becker Stroke – captain

M1 Race Report

Having comfortably and confidently seen off Trinity on the previous two days and giving us a strong platform on which to build, the mighty stags were relishing the prospect of a real fight as the penultimate day of Torpids dawned. Catz had shown strength in catching Trinity behind us, Wadham were sure to be gunning hard for Christ Church ahead; it would be a tough afternoon. But true to the form we’ve showed all term, we set to the task with cool heads and red-hot glutes. CJ’s country music was blaring, Guy’s stretching outrageously dynamic. As per usual, Charlie was loving the build-up. After a solid warm up, our start lived up to the promise shown in training; as soon as our monstrously huge backs were finally unleashed we  sent Catz away in impressive style, segueing into a superb first couple of minutes. The combination of wash and rudder through the gut threw us out of our rhythm briefly, but Ruairidh’s brilliant line and our commitment to the rate saw us pushing Catz away yet again. Coming up to boathouse island, we saw a stationary Wadham crew, having obviously bumped as we’d suspected they might. We knew what to do; a solid row-over and Christ Church would be ours tomorrow. And so it was, as our stoicism and regal finishes saw us safely over the line, finishing well away from a broken Catz eight. So with fire in the legs and ice behind the eyes, we set our sights on Christ Church…

Henry Penrose Stroke

W2 Race Report

Keen not to arrive late to the bungline for a second time, W2 turned up at the start line with a comfortable five minutes to spare and settled in with determination better our shaky start from the day before. When the gun sounded we were ready, and set off with our best start of the week in an attempt to gain on Lincoln III. However, despite our best efforts we had to make fairly early (though injury-free) concessions to St Antony’s II and St Catz II. During the latter bump, Seat 7, Nicollette’s, blade became caught beneath their boat, but after battling the ensuing monster crab we were off again, settling in for the long haul to the finish line. While we flagged a bit as we passed Longbridges and incurred another two bumps from Univ III and Brasenose II, as we came up on Boathouse Island the whole crew put in a solid effort to the end, guided by our cox Joe Wynn’s ever optimistic cries of “We’re not the fastest or the strongest crew, but we can at least put in a good technical performance!”. While we may have slipped another 6 bunglines, we managed to shave a full minute off our previous day’s racing time and thus far have avoided crashing into any stationary objects. Will the final day of Torpids finally see W2 gain a bump? Will we be forced to complete another row over? We hope not, but whatever happens we will continue to row our best till the bitter end. FTD St Antony’s, Torpids isn’t over yet!

Bridget Johns


M2 Race Report

Cox: Nayyar “The Deafener” Jamie
Stroke: Richard “Green Fingers” Tanburn
7: Jacob “The Believer” Vivian
6: Jong “Mind the Rigger” Kwon
5: Jack “F*cking Hate That Cannon” Waterman
4: Milo “Early Bird” Rignell
3: Patrick “Baby Feet” Austin
2: Ali “The Dipper” Duffey
Bow: Ross “GoPro” Johnstone

Day three saw M2 hoping to continue the improvement from over the previous two days of racing. With yesterday’s catch Trinity 2 starting behind us, spirits were high without (much) fear of being caught. However, with the next two boats ahead in the lineup being Keble 2 and Green Templeton 1, both of whom being boats that bumped us earlier in torpids, the tentative target was the double overbump on St John’s 2. Trouble on the start line began with the cox’s mic, emitting the less desirable kind of feedback to everyone within a few boat lengths. Whilst howling like a banshee as we closed on the next boat would be interesting, the mic trouble fell away in favour of more conventional start trouble. With our signature messy start, the quest to catch John’s began. Whilst some claim that we would’ve caught them regardless, GTC provided a significant assist by slamming John’s into the wall of the gut and breaking one of their oars. Outnumbering them 8:6, we drew level with them outside Longbridges. Despite the significant disadvantage to their crew, John’s showed true grit by refusing to concede until we began to overtake them and knock blades. Despite their best efforts to appeal this on grounds that we didn’t clear the racing line, race desk ruled in our favour (which makes a change for men’s lower boats), giving us the bump, and allowing us to claw back our starting position of 6 for the final day of racing.


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