Torpids 2017 – Rowing On Race Reports

It’s that Torpids time of year again, and to kick off the action on Friday W2 and M3 took to the Isis looking to secure themselves a bungline. Congratulations to W2 for achieving the illustrious title of Winners of Rowing On 2017! Fear The Deer!


Cox: Joe Hitchen
Stroke: Amy Wright
7: Bridget Johns
6: Marianne O’Connor
5: Hae Yang
4: Catalina Zhao
3: Miranda Ryan
2: Catherine Dumbill
Bow: Johanna Gewolker

After W2’s somewhat disastrous Torpids in 2016 everyone in W2 was ready to come back better and stronger this year. There was some apprehension coming into rowing on, after the spectacular fall from div 4 last year our place in Torpids was no longer guaranteed. After a quick warm up we got the boat out and headed to the start line. There was some fierce kit matching going on from other crews. It’s safe to say the intimidation was there and we were beginning to feel the pressure. Joe with all his Torpids experience did his best to keep us calm as we came out of the gut onto the start line. As we came up to Univ the two strong entourage of Amy and Joe gave us that half way boost we needed. After that all that kept us going to the end was the thought that our Torpids place depended on it. We slowly paddled back to Longbridges to a rather excited Joe Wynn telling us “you’ve won rowing on”. I guess W2s luck might be looking up. W2 are ready for their come back!

Amy Wright – Stroke


Cox: Jessica “You’re-not-being-helpful!” Li
Stroke: Simon “broke-the-drinking-ban” Neumaier
7: Matt “not-a-fan-of-2k” Bosomworth
6: David “the-American” Lind
5: Gary “Gary” Wu
4: Antonis “nice-scarf” Dim
3: Charles “not-lifting-the-boat” Wang
2: Alastair “coffee-pot” Chi
Bow: Jack “Black-Jack” Yates

On 25th of February, around 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon, the M3 guys of Hertford College Boat Club began their fateful journey to claim qualification for the 2017 Torpids in the Rowing-On Race. With the addition of Gary Wu, a seasoned rower, as a sub and Jessica Li, the experienced American cox, who was only there to fill the diversity quota, the M3 seemed to be ready as ever. As they approached the rolling starting line, Jessica shouted “build it up!” and the M3 gave everything they got to build up the rate to an impressive, yet steady, 32. However, due to the recent change in position and the windy weather, halfway through the race, the balancing deteriorated a bit and some splashes and empty strokes can be seen. However, remembering their training the M3 crew did their best to recover, and shouts of encouragement can be heard all over the boathouse island. There must be at least 3 people who shouted “GO HERTFORD!” With only 200 more meters to go, the M3 crew put the pressure down, pushed with their legs and of course, squared early. They didn’t want to let their parents down, they didn’t want to let themselves down, and most importantly, they didn’t want to let Jack Waterman down, who’s always been a kind and fatherly figure to all of them. Alas, the M3 crew crossed the finish line and instant groans can immediately be heard from a particular rower, who is certainly not Charles Wang. But the real drama happened during the spinning process, when the once-experienced Cox Jessica suddenly experienced a temporal loss of memory as she mixed up stroke side with bow side and caused the “Graham Topping Too” to crash into the two stationary tourist boats. Before she could deal with this emergency, words of abuse rained down on the crew from a Marshall who has clearly had a long day and shouted “I told you to spin down there, not here, Hertford!” Filled with exhaustion and rage, Jessica passive-aggressively shouted back “You’re not being very helpful, Marshall!” This sick come-back earned the admiration from the crew and especially Gary Wu, who commented “Wow, I would’ve just told her to f*** off”. Safely returned to the boat house, the M3 crew eagerly awaits the information on their final time. The last thing they want is to miss out qualification by 1 second, like last year. Indeed they didn’t! Turns out they were actually 25 seconds slower than the time needed to qualify! The HCBC President Alex Allison commented “Wow, there’s no conceivable way for M3 to qualify under any circumstance.” Despite the disappointing news, the Men’s Vice-Captain Jack Waterman told the crew that they did a good job, and blamed the loss on the Hassan chips that Charles Wang brought to the briefing the other day. The extra weight from the chips must have certainly dragged down the boat’s speed. For the rest of the M3 crew, facing the disappointing news, they quickly decided to get “absolutely p****d” at the St. Aldates’s Tavern, as proposed by Jack Yates. So there goes the M3’s attempt to qualify for Torpids, and despite the fact that they lost by a tremendous margin, they all gained a few more friends, drank a few more pints and had a few more chips, which was surprisingly delicious. In the end that’s all that matters!

Charles Wang – 3-Seat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s