- Arts & Literature
- Science & Technology
By Matthew Handley
Trenton Oldfield was right. Rowing is boring (that’s what he was saying, right?). The language of ‘rowed over’, ‘bumps’ and ‘ergs’ is about as interesting as an Alex McLeish side, whilst the competitors are obsessed with toning their perfect, Adonis like bodies to the point where us mere mortals are left gazing into the gym, wishing we could do something more productive than watch South American football clips on YouTube whilst crying over those Facebook messages we really shouldn’t have sent last night.
On a day like Saturday though, with the sun shining and the Pimms and beer flowing, perhaps, just perhaps, I see why this may be exciting.
The day before was marked by Worcester M2 (hilariously) sinking, coming out worse in a collision with Keble and Wolfson, the perils of sending £2.3billion hulking pieces of wood together revealing themselves as the underside of Worcester’s boat collapsed under the combined pressures of the Keble rudder and the presence of so many egos in such a small space. Thankfully the marshals were on hand to save the crew.
The next day started with a heavy air of anticipation as Wadham M6 stood a chance of bumping Blackburn Rovers 2nd XI to set up a row over with GB’s coxless fours for the varsity title. A strong start from the communists was not enough to catch up with the Lancashire side, as a magnificent power ten from David Dunn finally saw some success for the Venkey’s investment.
In the real world Wolfson M1 were hoping to bump Christ Church M1, unless University M1 bumped them, in which case Balliol M1 would be looking to bump Christ Church unless they were bumped by Magdalen, who could also bump over, so that they were bumping Wolfson, or maybe bump Christ Church, who could bump Pembroke, themselves chasing a bump on Oriel, who if bumped would lose their position as chief bumpers at the head of the river, where they couldn’t bump anyone but could be bumped by others. (I didn’t really get this)
In actual fact none of this happened, and St John’s only bumped St Edmund’s Hall so there was no change in the final order, apart from at the bottom which no one really cared about. The pure thrill of racing was shown as none of the top five boats changed position throughout the week, demonstrating the competitive nature of a sport which is not just an excuse to wear tight clothes and walk around topless next to the river in the hope that girls will ignore those massive personality flaws when they see how pumped you are. In any way.
Meanwhile the women’s divisions saw Balliol fall down the division into 4th place, having started in 1st. Pembroke took the lead in the division, moving to the head of the river for the first time in years, but by now the Pimms and sun was drying up, and, much like this report, everyone was begging for a swift end.
So, how was this exciting? Well for a spectator it wasn’t. There was cheap alcohol but even that couldn’t entice me to stay for the whole day. For the competitors though I understood this was something more, something they’d worked for which deserved more than a cynical, half-assed column in the sports section of a student paper. Shame really.
PHOTO// Luke Braidwood