WCBC have had a hugely successful week of racing, reaching new heights for all but one of our five crews.
M3 started off the campaign on Wednesday, at second position in division 5, and chasing St Hugh’s M2. A clean bump saw them enter division 4 as the sandwich boat chasing Univ, who quickly bumped out on Regent’s Park. Our boys rose to the task of chasing down Regent’s and caught them at the bottom of Boathouse Island, following a dramatic chase! They became the only third boat in division 4, and remain the highest M3 on the river. Thursday saw a bump on Worcester M2, but a strong Keble M2 caught Wadham to keep them on bungline 12 going into Friday. A clean row followed, with a strong push at Boathouse Island not quite enough to overbump on Catz M2, who they caught quickly on Saturday to finish +4 at 10th in division 4.
Not to be outdone, W2 followed M3’s example and bumped up from second place in division 3, chasing down Merton despite pressure from a quick Brasenose crew. They went on to catch Exeter as sandwich boat and secured a position in division 2. On Thursday and Friday they showed why they are the best second boat on the river, exceeding all expectations by bumping both St Anne’s and Queen’s. Despite narrowly missing the final bump on Saturday, W2 were awarded constitutional blades to recognize their incredible achievement this year, not only in retaining the ‘W2 headship’, but in continuing to hold their own amongst 1st VIIIs at 10th in division 2.
M2 were not so lucky, finding themselves in division 3, chased by a formidable Keble M1. After being bumped by Keble off the start, they put in a strong row through the carnage in the gut and held off St Antony’s. The bad luck continued as Oriel M2 bumped up and caught them on Thursday, followed by Linacre M1 and New M2 on Friday. St Antony’s returned on Saturday to bump M2 down to the top of division 4, where they will start next year. The result for M2 does not reflect their massive improvement across the week, and the strong rows they put in, committing to the work and holding off some tough crews. There is potential in this boat for a big comeback next year!
So on to the first boats, and the biggest news of the week, W1 taking the headship from Magdalen! A strong row on Wednesday made it look too easy as they bumped in the gut after 90 seconds of rowing. For some members or the crew, and for Rod, this was their 4th year chasing Magdalen for the headship, so the bump felt long overdue. Three clean row overs followed (with only a minor hiccup on Friday!), and no boat showed the speed to threaten Wadham women, as their domination of division 1 continues.
A final success story of the week is M1 and their surge through division 1. They went into the week with a tentative goal of blades, chasing a series of crews they were expected to catch. Luck was not on their side, however. On Wednesday, they succeeded in catching Worcester, who went on to bump John’s, putting Wadham up two to 9th in division 1, but robbing them of the chance to chase John’s. On Thursday, Trinity bumped out ahead of them, and a strong row saw them overbump Catz on Greenbanks. They went into Friday expecting a hard row to catch Trinity, but bumped out by Donnington Bridge. Unfortunately, Balliol crashed in the gut and Trinity caught them, sending Wadham up to 6th in div 1. They entered Saturday with the daunting task of chasing Wolfson for blades. Our boys pushed hard for the whole course, as Wolfson closed down Christ Church. By Wadham Boathouse they were within a canvas, cheered on by the whole of WCBC, but couldn’t close the last few feet before the finish line. Although disappointed by the lack of blades, their final row showed that they have the speed to compete with the big names in the top half of division 1, finishing in the highest position for Wadham M1 since records began. Their fantastic effort shows what dedication the whole crew have to their rowing, and is testament to the incredible coaching that we at Wadham are privileged to receive.
To finish, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the boat club this year, and in previous years. These successes build on years of work and are shared with everyone involved. Thank you, and bring on Summer Eights!