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Summer VIIIs 2015 round-up: Wednesday

So at long last we’re here. After all the waiting, Summer VIIIs 2015 has finally arrived. With passions running high, and tales of egregious kit, brand new boats and early morning training plans to make even the hardiest blue quake, floating up and down the Isis, it is time all the hype turned into action. Would the dominance of Oriel men come to an end? Would Wadham’s women just plough off into the horizon? Were Keble all they appear on paper?

In the end the men’s division one yielded few great surprises. The real excitement was Christchurch pursuing Pembroke in their glistening new Ultimate Super Predator boat. House finally caught ‘Broke just after boathouse island after the Pink Panthers’ cox made the rash decision to ‘run’ rather than stick to the racing line. With Oriel comfortably over four lengths ahead it looks like Christchurch will be hard pushed to catch them tomorrow. The rest of division one saw rowovers, save for Keble’s demolition of Catz and an impressively pacey performance from Teddy Hall who took down Worcester.

Over in the women’s first division Wadham looked unstoppable. The action took place three places behind as Pembroke redeemed their men’s bump by ramming into Teddy Hall. It will be interesting to see if the ‘Broke women can catch John’s in second and then challenge Wadham as the week pans out. Midway down the division a resolute University crew overcame Balliol, bumping the crew containing Isis superwoman Caryn Davies, only the most decorated athlete ever to row in the Boat Race. It was a nail-biting showdown along boat house island as Balliol closed on Christ Church just as Univ took the bump. The biggest shock in the upper echelons of women’s bumps came from New however, who came from nowhere at second in division two to bump Merton and then Somerville from the sandwich boat.

As ever with bumps racing what really caught everyone’s attentions were the shenanigans unfolding in the lower divisions. Men’s division four saw two surprise bumps for St Antony’s, and John’s Men II managed a similar feat to New W1, only this time in division five, jumping from second in the division to bottom of division four. Hugh’s M2 perhaps had the worst day of all, the victims of a double overbump, as Mansfield M2 rose from five places behind at the foot of division six.

In a close second were Benet’s who bumped Wadham III, three places ahead of them to rise from first in division six to eleventh in division five, Wadham M3 crashing down a division. Division seven for the men saw less drama than usual though Oriel’s supposedly formidable ‘hood’s oarsman’ boat danced with danger before bumping Keble IV as they narrowly avoided colliding with the bank.

The big winner of the day was undoubtedly Pembroke WIII who managed a meteoric rise from second in division six to ninth in division five. Two bumps from Linacre from division three to two was also particularly impressive.

That’s all for today folks – we’ll be back tomorrow with more plus a Cherwell TV round-up of the day. 

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