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Summer VIIIs 2015 round-up: Thursday

Fast, furious and at points maddeningly frustrating, day two of Summer VIIIs came and went in a blur. There were few great shocks but some moments of intense drama in what is shaping up to be a ferocious VIIIs week in the lower divisions.

The dominance of Oriel continues in men’s rowing as Christ Church struggled to put them under pressure. Crossing the finish line about three and a half lengths ahead of House, the Tortoises seem to be staring at a comfortable headship. Real excitement came as Magdalen in fourth went for the swipe on Pembroke, missing the Pink Panthers by the narrowest of margins. With two days to go could we see Pembroke drop to fourth place if Magdalen can nab them tomorrow? Behind them Wolfson sustained their quality from Wednesday, bumping Trinity comfortably.

Over on the women’s side Wadham once again looked like they were in a different league. Easily ahead of the next crew by double digit lengths. There was a great deal of turnover at the top of women’s division one as Pembroke W1 moved up to second at the expense of John’s and Magdalen bumped up into fourth, demoting Teddy Hall. Further down Oriel W1 were involved in a thrilling chase with Hertford with New closing behind. New struck just as Oriel went for the bump, consolidating their sudden rise from second in division two to eleventh in division one.

In the middle divisions there was a little less frenetic action. Mansfield M2 disappointed expectations, rowing over as LMH eluded them. Green Templeton W1 managed to rise from second in division four to the foot of division three with two bumps on Pembroke W2 and Linacre W2. As we write, a good number of bumps remain disputed on the women’s side, especially in divisions two and three. It’ll be particularly interesting to see what happens to Wolfson II in division three who supposedly bumped LMH W1 and Hugh’s W1 in division two who may have succumbed to Mansfield W2.

Some of the more dramatic bumping took place at the foot of the river as Catz W3 continue their climb from the bottom rung as they bumped Exeter II. A little further up Mansfield W2 seemed intent on matching the achievements of their male counterpart on Wednesday, rising from fifth in division six to second. With Oriel W3 striking the bank, Hugh’s W3 seized the chance and exacted revenge on the Blessed Virgins for their bump the day before. This then cleared the way for a Mansfield overbump on Univ W3 who plummeted down to fifth in division six.  

The bottom men’s division held fewer surprises, crews largely repeating their performance from the previous day. Mansfield M3 complete their journey to the foot of the river with a bump from Jesus M4, and New M4, Balliol M3 and Oriel M4 continue to jump up places. Spare a thought for Hugh’s M2 however whose disastrous Summer VIIIs campaign continued. A punchy Keble M3 bumped Linacre M2 to claim the prestigious mantle of sandwich boat for division seven and capitalised, ramming Hugh’s. Just to be clear, that means this Hugh’s crew has dropped six places in two days. Not quite a repeat of the St Anne’s W2’s 23 place dropping performance at Torpids, but there are still two days left.

Further up Mansfield M2’s reign of terror came to an abrupt end. Having climbed five places from the foot of division six yesterday, Pembroke M4 managed to squeeze out a bump. It will be interesting to see if Mansfield just stagnate now or continue to push on up such a variable division.

Like the women, men’s division five saw less excitement, crews either rowing over or managing one place rises. Christ Church M3 continued their steady descent whilst Queen’s M2 look like they are on for blades.

We’ll be back later with video coverage of Thursday’s turmoil on the river. For now content yourself with this broadcast of yesterday’s mayhem.

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