Torpids race reports
Sixth week brought Torpids and the return of the MCBC results chalkboard to the Lodge. Following a difficult term’s preparation, including several periods without water training, Merton fielded three strong crews. Huge thanks are due, as ever, to our coach Ian Smith for his efforts with all crews, and to those who came down over the course of the regatta to support the rowers.
Men’s 1st Torpid
Following a very successful Michaelmas and start to Hilary, M1 looked to build on last year’s four bumps and climb higher in Div. II. They started off with a convincing bump on Queen’s, confirming student press circulation that they were a crew to look out for. A thrilling second day’s racing, in which Merton were within a canvas of Brasenose, ended with a last-gasp bump by an excellent Mansfield crew. Pride was restored, however, with an overbump on Brasenose on Friday, the regatta ending with a row-over on Saturday.
Although the crew only went +1 over the week, they demonstrated solid technique and cohesion, and showed that Merton can compete in the top twenty boat clubs on the water. Provided the crew remains intact for Trinity term, they will be looking to work on intensive fitness training and, sitting in Division III, should aim for blades.
Women’s 1st Torpid
Merton’s women fielded a young crew, half of whom were competing in their first bumps race. That said, the other four members of the crew boast considerable experience, as did their cox, current Secretary and three-time W1 rower, Laura King. The crew were unlucky to be among excellent crews, being bumped on the first two days and again on Saturday. On the Friday, however, they showed composure and good fitness to row over and should go into Trinity looking to develop the younger members of the team. It is definitely work in progress, but next year will surely see a return to success for W1.
Men’s 2nd Torpid
Having come second in rowing-on, and boasting a strong crew with ability reaching novices from this year to previous first boat rowers, the crew knew that they had a good chance of blades. Having bumped up into Division V on Wednesday, they proceeded to earn blades in style, achieving their final bump on Saturday just short of the boat house. A fuller account of M2’s regatta is available in this apposite bit of Virgil: ‘Extremos pudeat rediisse‘.
Immense thanks are due to Henrik Hannemann, long-term M1 rower and former Club Treasurer, who coxed, coached and trained an excellent crew.
Overall summary for this years Torpids and crews:
Start: 11th Div II
Finish: 10th Div II
Start: 2nd Div VI
Finish: 8th Div V
Start: 4th Div III
Finish: 10th Div III
Sam Picard / Henrik Hannemann
Laura King / Toby Adkins
Caitlin Armstrong / Phoebe Pexton