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Congratulations go to the women’s second eight – a mixture of Christ Church novices and our two associate members – who moved up five places and won blades in spectacular fashion. Having chased Regent’s Park (a crew with an identical qualifying time) on the first day only to overbump a weir-bound Hertford crew, Wolfson finally hit Regent’s (then the only other boat in the division still entertaining the prospect of blades) on the last day, thereby winning the first blades of torpids 1996 and denying Regent’s that honour. Success was surely due to Liz’s dragon hat, Kristina’s sunglasses and John’s unflappable start routine (although some say James’s coaching may have had something to do with it – not to mention Sabine’s land training and her preference for the straightforward focus word, ‘kill’).
The men’s third eight bumped up eight places in typical lazy fashion by entering the bottom division, thereby ensuring that they averaged fifteen strokes of racing a day. Their obvious superiority was spotted by Charles who advised the cox of the St Antony’s boat he’d been coaching to concede at the start gun. She did so allowing Wolfson ‘draw, draw, wind one and easy there!’. On another day, they bumped so soon off the start that the Lincoln crew which due to an inability to reach the start the previous day was chasing them, did not realise that Wolfson had bumped out and crossed the river at 90 degrees to the bank in order to slam into them. The poor Lincoln guys thought that they’d bumped only to find that their Portuguese Princess of a cox had goof ed again. No-one touches Wolfson schools eights.