Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Oxford City Royal Regatta 1996

Wolfson had another good day at the local regatta. Four crews entered the 1000-metre, downstream event: a Men’s S2 4+, Men’s Novice 4+, Mixed S2 4+ and a Women’s 8+. The Men’s S2 (their first row in that category) beat an Argonaught boat by 6 seconds in the first round and were unlucky not to catch Wallingford in the final; eventually loosing after an heroic push to the line by 2 seconds and with a commendable time of 3:08.

Wolfson won the Men’s Novice 4+ event last year so the pressure was on Phil Biggin (stroke), Derek Kennet, Francisco Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Kazuyoshi Toeda and Mary New (Cox) to do well. Thanks to the inimitable coaching of Liz Leach, the first two races were won with a reasonably safe margin and times of 3:25/3:26. However, Lensbury RC were not such easy victims in the final and refused to succumb to the 44-strokes-a-minute wind, going down by only half a length. The race was a tough fight but the Wolfson boat won by 3 seconds. Derek Kennet put in an especially good row I thought. He has a lot of potential that youngster.

The Women’s 8+ were not so lucky, they were beaten in the S3 category by Bath University before loosing the S2 (which they had also entered) by 15 seconds to City of Oxford. We won’t dwell on this bad luck, but they have got guts that crew.

The Mixed 4+ (Liz Leach, Peter, ?, Mary New, Renee (cox)) looked clean and sharp and rowed their best time of 3:19 in the semi-final against a City of Oxford boat. They also beat a City boat in the final, but with a slower time and a better margin of 8 seconds. The weather was beautiful (even TOO HOT), the crowds roared Wolfson on and everybody drank too much beer that night (except the S2s who were racing the next day at Abingdon). The Men’s Novice 4+ is becoming a Wolfson event so we had better start training for next year!