Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Torpids 2012


Wolfson had a fantastic Torpids 2012, our four crews gaining 14 bumps overall. The women earned blades and reached the heights of Division II, while the men reached fifth on the river!


Wolfson entered a total of seven crews into Torpids 2012, four men’s eights and three women’s eights. Although we didn’t have as much luck as we might have liked at rowing on, our four bumps-racing crews (M1, W1, M2, and W2) all had fantastic campaigns!

Men’s First Boat


Wolfson M1 had a brilliant campaign this year, bumping up three places and finishing fifth on the river! On Wednesday, the men bumped Oriel, the perennial rowing powerhouse. On Thursday, they bumped St. John’s on Green Bank. Friday held a bump on St. Catherine’s on the Green Bank. Saturday, despite closing to within the canvas, the men couldn’t quite catch Balliol. Still a formidable position.

bow Gregers Bangert Division I
2 James Kirkbride
3 John McManigle
4 Clifford Sofield
5 Duncan England
6 Philipp Becker
7 Maximilien von Berg
str Michael Lutteropp
cox Lea Carrott
coach Paul Kelly, Peter Haining

Women’s First Boat


Wolfson W1 had a glorious campaign topped off the way glorious campaigns ought to be — with blades! Despite the disadvantage of starting every race behind a strong Keble crew, the women proved their mettle with every stroke. Wednesday, they gained the overbump on Mansfield in the gut. Thursday, they overbumepd Osler House on the Green Bank. Friday, the ladies triple-overbumped Balliol, who had got themselves stuck in the bank. Finally, on Saturday, the women sealed the deal by finally gaining the bump on Keble, defeating their nemesis and earning blades in one fell stroke.

bow Roisin Parish Division II
2 Susan Graham
3 Katherine Henson / Laura Hawkins
4 Klara Schure
5 Elizabeth Leicht
6 Iana Alexeeva
7 Shirin Hermanns
str Victoria Reuter
cox Belinda Platt
coach Zoe Lundy

Men’s Second Boat


Wolfson’s M2 had a victorious campaign, moving swiftly up to Division IV. On Wednesday, the men rowed over when their quarry bumped out in front of them. On Thursday, they got a quick bump on St. Peter’s in the gut. Friday, they made the divisional transition, bumping St. Anne’s in the gut before racing as sandwich boat to bump LMH, who had rammed into the bank around bung like 6. Finally, Saturday the men overbumped Hertford to secure a firm place in Division IV.

bow Remi Tirfoin Division IV
2 Antonio Berlanga
3 Quirijn den Rooijen
4 Daniel Milner
5 James Simpson
6 Gido van de Ven
7 Morgan Di Rodi
str Gorka Berzal
cox Jill Betts
coach John Dale and Craig Sawyer

Women’s Second Boat


Wolfson’s W2 had non-stop, hard-fought races throughout their campaign, but managed to move up in the bumps charts over the week. On Wednesday, they got a bump on Trinity before a klaxon stopped the race. Thursday, they bumped St. Peter’s first boat in the gut. Friday, they were bumped by Green Templeton W1, and couldn’t quite reach Hertford for the bump by the end of the river. They would see revenge on Saturday, when, despite being bumped by St. Peter’s W1 on Green Banks, they went on to bump Hertford just before the finish line in a brilliant push.

bow Emily Cliff Division IV
2 Yvonne Su
3 Sonya Ziaja
4 Erica Boschin / Gillian Langor
5 Raffaella Facchini
6 Lea Carrott
7 Veronica Nikitina
str Ingrid Cloete
cox John McManigle
coach Stephanie Solywoda

Rowing On Boats

Wolfson also entered M3, W3, and M4 into Torpids 2012. Unfortunately, these boats failed to qualify (M3 by only half a second!), but the athletes had good rows all around and enjoyed Torpids dinner as much as the rest of us!

M3: Jono Lusthaus (str), Nelson Goering (7), Joshua Anderson (6), Bartosz Raubo (5), Sebastiaan van Schaik (4), Vaughan Dutton (3), Nicholas Starko (2), Marc Brightman (bow), coxed by Kathryn Krakowka and coached by Laurence Nevay, Iana Alexeeva, and Rae Hancock

W3: Rae Hancock (str), Mary Kopsacheili (7), Charlotte Barrett (6), Zoe Goodwin (5), Isabel de Berrié (4), Nina Jetter (3), Lorna McLeod (2), Maryanna Price (bow), coxed by Susan Graham and coached by Katherine Henson

M4: Daniel Straulino (str), Andres Gonzales-Watty (7), Wei-Yu Chen (6), Joao Domingos (5), Paul Armstrong (4), Anatolij Gelimson (3), Federico Torracchi (2), Ashwin Alexander (bow), coxed by Stefany Wragg and coached by Rae Hancock and Vaughan Dutton

Cliff’s Race Reports

Clifford Sofield, one of Wolfson’s longest-serving members, has offered to regale us with his daily observations of Torpids 2012. As the excitement unfolded, Cliff was was there to chronicle the details. Read on below!


Three out of the first four divisions were klaxoned today, setting up a wild first day of Torpids. (A ‘klaxon’ or air-horn is fired in order to stop racing when there is an unsafe situation on the river.) Some of the more general highlights included a Pembroke W1 rower’s seat breaking in front of the boat houses in division 1, Exeter M2 losing four places in division 2, Lady Margaret Hall W1 going up 4 places into division 2, and two rowers being ejected from their boats in collisions with the bank!

It was a good day for Wolfson College, beginning with Wolfson M2 who rowed over looking very smart. They were a length off St Peter’s M2 coming out of the Gut (after St Catz II had already bumped St Peter’s) when the klaxon was fired due to a crash somewhere behind them. They maintain their position and will chase St Peter’s M2 tomorrow. Wolfson W2 achieved a bump on Trinity II in short order, before another klaxon stopped that division, too. They move up one place and will be chasing St Peter’s W1 tomorrow. (So two Wolfson crews will be chasing St Peter’s crews tomorrow!) Later in the day, Wolfson W1 continued the success by bumping Mansfield in the Gut (Mansfield had already been bumped by Keble).

Wolfson M1 capped it off with a bump on Oriel. Oriel are the perennial men’s rowing powerhouse in Oxford, having rowed at the Head of men’s division 1 in Summer Eights in 20 of the last 31 years. Wolfson College have a poster-sized blow-up of a magnificent photo showing Wolfson M1 bumping Oriel’s 2nd boat outside the boathouses in Summer Eights 2002, at the top of men’s division 3. It’s nice to be able to say that we’ve now bumped their 1st boat, too.

In other news, Pembroke M1 bumped Christ Church M1 on the Green Bank to become head of men’s division 1. Magdalen W1 rowed over at the head of women’s division 1, but tomorrow they will be chased by Wadham, who bumped Teddy Hall today.


It was warmer and less windy today, and Emma Watson came down to watch the racing. I’m also pleased to report that there were no klaxons today.

Another successful day for Wolfson! Wolfson M2 started the fireworks by bumping St Peter’s M2 in the Gut. We experienced déjà vu half an hour later, when Wolfson W2 likewise bumped St Peter’s W1 in the Gut. Later in the day, Wolfson W1, rowing out of the Gut, overbumped Osler House, who had already been bumped by Keble. In the last race of the day, Wolfson M1 put in a solid row and bumped St John’s on the Green Bank.

Little noise at the top of the men’s or women’s divisions today. The most relevant piece of information is that Balliol bumped St Catz in men’s division 1, so my crew will be chasing St Catz tomorrow.


The sun smiled on Torpids today as Oxford experienced almost spring-like weather. The sun also smiled on Wolfson M2, who bumped St Anne’s II in the Gut to become head of division 5. This earned them the chance to race again an hour later to try to bump into division 4, which they did by overbumping the kamikaze Lady Margaret Hall II around bungline 6. In the meantime, Wolfson W2 rowed valiantly but were bumped by Green Templeton W1 in the Gut. They continued to chase Hertford II to the finish, closing to within a canvas (12 feet), but ended up rowing over.

Wolfson W1 continued their bumping success, triple-overbumping Balliol, who had managed to tangle with the bank after being bumped by Queen’s. That was the third bump in three days for Wolfson W1. It was also three bumps in three days for Wolfson M1 — we bumped St Catherine’s on the Green Bank and moved up to 5th on the river!


When the sun set on Torpids 2012 yesterday, the big stars were Wolfson W1. Each of the first three days the Wolfson ladies had started behind Keble. Each day Keble bumped out, and each day Wolfson overbumped the crew Keble had bumped. But on Saturday the need for Wolfson to overbump never arose. It was closer than close as Wolfson raced up the Green Bank, hotly pursuing Keble, who were chasing Queen’s, who were in turn closing on Exeter. Then Queen’s caught Exeter, and Keble, now needing an overbump of their own, could not escape the Wolfson ladies a fourth time. Crossing the stream at the top of the Green Bank, Wolfson bumped Keble to earn their fourth bump in four days, thus winning blades! Congratulations Wolfson W1! They finish Torpids ranked third in women’s division 2.

All of the other Wolfson crews had similarly exciting races on Saturday. Wolfson W2 were particularly brilliant, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Knowing they had little chance of catching the speedy Green Templeton (who indeed bumped out on Hertford II in the Gut), our girls were prepared for the long overbump. Despite getting bumped by St Peter’s on the Green Bank, Wolfson W2 held it together with sheer gritty determination to overbump a stunned Hertford II at the top of Boathouse Island, 100 meters from the finish! Over the four days of Torpids, Wolfson W2 bumped three times and got bumped twice, moving up one place overall: a successful campaign. Racing 30 minutes after the girls, Wolfson M2 likewise had to go for the overbump when Univ II bumped out well before Donnington Bridge. Thanks to clever steering by both coxes, the Wolfson boys threaded the needle between Univ and the bank, rowed hard, and overbumped Hertford II in the top of the Gut! That made four bumps for Wolfson M2, who moved up a division this Torpids, and only missed blades because they did not bump on Wednesday (they got two bumps Friday instead).

The only Wolfson crew not to bump on Saturday was Wolfson M1. We were chasing Balliol, and they gave nothing away until after the Gut. We started gaining with our Green Bank push and closed to a quarter length by Univ boathouse, but from there the river is wide and our quarry had room to maneuver. We closed to within a canvas (12 feet) but could not catch them. Despite a disappointing Saturday, we had a fantastically successful Torpids: we got three bumps in the middle of the first division and moved up to 5th on the river!

That wraps up this year’s Torpids updates. Thanks for reading, and look out for Summer Eights (23-26 May)!