Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Summer Eights 2015

Wolfson had a repeat of its Torpids success for Summer Eights. M1 soared back up to fifth on the river, one spot below its highest position ever. W1 defended itself in Division 1, and M3 and W3 both won blades.

Wolfson ranked first amongst all boat clubs this year in Summer Eights in total bumps (15) and bumps per crew (1.88). With strong performances from every crew, and new records set, there were smiles everywhere from Wolfson and St. Cross rowers!


Wolfson entered eight crews into Eights 2015, including four men’s crews, and four women’s crews.

Men’s First Boat


bow Neil Dhir
2 Jasper Barth
3 Thomas Aarholt
4 Peter Treherne
5 Philipp Becker
6 James Cook
7 Tyler Spencer
str Lucian Purvis
cox Edward Mills
coach James Kirkbridge & Nanda Pirie

Women’s First Boat


bow Cynthia Eccles
2 Mickaela Nixon
3 Sofia Hauck
4 Lea Sefer
5 Jessica Dunham
6 Shelley Pearson
7 Nicky Huskens
str Rebecca Love
cox Ayesha Rasheed
coach Thomas Chapman

Men’s Second Boat


bow Philipp Schäfer
2 Ward Nusselder
3 David Asker
4 Edward Rowe
5 Christian Vaas
6 Joshua Combs
7 Achim Wolf
str Frederick Hamilton
cox Stefany Wragg
coach Casper Gregers Bangert

Women’s Second Boat


bow Sabine Parrish
2 Nichola Kitson
3 Claudia Vadeboncoeur
4 Abigail Killen
5 Annie Bochu
6 Sophia Dewijer
7 Amelie Hartmann
str Charlotte Diffey
cox Zoë Goodwin
coach Stephanie Solywoda

Men’s Third Boat

M3 celebrating blades

bow Giovanni Mezzano
2 Tomás Queseda Alpizar
3 Cristian Leata
4 Kevin Schlegel
5 Riley Quinn
6 Morgan Di Rodi
7 Alexander Edwards
str Brian Chu
cox Sofia Hauck
coach Rebecca Love, Matteo Gianella-Borradori

Women’s Third Boat


bow Prachi Naik
2 Stefany Wragg
3 Zoë Goodwin
4 Irene Milana
5 Stefanie Zekoll
6 Flannery Cunningham
7 June Sun
str Fuchsia Hart
cox Niclas Palmius
coach Iana Alexeeva

Men’s Fourth Boat


bow Luis Valenzuela Rivera
2 Isaac Turner
3 Zach Alfred
4 Ken Ishikawa
5 Navin Cooray
6 Gido Van de Ven
7 James Simpson
str Jack Hornsby
cox Nicky Huskens
coach Casper Gregers Bangert

Women’s Fourth Boat


bow Maysa Falah
2 Isabel de Berrie
3 Veronica Walker
4 Laura Green
5 Iana Alexeeva
6 Henrice Stoebesand
7 Rachel Hancock
str Mariana Cruz
cox Frederick Hamilton
coach Stephanie Solywoda, Iana Alexeeva

Trinity term saw a pack of wolves hungry for more. For the first time we had eight boats entered in Summer Eights: Four Men’s, and four Women’s! There was such high competition for places in the crew of the Men’s First that the second boat was deemed “M1B”. The M1 and M1B both bumped twice, and almost twice more – both boats were feared on the river. The W1 had a tough Eights, rowing over each day, and each day eating more and more inches into the crews ahead of them. M3 and W3 both won blades! On the last day of Eights it was revealed to a very surprised and touched college steward that the M1 had taken it upon themselves to rename their boat “Karl Davies”, thanking Karl for his incredible kindness to the club over the years.

WCBC Members

Yet again not a single boat went down on the charts, and again Wolfson achieved the highest number of position increases across its fleet, highest of any college. We won Torpids, we won Eights. We have reason to be proud.

Cliff’s Race Reports

Every day of Eights, Clifford Sofield gave fantastic summaries of that day’s races. Enjoy!


Dear Friends, We are underway! The first women’s race of Summer Eights 2015 featured two Wolfson crews. The Women’s 3rd Eight (W3) caught a crab right off the start, but despite that initial stumble they were on top of Keble III quickly. They had overlap well before Donnington Bridge, and a few strokes past the bridge W3 politely tapped Keble’s stern to claim their bump. The Women’s 4th Eight (W4), meanwhile, came oh-so-close to bumping Lincoln IV, but they couldn’t quite get them before Lincoln bumped out. Unfortunately that allowed St Catherine’s III to catch W4 farther up the course. The next division had the Men’s 4th Eight (M4) chasing Trinity III. Apparently the outcome of this one was never in doubt; after a long overlap of almost half a length they bumped Trinity just past Donnington Bridge. The Men’s 3rd Eight (M3) enjoyed even more emphatic success in the next men’s division. They gained rapidly on St Anne’s II from the start, and when the St Anne’s cox did not concede, M3 smashed into them before Donnington Bridge, snapping their rudder off.

Donnington Bridge, that attractive concrete edifice connecting cosmopolitan East Oxford to Victorian South Oxford, witnessed its fourth Wolfson bump of the day an hour later, when the Men’s 2nd Eight (M2) dealt Green Templeton M1 their first Summer Eights bump since 2010. Coach Gregers says M2 gained from the start. GTC held them for a little while at a canvas, and then they cracked and our boys quickly finished the bump before the bridge.

The Women’s 2nd Eight (W2) executed a classic bump in the next race. They didn’t gain much on Queen’s or pull away from St Peter’s before Donnington Bridge, but from where I was standing it was plain that only Wolfson was capable of maintaining that pace. After the bridge W2 gained quickly on Queen’s and bumped them as they were about to enter the Gut.

In Women’s Division I, the Women’s 1st Eight (W1) rowed cleanly but dropped away from Keble, who gained on University College but ultimately rowed over as Univ bumped out. Our ladies also rowed over. The next race, Men’s Division I, was spectacular. The Men’s 1st Eight (M1) had a good start and gained to about half a length on Univ going through the Gut. Coming out of the Gut they quickly cut their deficit to a quarter length. By the top of the Green Bank there was a canvas of overlap, and when Univ attempted to cross the river we bumped them just below our (Univ’s) boathouse!

Victory is sweet, but there’s a whole lot of racing left. Good luck to all crews tomorrow!


St Peter’s may have a BBC-style helicam, but Wolfson has daily race reports!

Thursday started with the Women’s 3rd Eight (W3) executing a textbook bump on St Peter’s II. (Too bad the helicam wasn’t airborne for this one!) W3 gained half a length quickly, held it there for a few strokes, and then gobbled them up, catching St Peter’s just past Donnington Bridge. Meanwhile the Women’s 4th Eight (W4) were chasing St Catherine’s III at the foot of the division. Unfortunately it was a ‘gimme’ for St Catz, as Exeter II (the crew they were chasing) deposited themselves in the bank off the start. St Catz bumped them in short order; the next two crews ahead also bumped out; and W4 were left to row over.

It was an epic race for the Men’s 4th Eight (M4). They gained on Oriel III from the start, and then Oriel held them off through the Gut. As they raced up the Green Bank, M4 gained steadily again until there was overlap. Just past our boathouse M4’s bow scraped Oriel’s stern…but Oriel tried to pretend it didn’t happen. They kept rowing, M4 kept chasing, and the initial verdict was that both crews rowed over; but an official review concluded that M4 did get the bump, thanks to reports from impartial eyewitnesses who saw it happen.

The Men’s 3rd Eight (M3) decided to remove appeals from the equation. When Christ Church III caught a crab off of the start, M3 struck, nabbing them just fourteen strokes into the race. M3 showed mercy, though: they easied even before Christ Church conceded, and drifted gently into them for the bump. An hour later the Men’s 2nd Eight (M2) revived the epic. They gained half a length quickly on St Catherine’s II, proceeded to reel them in, and were about a canvas away when St Catz escaped by bumping Worcester II. M2 successfully steered around the resulting tangle and found themselves chasing Keble II for the overbump. For some reason Keble had introduced themselves to the bank on the wrong side of the river outside Longbridges Boathouse, and they were just restarting. The two crews raced up opposite sides of the river, with M2 on the racing line. When they crossed over M2 were just half a length down, and they closed to a canvas in front of the boathouses, but that was as close as they got. Both crews rowed over.

Appeals struck again in Women’s Division III. The Women’s 2nd Eight (W2) executed the first half of their race well, but they didn’t manage to gain much on Lady Margaret Hall. As the crews exited the Gut they were compelled to steer around Brasenose and Corpus Christi, who had bumped out just ahead. After negotiat ing that obstacle, LMH crashed into the bank, and W2 rowed clean past them for the bump. Unfortunately, LMH lodged an appeal after the race, saying that they had been obstructed. Their appeal was upheld, and both crews were awarded technical row-overs. Later on, the Women’s 1st Eight (W1) took to the water in Women’s Division I. Hoping to do some early damage to Keble, they went off hard. They did gain about half a length initially, but Keble fought them off and bumped out on Balliol exiting the Gut. W1 rowed over, with Hertford a good distance behind.

Day 2 finished with another spectacular bump for the Men’s 1st Eight (M1). With a solid start they gained about half a length on Trinity before entering the Gut, and with good steering they continued to gain, emerging just half a length down. Then they really started to move. I saw overlap halfway up the Green Bank, and just before the boathouses the Wolfson bow slid over Trinity’s stroke oar, for the bump! M1 are now ranked fifth on the river.


Gusty showers swept across Oxford today and whisked New College’s boat off the raft and into the river – oars, trestles, and all. But that wasn’t the day’s only excitement.

Univ III missed the first stroke and the Women’s 3rd Eight (W3) jumped all over them. It didn’t take W3 long to close out the bump-their third in three days!-under Donnington Bridge, where they pulled over to watch the Women’s 4th Eight (W4). W4 also had a strong start, immediately gaining half a length on Exeter II. They continued to eat into them every stroke and bumped them just after the bridge…and again on the next stroke…and again, and again, until several strokes later Exeter finally acknowledged the bump.

The Men’s 4th Eight (M4) had a clean start and a pretty row, and they moved half a length on Lady Margaret Hall II before going into the Gut. But Oriel III were out for revenge after yesterday’s appeal. They started gaining on M4 in the Gut and made contact coming out onto the Green Bank.

t was a slightly scrappy start for the Men’s 3rd Eight (M3), but they pulled it together and reeled in Jesus III, bumping them under the bridge where Tony Convey couldn’t get it on video. It was their third bump in three days! Not much to say about the Men’s 2nd Eight (M2), except that they were dominant. They moved rapidly on Worcester II and bumped them in under twenty strokes.

The Women’s 2nd Eight (W2) put together a good, strong row. They closed to within a length of Lady Margaret Hall going through the Gut, but on the Green Bank LMH pulled away again, and both crews rowed over. Our girls gave it everything, though; it was a race to be proud of. The Women’s 1st Eight (W1) rowed a great race as well. They were still a length and a half down on Balliol coming up the Green Bank, but they turned the screws and cut that down to half a length going past Boathouse Island. Both crews rowed over.

The last race of the day was a nail-biter. The Men’s 1st Eight (M1) were chasing Magdalen, who had come within a few feet of bumping Pembroke Thursday. Racing up the Green Bank, Wolfson were about a length down on Magdalen, and Magdalen were about a length down on Pembroke. Our boys cut that down to about half a length in from of the Boathouses, and Magdalen got even closer to Pembroke…but all three crews rowed over.

One day left to go! Remember: races are one hour earlier tomorrow.


It was a gorgeous sunny day here in Oxford for the finale of Summer Eights 2015! Here’s how it happened:

The Women’s 3rd Eight (W3), who had bumped each of the first three days, were on for blades. They gained initially on St Peter’s II, but Peter’s were also closing hard on St Hugh’s III, and they bumped them just after Donnington Bridge. That left W3 chasing Pembroke III for the overbump—a tall order, since Pembroke had started three places ahead with a six-and-a-half length advantage. But W3 steadily closed the gap, and in front of the boathouses they started taking big chunks out of Pembroke. By the end of the island there was overlap, and at the bottom of Christ Church Meadow a Wolfson oar satisfyingly smacked Pembroke’s stern. W3 won blades, with four bumps in four days! They finished at 2nd in Women’s Division VI, six places above where they started.

Meanwhile, the Women’s 4th Eight (W4) had a great start, closing quickly on Somerville III, and they didn’t stop gaining until they bumped ’em, just before Donnington Bridge. It was their second bump of Summer Eights, and they finish the week at 12th in Women’s Division VI, one place better than their starting position. Unfortunately, the Men’s 4th Eight (M4) were disqualified Saturday on a technicality. They finish Summer Eights where they started, ranked 6th in Men’s Division VI, with two bumps to their credit.

Like W3, the Men’s 3rd Eight (M3) were on for blades, and it was a tightly fought race. M3 were just half a length off of Regent’s Park coming out of Donnington Bridge, but Regent’s were only half a length behind St Peter’s II. St Peter’s showed grit and held Regent’s off, while M3 continued to close. They bumped Regent’s at the top of the Gut, winning blades for the second consecutive year! They finished 5th in Men’s Division V.

An hour later the Men’s 2nd Eight (M2) were racing through the Gut a length behind Osler House. Unfortunately Osler were only half a length behind Brasenose II, and Brasenose didn’t match up. Osler caught them at the exit of the Gut. M2 did some creative steering and held it up in order to manoeuvre around the tangled crews, then restarted and rowed over with their best rowing of the week. Having bumped twice, they finished the week two places up, at 7th in Division IV. The Women’s 2nd Eight (W2) rowed well in their final race, but St Hilda’s were faster. W2 were just a canvas ahead heading into the Gut. They held them off for a long time with continuous overlap until the top gut, when Hilda’s finally closed out the bump. Over the week W2 bumped once and got bumped once, maintaining their position of 6th in Division III.

In Women’s Division I, the Women’s 1st Eight (W1) were being chased by New College, who were on for blades. Racing though the Gut, New College were just three quarters of a length down, but W1 pushed away on the Green a Bank, building their lead back to a length and a half by our boathouse. They went on to row over behind Balliol. Over the week W1 successfully defended their position of 10th on the river.

At the end of the day it was a heart-stopping finale in Men’ s Division I. The Men’s 1st Eight (M1) were being chased by Trinity, and Trinity were under intense pressure from Keble, who were on for blades. At the top of the Gut, Trinity were a canvas off of Wolfson, and Keble were practically on top of Trinity. Apparently deciding it was ‘now or never’, Trinity swiped at Wolfson coming out of the gut, but missed! Keble sensing an opportunity, also went for the swipe…and also missed! Trinity and Keble shot across the river, and Keble caught Trinity as they straightened. Meanwhile M1 had stuck to the racing line and were gaining on Magdalen, but not quickly enough: the gap closed to about three-quarters of a length going past the boathouses, but both crews rowed over. M1 finished Summer Eights up two positions, at 5th on the river.