Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Men’s update Summer 2022–Pre-Torpids 2023

High time for an update on what’s been going on at the men’s side of the club in the past year. It has been an exciting year thus far and anticipation for Torpids is high. Continue reading below for an overview of the crews that will be competing in Torpids this year.

By our Men’s Captain Calvin Cheng

Summer 2022 The men’s rowers experienced a competitive summer Eights in 2022. Our M1 crew made two bumps and rose to the fifth position in Division I, which is our joint highest-ever position in Summer Eights. They were only mere centimeters from bumping Pembroke on the last day. The Wolfson M2 crew showed dominance in their division and proudly won blades. Unfortunately, our M3 and M4 crews weren’t lucky and lost 4 and 3 positions respectively. 

As summer came, we maintained regular training and actively participated in the city- and national-level regattas. A composite crew with four Wolfson rowers and four Univ rowers won their band at Marlow Regatta (beating many crews that pre-qualified for the Thames Challenge Cup) but missed out on qualifying for the Temple Challenge Club among many overseas entries. We also entered Henley Town & Visitor Regatta with a number of crews, though unfortunately did not bring back any pots. At Oxford City Royal Regatta, our 8+ won their division, and 4+ came second.

We were lucky to have two experienced coaches, Natasha Oughton and Rachel Cannon, joining the Men’s coaching team. Together with Rory Copus and Philipp Schaefer, the coaching team planned thorough training plans and organized more mixed training sessions during the summer. We saw huge improvements in strength and techniques in both junior and senior squads. 

Michaelmas 2022 As the summer ended and a new term came, we started to recruit novices as well as experienced rowers to join the club. For novices, we organized a couple of taster sessions which were a great success and attracted more than a hundred students from both Wolfson and St Cross colleges. Also, Experienced rowers were individually scheduled for senior training sessions with our head coach. As a result, we welcomed a handful of competitive senior rowers and more than fifty talented novices joining Mens’ team in the new term. 

In Michaelmas term, our senior crew (M1 and M2) were rewarded for their hard work over the summer by winning the ISIS Winter League IWL-A. And in the Novice Regatta (formerly Christ Church Regatta), we entered two talented novices 8+. The novice A-crew lost only in the quarter-finals to the eventual 2nd-placed crew, while Novice B-crew’s race was unfortunately cancelled after the repechage because of the weather.

Winter training and preparing for Torpids We continued training over the Christmas vacation, even though sometimes it was under -5 degrees on the river. Our coaching team also prepared a detailed Christmas training plan, including stretching, weights, and alternative cardio, like running or cycling, for people to keep fit when they were unavailable for water sessions.

The Hilary terms began with the flooding season, where high rainfall and rapid current made the river temporarily unrowable. As alternatives, we organized more land training and tank sessions, focusing on strength building and technique polishing. We went back to water outings as soon as the flag turned to Amber and started systematically preparing for Torpids. In IWL-D, our senior crew again won the race, with M1 putting down the fastest time by 16 seconds and M2 the fastest time of any M2 by 10 seconds. 

With four of the strongest crews of recent years, we are now in a very exciting position for the upcoming Torpids. We are looking forward to making history for WCBC in the bumping race.

— Calvin Cheng, Men’s Captain

Crews entered into Torpids 2023

M1: Last year’s three bumps (including two overbumps) saw M1 rise to fourth on the river, the joint-highest position of the Wolfson Men in Torpids ever. This crew is filled with Wolfson veterans, including five members of last year’s M1 and only one who has never rowed for Wolfson in a Bumps race.
The crew’s dominant performance in the IWL, in which M1 remains unbeaten, has put St Catherine’s, Christ Church, and Oriel on notice and promises some exciting racing ahead.
Get ready to cheer on this crew, which includes five returning members of last year’s M1, as they look to break the Wolfson record and finish at the highest position for a Wolfson Men’s Boat ever!

CoxMary Sanford
StrokeThomas Monahan
7William Kinsella
6Ben Bellekom
5Christian Coester
4David Geldbach
3Dominik Kloepfer
2Karim Elmestekawy
BowGiovanni Rosso
CoachRory Copus

M2: This crew is a force to be reckoned with. One of the largest senior men’s squads in recent history has produced a crew whose skill, experience, and raw power is the envy of many colleges’ M1s. Currently the third-highest M2 on the river, the latest IWL races have shown this crew to be in a different league to other M2s.
Will this crew manage to clinch the coveted M2-headship, or will the vagaries of Bumps racing keep that prize just out of reach?

CoxAndrew McMahon
StrokeTein van der Lugt
7Benjamin Hardin
6Galen Brown
5Athanasios Peftinas
4Gavin Lamb
3Botos Csabi
2Calvin Cheng
BowGrant Rowley
CoachesRachel Cannon, Philipp Schaefer

M3: Last year, a strong M3 on for blades tragically believed they had bumped out on the last day, leading to the crew dropping down seven places and out of the fixed divisions. This year, with a balanced blend of experienced seniors and talented novices, M3 is poised for a strong comeback.
Get ready to cheer for M3 as they strive to reclaim their deserved spot in the fixed divisions!

CoxSamuel Wiese
StrokeRyan Walker
7Boldizsár Poór
6Ricardo Le
5Joost Wardenier
4Nicolas Conze
3Mantas Drelingas
2Olle Lövgren
BowSebastian Antoine
CoachesRachel Cannon, Natasha Oughton, Philipp Schaefer

M4: The strength of the upper-boat squads has cascaded down to make M4 a seriously competitive boat this year. This crew has successfully rowed on and will be one of the very few fourth boats, aiming to join M3 in proving Division 6 to be fertile hunting grounds for the Wolf.

CoxAdam Ferris
StrokeFlorian Zarnetta
7Bogdan Draghici
6Henley Hopkinson
5Dion Stevers
4Nathan Suiter
3Atticus Mawby
2Arnaud Oltramare
BowAugustine Luk
CoachesRachel Cannon, Natasha Oughton, Philipp Schaefer