On 11th March, 8 excited but slightly terrified Corpus women (plus our cox, Cameron McGarry) headed to London for WEHoRR, the largest women’s rowing event in the world held over the championship course of 6.8km. We were kindly hosted by Quintin boat club, arriving with plenty of time to rig our boat in the sunshine, and go out for a quick practice paddle to settle some nerves and get used to the near-perfect Tideway conditions. We were starting 205th, with a marshalling position just past the start line, giving us a perfect view to watch the first lot of crews begin their race.
After the first 3 divisions had gone it was our turn. The call came for racing kit, we spun behind the start line, wound up to race pace as we came under Chiswick Bridge, and we were off. We wanted to really focus on long, strong rowing, setting a sustainable pace that allowed the crew to focus power into every stroke. It was apparent off the start we’d need to give way to the faster crew behind us, but we quickly settled into our racing rhythm, and the middle of the race was a bit of a blur, going (surprisingly!) quickly, with everyone committing to a push to overtake crew 201 ahead of us. The sights of Fulham football ground and the black buoy signalled the finish line was near, and the girls responded to Cameron’s calls and the noise of the spectators to push off 2 crews that had been threatening to close in on us, successfully keeping them away as we reached the end. Although exhausted, a very happy boat of Corpus women were thrilled (relieved?) to have survived the championship course! Fuelled by a tactical stash of jelly babies, we then faced the long slog against the tide to row back to Quintin.
We ended up with a time of 22:04, and an official finishing position of 209 out of the 321 entries. We placed us ahead of several other Oxford and Cambridge colleges, and only 2 seconds off a division 1 Oxford crew- a result we’re thrilled with. Overall it was a great way to end the term on a high, and we’d love to head back looking to improve on our position next year!
This term has seen great success for CCCBC with M1 winning 5 bump blades into division 2, M2 up 5 and into fixed divisions in torpids, both for the first time in 32 years! The women had a less successful torpids, W1 falling 11. W1 then entered a WeHoRR and managed a very respectable 209th (see here) The Club also entered the IWL regattas on the Isis and M1 and W1 went to Henley 4s and 8s. With 5 training crews, the Club has plenty to look forward to next term as we train towards Eights.
Men’s Squad Report, by Sacha Tchen (President)
Men’s First Torpid
Torpids is always the focus of Hilary term and CCCBC men have had a hugely successful regatta. M1 won blades, bumping 5 times, the 5th bump into division 2. This makes them the first men’s crew to row in division 2 since 1985!
The Wednesday, 3 members of the crew’s first bumps start, we started behind St Hugh’s who had bumped us for blades last year. M1 quickly closed on St Hugh’s, catching them in the entrance of the gut and getting almost 5 seats of overlap before clashing blades.
Thursday we were chasing St Peter’s and again it was a short race, Corpus closing quickly before St Peter’s conceded at the entrance to the gut.
Friday was yet another short race, Queens offering little resistance as they were caught shortly after the entrance to the gut. This left Corpus chasing Brasenose for blades and the chance to go sandwich boat and to bump to div 2 on Saturday.
Saturday’s race followed a familiar pattern, Brasenose were bumped in the entrance of the gut after they didn’t concede immediately and instead had their stroke blade almost dragged under our bows. Starting from bungline 2 made for a very brief warm-up paddle before the big appearance in division 2.
M1 chased Worcester as sandwich boat. Worcester were at that point down 10 and on for spoons, they went off very hard, closing to less than ¼ of a length on Somerville in front of them, whilst Corpus closed to ½ a length on Worcester at Salters’ yard. Worcester however couldn’t keep the speed and Corpus bumped them for their 5th bump under Donnington Bridge, by far the longest row of the week at 72 strokes!
Videos of all the races can be found on our new youtube channel! Thanks to Adam Wigley for allowing M1 to use his GoPro.
Special mention also goes to Max Phillips who was taking Classics Mods whilst also rowing this term, a spectacular achievement. The three freshers in the crew (Alex, Rupert and Oscar) are also yet to race past the Gut in a bumps race!
Men’s Second Torpid
With Corpus fielding 4 men’s crews for Torpids for the first time since 1996 we had lots of rowers to pick for M2. With 6 novices from Christ Church regatta boosted with 2 former M1 rowers, M2 was looking strong. Having had a less than ideal build up for the first half of term, lots of progress was made in the two weeks before Torpids.
On the first day they were chasing a very fast Keble M3. After a scrappy start they got onto a strong rhythm. Keble M3 bumped out on Baliol M4, another fast crew filled with schoolboys, causing them to crab in the gut. M2 sensed an opportunity and closed to ½ a length but Baliol M4 pulled away along boathouse island so M2 rowed over. However later M2 were awarded a technical bump on Baliol M4 for an illegal substitution.
On day 2 they started on bungline 2 chasing a very slow Worcester M2 who were bumped 3 times the previous day. M2 started fast and caught Worcester very quickly, the first of the 4 boats that bumped them that day. This meant M2 were sandwich boat and had to row again in division 5 1 hour later. This gave them a chance to move into fixed divisions for the first time since 1985. Starting on bungline 13, further down the river than most of the crew had ever been, they started fast and bumped St Anthony’s M2 in about 20 strokes.
On Friday they were back chasing Keble M3. Keble M3 very quickly bumped St Hugh’s M2 and Corpus M2 then closed quickly and got the overbump before Donnington bridge.
This meant M2 were on for blades going into the Saturday and once again chasing Keble M3. M2 started well, holding level with Keble who very quickly bumped out on Exeter M2. M2 closed to 1 length on Exeter M2 who themselves were very close to LHM M2. It looked like a bump for M2 was inevitable before the race was klaxoned due to swans on the racing line.
This was a very unfortunate end but M2 still had an incredible week, going up 5 and moving comfortably into fixed divisions is a huge achievement.
M2 show off their pain faces. We’ll try and have those finishes together by the time eights comes around.
Corpus M3 has trained hard this term and were well set for rowing on, hoping to get 4 men’s crews qualified for torpids for the first time. Unfortunately a crab just as the timing started in rowing on meant that they didn’t qualify for torpids but as they keep improving they have a very strong shot at qualifying for eights when there is a second rowing on division. This meant that the now-traditional “Kittens” beer-boat stepped up from M4 to M3 and defended the Club’s honour, finishing level for the week having taken on combinations of younger, fitter beer boats and crews that had actually done some so-called training.
Henley Fours and Eights Head
Corpus M1 took a trip to a windy Henley 4s and 8s Head on the 18th March. Our 8 raced first in the morning division, coming 12th in IM.3 mostly behind university crews in 12.02. This was much longer than any training we had done on the water due to the length of the Isis and when we came back it felt noticeably shorter! We would like to thank Scott Houghton for subbing in at bow for us into the Torpids Crew.
We also entered an IM.3 4+ in the second division consisting of Tom Fairclough, Rupert Casson, Adam Wigley and Sacha Tchen with Cameron McGarry coxing, in a boat kindly lent to us by Wolfson. This 4+ came 10th in the category in a time of 13.04, again losing mostly to university crews and beating the only other college to enter.
CCCBC’s coxed four tackles the Henley course.
Isis Winter League
The men have also entered the IWL competitions, short head races on the Isis from Donnington Bridge to Cox’s stone. The report from IWL D can be found here.
IWL E saw Corpus enter 3 men’s 8s the day after we returned form Henley 4s and 8s head. M1 had a strong final race before torpids, finishing as the 6th fastest crew in 4.39, beating several Div 1 and 2 crews despite the long racing at Henley the day before. M2 also raced well, finishing in 5.20 and looking strong before Torpids. M3 also entered pulling a respectable time of 5.40 and preparing well for Rowing On.
These results meant that over all Corpus men came 4th in the final IWL tables.
Women’s Squad Race Report, by Fiona Jamieson (Women’s Captain)
Hilary has proven a mixed term for the women. We were delighted to see our novices integrate into the main squad after last term’s excitement of Christ Church regatta, and the increased numbers allows selection into boats, a new experience for our returning seniors. We are grateful to David Locke for his hard work coaching the women, and also James Marsden and Adam Wigley who have kindly given some additional coaching to our crews this term.
The women have entered every IWL event this season, and for the first time were able to field two women’s boats into one of the races, marking a real comeback in squad numbers. We finished the league 6th out of the 22 clubs that had entered women’s boats this year, a pleasing result. Corpus women are making a return to the external race scene too: following on from entering a 4+ at Wallingford Head at the end of last term, we entered two boats, an 8 and a 4, at Henley 4s and 8s Head in February. This was the first external event many of our crew had entered, and we were very happy with the 8+ result, finishing ahead of several other higher-division Oxford colleges and some university crews as well, and while the 4+ had no obvious college competition to compare against it was good experience.
Week 7 marked the start of Torpids, with W2 narrowly missing out on qualifying by 5 seconds to leave W1, composed of 4 novices and 4 seniors, the sole representative of the women’s squad. Sadly this Torpids didn’t produce the results we were hoping for. Starting 3rd in our division, a combination of some strong opposition crews and a bit of bad luck (seats coming apart on two separate races) left us with a disappointing result that doesn’t reflect the volume and effort of training undertaken by the girls this term. It did at least show the real encouragement and support felt within the squad, having had 3 very tough days the crew still went out on Saturday smiling, and many members of W2 came down to provide cheers along the bank. We will be back determined and motivated to seek revenge next year!
The W1 crew had a difficult Torpids but seek to redeem themselves at Women’s Head of the River Race
Eight of our squad are now looking forward to finishing the term at WEHORR, the first time a Corpus boat has entered this famous tideway race since the Corpus-LMH composite crew of 2014. This should be a great experience, after which vac training begins in earnest as we start our preparation for Summer Eights.
Thomas Fairclough (C)
Dr. Hilary “Hibbles” Wynne
Ella Benson Easton
Fiona Jamieson (C)
Dr. Phil Gemmel
Dr. James Marsden
* The M4 list does not include the many, many subs: James Neale, Ben Lakeland & Peter Woodcock. As such the order is not necessarily representative of the boat on any day either.
Hilary is here and with it rain, wind and Torpids training. The first opportunity for CCCBC to show how the effort put into winter training has paid off and to pick up from last terms success was Isis Winter League C on Sunday of 2nd week.
After some chaos on the river M1 boated and going off in clean water recorded a very good time of 4.26 coming 3rd behind Division 1 opposition. M2 were up next and the crew, racing after a successful Nephthys and Christchurch regattas showed that there is plenty of potential for Torpids, posting strong time of 5.21.
There was also a Corpus 4+ on the water after the boat club’s extensive success last term in the 4. After a strong start the crew recovered quickly from a slightly too tight line on the entrance to the gut and kept pushing to come second in their category in 5.13.
The crews are training hard as Torpids rushes towards us and the next test for the crews is IWL D on Sunday of 4th week before M1 heads to Henley 4s and 8s head on the 18th February.
Sacha Tchen, Treasurer
After a hugely successful Michaelmas term for CCCBC, our outgoing Captains report on the development of the novices and achievements of the squads. Incoming captains are Thomas Fairclough, 2nd year Materials Scientist and Fiona Jamieson, 2nd year DPhil in Plants Science.
Women’s Squad Race Report by Martha Wallace (Women’s Captain, 2016)
The women’s squad started the term with a returning W1 and a successful recruiting program. David Locke worked as hard as ever to continue the development of W1 in the long build up to Torpids and the always-too-short run up to Christ Church Regatta.
Wednesday of Christ Church kicked off with a race against St Hugh’s WA. Crippled by a crab early on in the race, that meant a prolonged period of only 3 rowers actually moving the boat, the crew nonetheless managed to pull it together to lose by just under 2 lengths. Ideally, however, there wouldn’t be crabs, so we decided off the back of this race and the recent close-loss in Nepthys to switch the crew back into their training boat; it would be heavier, but their performance in training had thus far outstripped their racing, and it seemed there was some unfulfilled potential.
With the final chance offered by the repechage, and a more familiar and tested boat, the crew were undaunted by their loss on the first day. Apparently it all paid off, as they stormed to victory against Exeter WA, with several comfortable lengths between them at the end of the race. More importantly, there were no crabs.
On the Friday, we were pitted against Wolfson WA. We knew this could be a tough race, but after finally getting a well-deserved victory, the crew was ready to make Wolfson work for a victory. After a gutsy start, sticking with Wolfson for the first few hundred metres, unfortunately Wolfson were able to pull away from boat house island, crossing the finish a few lengths ahead. Nonetheless, in just a few days the crew really got into the swing of racing, getting over the first few races’ crabs and getting a far more competitive and driven mindset.
W1 made their first showing at an external regatta since the Reading Town win of 2014, heading to Wallingford Head to compete in IM3 W4+ (unfortunately we could not race in the novice category because Fiona carelessly one a regatta while training with OUWLRC dev squad…) We placed well, beating or only slightly behind several college crews ahead of us in Torpids. At any rate it was a fun day out and great to be back on the local circuit.
Heading into Torpids we are looking at fielding a strong W1 and a W2 for the first time since 2013. With our placing inn division three we are certainly looking competitive and hope to make a big impact!
WA Looking strong in Nephthys Regatta
Men’s Squad Race Report by Adam Wigley (Men’s Captain, 2015-2016)
Michaelmas Term was a very successful term for the mens side of the boat club for both the novices and seniors. The term started with our taster session, managing to recruit about 20 male freshers including 3 who had rowed before.
We had exactly 8 senior rowers training full time in Michaelmas allowing us to train with aconsistent crew. We also focused on training in mixed fours to focus on technical development. We got a number of wins throughout the term. The first was our A four winning Autumn fours including beating head of the river Oriel in the semi final. Our B four reached the semi final of the same event. We carried this winning run into Nephthys regatta, winning both the lightweight and open fours and reaching the semi final in the eight, losing to Wolfson by a length. The next day we headed to Cambridge Winter Head racing in the IM3 8+, Im3 4+ and Nov 4+ categories. We came second in all, losing to the University of Essex by just 3 seconds in the 8+. This concluded a successful term for the senior squad and a strong start to our Torpids campaign.
We had a strong intake of novices, enough for two boats. I decided to coach the novices having gained experience from coaching the novices last year. This year we used the rowing tank a lot which really helped the novices to develop their technique in a stable environment and for me to coach individuals more easily. The first regatta for the two novice boats, MA and MB was Nephthys regatta. MA beat Balliol and LHM to reach the quarter finals before being knocked out by Jesus MA. MB lost their first race to Keble C due to a crab at five, both detaching his seat and knocking his glasses into the river. This racing experience was very useful to both crews preparing them for Christ Church Regatta. MA had an excellent run beating Pembroke MA, Linacre MA and Wadham MB to reach the quarter finals. They then lost to a very quick Keble MB by 1 length. MB lost their first race to Mansfield MA but had a chance to redeem themselves in the repechage. Due to an illness in WA we were 1 rower short so I stepped in to row at three, making the crew a friendly boat. MB then went on to beat Somerville MA which was a big achievement given that they were an A crew from a college much bigger than us.
On the weekend of 6th week Michaelmas term, CCCBC entered Nephthys Regatta on the Isis and the Cantabrigian Winter Head in Cambridge.
Nephthys was a slightly shorter course than usual, running from just upstream of Longbridges boathouse to the Cox Stone – about 1km in length.
The senior men entered the lightweight four and open four as well as the eight. The eight won against St. Anthony’s in the first race, but came up against a strong division one Wolfson crew in the next round, suffering a loss by two lengths. After a grueling race to the line with Keble in the first round, the lightweight four went on to win their category, also beating out St. Hilda’s and Trinity. The open four also won their category, beating both University and Pembroke’s so-called “Eddie Rolls special.”
After a successful day, Corpus packed up Spirit for her first trip off the Isis to Cantabs winter head. Race report by Treasurer Sacha Tchen can be found here.
The motley MA crew pulling hard
On Saturday the novice men entered an A boat and a mixed B boat. MA made a strong showing, beating out Balliol and LMH easily to reach the quarter finals. Here though we recieved a nasty shock, when Jesus MA brutally chased us to the line, eventually pulling away after the boathouse island and winning by one length. However, ending the day in the quarter finals was a fantastic debut and exciting indicator for Christ Church Regatta.
The MB race report was written by fresher John Myers:
Another year, another new crew. The men’s B boat’s debut had a great start with Molly Willett as cox easily surging past Keble C. Unfortunately, a few strokes in, the person sitting at five crabbed twice knocking his glasses into the river and detaching his seat in the process. The crew was soon forced down to only six rowing members as the person at four had to drop out to balance the boat. After a short stop by the boathouses, the remaining six of the men’s B boat valiantly finished the race, well behind Keble C. The men’s B boat will have a chance to redeem themselves in the Christ Church regatta next week.
The women’s race report below was written by Women’s Captain Martha Wallace:
The senior crew were the first of the women’s squad to race, with their first race Friday afternoon. The draw had put us automatically through to the semi-finals, so we only had to sit through the first round to find out who our opponents would be (Keble WA, as it turned out). Undaunted by Keble’s shameless flaunting of blues stash in the boat before the race, the Corpus crew stuck right with them off the start and over the first half of the course kept an overlap on the Keble boat. Unfortunately over the length of boat house island Keble began to pull away, finishing the race with about a length and half’s lead. Nonetheless, they had to work for every inch and it was a gutsy performance from the Corpus seniors.
The novices were one of the earlier races of the Saturday, facing off against Trinity WA. Though they pulled ahead off the start, Corpus were quickly crippled by a crab, allowing Trinity to get the lead. Undeterred, Corpus kept up a close pursuit, even through another crab just by the boat house, and were neck and neck coming on to the meadow. At this point Trinity themselves caught a hefty crab, and Corpus made a push for the lead, ahead about 150m from the finish. Unfortunately, a crab in the middle of the boat led to Trinity taking the race in the last 100m, but with just the canvas crossing the finish line first. In defence of the crabbing novices, when they returned to their standard, training boat for Christ Church there were more seamless races (and even a win). Regardless, even as a loss it was a strong start to their racing season.
Race report from Cantabrigians Winter Head by Treasurer Sacha Tchen
On the Saturday of 6th week M1 (with Phil Gemmell making his return from Kittens M3 in Summer Eights to kindly sub in at 2) took an 8+ and 2 4+s to the twisty, narrow river that is the Cam for Cantabrigian Rowing Club’s winter head.
After a cold, early morning we arrived and boated for our first race in the 8. Going off third in our division Mr James Marsden expertly navigated the challenging Cam course and we finished in a respectable time of 9.21, finishing second in the IM.3 category to the University of Essex by only 3 seconds and 19th overall. We were only Cambridge college Div 1 crews with the home advantage and university crews. We beat the only other Oxford college there, a Worcester 8 by 29 seconds.
Next up in Div 4 was ‘Pointless’ in the Novice 4+ category. Unfortunately setting off at the back of their division mean that they got stuck behind slower crews, the twisty course making it impossible for them to overtake. This slowed them considerably so their time of 10.47 was unrepresentative of their true speed and power. They finished second in their category.
In Div 5 and going off second from the bottom was ‘Pointy’ in the IM.3 4+ category. Having marshalled for 40 minutes, when Pointy finally got under way it was an impressive row, mostly in clear water due to waiting above the start for crews to clear. The main excitement was a novice crew banking in front of us as we over took them. Pointy concluded a run of nearly but not quiet for the day, again coming second to what was a very quick Peterhouse/99s crew in their category and 62nd overall in 10.05. Pointy were also only three seconds behind Corpus Cambridge’s 4+, bringing hope for Corpus Challenge next term.
Many thanks must go to James Marsden for driving us all there (and back to London) and coxing all three boats throughout the day.
Oscar Beighton (1st Year Classical Archeology and Ancient History) reports on CCCBC’s first races in Isis Winter League this season:
On October 30th, the women’s and men’s A crews competed in the eights, with the men’s crew then dividing into A and B fours crews. As well as this, the club was also represented in the singles category, bringing the grand total to five boats entered.
Women’s Senior Eight
The women’s eight made their first competitive appearance for the academic year at IWL after regretfully having had to withdraw from the autumn fours. Their commitment showed as they crossed the finish in a respectable five minutes and twenty-three seconds, putting them ahead of Queen’s, St Antony’s, and CORC.
Men’s Senior Eight
The men’s eight crew beat out six other teams in their category to take second overall with a four second gap between them and University College, who took third place. The crew performed very well despite being formed of a group with mixed levels of experience, giving a smashing performance for their first competition as one big happy eight.
Men’s Four A
The men’s A boat set a spectacular run, with Emile Roberts once again displaying his spectacular steering, taking the crew to the finish line in what looked to be a very respectable time. Unfortunately the time keepers couldn’t keep seem to keep up with the boat, and the times set by the fours were sadly recorded improperly, meaning we can’t know just how well they did. All we know is that they put on an impressive show, and they’re set to do very well in the future.
Men’s Four B set a respectable time in Cox, Ruby Harrsion’s first race
Men’s Four B
The men’s B boat saw novice cox Ruby Sioux Harrison take charge in her first competitive event, and what a debut it was! She led the crew expertly over the course, taking perhaps a slightly more responsible path past the barge than Emile, but no less impressive. The B crew seemed to set a decent time too, but without the official timing, exactly how they performed will remain a mystery.
Men’s Single Scull
James Marsden joined in the fun at IWL too, leaving his usual role of coach and cox to give the club’s single a run out on the water. He came home with a second place finish in his category to a warm reception from the rest of the team.
As much as the rowers would all love a break, training is only getting more serious after the club’s success at IWL. With the Nephthys regatta on the horizon, CCCBC intends to stand out this year, and everyone is very keen to commit to bringing in some silverware.
Mr. James Marsden Esq. boldly going where no Corpuscle has gone in a long time (that is, slowly down the Isis in a scull)
CCCBC entered Autumn Fours on the Isis last weekend. Sadly due to illness the women’s crew had to scratch at the last minute but the men’s A and B crews did their best to make up for their absence.
The men’s B crew consisted of the bow four of our first eight and coxed by Mr. James Marsden. It was newcomers Alex Bruce and Oscar Beighton’s first regatta in Oxford, while Bertie Veres returns from M1 last year and Max Philips from M2 having made a lot of progress sculling over the long vacation.
MB started the day with a solid win over St. Peter’s by two lengths but were unfortunately beaten in the semi-final by Univ B.
Unfortunately we were all too busy winning races to take any good photographs but Peter Cowling kindly sent in this picture of our first eight in training.
Men’s A consisted of the stern four of the first eight, with another fresher, Rupert Casson making his debut appearance for CCCBC – and what an appearance it was! MA beat Somerville in the first round by three quarters of a length, pitting us against Oriel in the semi-final. It was with much trepidation that we lined up against them at the start but it appears that the stars alined in our favour as we beat the head of the river by one length. Finally, MA revenged MB by beating Univ B by one and a half lengths in the final.
So overall a highly successful day for CCCBC, our next appearance will be at Nepthys regatta on the 18th (seniors) and 19th (novices make their debut) of November.. We will also be sending the seniors to Cantabrigian Winter Head on the 19th November for another crack at an external regatta.
Michaelmas is here, CCCBC has held its taster session and the training for
Christchurch regatta has begun.
It was an interesting summer, seeing Men’s Captain Adam Wigley competing in the
single sculls at City of Oxford Royal Regatta and with our friends at Green
Templeton Boat Club in the eights. Treasurer, Sacha Tchen and myself joined with
Magdalen College to form a formidable coxed four, rowing to win a pot in IM3
men’s fours. We also said goodbye to an old friend, The Pelican – which has been
with us since 1993 was sold to Gateshead Community Rowing Club to make room for
St. Benet’s, who become our new neighbors in the CCCBC boathouse.
The freshers’ week taster session was an enormous success, with the MCR session
running for the first time in the committee’s memory and a high level of
sign-ups. All this despite the closure of Christchurch Meadow due to an
unexploded mortar and dismal weather – I attribute this to the power a free
barbecue holds over the incoming students.
With a strong returning crew, coaches and high hopes for regattas in and outside of
Oxford this term, CCCBC is champing at the bit for another year of rowing.