Boat burning celebrates rowing success

12th October 2015

News, Student news, Alumni news

A traditional boat-burning ceremony celebrated the success of the Wadham Women's First Eight in winning Head of the River in both Torpids and Eights in 2015.

  • The sacrificial boat arrives in College

  • The boat is filled with cardboard to help it burn

  • Assistant Gardener Sophie Pitts sets the boat alight

    Assistant Gardener Sophie Pitts sets the boat alight

  • Members of the winning crew with coach Rod Andrews

The disused boat was collected from the Boathouse and carried through town to the Wadham Gardens where the winning crew and coach Rod Andrews joined a champagne celebration with members of Wadham College and friends.

Assistant Gardener, Sophie Pitts, set light to the boat, which was quickly engulfed by flames.

Member of the winning crew Stephanie Hall (2012, Experimental Psychology) commented: “We were delighted to see so many people coming along to celebrate this event. And the sign up for rowing at the Freshers' Fair has been fantastic. I didn’t row before I came to Wadham and it has been such an amazing experience - I really hope that others take advantage of the opportunity to row while they are here.”

The sacrificial wooden boat had been disused for some time as it flexes too much to go fast enough to row competitively.

The success of Wadham's First Eight women's  crew has meant that this is the second boat burning to take place in Wadham gardens in recent years. Their victory in the Headship last year was celebrated with a boat burning in June 2014.

Watch a video of this event

Thanks to Michael Edwards for filming and producing this video.

Play Boat burning

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Play boat burning