Torpids headship for W1

6th March 2019

News, Student news, Alumni news

Wadham’s women rowers win the headship in 2019 Torpids!

From their start in second place Wadham’s W1 crew rowed strongly to take the headship in Division 1, bumping Oriel on the first day of racing and then holding off Pembroke on the final day. W2 maintained their position as one of the highest second boats on the river.

In the men’s divisions, Wadham M1 held third place behind Pembroke in Division 1; M2 finished in seventh place in Division 3 and M3 finished in third place in Division 5.

This achievement followed success at Christchurch regatta last term with the women winning and the men reaching the quarter-final.

Toprids bump racing involves starting with all the crews lined up in single file with the aim of racing being to hit into the crew/boat in front of you. This will lead to the crews swapping positions for racing the next day and the positions are held year to year. Hence it has taken years of work to get Wadham/Harris Manchester crews to where they are today and rowers have worked through the 6am starts, wind and rain to continue the positive trajectory that the boat club is on.

The final day of Torpids racing started with a ceremony to celebrate the naming of two new second eights. boats, with speeches from Sir Ralph Waller, former Principal of Harris Manchester College,  and representatives of the women’s headship crew of 1976.

The men’s boat, named ‘Sir Ralph Waller’, honours the support for the club from the former Principal of Harris Manchester College. The women’s boat, named ‘Spirit of ‘76’, commemorates the women’s 1976 crew who gained Wadham’s first women’s headship. Sir Ralph and eight representatives of the ’76 crew joined the naming ceremony. 

Following the racing, a celebration dinner was well attended by rowers past and present. 

Wadham’s men’s and women’s first eights have gone on to win Oxford’s annual inter-college time trials so will represent Oxford as the fastest college crews at the Henley Boat Races against Cambridge later this month, and at BUCS regatta at the start of next term.

Wadham College rowing crews are made up of students from Wadham and Harris Manchester College.