Welcome steady rain fell for most of the day. What’s that? An Englishman welcoming rain in July?
Yes. It is much needed at the moment.
This morning we drove to Crestwood of Lymington to book an assessment for replacing the very poorly laid flooring in our sitting room that we inherited five years ago.
Later Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers in Milford on Sea where she photographed Peter cutting my hair. Bobby Moore and Mohammed Ali were on hand to vet the proceedings.
This afternoon I scanned a set of prints from 3rd June 2000. These were of Sam and the Wadham Eight competing in the Oxford Eights Week.
Wikipedia reports that ‘Eights Week, also known as Summer Eights, is a four-day regatta of bumps races which constitutes the University of Oxford‘s main intercollegiate rowing event of the year. The regatta takes place in May of each year, from the Wednesday to the Saturday of the fifth week of Trinity Term. Men’s and women’s coxed eights compete in separate divisions for their colleges, with some colleges entering as many as five crews for each sex.
The racing takes place on the Isis, a length of the River Thames, which is generally too narrow for side by side racing. For each division, thirteen boats line up at the downstream end of the stretch, each cox holding onto a rope attached to the bank, leaving around 1.5 boat lengths between each boat. The start of racing is signalled by the firing of a cannon, each crew attempting to progress up their division by bumping the boat in front, while avoiding being bumped by the boat behind. Once a bump has taken place, both of the crews involved stop racing and move to the side to allow the rest of the division to pass. It is possible to “over bump” if the 2 crews in front of your boat bump (and so drop out) and your boat can catch the boat that was in front of them. They then swap places for the next day’s racing, whether that be the calendar day or the first day of racing in the next year’s competition.’
The nearest boat in each of the first two of these images is the Wadham First Eight of which Sam was a member.
I imagine it was a normal ritual for the crew to hoist the cox. Sam appears to be pleased to be grasping the young lady’s thigh. The man on the right covering a mate’s eyes
later received a ducking.
When you appreciate that this was the gentleman, a good two stone heavier by December 2008, who, as recounted in “Oiling The Lion”, tackled me to the ground during a game of touch rugby, you will perhaps understand that now, with tongue in cheek, I think he got what he deserved.
It had been some decades since Wadham College last won an oar at the Eights. They won two during Sam’s time there. He has kept his own from 2000. I have this one from the 2001 Torpid.
The Torpids are the other of the two bumping competitions held each year.
Early this evening Becky and Ian arrived to stay for the weekend. After a pleasant exchange of information about our various ailments we all dined at the Royal Oak. Jackie and Ian chose very good burgers, chips, coleslaw and salad, while Becky and I enjoyed chicken pie, with an al dente vegetable melange. We all shared a vast portion of real onion rings. Jackie drank Amstell; Ian drank Moretti; Becky drank Diet Pepsi; and I drank Malbec.