Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Fours Head of the River with KRSV Njord   Leave a comment

Like the Head of the River Race, the Fours Head is a a head race over the 6.8-km Boat Race Course. Though Wolfson entered a four, I was a bit too uncertain of my lab schedule to commit to the race and so was training with Wolfson’s eight instead. Then, the day before the race, a plea was posted on the Oxford College Rowing website asking for a substitute rower for the KRSV Njord club of the University of Leiden, Netherlands. Needless to say, I offered my services and somehow was taken up on the offer.

Njord, founded in 1874, is the oldest Dutch national rowing association. My particular boat was made up of members who had been rowing for about two years, but as an “international crew”, we were entered in the Elite division alongside other top clubs and the likes of the Oxford and Cambridge Blues squads. Having start number 39 out of about 450 meant we were able to avoid the Tideway Head ritual of waiting for three hours on the water before the race started.

This race was the first and only time the crew rowed together, so the going was a bit scrappy, but there were some clean stretches and nice pushes, and we finished in a respectable 20:41.7.

Fours Head - Jet Photographic



These pictures are courtesy Big Blade Photography and JET Photographic. Click for more!

Posted 10 Nov 2012 by John McManigle in Rowing

Oxford City Royal Regatta 2012   Leave a comment

The highlight of Wolfson’s summer regatta season was Oxford City Royal Regatta. Raced over both weekend days, the regatta attracts a number of local clubs, some Oxford and Cambridge colleges, and composite teams just out to have a bit of fun. The Saturday races are over 1000m, and Sunday is raced over 500m. Each day has “sprint eights” events over the lunch hour, in which all eights entered are invited to race — without any handicaps or divisions aside from gender — over a 350m course.

The Wolfson men did quite well: we entered three fours and an eight (the eight raced both days). Each of the fours (including mine) won their respective divisions, and the eight won on Sunday. I was asked to substitute into Worcester College’s sprint eight (after drinking half of my victory Pimms) on Sunday. Though we had a good race, we sadly were bested by a squad of ex-GB rowers. (As that squad was rowing with a borrowed Wolfson boat and blades but rowing with lilac Durham University kit, they were hailed from the bank as “Pink Wolfson.”) The women had a harder time of it; their eight entered on Saturday, winning one lunchtime sprint race and two races in the afternoon, but in the end were edged out.


These pictures of my four (and my adopted Worcester eight) were taken by Matthew Richie and Big Blade Photography. Click for more!

Posted 19 Aug 2012 by John McManigle in Rowing

Summer Eights 2012   Leave a comment

Another summer, another Summer Eights bumps race on the Thames! This year, I rowed in the 2nd men’s boat and coxed the 3rd women’s boat. M2 bumped each of the four days, but our Friday bump was ruled invalid by the race authorities and a bump awarded against us instead. (Apparently, we bumped a bit too hard.) Still, we moved up through division 4. The W3 crew had a bit of a rougher time, being bumped on Thursday and Friday, but with very strong row-overs on the Wednesday and Saturday races. Saturday was particularly impressive, as the ladies recovered from a crab to hold off and ultimately pull away from what looked like an inevitable bump.

Wolfson’s flagship crews also did quite well this Eights, with the men holding their position of fourth on the river and the women bumping up to the head of division 2.

These pictures are courtesy my parents who were visiting for the race! Click for more!

Posted 26 May 2012 by John McManigle in Rowing

Head of the River Race 2012   1 comment

A composite crew of Wolfson first and second boat men entered this year’s Head of the River Race. The regatta is a head race (ie time trial) over the Championship Course on the London Tideway. It is the same 6.8 km stretch used in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race (though raced in the opposite direction). The regatta attracts over 400 crews with a wide variety of experience levels, from the famed Leander Club, to various national teams (Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Switzerland, and Germany in the top 20), a number of University teams, and then the usual smattering of colleges and local clubs. Wolfson began the race in position 157, set by a very strong first boat crew last year, and finished at position 179 of 404.

Pictures courtesy JET Photographic. Click for one more.

Posted 17 Mar 2012 by John McManigle in Rowing

Torpids 2012   Leave a comment

Continuing our Oxford bumps racing exploits, Wolfson had a strong showing at Torpids 2012. I was rowing in the men’s first boat (M1) and coxing the women’s second boat (W2).

M1 bumped up the first three days, moving ahead of Oriel, St. John’s, and St. Catherine’s colleges. On the fourth and final day, we just missed the bump on Balliol by about 1/3 length, finishing 5th on the river overall.

The W2 crew also had a successful campaign, bumping up on Trinity W2 and St. Peter’s W1 in the first two days. On the Friday, we were bumped by Green Templeton W1, and on the Saturday were bumped by St. Peter’s W1 before going on to bump Hertford W2, moving up a net of 1 place on the river.



Most of these photos are courtesy Vaughan Dutton, one of the club’s premiere photographers. Click for more!

Posted 26 Feb 2012 by John McManigle in Rowing

Sculling on the Isis   Leave a comment

Posted 9 Dec 2011 by John McManigle in Rowing

Novice Rowing Season   Leave a comment

This year’s Novice Rowing Season at Oxford has now wound down. I had the amazing opportunity to cox and coach a group of fantastic novice women. They were always ready to train, and ramped up to 8 or more sessions per week long before their big regattas. And the training paid off: on the river each morning, other college crews looked on in confusion, wondering whether the Wolfson boat gliding past was a novice or senior boat. During the regattas, razor-sharp tapping and smooth rollups intimidated the competition. The crew wound up winning Nephthys Regatta (and, in age-old rowing tradition, threw me in the river to celebrate), and went further than any crew in living Wolfson history in Christ Church Regatta, besting some strong opponents along the way.


These pictures are from Nephthys Regatta, courtesy Susan Graham and Laurie Nevay. Click for a few more!

Posted 26 Nov 2011 by John McManigle in Rowing

Oxford City Royal Regatta   Leave a comment

Each summer, one of the local non-university boat clubs, City of Oxford Rowing Club, hosts the Oxford City Royal Regatta. The regatta is a favorite of Oxford graduate students (most undergraduates are still away for the summer) and also attracts boat clubs from across the UK.

This year, Wolfson entered two men’s fours in the Saturday morning events. Both crews had unlucky draws and fell to their respective division winners in the first round. The two fours combined into an eight for lunchtime sprints and afternoon races. Our afternoon luck was better: we reached the finals of the sprints and managed to win the 1000m IM3 8+ event outright. The Wolfson ladies also fared well: their 8+ won the sprint event, and their 4+ made it to the finals.


Click for a few more pictures…

Posted 21 Aug 2011 by John McManigle in Rowing

Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta   Leave a comment

Over the summer, informal Wolfson rowing crews enter external regattas as a fun way to keep our skills and fitness up over the off-season. Our latest was the Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta, rowed on the same stretch of river as the famous Henley Royal Regatta. Wolfson entered a men’s IV, a women’s IV, and a women’s VIII. My crew rowed a good race but fell to a IV from Auriol Kensington Rowing Club, London. The women’s IV fared a bit better, winning their first race but then losing their rudder in the division finals.

Click for more pictures!

Posted 30 Jul 2011 by John McManigle in Rowing

Summer Eights   Leave a comment

Similar to the spring’s Torpids, Oxford’s Summer Eights is an eights bumps regatta. Crews of eight oarspeople and a cox pile into rowing shells and take it in turns to try to row into each other for the glory of their colleges. This year’s Eights was another strong one for Wolfson. The M1 boat earned blades, moving up to #4 on the river. My M2 boat bumped three days of four, moving up to the fourth division. The M3 and M4 crews also put on a strong performances. Wolfson’s W1 moved up three spaces, and W2 fought through some terrible luck, with three of their races being aborted by marshals for safety reasons.

The image above is courtesy JET Photographic. Click for more pictures!

Posted 4 Jun 2011 by John McManigle in Rowing