March 7, 2011 in Torpids 2011
After an epic two hour protest by both New College and ourselves, M2 ended up one place higher in Division 4 than they would have otherwise. The full race from the perspective M2′s bow can be seen below. The men started in 3rd in the division knowing that they could easily bump Linacre (having got to within 3/4 of a length on Friday when Linacre had started two above. However they would have to pull out their best performance to stand a chance of bumping Linacre before Linacre got a chance to bump the, it has to be said, pretty slow, New College boat.
Even in Lubo’s soft focusing eastern European camera, we can just make out how New concede clearly and within good time ,just as they shoot off to bowside. For reasons unknown to anyone but the Linacre cox, Linacre then proceed to stay in the racing line without slowing appreciably (it’s a good job my voice can’t be heard, for the things I were shouting at them weren’t very savory). When New eventually try to take the stroke side bend, the inevitable happens: Linacre broadside New, pushing them perpendicular to the stream and leaving M2 very little room.
There were two issues at race desk, did Balliol bump New before the Klaxon, and how much of the blame for the incident could be attributed to Linacre? In answer to the first; I actually had little idea at the time. I suspected they hadn’t since smashing past Linacre slowed our boat so much. But then the nearest Marshall was awfully slow to react. To my mind the second point was much clearer: Linacre were the only boat at fault. Sure, M2 may possibly have been able to find a clearer path around the outside, but on the narrowest part of the river, I’m not sure an incident could have been avoided.
In the end the slow grinding OURCs committee awarded New College a row over whilst penalty bumping Linacre one place to lie below Balliol. A result which we would happily have taken before the race. We will always wonder how much better things would have been if M2 had closed out the bump on Jesus on the first day, but that’s the nature of Torpids.