In 5th week came around one of the biggest sporting events of the year for Jesus College, summer eights racing. Summer eights, for those not in the know, is essentially a four day long rowing race. Each day, rowing eights race down the river in an assigned order, attempting to bump the boat in front of them (or not get bumped!) in order to move up the order of boats on the river. The last day of summer eights as ever became a true college event, with a huge turnout of students and staff at the river enjoying the balmy weather, pimms from the boat house bar, a BBQ and lots of racing to watch.
Jesus put out five boats on the river for eights, two mens boats (M1 and M2) and three womens boats (W1, W2 and W3). We hope that next year the Vikings (M3) will return in full force.
The mens boats had a tough eights campaign ahead of them, in high positions on the river and competing with strong crews as a result of a rowing successes a few years ago. All the same, M1 put in a strong effort, rowing over (not being bumped or bumping) on two of the four days. M2 had no such luck, being bumped on every day of eights in a week marred (but made all the memorable) by three boat breakages along the way. M2 thus claimed their spoons in style, opting, for a bit of fun, to row the last day in chinos.
The women, it must be said, saw a more successful week of rowing than the men. Our W1 boat certainly saw the most success of all our boats, over the week moving up two spots on the river, and critically into division 1. W1’s efforts were all the more impressive given that they, being on the fringe of division 1, had to row twice rather than once on two of the four days. I’m sure the ladies won’t forget their brilliant bump of Somerville W1 on the first day.
W2 had a tough start to eights, being bumped on the first two days, but managed to finish strong with a row over and bump on the penultimate and final days. Meanwhile, a strong W3 boat, showing the depth in the ladies squad were not bumped once in there whole time on the river, bumping Corpus Christi and Exeter to climb two spots on the river.
Overall, a huge amount of fun was had. The festivities after racing on the last day were certainly truly memorable. Hillary, the ladies’ coach of many years, on seeing the whole boat club launch themselves into the river and celebrate commented that if anyone doubted that Jesus was the best college, they just had to look at the community, and spirit of Jesus at summer eights. I think that rings true for everyone competing and spectating that day.
A huge thanks to everyone who came to watch the rowing, and everyone who made summer eights the great and memorable event that it was!