Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Lincoln College Boat Club: Summer Torpids success

Photograph of Heather McTaggart, a young woman in a blue Lincoln College Women's 1st Boat t-shirt, in front of a river

Heather McTaggart

  • Guest Author
Image of the river with some boats in and out of the water.

After a long 25 months, which saw Lincoln College Boat Club (LCBC) persevere through severe weather issues and then a global pandemic, bumps racing finally came back to Oxford. Rather than the traditional Summer Eights regatta held in 5th week of Trinity, Oxford had Summer Torpids in 7th week, a hybrid bumps racing event that saw many of our crews having to push through to the end of the course to claim glory. It was an extraordinary four-day event that was undoubtedly a highlight of the academic year.

Throughout the pandemic, LCBC never stopped training, whether through erg rental schemes, circuit workouts together via Zoom, or extra cardio sessions, and this showed in our performance. LCBC managed to enter five crews into the regatta while many colleges were unable to field a first eight, demonstrating how club members came together and how many new Lincoln members committed to college rowing. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Darren Marshall (1984) and rEvolution, all members of the first two men's and women's boats sported the traditional dark blue and white zephyrs respectively. In the end, our W1 shined with an overbump on the first day on St John's College, and then held their high position throughout the week despite fierce competition. Our M1, stroked by Blues rower Jean-Philippe Dufour (2019), also had an impressive showing and on the last day of the regatta managed to deny Somerville a bump in a photo finish. The lower boats were also a strong testament to LCBC's dedication as the majority of their crew members joined Lincoln in Michaelmas 2020, highlighting how rowing has brought so many of us together this year.

In keeping with government restrictions on gatherings, the event was not able to accommodate spectators. Therefore, a livestream was set up by the event's organising committee so people could watch from anywhere. This helped connect club members and alumni worldwide as we were all able to cheer on our crews in real time regardless of physical distance. Ultimately, Summer Torpids was an incredible end to a difficult year, and showcases how LCBC has thrived and always will thrive together as a community.

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