Rowing is a really good way to meet a variety of people, especially graduates at Balliol who are really interesting, friendly, and have lots of advice to give undergraduates! In the Autumn, the biggest college races are only for people who have never rowed before, so this is a great place to learn and participate in the sport at any level that you choose. It does involve a few early mornings, but it’s an excellent social environment and rowing can be really useful in helping to structure a university week.
This term, the Boat Club had its first bumping races of the year, called ‘Torpids’. These are where rowing boats line up behind each other in single file and each boat tries to catch the one ahead of it. If your boat touches the boat that started in front of you, or their cox (who sits at the back of a boat, shouting encouragement and steering) ‘concedes’, you move up a place to start from in front of that crew in the line the next day. Racing lasts for four days in total, beginning on Wednesday afternoon and finishing on Saturday. Balliol had a really successful week this year, with around eighty people involved in rowing, coxing and coaching, not to mention the excellent support we had on the final day. The results for the week were terrific for both the Women and the Men. For me personally, to have survived a series of very tough races trying to hold off New College was especially pleasing. If you’re interested, click here to watch a race.
Next term is ‘Summer Eights’, which follows a similar format and is equally exciting!
Charles Bertlin, Men’s Boat Club Captain