St Antony’s rowers have been accused of causing two major pile ups during Summer Eights last week, after manning their boat with a novice-rated Cox.
A Wadham Cox was injured twice and, as a result of the second incident, was unable to participate in Saturday’s race.
On Thursday Wadham’s crew was about to be bumped by St Antony’s Men’s second boat when Cox Rachel Levy put up her hand in concession.
However St Antony’s rowed on into Wadham, who were attempting to clear the racing line.
Levy said, “A couple of my Wadham rowers had fallen off their seats at the start, so we had to concede to St Antony’s in the first fifteen strokes or so.
“While I clearly put up my hand to concede, St Antony’s failed to lighten up and proceeded to row full speed into my crew.”
The collision resulted in Levy being hit on the shoulder by St Antony’s bowman’s oar but the two boats remained entangled in the middle of the river, and the race was klaxoned.
However Tom Isherwood, President of St Antony’s Boat club, denied the accusations that St Antony’s caused the pile up on the river.
He said, “First, incidents like this are normally not the result of any negative intention or even recklessness (despite what the Wadham coaches who proceeded to harass and verbally abuse our crew throughout the week may think).
“Rather, they are an inevitable result of the chaos of Oxford bumps racing.”
On Friday, there was a pile-up near ‘the gut’ which it has been alleged that St Antony’s initiated.
However, the separate incident which prevented Levy from rowing on Saturday was, she says, “partly everyone’s fault.”
Wadham’s rudder was smashed in the process and they had to be towed in by a launch.
Levy was unable to row in her race on Saturday as a result of the impact she had received to her back.
Isherwood spoke about the incident saying, “Friday of Eights saw a similarly dangerous situation, but with Wadham receiving a dangerous coxing fine and the St Antony’s crew receiving appreciation for being the only crew directly behind them to stop in time.”
Levy described the incident as “just the nature of bumps.”
She continued, “Rowing, while not normally a contact sport, does have its share of mishaps, collisions, broken bones, ejector crabs, etc.
“If you aren’t willing to accept those risks, then you shouldn’t be on the water, plain and simple.”