Yesterday saw the start of the best rowing competition in the world, the one and only Summer Eights. Many were worried about whether crews would be able to find their way to the startline, given their lack of training during this term’s extended period of red flag on the Isis, but only one division was klaxoned.

People expecting drama at the top of the river in the men’s division as Oriel, Pembroke and Christ Church battled it out for the Headship will have been disappointed, as all rowed over leaving Oriel as head. Meanwhile in Women’s Div 1, Pembroke made up for their choke last year by bumping Balliol and taking the top spot. Men’s Div 2 and 3 both saw five bumps each. Women’s Div 2 managed four bumps before the race got klaxoned after a pile-up in the gut. Women’s Div 3 also saw four bumps with the top two rowing over.

The biggest winners of the day were Jesus M2 who started as the sandwich boat for Division 4 and managed an impressive triple overbump on Lincoln M2, and as such ended up 7th.

In the bottom divisions there was the usual carnage. The prize for disturbing the most crustacea goes to Wadham W3 in Women’s Div 5, who looked for all the world like they would catch Queens 2, only to be denied by a succession of 3 crabs. Women’s Div 6, meanwhile, saw a grudge match of epic proportions, since Univ W4 fought Univ W3. It was actually W4 that came away with the glory, however, bumping their college colleagues. Will there be revenge today?

The racing has only just begun – plenty more drama is still to come.