Sport: Eights Week

Of all the world's regattas, Oxford's Eights Week was one of the most picturesque and peculiar. Sandwiched into the London social calendar between Ascot and the Henley regatta, it marked the end of the University's summer term with a gala, six-day series of intramural crew races—not ordinary crew races but an Oxford specialty known as bumping races.

Bumping races, devised long ago because of the narrowness of the Isis (Oxford's own stretch of the Thames), are just what the term implies. Crews start two lengths behind one another, try to overtake and bump...

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