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Thirty-six times Head of the River: another successful Summer Eights campaign

Seventy-two athletes at Oriel College took part in Summer Eights 2024, forming eight crews in total. The men’s first eight rowed over on all four days, remaining Head of the River, and the men’s second eight is still the only second boat in a second division.

Summer Eights is the largest intercollegiate rowing event at the University of Oxford, a four-day-long regatta in which divisions of 12 boats row single-file up the Isis, a stretch of the River Thames, attempting to ‘bump’ the boat in front of them, while avoiding ‘getting bumped’ by the boat behind.

Bumps result in changes to starting positions on the river the following day. Boats that bump, move up the ranking. And vice versa for boats that get bumped. Boats that neither bump nor get bumped are said to have ‘rowed over,’ while boats that finish at the top of the first divisions earn the title of ‘Head of the River.’

With the men’s first eight finishing Head of the River in 2024, Oriel boats have held the title a total of 36 times since 1815. That’s more than any other college.