The Boat Race 1913 & 1914

Here is a nice photograph of a relaxed Oxford crew of 1913. From the left: H. Wells (cox), E. Burgess, C. Baillieu, H. Ward, R. Hankinson, L. Wormald, A. Wiggins, E. Horsfall (stroke), and A. Wedderburn. On 13 March, these boys won the Boat Race, which has been described as “a most thrilling race”. After four winning races, Bob Bourne was not stroking anymore, nor was his father, Dr. C.G. Bourne, the coach for the dark blues. But they did not lack experience. Wells and Wormald had won the Boat Race also in 1911 and 1912, and both Wedderburn and Wiggins in 1912. That latter year, Wells, Burgess, Wormald, and Horsfall had won an Olympic gold medal in the eights at the Games held in Stockholm (rowing for Leander).

In the 1913 Boat Race, Horsfall was stroking and he went out very strong in the beginning, more than his crew could take. Cambridge went up in the lead. It was first at the Brewery, the two boats were level after that Horsfall literally had driven his crew up inch by inch. The magazine Isis wrote:

“When Oxford seemed beaten Horsfall quickened the pace and drove his crew with merciless insistence until they achieved the impossible only a minute or two before the end by just three-quarters of a length […] Mr. Horsfall is a declared misogynist. But the attitude of the opposite sex does not encourage him in his views. What young lady, who has seen him swinging down the river, delighting in the freedom of his limbs and the freshness of the air, with his fair tangled locks streaming in the breeze, could do aught but admire?”

The following year, 1914, Ward, Horsfall, Wiggins, and coxswain Wells were still in the dark blue boat, but this year Oxford did not stand a chance to Cambridge powerful row. The light blues won by 4 ½ lengths. Following is a newsreel from the 1914 race on the Thames on 28 March.


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