|8th Apr '08||Lent term round-up||by bjg|
|Following on from good progress in Michaelmas, there was a lot of hard work still to be done if we were to repeat the successes of last year's Lents. We had a double headship to defend and lower boats looking to improve on already strong positions. The Cambridge Head-2-Head provided the traditional start-of-term shock to the system. The 2nd women's VIII, including several ex-novices, put in a strong performance, the 1st women's VIII maintained their rate of improvement against the other colleges, losing by only a second, and the 1st men's VIII completed their unbeaten year against college crews.|
Next up was a trip to Peterborough for the Head of the Nene. In their first race of term the 2nd men's VIII carried the mantle of First and Third, following the 1st men's VIII's aborted attempt due to injury, and showed straight away that they were competitive even for a 1st VIII. The 1st women's VIII came in second fastest college crew, beating Jesus for the first time - good news, as Jesus were starting second in bumps. Meanwhile, the Gents stayed at home to win the lower boats division of Newnham Short Course comfortably, not far behind the overall winners, with the 2nd and 3rd women's VIIIs recording solid and entertaining rows respectively.
At Robinson Head, the 1st men's and 2nd women's VIIIs retained their titles, with the 1st women's and 2nd and 3rd men's VIIIs just missing out. A couple of days later, the 2nd men's VIII were again racing as FaT's top crew at the Bedford Head where, in a strong field, they missed out on the college victory by just four seconds.
Pembroke Regatta was the last chance to practise before bumps itself (a chance that only the Gents turned down), and the club had plenty of reason for optimism. The 2nd men's VIII competed in the 1st VIIIs' division and lost a close battle in the quarter finals, yet again showing their speed to be comparable to that of the quickest 1st VIIIs. The 2nd women's VIII won two races but lost to a very strong Jesus crew at the same stage. The 5th men's VIII lost to LMBC IV in the first round and the 4th men's VIII had an impressive run but couldn't quite go all the way, losing to LMBC III in the final. The 3rd women's VIII won their category, as did the 1st men's VIII for the third year running. However, the result of the day came from the 1st women's VIII, who won their first title of the academic year at the perfect time, beating a field containing all of their rivals for the headship.
The bumps campaign started disappointingly, with the 5th men's and 3rd women's VIIIs narrowly failing to get on in the Lent Bumps Getting-on Race. They were certainly both crews who would have been sufficiently strong in previous years. Fortunately, this proved to be the last disappointment of the week, with the Lent Bumps themselves surpassing even the most optimistic of expectations. The 4th men's VIII went up 2, leaving them 16 places ahead of LMBC IV, the only other 4th VIII in the bumps, and with only three 3rd VIIIs ahead of them. The Gents VIII won their blades and a place in the second division. The 2nd women's VIII went up 3, having been left with nothing to chase on the third day, putting them within touching distance of the second division. For the second year running, the 2nd men's VIII proved to be much too quick for their position in the bumps charts, and five quick bumps earned them blades, the 2nd VIII headship and a place in the first division.
The two headship crews were aiming to slog it over the course for four consecutive days. The 1st men's VIII did this in unspectacular fashion, never putting in a devastating performance but never being threatened from behind. The 1st women's VIII left Jesus for dead on the first two days and held off Emma without too much difficulty on the third day. On the final day, Emma gave it their all but our women put in the effort of their lives to row over a canvas clear.
By any measure, this was a phenomenally successful set of bumps. This is only the third ever double headship and the first time that any club has retained one. It is the first time that a First and Third crew has ever retained a Lents headship (although 1st Trinity retained Lents headships in 1902 and earlier years) and the first time that a First and Third crew has retained a headship of any sort since 1967. The last time that any crew was higher than it is now was in 1987, and this was the first Lents since 1944 that no Trinity boat was bumped. The men's club now holds headships at all levels in the Lents (and indeed, with the exception of the 1st and 6th VIIIs, in the Mays). First and Third earned more Michell Cup points from the Lents than any other club, which is a remarkable feat for a large club in an already strong position.
There was still time for a few post-bumps afterthoughts of varying degrees of importance. The next sporting event after the Lents was of the non-rowing variety, with the second annual FaT v BPBC Football Challenge. Black Prince made up for last year's defeat in emphatic style, with captain Neil Talbott scoring the first hat trick in this fixture and leading his team to a comfortable 3-0 victory. Three days later were the 2nd Trinity Challenge Sculls, run by first-year Peter Ford. We met with limited success in the singles, but the combination of Tom Coker and Richard Fletcher was enough to win the doubles competition. Cardinal's Regatta saw four crews entered and the 'Fun IVs' division won by the Formal Dinner Brigade, and left Iain with some work to do on Titan over the holidays.
In the last event of Lent term, the top two men's VIIIs, each with only two subs since the Lents, went to London for the annual Head of the River Race. As new entrants, both crews were low in the starting order, but came in 88th and 263rd, the best results recorded on this website for the 1st and 2nd VIIIs. The 1st VIII beat all college opposition, while the 2nd VIII beat six college 1st VIIIs (as well as both the other 2nd VIIIs).
This was an appropriate end to an outstanding term's work by the whole club. Many thanks to all those who have contributed their time to coach and support the club; your efforts are appreciated by all involved. These results leave the club with plenty of momentum to take into May term. Let's hope that the next term is as successful as this one has been!
|by BJ - Mon 28th Jul 2008, 3:20pm|
bjg said: This is only the third ever double headship and the first time that any club has retained one.I meant to say that this was only the third ever Lents double headship. The only double headships before ours in Lent 2007 and 2008 were Caius' in May 2002 and Lent 2003.
|by Wikipedia - Mon 28th Jul 2008, 11:05pm|
BJ said: I meant to say that this was only the third ever Lents double headship. The only double headships before ours in Lent 2007 and 2008 were Caius' in May 2002 and Lent 2003.And Caius in May 2000.