Trinity College Annual Record 1997

Account of the year by Dan Darley, Captain 1996 - 1997

Last year saw the return of the Club to the forefront of college rowing. This year the Club has maintained that position and has developed the strength and depth necessary to further dominate college rowing for the foreseeable future. The enthusiasm and commitment of all associated with the Club has once again been rewarded with excellent results.

The Michaelmas term began well. Five shell fours were selected early and immediately three of these raced in the Bedford Head, the top two crews easily winning the available college categories. This form stayed with us as we cleaned up the University fours races, winning both divisions and having no crew lose to another college. The Ladies also entered these events and performed well, especially in the Head of the River fours where the second four, racing as the first four, were placed highly. The Fairbairns eights were then selected; unfortunately their strength was affected by injuries and university trials. However, the 1st eight won the Autumn Head before coming fourth in the Fairbairns, the 2nd eight tying for second in the 2nd eights plaque. The four novice crews, breaking with tradition, performed extremely well. The first novices finished 3rd in the novice Fairbairns. They then raced the following day in the senior event and beat many experienced crews. Despite struggling to put out a crew the Ladies came eighth of the colleges in the Fairbairns. They also fielded three novice crews for the Fairbairns and Clare Regatta, more than in previous years.

The successes of the Michaelmas term encouraged many senior and novice oarsmen and oarswomen to turn up for a pre-Lent term training camp. Incredibly though, the Cam was totally frozen, and clearly unrowable. However, some good initiative from some of the squad soon meant that the training could continue above the lock. This was soon banned by CUCBC, but we had already made improvements. In the Head to Head race we won convincingly, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd eights all winning the available Men's categories. This success stayed with the Club as we went on to win in the Pembroke Regatta and Robinson Head. The lower boats also entered the Newnham Regatta, winning one category and doing well in the others. This clearly stood us in good stead for the Lent bumps, where we now had seven Men's and two Ladies' eights competing after an awesome performance in the getting-on races. Not wishing to disappoint, the entire Club performed to expectations, doing very well indeed. Notably the 1st, 2nd and 4th Men's eights and the 1st Ladies' eight all won their blades, the 1st Men's eight finishing 2nd on the river, and the 1st Ladies' eight moving up into the 1st division. At the end of the week the Club had gained 22 places, a better result than any other college. The Ladies' 1st eight then went on to race in the WHORR at the beginning of the holidays. A good race saw them beat most of the other college crews and finish high in the overall results.

The Club also had several university rowers who raced over the break. Damien Maltarp was selected for the Blue Boat, a particularly impressive achievement as he had not rowed before coming up to Cambridge nor had he any CUBC experience. His race was very close, with Cambridge rowing through Oxford for a memorable victory. A week before, at the Henley Boat Races, Dan Darley and David Lowish rowed for the Lightweight eight, unfortunately losing against Oxford. Helen Dixon and Brad Parr raced for CUWBC, Helen, stroking the Lightweights, and Brad, coxing for Blondie, both beat Oxford in close races.

The Men started the May term two weeks early with a week long training camp at St. Paul's School, rowing on the Tideway. This proved to be a very enjoyable and constructive week. They then returned to Cambridge to join the rest of the Club for the final week of crew selection. Trial crews raced in the Cam Head at the start of term. The Men's 1st eight won the event, the first college to win for thirteen years, and the Ladies' 1st eight won two categories. Later in the term the 2nd Men's eight won the Cam Sprints, and also the Cam Head to Head. Most crews also entered the Cambridge Invitation Regatta the following week, the 1st and 2nd Men's eights and the 3rd Ladies' eight winning their divisions. Of the thirteen crews that entered, ten rowed in the May bumps which were a great success for the whole Club. The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Men's eights and the 1st and 3rd Ladies' eights all won blades. An amazing week saw the Club rise 28 places, an even better performance than in the Lents.

The May bumps marked the end of Cam rowing for the year. The consistently excellent results by all the crews over the year led to the Club retaining the Mitchell Cup, awarded each year to the most successful college boat club. This was a fair reflection of the dominance of the Club over this time. Notably the 1st Men's four were undefeated all year, and the 1st Men's eight were undefeated in 1997, in Cam races. The lower boats also enjoyed a good year, with many rowers showing great potential for the future. Their success can largely be credited to the excellent Lower Boats Captains.

During May week the 1st eights continued training for Henley. Due to injury the Ladies raced the following weekend at Women's Henley with a scratch crew. The Ladies led off the start but eventually lost to Magadalen College, Oxford. A fortnight on at Henley Royal Regatta a weakened May eight raced against Queen's University, Belfast in the Temple Cup. A poor start saw Queen's leading by a length at the island. This lead was slowly reduced, but the crew could not prevent Queen's winning by a third of a length in a fast time. A powerful though unsuccessful race to end the season on.

The Club would like to wish Matt Arnold (Club Captain), Emma Wilton (Ladies' Captain) and Kirsty Lord (Secretary) every success for next year.

Index of all Annual Records

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