First and Third Trinity Boat Club
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Trinity College Annual Record 1998

Account of the year by Matthew Arnold, Captain 1997 - 1998

The last three years have seen First and Third dominate Cambridge rowing to a remarkable extent. The 1st Men?s crew unbeaten on the cam since Fairbairns 1996. The successes this year have been throughout the club, in both eights and small boats, and have allowed us to retain the Michell cup - presented for the best overall boat club, and scored on a points system over all university races, men women and novices.

The Michaelmas term

The women started the year with three IVs entered in the University fours. The First and Second IVs entered the Bedford regatta. The First IV winning their category. Due to illness a composite crew entered the Fours Head of the River. For the men?s side the year also began well with many oarsmen trialling for the university squads, and four IVs and an eight rowing until the University fours. The First and Second coxed fours travelled to Bedford regatta both winning for the third year in a row. In the University fours, two weeks later the First IV once again won the coxed category despite having to rerow against Trinity Hall three times in the semi-final (eventually beating them by some 13 seconds the following day). Fitzwilliam were the losing finalist - the verdict again 13 seconds. The Club has now won the Men?s Coxed fours for the third year in a row and four out of the last five. The men?s four then went on to win the Autumn head and place well at the Fours Head of the River - the top placed coxed college crew, and ominously only 2 seconds behind Downing?s coxless boat.

After a brief reselection period and some returnees to the men?s squad a very strong Fairbairn crew was selected. Unfortunately the crew failed to win the winter head outright - drawing with Fitzwilliam. Two weeks later we re-wrote that story, winning the Fairbairn cup by 5 seconds from Downing and beating Fitz by 25. The Second VIII won the lower crews shield, placing higher than many college first crews, and our Gent?s crew provided a shock for the other colleges by placing 3rd in the Second VIIIs category racing as our 5th VIII. The women entered an VIII and a IV in the Fairbairns. The VIII came 7th while the IV came second, losing by one second despite crashing on the first corner!

The Lent term

The Lent term marked the Club?s first chance at Head of the River this decade, and as such there was much competition for crews. With more oarsmen returning from trials, we were able to put out a lent crew which re-wrote all the club records, and won every category it entered. Winning the Cambridge Head to Head, the Robinson Head, and the Novice category at Peterborough Head, the crew first encountered Downing (the Head crew) at Bedford Head, the day after winning the Pembroke regatta. Being beaten at Bedford by four seconds was enough to really fire the crew up for the last few weeks of training. On the first day of the Lents we bumped Downing at the railings, completing the direct ascent from tenth to head in nine days racing. On the last day we pulled out all the stops and rowed away from LMBC to finish 6 lengths clear in a record time. The Second VIII produced an inconsistent bumps - three times rowing over behind crews they subsequently bumped, to finish 4th in the 2nd division. Due to the changes in the structure of the Lents, the men?s 5th division was removed, First and Third losing out heavily due to having had 4 crews in that division the previous year, the fourth VIII still rowed on and went up 2 places, the third VIII going up 3 - both crews finished 9th in their respective divisions.

The Ladies? First VIII had a very successful Lent Bumps, overbumping on the first day and then bumping up on each of the other days. This left us up six places finishing 10th in the first division, the highest place the women have ever been. After the Bumps the First VIII entered the Women?s Head of the River race finishing 5th out of the 18 Cambridge college First VIIIs.

After term had ended the men?s First VIII continued to train for the Eights Head (the most important head race in the country), in which it won the Novice pennant, starting from the new entries and placing 89th (54th tide adjusted), of 450. The club also entered 6 pairs in the Foster-Fairbairn Trial Pairs, winning both the men?s and the women?s divisions, with no Trinity crew losing to another college.

The club had several university rowers who raced over the Easter break. Brad Parr coxed the women?s Blue Boat to an emphatic victory. Richard Stokes rowed in Goldie, the men?s heavyweight reserve crew, for which Francis Brown was spare man.

The May term

The May term started with a training camp the week before term at St Paul?s School in London, coached By David Lowish, a lightweight last year and a this year a third year linguist. With many boats and rowers, men and women, we were able to make use of two launches and video equipment to make some good advances in somewhat poor conditions.

The good training camp led to good early term results, with the men?s First VIII winning the Head of the Cam head race, retaining its title from last year, and narrowly losing out to Bedford School at Nottingham in Senior 3. The Second VIII performed brilliantly, winning the Novice category, and gaining more points than the First VIII in the process. Later in term the First VIII won the Cam Regatta, again retaining it?s title, but by a margin of only 6 inches from Queens!

In the May Bumps the men put out an incredible number of boats, with ten crews rowing and nine getting places, we had already won a moral victory by putting out more crews than any other college. It seems that the most men?s crews we have ever had was in 1967, when we had ten in eight divisions (now there are only six), and no women?s crews.

The men?s First and Second VIIIs were good, but were also highly placed, and hence went up only three places each. The First VIII rowing over behind Queens? before bumping them the following day upon Grassy corner. The Second VIII rowing over on Thursday as Downing II bumped Selwyn. Both crews finished third in their divisions, the First VIII finally in a place to challenge for the Head of the Mays next year, and the Second VIII placed directly behind the highest placed 2nd boat, LMBC. The 3rd Boat bumped LMBC III to finish up one, but more importantly the highest placed 3rd boat. The Ladies? First VIII maintained their position despite being bumped on the 2nd day, a well earned row over on the 3rd day and then an easy bump to finish off. The Ladies? Second VIII went up one place.

The overall performance of the club gave us the Michell cup for the third year running, the Grad crew (racing as the 8th VIII) must surely be the lowest crew to have won blades for many years. Special mention must also go to the Gent?s VIII who went up seven places, with the luckiest bump of the week falling to the Second VIII who bumped Downing II after their rudder fell off on the last day.

A week after the Bumps the Ladies? First VIII entered Women?s Henley. Winning the first round by half a length against Linacre College, Oxford, but unfortunately losing to William Smith College, USA in the second round.

Henley Royal Regatta

Three weeks after the bumps, a crew was entered in the Temple cup, containing half of the May VIII, and 4 oarsmen from the Second May VIII and Lent VIII. The draw was, for a change, reasonably kind. To be drawn against our arch-rivals, LMBC, in the first round of the most famous regatta in the world, was incredibly lucky, but we weren?t complaining. In a close race the crew won by ΒΌ of a length, providing one of the first close races of the regatta. Unfortunately, having won a round for the first time in several years of trying, the crew faced Isis, the Oxford University reserve crew, and lost by 5 lengths, doing well to avoid an ?Easily? verdict. The regatta was a very enjoyable end to the year, and (for Henley) quite a successful one too.

The club would like to wish Rich Dewire (Club captain), Hannah Cornfield (Ladies? captain) and John Earl (Secretary) every success for next year.

Index of all Annual Records

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