Trinity College Annual Record 1999

Account of the year by Rich Dewire, Captain 1998 - 1999

After three years of almost complete domination, the time would inevitably come when First and Third began to have a less easy time. This year the Club fell prey to being almost too good, with a very large number of athletes trialing for the University crews - enough to form an entire extra VIII in the men's case.

Nevertheless, the year started positively, with the first target as ever being the University IVs. The Bedford Small Boats Head a couple of weeks beforehand boded well, with wins for both First crews and a respectable third for the Men's Light IV, racing as coxed in a higher division. The Cambridge Autumn Head produced similarly strong results, with the First IV winning its category and the Light IV again finishing near the top. Composite women's and men's VIIIs also raced, both winning their divisions and the men beating two University Lightweight crews!

The University IVs itself saw the first loss of a First and Third Men's first boat on the Cam for well over a year - a record to be proud of. With many other strong crews around, the crew did well to make the semi-finals, beating Churchill and Pembroke before losing by 10 seconds to a good LMBC crew, who went on to narrowly lose the final to Caius. The ladies also made the semi-final before losing to Newnham. The Light IV came up against a stacked Emma boat, which had no trouble in easily winning the event. The Fours Head a week later produced less than amazing results, but mitigating circumstances meant that morale was not too dented.

The Fairbairns brought better results, with the First VIII coming in a very respectable fourth, behind a very quick Emma boat, and good Caius and Downing crews. This did, however, seem ominous tor the Lents, with both the latter in striking distance and we knew we had our work cut out to stay Head. The ladies' First VIII had a shocker and went down to the Second VIII, but pleasingly the First IV won, a very similar crew avenging their defeat of only 1 second last year!

The Lent Term saw First and Third defending their first headship for 25 years and training was never more committed. Caius and LMBC always looked a threat, although Downing soon dropped out of the scenario. The Head to Head at the beginning of term showed that we were still a force to be reckoned with, staying in touch with these crews, and the women performing similarly. The Peterborough Head in mid-term was particularly encouraging, with both first crews winning their event and the men being the quickest Cambridge college overall, beating Caius, LMBC and Downing. Bedford Head, just before the Bumps, saw the First VIII beaten by just 2 seconds by LMBC, not enough for a bump. Meanwhile the Second VIII set out their stall by coming runners-up in the Pembroke Regatta the same weekend.

The Bumps themselves saw somewhat disappointing results, however. Despite holding off an LMBC crew which had 6 feet of overlap on the first day, a powerful Caius crew swept up from third position to make a bump on the First VIII just out of the Ditton corner on the Friday. Saturday brought an almost identical replay of the first day's race, the only difference being that LMBC managed to convert into a bump, despite us being inside distance on Caius at the time, leaving First and Third in third place. The Second VIII meanwhile fell foul of a quick St Catharine's boat on the Wednesday while only half a length off bumping Peterhouse, and from then were in a downward spiral that ended with them down three places. The ladies' club fared little better, confidently taking out St Catharine's on the first day before going down to Churchill on the Friday to stay level overall. The best result of the week was the men's Fourth VIII, who earned their blades and a permanent place in the new smaller system.

The Lent Term finished with both First crews going to the Head of the River races on the Tideway. The ladies' VIII fared slightly better, finishing 6th in their division and 5th Cambridge college. The men's crew came in 12th in the division and 5th Cambridge college. Soon after, our University oarsmen and women competed in their Boat Races, with David Ellis, Richard Stokes and Caroline Ng winning their Blues, Goldie and Women's Blues races respectively. Brad Parr, Matt Arnold and David Lowish were also in the Lightweight men's boat

A training camp at Kingston Grammar School for the men saw May Term off to a great start, and there were high hopes for the First VIII, having so many University colours. Unfortunately, all the men's University crews decided to stay together for Henley, meaning that the number of outings was restricted and training not as intensive as in the Lent Term. Even so, the crew was clearly very quick, winning the 99s Regatta, and losing to Jesus at Bedford Regatta by only 3 feet, in the second quickest time of the day. The Second VIII was similarly rapid, winning the plate of the 99s Regatta and making the semi-final of the plate at Bedford. A composite First/Second VIII crew also went to BUSA, and astounded everybody by placing third in the Junior event. Racing under the name of Cambridge University II, this must surely have been the first time Cambridge have rowed with dark blue blades! The ladies had a quiet term but did well at Bedford, making the semi-final.

The Bumps brought mixed results. The First men, starting third, were chasing similarly stacked Jesus and Caius crews and were badly struck by the 11th hour departure of David Ellis, who went off to trial for the US squad. David Lowish was a worthy replacement, but the crew failed to make any real impression on Jesus despite gearing up by 5 notches over the course of the four days! The ladies faced a similar scenario, chasing New Hall every day but never coming closer than half a length. Faring better were the men's Second VIII, who bumped LMBC II, Clare and Sidney Sussex to become head Second VIII and move up into the first division - an excellent result. Honourable mentions also go to the Fourth VIII for earning their blades by going up six places, and to the Lower Boats Captains for managing to put out an incredible 11 VIIIs, all of which rowed on!

The year finished with Women's Henley and Henley Royal Regatta. The ladies performed well at their event, dispatching Churchill before going out to a quality Nottingham crew. In the Royal Regatta, however, the men's crew was again weakened by many University colours rowing for their respective boats. First and Third was forced to row in the Temple Cup qualifying race, and came maddeningly close, ending up as the fastest non-qualifiers in a time quick enough to qualify for the Thames Cup. First & Third was best represented by Richard Stokes who stroked Goldie to victory in the Temple Cup, with other members rowing for CULRC and Rob Roy.

The Club would like to wish Martin Peck (Club Captain), Cass Chideock (Ladies' Captain), Simon Blackburn (Secretary) and Richard Stokes (CUBC President) every success for next year.

Index of all Annual Records

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