Trinity College Annual Record 2000
Account of the year by Martin Peck, Captain 1999 - 2000
Recent editions of the annual record have recorded great successes of the college boat club. Through this success we have inherited a reputation for being one of the leading clubs on the Cam. It is a reputation that we set out this year to live up to. With only six oarsmen from our top three 1999 men?s May VIIIs still in Cambridge and able to row this year, it was never to be an easy task. However, it has proved an extraordinary year in which we have demonstrated that enthusiasm and optimistic dedication can triumph against the odds.
In the Michaelmas term, the women?s squad boasted the club?s stronger crews and comfortable wins in the Senior3 and Senior4 categories in the Bedford Head were promising. However, a disappointing day in November saw us lose out, by just over four seconds, in the semi-finals of the women?s University IVs to eventual winners Emmanuel. The club?s best result of the term was by the women?s IV in the Head of the River, which was the fastest college IV by some forty seconds, almost beating an Osiris entry. The men?s IVs had a term of solid but unspectacular results: at Bedford a Senior1 win was pleasing and we were unlucky in not winning any other categories with second places in both Senior2 and Senior3, and narrowly loosing out in Senior4 by just one second! Emmanuel once again entered a stacked crew in the men?s University IVs, this time in the coxed IVs event, and walked away with the title. Injury struck a key member of our 1st IV just days before, but with a sub we still earned our place in the semi-finals and were unlucky to not reach the final against Emmanuel, losing to Christ?s by just over one second. The men?s second IV, meanwhile, almost beat Caius? first IV in the light IVs event, loosing, again in the semi-finals, by just three seconds over the long course.
With both the men?s and women?s first and second IVs enjoying respectable results, the club planned determined challenges for the titles in the Fairbairns races at the end of term. A win by the men in the Autumn Head was the first surprise of the year for the pundits and was encouraging, but disappointingly the Fairbairns were postponed until the Lent term due to dangerously windy conditions.
It was with great pride that First and Third held the headship of the Lent bumps in 1998. Deposed by Caius on the Friday of 1999, it is not since 1974 that a club has turned that round and reclaimed the title a year later - and you have to look back to 1921 to find Trinity managing it! Nevertheless, for the Lent term that was the men?s goal. For the first three weeks the crew was beset by injuries and illness and it also became clear that Caius had a powerful and experienced boat with which to defend the headship. During the course of the term we were strengthened by Gordon Carver, a freshman with considerable power and experience from St. Edward?s School returning from injury, and triallists Rich Dewire and Jon Glass, but were still beaten to the position of third college crew by Caius and Emmanuel in both the postponed Fairbairns and the Peterborough Head. Given our small crew they were good results, but spurred us to work harder in our pursuit of the headship.
Having beaten Lady Margaret boat club comfortably in the Bedford Head two weeks before, it came as no surprise to bump them, despite a dispirited row, on Wednesday, the first day of the Lent bumps. Not one person on the bank was predicting it, but on the Thursday we out-rowed Caius into a vicious head wind in the reach to bump them just beyond the railway bridge. Their two-length lead was diminished to one length as they rounded Ditton corner in to the wind and their remaining advantage was eroded gradually during the course of the following three minutes.
The remaining two days of racing were both calm and sunny - perfect conditions for rowing over at head. In good conditions Caius? power was such that we needed every ounce of the advantage of the glassy water; on the Friday they closed to a quarter of a length at Grassy corner and on Saturday the margin was a small number of feet in the long reach, but on both occasions our careful preparation, training, and determination paid off. The college can be proud that First and Third is, once again, head of the Lent bumps.
For the rest of the club, however, the bumps saw somewhat disappointing results; in some cases crews would have fared better with some of the 1st VIII?s good luck, but the men?s second and third VIIIs and the women?s VIII all fell three or four places.
Easter saw a number of our club?s oarsmen racing against Oxford, on the Tideway and at Henley. Richard Stokes, president of CUBC, was stroke of the Blue Boat and Caroline Ng, Hannah Cornfield and Emily Booker represented Cambridge in the women?s Blue Boat, Blondie and the women?s lightweight crews respectively. In the Head of the River race on the tideway, food poisoning had contrived to spoil our efforts to even turn up and we were represented by oarsmen of the embryonic Black Prince Boat Club, formed by past members of First and Third. Despite dubious levels of fitness in some cases, they had an epic side by side battle with Churchill college?s first VIII and finished a respectable 144th.
With three University colours and other key oarsmen able to row in the women?s May VIII, the Easter term was a good one for the women?s side of the club. We won our division of the 99s regatta, whilst the men picked up a number of minor prizes during the term thanks in the main to the second VIII?s efforts. In the May bumps the women happily crossed, for the first time, the boundary to the first division, but were yet again denied rising as far as they deserved thanks to a determined New Hall. The men?s first VIII fought amongst crews containing many more University colours and was relatively content with falling to only Emmanuel and Downing. Other crews rowed hard, but in general the club?s position suffered on account of the very high positions of most of our crews.
At Henley, once again key members of the May crew were rowing for other crews in the regatta, and it is the club?s regret that our Henley crew narrowly failed to qualify by a little over half a second.
Index of all Annual Records
The Club would like to wish Jon Glass (Club Captain), Rosie Chance (Ladies? Captain) and Simon Blackburn (CUBC Honorary Secretary) every success for next year.