Trinity College Annual Record 2003

Account of the year by Andrew Fisher, Captain 2002 - 2003

Last year a number of changes were made to the training regime, including the appointment of our boatman as Head Coach, and running both a "performance" and a "recreational" squad for senior oarsman and oarswomen. This had shown some improvements but had yet to prove itself at the highest level within the Club. This was something we were keen to rectify over the course of the year.

A substantial number of the top rowers from last summer returned to College in September. However, a significant number of our best members decide to compete for places in University crews. S. Richards, S. Knight, H. Clouting, and A. Lee trialled for CUBC, S. Painter for CUWBC and J. Grundy (President), A. Summers, and E. Peacock for CULRC.

The difficulty in arranging outings when running a squad system led to a slightly fragmented feeling within the Club at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term. However, when crews were settled for the University IV's competition, spirits improved and this was reflected in the results. The Second IV won its category and the Light IV narrowly lost a re-row to LMBC, who went on to win comfortably.

The Club then turned its attention to training in VIIIs, in preparation for the Fairbairn Cup. In the Cambridge Winter Head the men's First VIII came second behind Caius. A composite crew made up of women from First and Third and from the Black Prince Boat Club (previous members of First and Third) won the Senior 3 VIIIs category. In the Fairbairn Cup, the men's First VIII came in a disappointing fifth as a result of setting off too hard. The men's Second VIII came second, losing to LMBC B by only one second. This was particularly impressive since LMBC entered two matched crews separated by only two seconds. The women's First VIII put in a solid performance, improving on recent years and coming tenth. A Black Prince crew (BPBC) won the invitational VIIIs category with a performance which, if the time-keepers are to be believed, was close to World Championship pace!

As always, one of the most significant tasks of the Michaelmas Term is to introduce new blood to the Club. As First and Third is the largest club on the Cam, this entails coaching about eighty beginners. Initial results were promising, with the First Novice men winning the Queen's Novice Ergo Competition, the First Novice women coming fourth, and the Second Novice men coming second in the second division. In the Clare Novice Regatta, the men's First and Second VIIIs and the women's First VIII reached their semi-finals. Unfortunately we were unable to convert these results to successes in the Novice Fairbairns regatta, with the First men finishing seventh and the First women finishing tenth.

The men's First VIII has been head of the Lent bumps twice in the last five years and, starting third, was well-placed for another assault. During the course of the Michaelmas Term H. Clouting and A. Lee returned to College rowing and by the beginning of the Lent Term S. knight had also rejoined the squad. Thus strengthened, the First men put together a string of formidable results. They won the Cambridge Head-to-Head, they won the Senior 3 VIIIs category at the Head of the Nene, beating the next College crew by 46 seconds, and they won the Robinson Head.

In the Getting-on Race for the Lent bumps both the women's Second VIII and the men's Fifth VIIIs put in gutsy performances but failed to qualify. Starting third, the men's First VIII had little difficulty in bumping LMBC and on the final day closed the gap on Caius to within a quarter of a length. However, those last few feet proved to be just too much and Caius managed to hold them off. The women's First VIII were lucky that the crews behind them bumped out on the first three days, allowing them fairly comfortable row-overs. However, on the final day, when the heat was really on, they drew away from Sidney Sussex to bump New Hall, rounding off their best Lents for many years. The men's Second VIII, despite being a strong crew, hit the bank when chasing a much slower Downing II and finished down two places. At the Head of the River Race on the Tideway, the men's First VIII improved on the previous year's time by 30 seconds.

During the Easter holidays, four members of First and Third competed for the University against Oxford. J. Grundy and A. Summers raced in the lightweight VIII, S. Painter in the Blondie VIII, and E. Peacock in the victorious Granta VIII. S. Richards was the spare cox for CUBC.

Just before the beginning of the Easter Term the University Small Boats races were held, in which A. Summers won both the Bushe-Fox Freshman's Sculls and the Fairbairn Junior Sculls. The men's squad was boosted by the return of the three lightweights; however, five members of the men's First Lent VIII were unable to row in the May Term as a result of injuries and other commitments. All members of the women's First Lent VIII remained as part of the women's squad, and a number of senior rowers returned. In the Cam Sprints, First and Third walked away with trophies across the board, winning the men's First, Second, and Third VIII categories, as well as winning the men's Senior 4 IVs event. On the same day, the women took two crews to Poplar. The First IV came third in Senior 3 coxed fours and second in Elite coxless fours. The second IV came second in the Novice coxed fours division.

For the first time in a number of years we were able to enter a Fellow's boat in the May bumps, which raced as the men's Seventh VIII. They were bumped on the first two days but rowed over comfortably ahead of St Edmund's III on the last two days. On the final day they were well within a canvas of St Catherine's V but were unable to convert the opportunity. The men's Sixth VIII, composed entirely of graduates, trained regularly over the course of the year and bumped on all four days, earning their College blades. The women's Third VIII came third out of 23 crews in the Getting-on Race, earning themselves a place in the main competition. A succession of competent rows was rewarded with four bumps and College blades. On the first day, the men's Second VIII were bumped by a very strong Peterhouse I. However, they were able to put this behind them and bumped on both the Friday and the Saturday to finish up one. The women's First VIII were bumped by Darwin on the second day but kept their cool, and some shrewd coxing on the last day was rewarded with a bump on APU. The men's First VIII rowed over on the first two days behind St Catharine's and then bumped Jesus and Emmanuel, to produce their best performance for several years.

In combination with BPBC, First and Third have competed in a number of regattas since the end of term with some success. A. Summers has won a number of races in his single scull and came a very creditable fourth in the final of the U23 National Championships. First and Third comfortably beat BPBC in the annual cricket match.

The Club would like to wish Dan Holland (Club Captain), Aileen Dennis (Ladies' Captain), Andrew Lea-Cox (Secretary), Sarah Cochrane (CUWBC Lightweight President), and Alex Summers (CULRC Honorary Secretary) the best of luck for next year.

Index of all Annual Records

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