Trinity College Annual Record 2005

Account of the year by Andrew Lea-Cox, Captain 2004 - 2005

This past year has been a particularly successful year for the club, with an exceptional group of novices and in particular the growing strength of the women?s squad.

A new squad approach was taken during Michelmas term, which attempted to get each person to row in a similar style. However, the lack of training in set crews had a direct impact on race results. In the University Fours, the Light IV was involved in a dead-heat with Pembroke (the eventual winners) in the semi-finals, with the Second and Third IVs being knocked out in the heats and quarter-finals respectively. However, the Light IV did manage to put in a good performance at Head of the River Fours, finishing 248th overall, beating all other college crews. In what was to become a recurring theme through the year, the lack of senior rowers led to a disappointing performance in the Fairbairn Cup, where the Fairbairn VIII came 7th out of all college VIIIs.

Thanks to some excellent work by the lower boats captains and their coaches, the novices made an early breakthrough into Cambridge rowing, with the First Novice VIII winning Queen?s Ergs. All four men?s and three women?s novice crews put in commendable performances in Clare Novices and the Novice Fairbairn Cup, in which the First Men came 3rd and the First Women 6th. The First Novice Men then went on to race as the Second Men?s VIII in Senior Fairbairns and were the fifth-fastest senior Second VIII.

After a disappointing performance in the University IVs, the women?s squad put in a good result at Head of the River Fours, finishing 439th overall and 2nd of fourteen college crews. The First and Second VIIIs went on to produce a solid performance in the Fairbairn Cup, preparing themselves for what would turn out to be an amazing two terms.

Lent Term started slowly for both the men and women, with moderate performances in the Cambridge Head-2-Head and Head of the Nene races. Throughout the term, it was difficult to see what the outcome of the Bumps would be, with most of the top of the men?s 1st division appearing slightly weaker than in previous years. The Lent VIII eventually got into a rhythm and started improving rapidly, coming 2nd in the Robinson Head and losing narrowly to Emma in the final of the Pembroke Regatta. The Lent VIII once again started behind the Caius Head crew, which had been looking a little unsettled throughout the term, but had suddenly made 2 substitutions a week before Bumps and was therefore a bit of an unknown quantity, as was Downing. It was quickly clear, however, that Caius were just too strong, but the Lent VIII put in four spirited rows, firmly pushing away from Downing every day.

This year we tried a new idea of keeping the majority of the First Novice VIII as a crew through into Lent Term, and they raced as the 2nd Lent VIII. The crew showed a great attitude towards their training, and with the help of Tom Rose, came through as an excellent team. Come the races, they were unfortunate to get caught up in Wolfson's mishaps. Clearly the stronger crew, Wolfson bumped them, and then had equipment failure the next day, causing us to 'row past' unexpectedly, only for them to bump back on the last day. The same crew also went on to put in a very respectable performance in the HoRR, coming 286th overall and 15th in the novice division.

The Second Women?s VIII got on comfortably and were all set for an exciting Bumps, but due to a series of unfortunate circumstances beyond their control, they were forced to row over on all four days. However, the First Women?s VIII really stole the show, going up a tremendous six places to their highest ever place on the river. A consistent term?s coaching from our Boatman, Iain Law, built up a strong and committed crew. Three easy bumps and an overbump on Girton on the third day took them up to an impressive 7th place in the first division.

Overall, First and Third entered a very impressive six men's VIIIs and four women's VIIIs into this year's Lent Bumps. The Fifth and Sixth men's VIIIs unfortunately did not get on, but the Fifths were the fastest non-qualifiers and were unfortunate to miss out narrowly on being the only Fifth boat in the Bumps. The Third and Fourth women also put in a valiant effort, but did not get on. The men's lower boats showed a superb level of training and commitment. The Fourth VIII were unlucky to go down two, whilst the relatively experienced Third (Gent's) VIII narrowly missed out on blades, going up three.

May term started out on a high with a series of wins in the CUCBC Small Boats Regatta, with Tom Coker and Dan Holland winning the men's Foster-Fairbairn pairs, with Erica Thompson and Lilie Weaver jointly winning the women's Foster-Fairbairn pairs with Amelia Russell and Catherine Aiken in a nail-biting dead heat, in the entirely First and Third final. In addition, Graham Sills and Andrew Lea-Cox won the Lowe Double Sculls, adding to a spree of University medals.

The Women?s First VIII continued on their Lents performance, winning their division in the Head-2-Head, City Sprints and both the S3 and S4 divisions at Peterborough Regatta, setting a new course record in the process. To top off a fantastic term, the Women?s First VIII went up three into the first division - their highest ever in the Mays. They started at the top of the second division and quickly bumped up on the first day, however the two crews ahead bumped out very quickly on the second day, forcing a row over. Two more easy bumps finished off a truly memorable and superb year for the women.

The May VIII, including four of this year's novices, put in a spirited performance after a difficult start to the term, coming 3rd in the Head-2-Head, winning the City Sprints (IVs division) and narrowly losing to Bedford in the final of S4 VIIIs at Peterborough Regatta. In the May Bumps, they managed to hold off a powerful Queens crew (eager for revenge after last year) on the first day by bumping Robinson. However Queens managed to achieve the bump on the third day, leaving the May VIII where they started in 7th position - a fine achievement given the inexperience of the crew.

In total, five men's VIIIs and four women's VIIIs competed in the May Bumps this year, with the Fellow's VIII narrowly missing getting-on, together with the Seventh men's VIII. Once again, due to a shortage in oarsmen trialing for the top boats, the Second VIII trained as a IV for most of the term, with four substitutes jumping in towards the end of term. With only a few outings as a full crew, they found a rhythm and rocketed up to knock Caius II off the second division headship and then bumped Peterhouse to secure their position in the first division as highest second boat. Despite being slightly lower on numbers compared to last term, the men's lower boats still put in some commendable performances. The Grad VIII proved themselves worthy of rowing as the Third VIII by going up two, after holding off a powerful Emma crew on the first day; whilst the Fourth VIII, half of whom only started rowing this term, managed to avoid spoons, going down two, whereas the Fifth VIII went up two through the carnage of the fifth division.

The Fourth Women stayed level, whilst the Third Women put in a sterling performance, winning their blades. Unfortunately the Women?s Second VIII went the other way, getting spoons.

Meanwhile, several club members were involved in the running of University races as well as competing in them. Alex Summers was President and rowed for the CULRC Blue Boat, whilst Alla Doubrovina was Hon. Sec. and rowed for the CUWBC Blue Boat. Andrew Fisher was Hon. Sec. of CUBC.

First and Third also took part in a unique event after bumps: the Cambridge Channel Challenge, organized by Lady Margaret BC, initially began as a challenge to a cross-channel row between our two rival boat clubs, but soon expanded, gaining funding from Deloitte and turning into a race between six crews from Oxford and Cambridge colleges. The crew of Jenny Lee, Graham Sills, Chris Mycroft, Pedro Cunha and Sebastian Pancratz managed the exhausting (and very bumpy) crossing in 3 hours, 50 minutes; an unfortunate 3 minutes behind the LMBC crew, in what was a thrilling finish to the race. The event caught the attention of the national media and was a great success, with the crew raising a substantial sum for Cancer Research UK and the Cambridge University Sports Complex.

Our alumni in Black Prince Boat Club continued their list of achievements this year, entering three IVs into the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, with the Men?s First IV coming 20th in the Championship IVs category. The men then came back to Cambridge to maintain their dominance of the Fairbairn cup, with the fastest overall First and Second VIIIs. The Women?s VIII also entered and came 2nd in the Invitational VIIIs category.

In May week, Professor Amartya Sen, former Master of Trinity named the club?s new pair and Richard Church, who has devoted an enormous amount of time to coaching First VIIIs over the years, following his own very successful Cambridge rowing career, named the new novice VIII.

The club would like to wish Pia Schäfer (Ladies? and Club Captain), Rachel Munro (Men?s Captain), Dan Jane (Secretary), and Alex Summers (CULRC Hon. Sec.) the best of luck for the coming year.

Index of all Annual Records

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