Trinity College Annual Record 2007

Account of the year by Erica Thompson, Captain 2006-2007

It is safe to say that the First and Third Trinity Boat Club has had another excellent year. Many alumni will already have received news of our achievements either via our website, www.firstandthird.org, or from the Black Prince newsletter which has recently been resurrected. If you did not, and would like to hear from us in future, then please get in touch to find out how to join our mailing lists and be kept up-to-date with the latest news. Nevertheless, this is a fine place to record the successes of the past year.

The Michaelmas Term is always dominated by the arrival of many new novices, and our team of Lower Boats' Captains (Lorry Carr,Amy Hewer, Will Laffan, Sorcha McGinn, Lynsey Porter, Fran Rawlins, Andy Sugden, and Martin Yarr) worked solidly through the term to ensure that they all got out on the water in more or less co-ordinated crews.The enthusiasm of the new novices was spurred on by coaching from Seb Pancratz, Bryn Garrod,and Phil Hoder, and they went on to success in the Clare Novice Regatta (First Novice Men overall winners), Queens' Ergs (First Novice Women third in their category, and an individual victory for Corinne Vannatta), andNovice Fairbairns (Second Novice Men first in their category).

For the seniors, the Michaelmas Term began with a large number of keen returners from last year's squads, and we got off to a flying start with success for the Women's First Four in the University Fours competition. The Men's Light Four were unlucky to go out at an early stage, but strengthened their resolve and went on to win the Fairbairn Fours - as indeed did the women. However, the main focus for the rest of the term was the Fairbairn Cup. First and Third fielded seven crews for this event (including some very enthusiastic novices!) and Black Prince a further three. The men's and women's first boats each trailed the overall winners Jesus College by about ten seconds. Training continued over the vacation, all crews having the Lents firmly in mind as the next goal.

The start of the LentTerm was marked with an on-Cam training camp for the newly strengthened senior squads. It soon became apparent that we were dealing with a very thorny issue in terms of crew selection, due to the high competition for seats. As always, however, this proved excellent both for morale and for fitness, and the newly selected crews managed a clean sweep at the Robinson Head, winning all four categories. Peterborough Head of the Nene was also successful in uncharacteristically good weather, both men's and women's first eights topping the college charts and second eights enjoying the chance to get an early tan! J.P. Morgan, our sponsors, provided new gilets and splashtops for the top crews - very smart, and further evidence of a highly successful partnership with the company. In the Pembroke Regatta the men's crews went on to another clean sweep in all three categories.

The highlight of the year was the Lent Bumps.The four highest crews each won their oars in a spectacular demonstration of First and Third's dominance this year, with both men's and women's first eights taking their respective Headships. An unprecedented achievement for the Club, and particularly wonderful for the men finally to bump up after fourteen rows over in second place! As is traditional, the success on the river was followed by a boat burning on the Backs, which was attended by many club members and alumni and also by the Master, Lord Rees. In a striking conjunction (arranged by Trinity's own Astronomer Royal, no doubt), the fiery demise of the Fair Maid of Kent was overlooked by a slowly eclipsed Full Moon. The First Women went on to beat Blondie at the Women's Head of the River Race in London. No doubt the First Men would have done the same to Goldie had they had the opportunity, but unfortunately the men's event was cancelled due to bad weather, swampings, and sinkings, so we shall never know!

We must also mention here our various triallists who spent the preceding months training for the University Boat Races. Tobias Garnett rowed with Goldie to victory on the Tideway, just a week after Helen Ralston, Fran Rawlins, and Lilie Weaver in the Women's Lightweight crew met with narrow defeat in stormy conditions at Henley.

The May Term began as usual with the CUCBC Small Boats Regatta, in which we have a tradition of many entries and a few wins. Racing ended with a sum of four events won: the Delafield Trophy (Helen Ralston), the men's and women's Foster-Fairbairn Pairs (Dan Jane/Bryn Garrod and Helen Ralston/Fran Rawlins), and the women's Magdalene Silver Pairs (Erica Thompson/Lilie Weaver) Training then began in earnest for the Mays.

The May Bumps were held in a month of unexpected downpours and the races were not exempt, with several crews returning to the boathouse bedraggled on more than one occasion. The river flooded so high on the Friday that the lower divisions were at risk of cancellation, though fortunately the races proceeded without incident. The most highly anticipated race of the week was, of course, the challenge by the First Men for a second Headship. Having gone up three places on the first three nights, they had only one chance; however, strengthened by the return of many University rowers, Caius proved worthy holders of their title. Meanwhile, the First Women were a little put out by a crab from LMBC ahead denying them a bump on Thursday (always a crab when you least expect it?) but took revenge on Friday by overbumping Clare to go up a total of five places for the week. The Second Men's fine (if unpolished) performance left them up three, comfortably in the First Division and equally comfortably the top second boat. We are also told them that this makes them the highest First and Third second eight since the 1950s! The Lower Boats as always had mixed fortunes, but we must point out the Third Women's overbump on our boathouse-mates Homerton on the first day and the men's rather impressive collection of second, third, fourth, and fifth boat Headships. Four down, one to go... Next year eight of the nine crew members will be returning and we hope very much they will make up for it then.

Off the water, the year has also been exciting for the Club, as we had something of a backlog of boats due for naming and an all-star cast lined up to pour the champagne. The new single sculls (Pike and Eel) were named by Dan Darley (Captain 1997-98) and Martin Peck (Captain 1999-2000). The Light Four (Michael Proctor) was named by Michael Proctor, Vice-Master and ex-Senior Treasurer. The Coastal Four (Leviathan) was named by Will Thornes as a representative of our sponsor J.P, Morgan. The new women's eight, Valkyrie, was named by the Club President Peter Brandt, and the men's eight, Black Prince, by Tony Pooley (Captain 1967). The namings were followed by a very convivial garden party in the Fellow's Garden.

The last and most prestigious events of the year are the Henley Regattas. At Henley Women's Regatta, First and Third was represented (under the banner of Cambridge University) by our three Lightweights in three separate crews. At Henley Royal, the First Men qualified for theTemple Cup, drawing the University of California's freshmen crew in the first round. California, with a two-stone per man advantage and tipped for success, took an early lead in the first few strokes and proved themselves simply a stronger crew, rowing over with about five lengths of clear water by the finish. They went on to win the event. The Henley Royal Regatta was also attended by veterans of First and Third's 1967 crew, who won the Ladies' Plate in that year.They met for a fortieth anniversary reunion dinner, and rowed through the Regatta course during the lunch break on Saturday. We intend to mount the bow section of their boat in the boat-house as a permanent reminder of past glories and an encouragement to further success.

Finally, it remains for us to thank very much all those who have rowed, coxed, or coached for First and Third this year. In particular we must commend the efforts made by Lynsey Porter and Will Laffan as uber-organisers of the Lower Boats, and the time given by all those who have coached this year: Matt Arnold, Guy Blanchard, Emily Booker, Ming-Chee Chung, Richard Church, Sarah Cochrane, Hannah Cornfield, Dan Darley, Jon Davies, Rich Dewire, John Earl, Chris Ingram, Jon Glass, Mike Goodson, DavidJones, Jenny Lee, Damien Maltarp, Seb Pancratz, Peter Summers, Neil Talbott, Will Thorne, and boatman lain Law. We wish good luck and fair water to next year's crews, under the guidance of new Captains Ming-Chee Chung and Harriet Booker.

Index of all Annual Records

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