Trinity 2015: from the Men's Captain
Fresh from the Men's Head of the River, M1 entered Trinity term with optimism and a change of coach, leading to a strong Summer Eights performance.
Univ 1st VIII opened the racing season with the Head of the River Race. Thankfully, despite choppy conditions and a stiff tail wind, racing wasn't cancelled this year. M1 finished 167th out of 343 crews and 5th out of 10 among Oxford colleges. With the feeling in the boat being that more technical progress could have been made, long term coach Oliver Collins was replaced by W1 coach John Ewans.
A new term and a new coach: Trinity kicked off with a training camp in -1st week. The turnout from the men was impressive, with the squad size reaching a peak of 23 people, often enabling us to have two boats training on the Isis. City of Oxford Bumping Races rounded off the week - a day of coxed fours non-contact bumps over the Summer Eights course. Both of the two men's boats entered gained a bundle of bumps throughout the day with one winning (mini) blades.
In the couple of weeks following M1 selection, changes made to individuals’ stroke technique and the overall feel of the boat was complemented by hard graft on the erg. A great way to put us to the test was Bedford Regatta. Although losing to a Borlase school crew we finished in a quick time relative to Oxford colleges and things were looking up. More improvements came on and off the water and in the two weeks leading up to Eights, the crew demonstrated the obvious steps we had taken forward in some heated fixtures against other crews. Out-rowing Mansfield M1, Lincoln M1, and Abingdon School 2nd VIII inspired the crew with confidence.
When the first day of Eights came we were in good shape and all looked forward to performing like we had in training. Unfortunately we were not able to do so. Never closing on Trinity more than a length, the Wolfson crew closed on us from the gut where we held them off up to the top of green banks.
The next day we rowed over with a calm composure grown from the 'vacuum' provided by a Wolfson bump on Trinity and a Keble bump on Balliol, who were chasing us.
Moving on to Friday, everyone knew that keeping the extremely strong Keble crew off our stern would be our biggest challenge yet. The men stepped up to the plate and gave an exciting yet short race. Alas, denying Keble the bump was not to be. A tap on our stern in the gut whilst inches away from Trinity demonstrated that the marginal gains made in training can make all the difference.
The Saturday of Eights came as expected with large crowds, sun and anticipation in the air. With extra inspiration from the members of the 1990 headship crew, M1 gave a meaty, composed performance, naturally spurred on by the large Univ crowd with old and current members alike; Balliol were never close.
I would like to thank John Ewans for throwing himself at the challenge of coaching M1 and for the progress we made. I'd also like to thank the Friends of UCBC for their donations.
I am proud to be next year's Men's Captain and I look forward to a fun and successful year, where we'll hopefully be welcoming a new men's head coach.
Posted on Oct 08, 2015
posted under: FoUCBC Newsletterterm reportback to News and Results