History 1970-1975

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Officers for 1970-1
Captain M. J. Adams
Secretary C. F. Prime



Captain J. T. Pinfold
Secretary D. D. Clark-Lowes

The Club concentrated its efforts on the Cambridge events this year and took apart in fewer external events such as those at Reading and Marlow. It was particularly satisfying therefore that the First Boat had such success in the May Bumps, going up three places from the bottom of the first division and narrowly missing their oars by failing to catch Churchill on the last day of the bumps by 10 feet. It therefore reached 13th position having bumped Christ’s, Downing and Magdalene. In the Lents also the Club gained a good reputation with the first boat on this occasion being black sheep for it was the only Caius crew to be bumped. After rowing over the first two days and keeping away from the determined Christ’s crew the first boat caught Magdalene after a long chase at the Railway Bridge. Magdalene however retaliated the next day and bumped Caius before the Gut. The other three Caius crews in the Lents each rowed over three times and went up once.

The Michaelmas Term provided a variety of events. A German-rigged four was entered for the CUBC Clinker fours competition and it achieved two victories before being knocked out of the semi-final by Downing. Graham Zanker who was rowing in this four also took part in the Novice division of the Head of the Cam Sculling race in which he came Second with a very good time which was only 1.8 seconds slower than the winner. He also took part in the Cardinals and the Second Trinity Sculls in the Lent Term. Towards the end of the Michaelmas term the Fairbairn race saw Caius fall back from ninth position to 14th which had been its position two years ago. The following week the Emmanuel Regatta took place. Caius entered both an Eight and a Four but Churchill and Christ’s respectively put an end to any great hopes of success. Two novice eights were entered for the Clare Novice Regatta and the first novice crew achieved great success proving itself to be among the best four of the novice boats entered. It lost to Sidney in the final of the losers plate in a very close race.

Apart for the coxed Four taken to Henley the Lent Term saw the only two occasions on which Caius rowed outside Cambridge. At the time of writing the success of the Henley Four has not yet been determined. A relation was established with Kingston Boat Club for a Caius crew to visit them, use their equipment and take part in some friendly competition. This proved useful experience for the crew and a return fixture might be arranged in the coming year. After the Lent Bumps a scratch eight was entered for the Bedford Head but it performed without distinction.

Caius entered both the Cambridge Head and the Cambridge Regatta in the Summer Term but undoubtedly the highlight of the term was the May Bumps. After the Club had suffered somewhat from a lack of interest during the cold winter months the summer saw a revival of enthusiasm and it was a pleasure to welcome back John Smith into the first eight after his temporary exile from the rowing world. Much of our success must be attributed to lively and encouraging coaching from Graham Hughes, Ray Brown, Brian Christie, Howard Jacobs, and others during the period prior to the May Bumps. Also Don Shibbling and Don Winning must be thanked for their coaching and especially Don Winning who sustained an injury to his index finger while fending a boat off the bank.

Lastly I should like to express my thanks to the Captain, Julian Pinfold, and to our boatman, Don Eagling for all the work they have done for the club.

Captain J. H. Smith
Secretary D. A. Lord

This was certainly the most successful year that the Boat Club has enjoyed for a great length of time. Our Captain, John Smith, became the first Caius oarsman to row in the Blue Boat for 27 years and his hard won success in the gaining a seat did much to raise the status of the Club as a whole.

In the the Michaelmas Term the University Clinker IV’s competition saw the Caius crew beaten in the semifinal by LMBC, the eventual winners. However the losing margin was only five seconds and had it not been for the bouts of flu experienced by the crew during the competition, the result could easily have been more favourable. Our participation in the Fairbairn Cup Race, rowed over a shortened course due to icing on the river, and in the Clare Novices Regatta met with rather less success than could have been hoped for, although the novice ‘B’ crew managed to reach the second round of the latter competition.

Caius had some good results in the sculling events on the Cam, with J. Rutter reaching the final of the Novice Sculls and Chris Logan reaching the final of the Emmanuel Regatta fine Sculls, only to be beaten following a false start; he also came second in the Second Trinity Challenge Sculls.

In the Lent Bumps the first VIII crew were unfortunate not to bump Magdalene I at Ditton, where they had a sizable overlap but failed to make a positive bump. On the last night our efforts were rewarded by a fast bump, on St Cats I. The Third Boat rowed exceptionally well, especially off the starts, gaining three bumps on consecutive nights and narrowly missing the 4th (and their blades) on the last night.

A composite 1st VIII spent a most enjoyable week on the Tideway at Richmond training for the Tideway Head of the River at Easter. We rose 115 places to be 150th and would have ascending further but for a lack of opposition that would have provided sufficient competition to speed our time over the 4 1/4 mile long course.

In the Lowe Double Sculls John Smith and Chris Logan were beaten by 10 seconds by the eventual winners, Sturge and MacLeod. The First Boat participated in the Cam Head and rose several places in a time that showed good potential for the May Bumps. This was proven during the Cambridge Regatta where Caius 1st Boat beat LMBC II and Bedford School to win the Wick Alsop Trophy and the senior ‘C’ title.

In the May Bumps the 1st VIII gained a quick bump on Churchill, sweet revenge for last May when the same crew denied the first VIII their blades on the last night. On the second night Queens I were bumped and the Friday night saw us row over behind Trinity Hall I after a poor start. On the last night we closed to within half a length of the Hall before being caught by a very fast Downing crew who had won the Senior ‘A’ at Cambridge Regatta.

The Third and Fifth boats did exceedingly well, both crews winning their blades; this is the first time two Caius crews have done so in the same set of bumps for many years. The Second and Fourth boats did very well in the face of strong opposition, the second managing a fine bump on Christ’s II on the last light.

Our thanks go the First Boat coaches, Ray Brown, Patrick Colquhoun, Alf Twinn, Graham Hughes, Ben Duncan and Steve Tourek for the efforts, and finally to John Smith for his marvellous contribution to Caius rowing and to our boatman Don Eagling, whose advice and efforts in maintaining our equipment has been instrumental in the successes that the club has enjoyed.

Captain D.A. Lord
Secretary P.C. English

The 1974/5 season has undoubtedly been the best year for Caius rowing in Cambridge since the war. The highlights were the Lent and May Bumps, in each of which, the five Caius crews made 16 bumps from 20 starts, with no Caius boat being bumped.

The first Lent Boat rose four places to win their oars, finishing 10th on river, and the first May Boat rose 3 places to finish ninth, the highest position Caius has held since 1945. In addition, the Third Lent and Fourth May boats each won their oars.

The years started inauspiciously enough, with an early exit from the Clinker Fours at the hand of LMBC, the eventual winners, and it was only afterwards that we gained some consolation from the fact that we had recorded the third fastest time of the competition. Things were not looking too bright for the Fairbairn Cup Race either, with the crew being drastically changed in the days before the event; however, despite chronic unfitness and lack of training, the crew finished a creditable eighth, and could have been in the first three if a massive crab had not struck as we were in the process of overtaking Sidney Sussex. The following week, the same Caius crew beat LMBC, the winners of the Fairbairn Cup, in the Emmanuel Regatta before losing to Churchill in the final. Our two novice crews performed with distinction in the Clare Novice Regatta, each winning two rounds, and disposing of LMBC I and Clare I in the process.

Chris Logan continued demonstrating his sculling prowess, despite his research interfering with his training, as he won the Senior Sculls in the Emmanuel Regatta, and finished third in the Second Trinity Sculls, from a large entry including several Trial Caps.

It was decided that all crews were well placed in the Lents, and so training commenced early on. The 1st VIII had decided to train at 7 a.m. in order to fit round works schedules, although it had occurred to no-one beforehand that it was still very dark at that hour. Nevertheless, we persevered and many sunrises later, the Midnight Marauders emerged to make four bumps, all by First Post Corner, the victims been Magdalene I, Queens’ I, Downing I and Churchill I, the last bump being made on the fast Churchill crew before they could catch the very slowly Emmanuel crew ahead of them, a good indication of the speed of the Caius rocket start. The Third Boat despite troubles and changes during the term finally settled under the organisation of Cox John Weber and the coaching of Dr Piet de Boer to get four quick bumps and their Oars. The Second and Fourth boats could rightly claim to have been robbed of their oars, each making three bumps and being baulked on the other occasion by quick bumps ahead of them. The Fourth Boat had won the getting on Race by massive margin, with the Fifth Boat surprising everyone including themselves by winning a place on the river. They then made two good bumps, missing one more through bad luck and one through lack of racing experience.

The following week saw Dave Lord and Peter English reach the final of the Forster-Fairbairn Trial Pairs after good wins over First and Third Trinity and Clare, only to be beaten by Emmanuel in a very tight finish.

A composite crew was sent to the Tideway for the Head of the River Race and rose 60 places to finish 90th.

The Easter term saw Caius produce what must be its fastest crew ever. It won the Bullen Cup at Norwich Regatta, winning four races against good college crews, and started the May races in fine fashion, bumping Downing I in the Gut, Trinity Hall I, and Emmanuel I by First Post Corner. The bump on Trinity Hall was undoubtedly our finest hour, as St Catharine’s (who won their Oars) had taken until the Railway Bridge to catch them. The last night will long be remembered by the crew and supporters alike. The fine weather had brought out massive numbers of Caius followers and gave them a fine spectacle. We were within inches of catching Clare all the way from Grassy Corner right up to the finish and even had a 2 ft. overlap at the bottom of the Long Reach, but alas we did not finish them off.

The fourth boat won their Oars almost in spite of themselves. On the first day they were overlapping Corpus for First Post Corner, but due to the devious course steered by the Corpus cox, the coup de grace was postponed until the Pink Cottage, and then on the third day, they broke an oarlock on the way to the start, and rather than get to the start where a replacement was waiting, they improvised with a bicycle chain, arriving exhausted at the start 15 seconds before the Off and still caught the crew ahead in under two minutes. The Second, Third and Fifth crews were all ‘robbed’, each making three bumps and being baulked on the other day.

I would like to thank all our coaches this year, particularly John Henry Smith who was mainly responsible for the success of the First Lent Boat, Dave Wilson, who was always around when we needed him, and Piet and Jill de Boer for the incredible amount of work and support they have given the Club this year. Finally I would like to thank all those Oarsmen and Supporters who are leaving this year, particularly Nigel Watt, who has been the engine in the Caius rowing machine for the past two years, and of course David Lord, who through his infectious enthusiasm and determination, and unceasing work for the Boat Club has been responsible for making every Caius crew a force to be reckoned with on the River.

I would like to take this opportunity of reminding all old Caians that 1977 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Boat Club. It is intended to hold a dinner in the Easter Term to celebrate this, and it would be helpful if we could have some indication of how many Old Caians are interested in attending; everyone is of course invited. It is also hoped to bring the hundred years History up to date, and as the records are somewhat scant for the last fifty years we would be grateful for any information or help that anyone can offer. All replies to Sam Laidlaw.


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