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First and Third Trinity Boat Club

The First and Third Trinity Boat Club is the rowing club of Trinity College in Cambridge, England. The club formally came into existence in 1946 when the First Trinity Boat Club[?] and the Third Trinity Boat Club[?] merged. The first boat club associated with Trinity was formed in 1825 and came to be known as First Trinity in 1833 when the Third Trinity Boat Club was formed (a Second Trinity Boat Club was formed in 1831 but did not have a continuous existence until 1840). Membership of Third Trinity was originally confined to Old Etonians and Old Westminsters. Members of Third Trinity were allowed to also be members of First or Second Trinity and often were.

In the nineteenth century the various Trinity boat clubs were very strong and regularly won events in Cambridge, at various regattas around the country, notably the Henley Regatta[?], and regularly contributed rowers to the Cambridge boat for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Indeed in the 1849 Boat Race, all members of the crew were from Trinity, seven from Third Trinity and two, the cox included, from First Trinity. Boats from the three clubs could often be found at, or near, the top of the Bumps[?] and they sometimes combined their resources in races against the rest of the University. In 1876 Second Trinity was disbanded due to a lack of support but even then it's first boat was still quite strong and was still in the first division of the Bumps.

In the twentieth century the clubs remained competitive and continued to achieve success in various events. The joining of the clubs in 1946 was due to a difficulty in remaining competitive with the now larger boat clubs of other colleges. In the same year First and Third won the Visitors' Challenge Cup at the Henley Regatta and the following year won the Ladies Plate. They repeated this feat by winning the Ladies Plate again in 1954 and 1967 which was the last year that a college crew from either Cambridge or Oxford has won the event. The difference in the standard of rowing between Oxbridge colleges and non-University clubs has changed greatly over the twentieth century, possibly due to standards within college clubs falling or to the quality of rowing in other clubs improving, but probably a combination of the two. For example First and Third, like all other Oxbridge college crews, now have difficulty achieving a standard of rowing to even qualify for events at the Henley Regatta, let alone to win these events. In spite of this, rowing within Cambridge remains popular and the Bumps, the main inter-college event, see well over a thousand students competing, typically around a hundred from Trinity.

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