On Tuesday 11th July 12 sixth form students from Dover Boys’ Grammar School visited Queens’ College Boathouse for a tour and to take part in some land based training.
The boys were staying at Queens’ for a two day residential summer school, during which time they had various access activities such as talks, and departmental tours. We decided it would be a great opportunity to also show them another side of College life, and get them involved with the Boat Club.
They had the chance to have a wander around the facilities and were interested to see all of our boats – particularly the VIIIs! Then they had a coached session on the ergs from the QCBC president with help from a Queens’ first VIII rower currently trialling for CUWBC, before splitting into teams for some races. We’d hoped to be able to get out on the water, but alas health and safety got in the way!
However, a great time was had by all and hopefully this could be the start of a lasting relationship. The school are very keen to come back and said that they’d love to be able to get out in some boats next year!
Having failed to catch Sidney, M2 were again faced with the challenge of escaping Christ’s M2 at the head of the third division. Feeling confident but not complacent, we rowed to the start and lined up on station one with the same plan as the day before.
We went off hard as planned, and settled nicely. The rowing felt much cleaner and stronger today, but Christ’s had clearly upped their game as well, as we didn’t pull clear so quickly this time. In fact, down plough reach we were more or less on station, and Peterhouse did not close on Christ’s at all as they had the day before.
Coming around Ditton into an extremely strong headwind, we started to open up the gap, and had about three lengths by the time we reached the railway bridge. We were confident enough to start winding down as we passed the P+E, but Christ’s definitely made us work harder today than on Wednesday!
Again, we were set to start at the bottom station, this time chasing Pembroke. We all knew this one was going to be tough, having been so far off Sidney the day before and with Sidney taking a lot of the course to catch Pembroke. We opted for the fly and die strategy, and even modified our start by adding an extra five winds to get the rate even higher.
This worked well, and off the start we reached and maintained rate 46. We started to move on Pembroke, and gained between a quarter and a half of a length, getting just shy of our first whistle. But while the ‘fly’ part worked well, the ‘die’ part came all too soon, and by the time we reached first post we had nothing left. The challenge of having to race after three row overs had taken it out of us. Pembroke had opened up three lengths, and we gave up the chase around Grassy.
We knew that the race would be quick and tight, so we went all in straight off the start. We jumped half a length on Sidney Sussex in front of us, but seemed to settle there for a while as Downing were slowly getting closer and closer from behind. As they were half a length off us we did a big push, where we accelerated and soon landed half a length off Sidney. Whilst we were clearly gaining on Sidney until the very end, it wasn’t quite enough for us to reach them on time. It had been a quick race that only went on until the motorway bridge. Tomorrow we will return fresh after this short distance, and ready to fight out a longer race.
M1 rowed over on the first day to retain 9th position on the river. After a solid start the crew felt we dropped off the pace slightly when the crews behind us bumped out, but nevertheless got the row over. Tomorrow we have Emma chasing us and we look to go for Peterhouse.
The crew was ready to go and expected a long row, eager to bump Wolfson W1 on the first day. We immediately saw Caius W2 behind attempting to use this against us by doing a fast start, but we pressed them away. Soon enough their big push was over and we dropped them, and they eventually got bumped by a speedy Downing W2. Wolfson were faster than expected, and whilst we kept up they bumped Sidney Sussex W1 before we could get to them. We didn’t give up, but instead refocused on an overbump on Emmanuel W2. Sadly they also bumped out, leaving us with a solid row-over. We thus proved to ourselves that we can keep good pace for the entirety of the course. Tomorrow will be exciting, with a fast Downing crew coming after us as we look to bump Sidney Sussex.
Queens’ M2 started the day as sandwich boat, and so our first job was to row over ahead of Christ’s M2 at the head of the M3 division. The crew was feeling confident, having decisively beat Christ’s in a head race a few weeks previously, but we were taking nothing for granted and planned to still go out all guns blazing.
Our row up was some of the best rowing we have done together as a crew, and the freshness of a few days of tapering was clear. Our practice start was scrappy, but quick, and we lined up at station one full of energy and ready to go.
On the cannon we went off hard, reaching rate 44. We gradually settled into a nice rhythm and pulled clear of Christ’s, immediately pulling away half a length. Coming around grassy, Christ’s put in a push and for a moment it looked like they might come back at us, but we responded well and pulled away further. Coming around Ditton we were 3 lengths clear, although we still didn’t feel safe enough to wind down – Peterhouse had three whistles on Christ’s and so both crews behind us were still really going for it. By the time we got half way down the reach though, the gap was large enough that we could take the rate down to 30, and we cruised across the line well out of the firing line.
After an all too short break in which malt loaf and sweets were speedily consumed, it was time for our second race. This time our opposition was Sidney M1, who bumped Queens’ M2 down to sandwich boat last Mays.
Our row up this time was the best rowing we’ve ever done, and we lined up on station 17 feeling good. We knew Sidney were going to be tough opposition – they’d just pipped us at the head race a few weeks before. But all 9 of us believed that we could catch them eventually. We weren’t expecting them to move on Pembroke, and so thought we’d have to whole course to close and complete a bump.
Off the start this time, we didn’t move quite as well as we could have. It was tidy, but less power was going down (a symptom of the fatigue from the first race). Coming under the motorway bridge we hit some horribly dirty water, and things got very scrappy. After that we struggled to make any ground, and never closed on Sidney.
By the time we were on the reach, Sidney were well clear. This, and some obstructions up ahead, led Rob to call us down, and we paddled the rest of the course at rate 18.
The obstructions led to Sidney and Pembroke re-rowing, with Sidney ultimately catching Pembroke at Ditton.
Michael Hope (cox)
Becky Hartwell (stroke)
Anna Te Water Naudé
Geertje van Rees
11 March 2017
This weekend saw Queens’ W1 taking to the tideway for the 6.8 km of WEHoRR. Despite only having a week of training in a new lineup, they hit a solid rhythm straight off the start and left Caius, starting behind them, in the dust. They then held that rhythm for the whole 20 minutes keeping it tidy and efficient. They pushed through two gritty overtakes, the last in the final 1 km to finish 109th of over 300 crews, 6th of Cambridge colleges beating Catz, Christ’s and Newnham. They finished only 5.6s behind Lady Margaret as the 2nd Cambridge college. It was a fantastic experience for the crew, for most of whom it was their first experience of the tideway, and a result to be proud of. Looking strong for Mays!
Another notable result from the day saw Queens’ alumna Georgia Vann (2011) win the provincial pennant with Cantabrigian RC, finishing 14th.
Newnham Short Course was the first race of term for W1 to see how they compared with the other colleges. Despite having done little rate work yet this term, we wound up to 34 off the start and held a solid rate 31 for the whole race. The girls gave excellent commitment to the race, and whatever the result we were proud of our row. When the results were first published, we were placed 4th behind Jesus W2, followed by Christ’s (with their coach rowing in the crew) and Caius. These are three good colleges and we were very pleased with the result – but wait, there had been some mistake and the results were taken down. We waited on tenterhooks (or actually didn’t notice in the most part), and when the results were republished we had won! Fastest W1 crew on the river, in 7:57 for 2km. Somewhat taken by surprise by the new results, and very happy, we can look back at a good day of rowing.
Having existed as Queens’ W1 for the grand total of one week, the time had come for us to be thrown into our first race as a crew – with three ex-novices making up three-quarters of bow four, the mere thought of corners was enough to bring us out in a cold sweat, so the row up to the start of the course was a nervous one.
The race was 2x2k, and the first leg was far better than the second – after completing the first 2k in 7 minutes 52, the initial adrenaline/panic had gone but tiredness had begun to kick in, meaning we achieved a much slower time of 8:37 on the second leg (which seems ridiculously slow compared to later 2k times – see report on Bedford for details!!). Nevertheless, our efforts put us in 7th place amongst the Cambridge college W1 crews – or ‘technically 6th’, as we insisted, since Christ’s rowed twice (?!). The fact that Christ’s won the H2H obviously meant that we hated them with every fibre of our being, marking the start of a rivalry that would last all term.
Overall, it was a pretty good start to W1’s Lent racing, giving us plenty to build on for Bedford, WeHorr and of course Bumps.