QErgs Seniors

Crew: Pippa Sayers, Freddie Markanday, Alice Wenban, Noah Milton, Ulrika Andersson, Lex Van der Stoep, Lea Gansser-Potts, Balint Szepfalvi

The QErgs Senior division was won by Queens’ last year.

Following a cheeky warm up on the ergs whilst the other teams were standing outside the FItzpatrick hall, the Queens’ Boars sipped on their Red Bulls and energy gels with nerves and adrenaline following through their bodies. As the competitors arrived into the halls, so did the Queens’ supporters. The balconies were flooded with familiar faces, the home advantage was clear.

The marshalls lowered their clipboard and the race begun. Pippa went off to a flying start, as the crowd erupted to support her, then came Freddie with determination in his eyes commanding the split to stay below 1:30/500m. And it did, easily. Alice was next. She moved her arms, body and legs somewhat randomly but unbelievably effectively. The whole hall was aghast by the incredible and seemingly impossible strength that Alice was demonstrating. 1:37.6, the fastest women’s time by far – she was unreal. Noah had a tough act to follow as he strapped his feet in but the Men’s Captain was unfazed by the pressure and pulled the handle, strong and steady, until his 500m were behind him. Ulrika stepped up, and exploded out of the start line, with her gaze fixed on the screen – nothing was going to get in her way of crushing this race. By this time, Queens’ was pulling away from the main herd. The screams were getting louder, the MC was getting more biased and the team was getting more excited. Lex was next on and he put in a huge performance. Lea followed. The QCBC’s women’s captain nearly fell off her seat as she took her first stroke, but the President’s calm words of encouragement saw her through to the end of her 500m. She got off and on got Balint. Our secret weapon. The 1.20m tall Hungarian that all other colleges fear.  Neck and neck with FaT as he started, Balint hit 1.08/500m on his first strokes. The crowd went insane – he is big and he is strong. Everyone was screaming, and cheering our friendly giant towards the finish line which he crossed in an whopping 1:19. There were only 2 seconds between the victors and the runners up. Every stroke, from every Queens’ rower made a difference. What a team, and what a race. Everyone in the hall went insane. A sea of people in green jumped and flogged round the team on the erg. It had happened again. The QErgs senior division was won by Queens’.

Uni IVs Semi finals vs. Newnham W1

Crew: Beth Kemp (Cox), Billie Meadowcroft (Stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kathryn Van Der Byl (Bow)

Getting back into the boat after their memorable row a few days before, the crew’s plan was to go out and replicate their QF race. After marshalling in the rain, the crew came up to the start line. From the get-go, Newnham presented much more of a threat and Queens’ stoically held them at station round all the corners. They never quite settled for the same natural rhythm as the previous day but a fantastic reset in the Reach allowed Queens’ to try out their new finish sequence. Unfortunately, the Newnham crew crept up on Queens’ on the straight and crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of our W1. They then went on to win the final again Lady Margaret’s W1. Not the race that Queens’ had hoped but a 3rd place to be proud of nonetheless.

Both the W1 and W2 Uni IVs crew, which make up the 2018 Michaelmas W1 VIII have hugely benefited from training in the 4+ boats. This has allowed them to focus on fine tuning their technique in the more sensitive boats, as well as getting invaluable race experience. It was generally thoroughly enjoyed and the girls are excited to get back into the bigger boat to see their improvement.

Uni IVs W1 division Quarter finals vs. Kings W1

Crew: Beth Kemp (Cox), Billie Meadowcroft (Stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kathryn Van Der Byl (Bow)

Made up of 4 girls in their 3rd years, the W1 Uni IVs crew has been rowing together since they all learnt. With Beth in the cox’s seat, training leading up to these races had been a lot of fun. On race day the crew came up to the start line, ‘attention, GO’, and they were off. The start sequence went very well, and the boat was feeling light. A strong and natural rhythm was set up by the stroke pair, whilst bow pair effortlessly backed them up. The corners disappeared behind them as they increased the distance between them and Kings with every stroke they took. By the time Queens’ was going onto Ditton corner, they could see that Kings was no longer a threat. With a series on calls from Beth asking for the crew to give it their all, Queens’ ploughed through the finish line an incredible 44 seconds ahead of Kings. The whole crew was delighted with the performance they had just delivered, and I am sure that they will remember that race as a benchmark for good rowing for many races to come.

Autumn Head W1

Crew: Beth Kemp(Cox), Billie Meadowcroft (Stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (7), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn Van Der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Charlotte Hallam (3), Zsofi Belovai (2), Kate Attfield (Bow)

The autumn race took place on the 2nd Saturday of term which allowed for very little water time for the new and fresh-faced 2018 Michaelmas W1. The crew met the night before to go over the race plan, and after an intense 3 hours long crew meal, our fabulous new cox Beth emerged clutching an incredibly detailed map of the Cam scribbled all over with where she should deliver each call.

The condition on race day were far from ideal. With a strong wind all along the 2.7km course, the crew knew that they had a flight ahead of them. The start sequence quickly turned into the ‘stride’ call, and with the first corner coming up, Beth was in complete control of her crew. Her commands kept the crew on top of the wind and we whipped round all the corners. ‘The thirty best strokes of the race’ were asked for on Plough Reach, and the crew sat back into the wind and courageously kept their rhythm going. Once Ditton Corner had been negotiated, the Long Reach saw a reset from the crew and a real push to establish a rhythm that they could sustain. The milestones along this long stretch of open water started to pass the crew by, first the white house, then the railway bridge and eventually the P&E. At this point the crew started to sit up as the finish line was in sight. With Beth keeping the crew focused at all time with a stunning demonstration of her natural coxing skills, the crew crossed the finish line by the Green Dragon Bridge in 12:04.1 seconds, securing the 5th place for Queens’ and only 23.6 seconds behind the winners.

There were two main outtakes from this race. Firstly, Beth, who had only coxed a senior crew a handful of times before the race, was beyond fantastic and the women’s side is very lucky to be able to have her on-board. Secondly, the W1 crew should hold their head high as they demonstrated determination in buckets as they braved through the course in difficult conditions even for the most experienced crews. A promising start for the Queens’ women’s side.