W2 Pembroke Regatta – 16/02/19

Pembroke Regatta was W2’s first race of Lent term. Having had quite a steep improvement curve in previous outings, we were confident in our abilities to succeed.


After a solid row down to the marshalling area, and a subsequent good practice start, our first race was against Sidney Sussex W2. We sat off head-to-head, but easily left them behind after a couple of strokes and won the race with no problem.

Next, we raced against Caius W2. Knowing that their club is quite serious on training we were a bit more aware of the challenge than in the previous round. However, once again we were able to leave them behind with a great start and a great rhythm, giving our everything.

In the semi-finals Downing W2 was our enemy. Although we were already fairly tired by this time, we gave another huge push, reaching an 500m split of 2:05. Unfortunately, Downing was able to beat us, but we didn’t let them win easily as we were right by their bow for the whole race.

Altogether, all of W2 is very proud of our performance on the race and we are looking forward to future successes together.

M2 Pembroke Regatta – 16/02/19

Queens’ M2 rowed up to the start excited and nervous. Philip and Hugh were calm, ready to set a metronomic rhythm and transfer that backwards to the rest of the boat. The engine room of 6 to 3 were quaking, the benefits of the dead lifts showing, they were ready to put down some megawatts and hawl the Suzi down the reach. Marco and Philip in the bows were present. After the faff of lining up at the start line, our sub Cox, Beth, taking a step down from M1 for the regatta, using the bows to point us dead straight at the railway bridge. Once we heard those words ‘attention. Go!’, the boat exploded. In barely 5 strokes, m2 had taken three seats out of LMBC. The boat flew off the line and with every chuky stroke, Queens’ pulled away. Then we blew. Maggie brought it back slowly but surely, eventually securing clear water as the boats went through the bridge. Our high rating became scrappy, the brute force that was being hammered down off the start line dissipated. Beth riled us up and shook us out of that rut, driving us to claw some ground back. At that point, however, it was too little too late. As a first taste of genuine side-by-side racing for most of the crew, it was certainly exhilarating. Although we hit a wall pretty soon, the meatiness of the start bodes well for Bumps. Where we’ll certainly need to get used to holding those rates as we eye up 8 row overs as the sandwich boat.

W1 Pembroke regatta – 16/02/19

Queens’ vs. Selwyn
Crew: James Zimaras (cox), Billie Meadowcroft (stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (7), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn Van der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Katy Relph (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kate Attfield (Bow)
A week of illness had hit the QCBC W1 following their trip to Bedford. 6 of the squad suffered from a short lived but aggressive colds, our 4 seat managed to get a chest infection and the bow seat fell victim to some unsavoury sushi which took her out for a few days with nasty food poisoning. The only survivor is Katy – no one knows how she has managed to avoid it… Copious amounts of Berocca might have been her secret weapon.
Nonetheless, the crew got on with it and arrived on race day with spirits high (but lung capacities low). A focused and balanced paddle brought us to the marshalling zone, and then up to the start line. We exploded out of front stops and hit r40 on the winds as the start buzzer took us by surprise. The messy start was quickly recovered as we reached our ‘stride’ and we started to gain on the crew beside us. Seat by seat, we pushed away until we arrived at the halfway mark where our cox was in line with their 2 seat. The crew had set up a beautiful and strong rhythm at a solid r34. Unfortunately this is where our race started to break down, Selwyn had a huge push which brought them back level with us, and all our best efforts were fruitless as the Queens’ crew tried to hang onto their handles and transfer any of the force they had left into the water. Selwyn started to gain some water on us and we simple could not respond. We crossed the finish line half a boat length behind them.
A disappointing race in many ways but a ban from training from our coach, and a prescribed rest hopefully will get this wonderful crew back on their feet (/into their stretchers?) and back on the water to get some great training in ahead of bumps.

W1 Bedford – 10/02/19

Crew: James Zimaras (cox), Billie Meadowcroft (stroke), Lea Gansser-Potts (7), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn Van der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Katy Relph (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kate Attfield (Bow)
After an early departure and a rigging session in the rain, the QCBC fleet arrived just in time to the start line of the Bedford’s Eights and Fours Head. We rowed through the two low rail bridges with our characteristic “chunky paddling”, and James called for the first draw: the race started. A confident rhythm was set up as we pushed onto and out of all of the consecutive bridges, that we had mentally mapped as the corners on the Cam. A rate of 31 strokes per minute carried us through the first half of the race, and although the water felt bouncier than what we are accustomed to, the crew reached round their riggers to go and get the first few inches of the stroke that we have been working hard to make the most out of in the weeks leading up to the race. We came under the low arched town bridge as James called for strong finishes. As a response, the echo of our feathering under the bridge marked the start of the second section of the race. Our tried and tested “new rhythm, new race” call set us up nicely and we braved the straight wide part of the river that we know our boat runs beautifully on. A level head and confidence in our ability saw us under the suspension bridge in no time at all, and we started increasing the pressure as we felt the finish line approaching. A sequence of ‘up two on the rate’ brought the whole crew into gear as we wound up and attacked our finish sequence. Using our last drops of energy to lever ourselves through the finish line, we clocked a time of 7:06 which left us in third position and a mere 8 seconds behind the winners – Jesus College BC. All in all, despite the wet and cold conditions, this racing day was a huge success for the QCBC W1 crew. We executed the course to the best of our ability and concluded our Head’s racing season on a high. The next obstacle is to learn to sprint…

W2 Fairbairns

Coach: Isabella Mahoney
Crew: Leonhard Redlich (Cox), Isobel Jack (Stroke), Bethany Capstick (7), Caroline Breeden (6), Emma Campbell (5), Zsofi Belovai (4), Carly Gilson (3), Alice Wenban (2), Jennifer Michail (Bow)

Michaelmas had been a difficult term for our crew, with fewer outings than we would have liked, mostly because of the pesky yellow flag! But come racing day, we were excited to challenge ourselves and prove a W2 worthy of both Isabella’s fabulous coaching and Queens’. With our regular 6-seat unfortunately unavailable, a saviour came in the form of novice Caroline, who very kindly and courageously stepped in to the 6-seat last minute. As the 42nd boat of our division, marshalling was long and slow, but slowly and surely the starting line got closer and soon it was ‘Queens’, whenever you are ready’.

And we were off! With the race divided into four sections, we focused on rhythm and power through the winding river to Green Dragon Bridge. After the plough we hunkered down and settled into a good rhythm, Leo calling for length and power. Before any of the rowers knew it, we were closing in on the crew in front, Darwin W2. As we raced down the Plough Reach and with the rowers hardly believing it, Leo called ‘come by! Through some expert coxing and the encouragement of both Isabella and the W1 coach Lisa, we powered past Darwin on Grassy and began to pull away from them. Spirits were high after our takeover and the third section of the race flew by. Soon we were nearing the Motorway Bridge and Leo called for us to empty the tanks. We pushed with the final strength in our legs and crossed the finish line.

We finished in a time of 18:49, the third fastest W2 crew. We were very excited and it was a fitting send-off for our cox Leo, who has been amazing this term and will be going home to row in Germany. Congratulations to W2 and we are looking forward to Lent

W1 Fairbairns

Crew: Beth Kemp (cox), Billie Meadowcroft (stroke), Léa GP (7, captain), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn van der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Katy Relph (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kate Attfield (Bow), Lisa Silk (coach)
Having logged the water miles and clocked the watts on the ergs, Fairbairns was anticipated by the Queens’ Michaelmas W1 crew. They had been training hard for many weeks and were a committed, determined crew. The girls were prepared with a solid race plan in mind that split up the long race into four distinct sections. This race was their opportunity to showcase the tremendous amount of progress they have made throughout the term.
The weather conditions were idyllic, as it was unseasonably warm, sunny and the wind was in our favour. The girls were nervous as they boated and marshalled past the boathouses. ‘Queens’ whenever you are ready…’. We came to front stops. Two strokes and into a rolling start. We started the race with a long and steady pace, holding back slightly, aware of the 4.3km that lay ahead. We weaved in and out of the corners in town and under the Green Dragon Bridge. Beth cornered nice and tight around Chesterton and delivered the ‘gear change’ call. This marked the end of the first section.
Up two on the rate, more pressure in the water. A real shift was felt in the boat. A long stretch of water lay ahead and the crew was determined to make the most of it. Best of all, Newnham W1 ahead of us were only 5 boat-lengths away. With a new goal in sight, we placed our blades into the water and drew them into our chests with intent. Along the Long Reach, we chipped away at the distance that separated us from the crew in front making sure to stay strong with our posture and efficient with our rowing. Beth went through the pairs, asking for strong catches from the bows, a real shunting feeling from the middle four and a sustained rhythm from the stern. On all fronts, the crew executed whatever was called and the boat was flying through the water.
Ditton marked the end of the second section. By this point in the race, we weren’t thinking anymore, we were just pushing. We had gotten to two boat-lengths between us and Newnham, and had to take the corners slightly off the racing line to avoid a collision. Nonetheless, the girls mastered the corners, applying the right amount of lateral pressure into their riggers to stay on top of their platform. Rowing in the wake of the crew ahead of us, we feathered high and kept executing our racing plan. 20 bigs strokes got us through the gut.
Once the rudder was off, we knew that we had entered the last section of our racing plan. The end sequence. This is a section that we have been working on all term. Going up on the rate and power at the end of the race without losing the balance or technique has always been a challenge for us. We went up two. The power matched the increase in speed. Our blades were going in and out cleanly, only one boat-length away from the crew ahead of us. We came under the motorway bridge and Beth called for us to ‘sit up and go’. We shortened our strokes, and wound through the finish line, just half a boat-length off of Newnham.
We had finished in 17:11, 35 seconds off of the winning college crew and placing us 6th within the colleges. A result to be very proud of. A smashing end of a nearly perfect term of rowing, which has left the whole crew very excited about Lent.

M2 fairbairns

On the morning of the race, m2 (the meatheads) decided that every edge would be necessary to achieve their ultimate aim of crushing the opposition. So they initiated psychological warfare with all the boat with the misfortune of marshaling outside the Queens boat club. As we squatted in 8s, the fear in the souls of the boats floating helplessly past was palpable, the sweat falling off their brow made the water levels of the cam increase noticeably. With every cheery “good luck Bois, you’re gonna smash it!” and every “I wish I had your leggings! “, more damage was inflicted upon the opposition. The mantra of marginal gains also inspired mercurial 4 seat Stephen to shave his head, drastically increasing the drag of the boat and reducing his weight. As we all know, weight adjustment matters.

When it the clock finally tolled for m2, we glided up to the start, cheerfully wishing a good race on homerton m1. But that facade of friendliness melted away the second we knew the race was upon us. As the Marshall called us ready, a silence fell over the city, and eyes around the world tuned in to watch that tract of water outside the jesus boat club.

While it’s true we’ve had cleaner starts, the fallen leaves made the water soupy it felt like every rower in the boat crabbe at least a little bit off the start (Arian, our meatiest boi, definitely did). While the start wasnt clean, we quickly banded together demonstrating the legendary m2 spirit to get our heads in and zoom off and into the course.

Will had committed hours to tracking exactly where we would be at every minute of the race, calculating the landmark we would be zipping by, assuming our speed to be 276 metres per minute. And with every landmark we passed, our noisy 3-man would let us know “downing boat club, thats one seventeenth of the way Bois”. Or “here’s where I always crab, only 7.3 minutes to go”.

Our firey Cox Iona had spent the best part of the term enforcing silence and crushing chat in the boat, to the extent that all chat was forced underground. But during the race any rower with an opinion felt free to pipe up. That m2 spirit really is impossible to squash, with every stroke, a different voice was heard trying to push the boat to that next gear.

It seemed during the race that people gravitated to the boat, our bank party of the “so sweet” Hidde swelled to two on the reach when Rob appeared and grew once more on the plough reach when keen bean Fresher Kevin started to follow us. But at that point the lactic acid was swirling, I had fallen into a trance, the only thing that stayed clear was the nape of Cam’s neck and the yells of 3 man Will.

That was until we arrived at Grassy. A new wave of undying energy burned in my very soul, I sat tall (Lukas did too I’m assuming who knows), my blade found connection instantly and I drove my legs as though the race had just started, and I shunted with the might of a god. Around grassy the split fell, we took the sweetest of lines. Iona, who had sworn not to congratulate my ability to drive us round corners couldn’t help but marvel in the brilliance. Sensing my work done, I fell back into my trance until the race ended.

M2 this term took an unconventional approach, rowing exclusively in the afternoon. While the trope ‘you get used to the early mornings’ is not true for the neatheads, that rowing is a great way to make friends is still just as true.

M1 Fairbairns


Cox – James Zimaras, S – Noah Milton, 7 – Marco Muttoni, 6 – Daniel Germon, 5 – Kit Gallagher, 4 – Alex Ander, 3 – Sam Amey, 2 – Alexander Miscampbell, B – Hugh Selway. Coach – Rob 

With last years split in mind, the crew was set on proving that ‘lightweight’ does not mean slow. After a cold start, we soon settled into our rhythm, cruising through town focussing on that low split and remembering the long row we had ahead. Tightly around Green Dragon bridge, the half way line was in sight. We picked up the power and sailed along the straight “‘to the bridge NOW!” James demands, and the split drops. As we come onto the reach, the crew feels the end is near, another push takes us away from the bridge. We notice that Trinity Hall M1 was approaching from behind, and are only spurred on by the chase. A new challenge – hold them off. Around ditton corner they gain a few feet, but a perfectly timed ‘rhythm reset’ relaxes the crew and we regain our lead, long and strong. Once on first post reach, with Trinity Hall right on our tail, James takes some slick lines to keep them at bay.

We glide through the finish, at a time of 15:36, 1m25s behind the first place crew. Well under the average speed from the year before. Though more time may have allowed a better time, this was certainly a race we can all be proud of. Bring on Lent.

NM1 Fairbairns

Cox: Lydia Farnham

Stroke: Charles Jameson

7: Niklas Schmitz

6: Douglas van Niekerk

5: Nicholas Frederick Budenberg

4: Daniel de Lisle

3: Illyaz Sayenko

2: Rusheel Somaiya

Bow: Rohan Mudumba

Coach: Alexander Miscampbell

Braving high winds Queens’ NM1 (aka Life) took to the water as the first Queens’ boat to race. A last-minute adjustment due to the conditions meant that the race course was shortened to finish at the P&E (1.6km) instead of the usual finish at the top of the reach (2.7km).

Despite a worryingly leisurely start at 26 strokes per minute, once the crew got going the rate wound up to a strong 34 and with good technique to match. After roughly a minute the crew settled on a more sustainable 32/33 stroke rate. During the middle section of the race Queens’ looked very tidy and with some good steering and calls from Lydia, the split stayed well into the 1:50s.

Unfortunately with about 600m to go, a boat stopping crab was caught under Chesterton footbridge and with one of the crew hanging out of the boat, the rest of the crew had to hold it up! Despite coming within inches of the water, he managed to stay in the boat and the crew recovered well with the last two minutes being some of the strongest of the race.

Queens’ NM1 sadly missed the top 10 by ~13 seconds but still finished a very respectable 15th in the Men’s 1st division.  The final time of Queens’ NM1 of the shortened course was 7:29 which was faster than numerous other NM1’s including: Jesus, Downing, Pembroke, Magdalene and Kings.

All in all a solid Days racing from Queens’ NM1!


NM2 fairbairns

After two heat wins in Emma sprints, the crew and myself were excited for what was to come during Fairbairns. Yet, the annual fairbairns race for the Novice Men’s Boat 2 (NM2) didn’t go as well as we had hoped. Apart from the potential cancellation of the race due to extremely strong gusts of wind, which caused an unfortunate stop during the race, a bow-side sub was needed last minute. Due to the lack of novice rowers available, we had to rely on a stroke side novice to sub in, which unfortunately disrupted the balance of the boat significantly. Thus, the lack of balance coupled with high gusts of winds, resulted In NM2 arriving 51/60.