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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
C: Joseph Hearn
S: Philippe Frieden
7: Haeram Jalees
6: Benjamin Stickney Morrison
5: Thomas Holmes
4: Shonak Joshi
3: Jia Wei Kho
2: Hippolyte Verdier
B: Nic Bryant
It had been a tricky term for Queens’ NM3, with many crew changes in the last few weeks meaning that the race was going to be the first time all nine had been in the same boat. Nevertheless, the boys set out with clear heads, ready to give it everything they had. The boys set off slower than they would have liked, catching a crab over the start line but quickly recovered and picked up the pace. They fought against the high winds, with Joe smoothly navigating the winding course through town. Throughout the race the boys’ power increased, and they pushed through under the green dragon bridge towards a strong finish. Out of the 8 college third boats to enter they came 5th, and even managed to beat 6 second boats – overall an impressive result for Queens’ NM3.
Crew list – Cox: Lydia Farnham Stroke: Charles Jameson 7: Niklas Schmitz 6: Douglas van Niekerk 5: Nicholas Frederick Budenberg 4: Rusheel Somaiya 3: Rohan Mudumba 2: Daniel de Lisle Bow: Ilyaz Sayenko
Had a good first race and was neck and neck with Catz up until halfway at which point there was a nasty clash of baldes. Unfortunately Catz came off better from this and the Queens’ boat ended up being forced into the bank following this, which resulted in a win for Catz.
Here Queens’ NM1 can be seen handily beating Robinson NM1 by roughly 5 lengths as they approach the finish line of their second Emma Sprints race. Queens’ led from the start and despite a couple of crabs finished in a time of 2:08 (against the stream).
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’.
Saturday saw the conditions make a turn for the worse with a strong headwind for most of the course. Jesus ahead of us quickly caught a spooning Peterhouse leaving clear water in front of us. Robinson closed in on us by first post corner but were struggling to cope with the wind. As they closed, we knew from the previous days races that we could confidently hold them off and the further down the course we got, the more Robinson appeared to lose heart. King’s closed in on Robinson around grassy and they clearly couldn’t handle having a crew that close so they soon crumbled, being bumped around Ditton. We then rowed over with both crews either side again bumping out. Overall we moved up one position which is the joint best position for Queens’ M1 since 2008!
Bumped by Christs M2
For the final day of the campaign, M2 finally found themselves with somebody to chase. Starting second in division 3, we were ahead of Christs 2 and behind Clare 2 – who we’d already failed to catch twice. However with fresh legs we knew that today would be a different game altogether, not having rowed a race already.
The plan was to secure a row over and take the opportunity to bump Clare if we had it.
We started well at 42, settling into a rhythm passed the thunderous noise of the Pimm’s Tent. Christs were moving but not that quickly, and we thought that we’d be able to hold them off. However they kept moving at a steady rate, and a killer line from their cox gained them a quarter length around Grassy. We held them at a quarter length up Plough Reach, but around Ditton we were forced to go out wide to avoid the bump, and a clash of blades half way around the corner saw the end of our race.
It was a disappointing way to end the week, but we were all very proud of what the crew had managed to achieve over the last two years and particularly of our row on Thursday ahead of Maggie M3. We celebrated with the traditional swim outside the boathouse, before heading off for bumps dinner!