M3 Lent Bumps Day 2

Result: technical row over (did not race)

Queens’ M3 had a great row up, possibly one of the best rowing we’ve seen all term. With several bursts and practice starts, the crew was hyped and ready for the race. The crew’s enthusiasm far outweighed the worsening weather conditions.

The team was focused and ready to give King’s trouble. Caius was going to be chasing us after bumping Sidney Sussex earlier today. We acknowledged that they were a formidable crew, but used that as motivation to bump King’s.

As we were paddling down to the start, umpires deemed the towpath too dangerous for bank parties and called the race off, with everyone rowing over.

Although disappointed with not racing, the team will be ready to race on Friday. If weather holds up on Friday, we will be chasing King’s and will be chased by Caius.

M4 Lent Bumps Day 2

Result: Row over

After a disappointing first day of bumps, Queens’ M4 set out ready to race as the second last boat in the division. The row up was cold and snowy, and we arrived with 20 minutes to spare, spent desperately trying to keep warm before the race.

Our start was much cleaner than yesterday’s, and we didn’t feel threatened by Homerton M2 behind us as they struggled to catch up. We kept up with Hughes Hall M2 who bumped us yesterday, and soon after the start they caught a huge crab and we gained massively – but as we closed in to half a length they managed to recover and pull away. They soon bumped Pembroke M3, leaving us with Trinity Hall M3 in the distance ahead of us.

The rest of the race was spent keeping distance between us and Homerton M2, and we rowed over with plenty of space between us. Tomorrow we will chase Pembroke M3, and hopes are high for a bump.

M2 Lent Bumps Day 1

Result: Bumped by Sidney M1 on Plough Reach

Queens’ had a good row up to the start and a very solid practice outside the Plough. Our plan was to race to First Post Corner – expecting to end up in a three boat sandwich with Darwin M1 ahead and Sidney M1 behind.

We started well, clocking rate 43. We quickly closed on Darwin and gained our first whistle before the motorway bridge. We kept closing and about halfway down first post reach we got a second whistle. Darwin then held us at about half a length for the next minute or so, before abruptly stopping and pulling in in the gut. With no one to chase, Queens’ started to falter and fade, and Sidney rapidly closed in. Coming around Grassy Sidney got to within a canvas, and although we briefly made a move and opened up clear water, they quickly won the bump outside the Plough.

It turned out that Downing M2 had crashed on First Post Reach on station 5, and hence Darwin had got the overbump on them. However Darwin hadn’t realised and so had kept racing until the gut. Queens’ made the case to the umpires that an extra minute of kill calls on two whistles had caused us to die, and ultimately allowed Sidney to close – however the bump stood.

W3 Lent Bumps Day 1

Result: bumped by Sydney Sussex W2

For most of us in W3 this was our very first Bumps race. We had a really strong start and got our first whistle with in our first 15 strokes. But as we were gaining on Lucy Cavendish, Sidney Sussex were gaining even more quickly on us…and so sadly we got bumped. However we are now feeling even more motivated to bump them back tomorrow!!

Bumps Garden Party!!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the return of the QCBC May Bumps Garden Party this year on Saturday 16th of June. Preparations are well under way for the highlight of the Cambridge rowing calendar, and we would love to see as many of you as possible coming down to the river for a view of the action.

So save the date, invite family and friends, and look out for the full invite and details in the coming weeks.

If you have any queries at this point, please feel free to contact me at queensgardenparty@gmail.com

Dan Lafferty

QCBC Garden Party Officer

NW Clare Novices

On Saturday, 25 November 2017, Queens‘ Women’s Novices boat “Jellies” set out for what was to be the first proper race for many crew members: Clare Novices’ Regatta. After a short night’s rest, our crew boated from QCBC boathouse at around 7:20 and headed towards the marshalling area at Plough Reach. Morale was high on the row-up despite the chilling cold as we warmed up and practised several race starts to prepare for the competition. None of us had ever been this far up the Cam, so we enjoyed watching the sun rise over the river and the misty fields. Our cox Leah stirred us safely through the uncharted waters, except for that odd time when we – totally unexpectedly, of course – bumped into the bank bow-forward and got us a nice chunk of bank as a souvenir. We arrived for marshalling well in time, skipped – which proved difficult, as the river was busy with other boats – and made ourselves comfortable to wait for our start. Or not so comfortable, that is, since the temperature was still freezing! Billie, our coach, advised us to keep moving in order to stay warm – although she forgot to explain just exactly how we were supposed to move while sitting in a narrow boat that was already close to capsizing because our oars were drawn in on the bankside! About ten minutes before the race, Billie noticed we had lost our bow-ball during our brief encounter with the river bank on the row-up, and left us to find a solution. Fearing we wouldn’t be allowed to start, we anxiously waited until our coach came back with a new one from god-knows-where that she and Leah cellotaped onto our bow without further ado. Thus equipped, we finally made our way to the starting line for our race against Downing College. After the signal, we all gave our best to row as quickly and as powerfully as possible, with our cox setting the pace and shouting commandos at us while Billie cheered on us from her bike. Sadly, Downing took the lead early on, and we were busy chasing them for most of the track. About mid-way through the race, we finally came close to catching up on their boat, but an unfortunate moment of several of us catching the crab in all the flurry slowed us down again, and we lost the chance to overhaul Downing. Nevertheless, we gave our best effort to reach the finish line not too far behind the winners. Since we had missed the chance to enter the second round, we immediately made our way back to the boathouse after we had finished, and many of us had underestimated how demanding this post-race work-out would be! As we finally brought our boat in, we were all completely knackered, but in high spirits – we had lost the race, but we’d had nearly two hours of very intense training, and we could certainly be proud of our commitment and the progress we had made. Most importantly, Clare’s was the first-ever race for many of our crew members, and will surely be an experience that we’ll never forget.

Report by Felicia

QCBC Bridgemas

This Sunday rowers took some time off rowing to get into the Christmas Spirit. Starting with some Ice Skating (where Balint did some showing off) we joined together for some Mulled Wine and Mince Pies before the college carol service.

Chilling in the bar in the evening was a great way for novices and seniors from both sides of the club to mingle and get to know each other.

Women’s Term Report

As Michaelmas draws to a close, the Queens’ women’s side are in the final stages of training before Fairbairns on the 1st December. The term got off to a promising start, with a large crop of returning seniors and some new schoolgirl rowers joining the ranks. The women’s side this year also has several girls trialling with CUW and CULRC, and looking ahead this will add some serious strength to the squad come Mays. Our new coach, Lisa Silk, has also been invaluable so far; her unparalleled knowledge of Cambridge rowing and firm but fair attitude have gone a long way in getting the best out of the girls this term.

We began the term in mixed crews to see who worked well in which combination; one such combination was put to the test in Autumn Head in early October, where we won the W2 category. Meanwhile, the W1 IV entered the University IVs as the definitive underdogs and ended up reaching the semi-finals, beating both Newnham W2 and Clare W1 and losing out to Downing in the semis by a measly 5 seconds. This was a considerable achievement given that QCBC women have never made it past the first round before, and it certainly spurred us on to train harder and keep up the good work.

After Uni IVs we settled into a 1st VIII and 2nd IV for the rest of term. W1’s first race as a full crew was at Winter Head on 18th November, in which we were the 6th fastest college. Our performances so far and the girls’ continued commitment and dedication to training means that I am confident we will do ourselves proud in Fairbairns next week!

Off the water, the QCBC social campaign is still going strong and is working wonders to bring the club together outside of training. We’ve had plenty of women’s side and whole club socials and are very much looking forward to the next one, an ice-skating, carol-singing, mulled wine-fuelled Christmas extravaganza (although we are proceeding with caution to prevent any skating injuries before Fairbairns!). We’ve also been getting to know some of our boathouse neighbours (discovering on a social that certain senior rowers didn’t realise that John’s and LMBC were in fact the same…) and are planning plenty of events next term to maintain QCBC as the most sociable society in Queens’.

Overall, the QCBC women have had a great term both on and off the water. We’ve worked hard and put the hours into our training, and I am truly impressed with the seemingly boundless enthusiasm and commitment shown by the squad so far. I’m sure that this will continue and deliver success for the girls both this term and for the rest of the year.

Georgie Holmes, Women’s Captain 2017-18

QErgs Seniors

Qergs is always a long and stressful day for the senior members of the boathouse as the Qergs Presidents rally all the troops and make them all help-out with the set-up, marshal, and clear up the whole event. On top of this, a mixed senior crew enters the competition. This year, it was made up of women’s captain Georgie, Anna, Billie, Lea, men’s captain Peter, Balint, Lex and Allister. They all warmed up in the empty Fitzpatrick hall between events, slightly dreading the race. The division was announced as the first rower sat on the erg. The start looked unpromising as Lea went up again some of the other colleges’ men, but as the relay progressed, Queens’ put on a solid performance. As the last rower got onto the erg, we were in a good position to make the top three. Luckily, Balint was our last rower and he exploded out of the start, pulling an incredible 1:21 split! The rest of the crew along with 5 or 6 coxes were screaming and shouting hoping that he would not burn out. By miracle he didn’t and he rowed Queens’ to victory! Cheers resonated in the hall as the home team took the gold medal! A truly deserved triumph for a crew that left everything on the erg.

Report by Léa Gansser-Potts

M2 Winter Head

It was 7am on a very cold Saturday 18th November morning, and a bleary eyed M2 crew arrived at the boathouse for our first race, which also happened to be our first outing as a crew. Hence there was little expectation on our shoulders, and our plan was simple – go off hard, and see what happens.

The row up was decent with some solid bursts, and we marshalled at the lock in good spirits and looking forward to seeing what we could do. After de-kitting prematurely, getting very cold, re-kitting and then finally lining up for the start, we were eager to get going and warm up! We set off at rate 36 and after about a minute we settled naturally into a chunky rate 32.

We were told from the bank and coxing seat that we were gaining on the crew in front, and we could see that the quad chasing us (which we’d feared may catch and overtake) was being pushed into the distance. This urged us on, and coming out of Grassy and Ditton we made big pushes that kept the boat speed high and the rate never dropped below 32. Under the railway bridge towards the finish we brought it up, and came under the line in 9 minutes 36 seconds – only 30 seconds behind M1.

We sat at the top of the results board for second boats for most of the day, until we were just pipped by UCL M2 in the final division of the day. Interestingly, the UCL M2 crew that beat us also beat UCL M1 by 26 seconds, so we had some questions about UCL’s crew selections, especially since if they’d entered the correct crews in the correct divisions we would have won the M2 division. However we were all pleased with our result and look forward to a strong performance in Fairbairn’s.

Callum Chivers