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.

NM3 Fairbairns


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.

NM1 Emma Sprints

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).

NW2 Emma Sprints

On the cold but sunny day NW2 a.k.a The Raspberries raced Emma Sprints in the morning division. After a solid row down to the Green Dragon Bridge (leaving a slightly bit late but being fast as the wind) the 9 girls, dressed as rainbows, queued up to the start. Our first race was against Lucy Cavendish NW2. The Raspberries had a very solid start and our competitors crashed right at the beginning so we had the window of opportunity to row away. Without any sight of Lucy around our bow we won the race. On the way back we raced against Darwin NW2. Both crews had a great start and we rowed head-to-head all the way to the finish line. Unfortunately Darwin was a tiny bit faster than us, so they won the race with about 5 cm. Altogether, The Raspberries had a very successful morning and we rowed homed content. With our crab count being zero and with two successful starts, the girls are looking forward to racing in Clare Novices and Fairbairns.

NW1 Emma Sprints

After many mornings in the cold and a strong effort indoors at QErgs the women’s novices were eager to finally race on the water. The row to the start was a focused one – the excitement to finally show their progress was apparent. The NW1 boat (nicknamed the Gummy Bears) lined up at the start next to Caius NW1. The start was an even one, with Caius coming out slightly ahead only to move into the bank and be forced to a stop. Queens’ pushed away ahead to show their speed even without a competitor near to push them, but then a cross-wind hit and they too were forced to restart as they hit the bank. Caius were now a length ahead with half the race to go, and so Queen’s did a massive push on long strokes to regain the lead and came up next to them. Both crews were getting tired and pushed to their limits by being neck and neck with the competition. In the last 200m, the race was excruciatingly close, neither crew keeping the lead for more than a couple of strokes. In a brilliant call from cox Ellesheva Kissin, Queens’ gave their all in the last strokes to push ahead and won by half a foot!

Their second race was against Clare NW1, and here too the start was even. Queens’ pushed ahead by a canvas as they lengthened out and settled into a solid rythm, keeping Clare there for 300m. The crews drifted together closely and as their blades interlocked in the headwind a couple of crabs occurred in both boats, causing the boats to turn towards each other. Clare came out ahead as they faced towards the right side of a bend in the river and could thus restart fairly swiftly. Queens’ took up the chase and gained significantly but ultimately had too much to gain and too little river left. They lost by a length and a half in the end, but were happy with their first race day and looking forward to another regatta, Clare Novices, next weekend.

NW2 Emma Sprints

The NW2 boat entered in Emma Sprints was a mixed crew made up of half Skittles and half Jelly Babies (these are two of the tree women’s novice QCBC crews this year). Spirits were high as we pushed off in the Chrysalis all dressed up as queens, and the row down to the marshalling area was neat and looked promising. Our first race was against Darwin NW1. After the ‘start’ was called, our marvellous novice cox Leah Schmitt, cloaked and crowned, called the draws and winds and we crept ahead of Darwin. Unfortunately, Darwin was the faster crew over the course and they overtook us and won the race. Queens’ took this defeat in their stride and lined up for the second race against Trinity Hall NW2 with determination on their faces but again, our elegance and demeanour weren’t enough to claim victory and we crossed the finish line behind Tit Hall. Altogether, what the day lacked in victories, it had in positivity. The whole crew enjoyed the competitive spirit that the races nurtured, and came away from their first rowing regatta with good memories.

NM1 Emma Sprints

Buoyed by their recent QErgs victory last weekend Queens’ NM1 turned their rudder towards Emma Sprints. Far from it being a case of the usual suspects, NM1’s first ever race on the water also represented the first time that the 8 rowers had taken to the river together.

Inspired by the namesake of their glorious leader the team decided on the fancy dress theme of Noah and the Ark, and so, when judgment day arrived, Queens’ NM1 arrived at the boathouse looking like the castoffs from Disney’s latest storyboard. Never before have Rudolph, Vixen, a Gorilla, two ducks, two zebras and one Igor taken to the water. Special mention must be given to Turnbull who made for a very convincing gorilla. On the other hand, Selway and Gandhi somewhat undermined the theological cogency of the outfits, failing to realise that, should we be smitten by the Great Flood then ducks, with their innate ability to swim would not be given a berth aboard HMS Noah’s Ark. With a David Attenborough narrative ringing in our heads we set forth for Emma Sprints.

First up, the squatters in Queens’ boat house, Magdalene NM1. Magdalene had much the better of the start with Queens 6 catching a crab in the first 10 strokes, an honourable dedication to completing Noah’s task and bringing all wildlife onto the Ark. Once Queens’ found their rhythm they quickly pulled back Magdalene’s lead and, one hundred metres out from the finish, the lead was with Queens’. However, in search of partner for our recent crustacean stowaway, Queens 7 caught a second crab and so, with the finish line in sight, Magdalene pulled ahead to claim victory.

With dreams of silverware out of mind Queens’ were paired up against the eight sperm swimmers of Christ’s for the return race. Christ’s ejected off the start line, too strong for Queens’ rather impotent wind-up. Christ’s quickly established a lead of one or two boat-lengths. As before, once Queens’ were in their groove, they displayed a rhythm that Freddie Mercury himself would have been proud of and slowly started to eat in Christ’s lead. It was unfortunately a case of too little too late and Christ’s crossed the line deserved-winners.

Post-match video analysis demonstrates that, despite minimal time in the boat together, there were times when NM1 found a tidy and powerful rhythm. With Fairbairns and some material faces to make a return to the boat, there is much to be optimistic about as NM1 look to secure their second piece of silverware for the term.

Women’s Novices Report

We have now had our two competitions with the novices. First was Qergs for which the women’s side entered 3 boats and everyone thoroughly enjoyed. All who participated said they had a really good time and it inspired them to want to do more competitive rowing. The squads on the women’s side have stayed as 3 main crews with 9-12 in each and this has worked well and allowed everyone to be able to go out on as many outings as they have wanted to. We look forward to rowing faribairns with 3 strong women’s crews entered.

Start of Michaelmas, Novice’s Report

The novices at Queens’ have arrived in huge numbers this year, with over 100 signing up at the freshers’ fair alone. On both the men’s and women’s side we’ve seen a real enthusiasm to commit to the club, and this should stand us in good stead as the term progresses. The women’s LBCs have set up 4 squads of 12 rowers each, allowing for easy interchange between rowers and subs, and ensuring no boats will be unable to race for lack of participants. The men have, following the tactics of a successful Michaelmas term last year, created a top squad of 16 rowers spread across 2 boats, allowing for inter-club competition, and two further flexible squads of 12 to ensure the maximum number of students are able to row.

The first target of the term is, of course, QErgs, which we go into with great confidence that the novices will do the college proud! Following QErgs, the crews will begin to become more fixed, in order to maximise the amount of time each boat has to train together before the races begin on the water. From Emma Sprints to Fairbairns at the end of term, we hope the novices will not only perform well across the divisions, but also get a sense of how fun racing at Cambridge can be.

Finally, the social side. This year sees an increase in the number of inter-club socials, aimed at fostering a real sense of team spirit amongst Queens’ rowers, which will hopefully translate into noticeable improvements in performance.

The start of this term has given us all great confidence that we can match – or even better – the achievements of last Michaelmas, and we look forward to a fun and friendly start to the rowing year!