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.

W4 May Bumps Day 4

Bumped Homerton W3

W4 were ready to bump and the crab gods will not get us today! Sadly Homerton were a no-show so although w3 knew we could get them we had to accept a technical bump. We were however given the chance to try and bump Wolfson 2 so we took it! We got them down to two whistles fairly fast but sadly they pulled aware along the straight and we didn’t bump but we made them work for their row over!
And hey we still Bumped!!

M1 May Bumps Day 4

Rowed Over

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!

M2 May Bumps Day 4

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!

W3 May Bumps Day 3

Bumped by Lucy Cavendish W2

Very tired from the previous days but with lots of determination, we had a good start as head of the division. Lucy Cavendish started to slowly gain on us but we kept pushing hard. Even though our technique was clean, in the end Lucy Cav were stronger, and they bumped us just at the beginning of the reach. Although disappointing, we are still in a good position push back to top of the division tomorrow.

W4 May Bumps Day 3

Bumped by Homerton W3

W4 were ready for a long tough row as Homerton hadn’t turned up the day before so we were ready for a fast start to try and catch catz but Homerton W3 had returned!
We had a solid start but as always catz ahead bumped very quickly so we were looking for an over-bump but the crab gods had other ideas 1 giant 20 stroke crab pulled us in to overlap with Homerton but we pulled away with only 6 rowers showing everyone the true strength of w4. Sadly the crab was back with vengeance and this time Homerton W3 sadly caught us but we can’t wait to bump them back tomorrow!

W2 May Bumps Day 3

Rowed Over

Having rowed over for the first 2 days of Bumps, W2 were hungry for some bumping action on Corpus on day 3. After a good warm up row to the lock with our bows on Maggie W2’s stern (the sandwich boat who would be chasing us) the whole way, we felt hopeful that we could catch Corpus W1 ahead.

Our start was the strongest and neatest yet, winding to around rate 43 then striding out gradually to rate 38 before eventually settling to around rate 36. Our rhythm was good but Corpus’ must have been too since we never managed to gain on them. We ended the race with a row over around 2 lengths behind Corpus, and Maggie far far behind us.

It was great to have so much support on the banks so W2 are very excited for the final day of Bumps. A change of tactics is planned in our last attempt to get some well-earned greenery!