May Bumps 2017 – W2 Day 2

W2 doing a practise start outside of the Plough. Photo by Giorgio Divitini

We knew that the race would be quick and tight, so we went all in straight off the start. We jumped half a length on Sidney Sussex in front of us, but seemed to settle there for a while as Downing were slowly getting closer and closer from behind. As they were half a length off us we did a big push, where we accelerated and soon landed half a length off Sidney. Whilst we were clearly gaining on Sidney until the very end, it wasn’t quite enough for us to reach them on time. It had been a quick race that only went on until the motorway bridge. Tomorrow we will return fresh after this short distance, and ready to fight out a longer race.

May Bumps 2017 – W2 Day 1

W2 racing around Grassy Corner. Photo by Giorgio Divitini.

The crew was ready to go and expected a long row, eager to bump Wolfson W1 on the first day. We immediately saw Caius W2 behind attempting to use this against us by doing a fast start, but we pressed them away. Soon enough their big push was over and we dropped them, and they eventually got bumped by a speedy Downing W2. Wolfson were faster than expected, and whilst we kept up they bumped Sidney Sussex W1 before we could get to them. We didn’t give up, but instead refocused on an overbump on Emmanuel W2. Sadly they also bumped out, leaving us with a solid row-over. We thus proved to ourselves that we can keep good pace for the entirety of the course. Tomorrow will be exciting, with a fast Downing crew coming after us as we look to bump Sidney Sussex.

May Bumps 2017 – M2 Day 1

M2 leaving Christ’s behind. Photo by Giorgio Divitini.
First Race:

Queens’ M2 started the day as sandwich boat, and so our first job was to row over ahead of Christ’s M2 at the head of the M3 division. The crew was feeling confident, having decisively beat Christ’s in a head race a few weeks previously, but we were taking nothing for granted and planned to still go out all guns blazing.

Our row up was some of the best rowing we have done together as a crew, and the freshness of a few days of tapering was clear. Our practice start was scrappy, but quick, and we lined up at station one full of energy and ready to go.

On the cannon we went off hard, reaching rate 44. We gradually settled into a nice rhythm and pulled clear of Christ’s, immediately pulling away half a length. Coming around grassy, Christ’s put in a push and for a moment it looked like they might come back at us, but we responded well and pulled away further. Coming around Ditton we were 3 lengths clear, although we still didn’t feel safe enough to wind down – Peterhouse had three whistles on Christ’s and so both crews behind us were still really going for it. By the time we got half way down the reach though, the gap was large enough that we could take the rate down to 30, and we cruised across the line well out of the firing line.

Second Race:

After an all too short break in which malt loaf and sweets were speedily consumed, it was time for our second race. This time our opposition was Sidney M1, who bumped Queens’ M2 down to sandwich boat last Mays.

Our row up this time was the best rowing we’ve ever done, and we lined up on station 17 feeling good. We knew Sidney were going to be tough opposition – they’d just pipped us at the head race a few weeks before. But all 9 of us believed that we could catch them eventually. We weren’t expecting them to move on Pembroke, and so thought we’d have to whole course to close and complete a bump.

Off the start this time, we didn’t move quite as well as we could have. It was tidy, but less power was going down (a symptom of the fatigue from the first race). Coming under the motorway bridge we hit some horribly dirty water, and things got very scrappy. After that we struggled to make any ground, and never closed on Sidney.

By the time we were on the reach, Sidney were well clear. This, and some obstructions up ahead, led Rob to call us down, and we paddled the rest of the course at rate 18.

The obstructions led to Sidney and Pembroke re-rowing, with Sidney ultimately catching Pembroke at Ditton.

W1 – Women’s Head of the River Race 2017

W1 by the Tideway

Michael Hope (cox)
Becky Hartwell (stroke)
Charlotte Harrop
Marilou Boddé
Anna Te Water Naudé
Geertje van Rees
Ulrika Andersson
Billie Meadowcroft
Vivi Russell

11 March 2017

This weekend saw Queens’ W1 taking to the tideway for the 6.8 km of WEHoRR. Despite only having a week of training in a new lineup, they hit a solid rhythm straight off the start and left Caius, starting behind them, in the dust. They then held that rhythm for the whole 20 minutes keeping it tidy and efficient. They pushed through two gritty overtakes, the last in the final 1 km to finish 109th of over 300 crews, 6th of Cambridge colleges beating Catz, Christ’s and Newnham. They finished only 5.6s behind Lady Margaret as the 2nd Cambridge college. It was a fantastic experience for the crew, for most of whom it was their first experience of the tideway, and a result to be proud of. Looking strong for Mays!
Another notable result from the day saw Queens’ alumna Georgia Vann (2011) win the provincial pennant with Cantabrigian RC, finishing 14th.

M. Hope

W1 – 1st place! Newnham Short Course 2017

Shiny medals well deserved

Newnham Short Course was the first race of term for W1 to see how they compared with the other colleges. Despite having done little rate work yet this term, we wound up to 34 off the start and held a solid rate 31 for the whole race. The girls gave excellent commitment to the race, and whatever the result we were proud of our row. When the results were first published, we were placed 4th behind Jesus W2, followed by Christ’s (with their coach rowing in the crew) and Caius. These are three good colleges and we were very pleased with the result – but wait, there had been some mistake and the results were taken down. We waited on tenterhooks (or actually didn’t notice in the most part), and when the results were republished we had won! Fastest W1 crew on the river, in 7:57 for 2km. Somewhat taken by surprise by the new results, and very happy, we can look back at a good day of rowing.

M. Hope

M2 Autumn Head 2016 – 4+

Jayna Patel (cox)
David Knott (stroke)
Manu Signer
Bálint Szépfalvi
Paul Cimetiere

Rob Jeffrey
Saturday 15th October

This was a scratch crew and they were pleased to be off the start at rate 30. They made some movement on the college eight they were chasing, after calling the rate up to 33 for a push at the top of the reach. The crew felt that the boat was generally well sat, but struggled to maintain balance during the corners and towards the finish. The crew was pleased with the end result as they only finished 7 seconds behind the first quad.

A Bartram

M1b Autumn Head 2016 – 4x+

Jayna Patel (cox)
Alex Bartram (sub) (stroke)
Callum Chivers
Ben Devoy
Laurence Reeves

Chris Clark
Rob Jeffrey
Saturday 15th October

With a limited number of outings and a stroke man taken ill on the day of the race it looked like it was going to be a difficult race for the second quad. However, the crew gelled together well and we were pleasantly surprised on the row up to the start with our technical rowing. The rate off the start was up to 32 which was particularly impressive considering the number of beginner scullers in the boat. Jayna steered an excellent line around grassy and called a big push after Ditton. This reasonably lightweight crew was able to make good use of the tailwind on the reach and keep the rate above 30. As we crossed the line we were happy with our performance and felt that we had rowed technically well, but could’ve been fitter. The boat was less than 30 seconds away from the first quad which was impressive considering the difference in weight and experience of the majority of the crew.

A Bartram

M1a Autumn Head 2016 – 4x+

Abi Wells (cox)
Alistair Pryke (stroke)
Peter Stevens
George Moore
Alex Bartram

Chris Clark
Rob Jeffrey
Saturday 15th October

After a number of good training sessions, we were optimistic that we would be able to put in a good time at the first event of the season. The race started well with a strong pushes down the gut and plough reach we soon caught the four we were chasing. After fading slightly at the top of the reach we built the rate back up to a strong 30 which we were happy with for the beginning of the season. We were pleased with the end result of 10:52 being only 15-20 seconds away from some college M1 8s. With Peter and George only having learnt to scull recently, this was a good performance but we felt there was more to come as fitness increases throughout the term.

A Bartram

M1 Winter Head 2015

M1 holding their prize

Tom Hiom
George Cameron (s) (c)
Alex Duncomb
Peter Stevens
George Daubney
Helge Dietert
Alistair Pryke
Manu Signer
Ben Catterall

Saturday 14th November

This crew benefited from the experience in two fours from the start of term, and a new coach from Robs, Toby Rudkin. Helge was very fit, having raced in both Fours head and Vets Fours head the previous weekend, and Alistair, a fresher, brought solid school-boy technique and cool head to the boat. I had made the mistake of entering the earliest division, thinking everyone would be to bed early with Bops cancelled for the foreseeable future – unfortunately the date clashed with a big MCR night, so our 2 man had a very sore head.

This did not stop us from winning the 8+ division (with 8.43), with only a faster time on the day from the quad Toby was racing in. Downing, Clare, Fitz, FaT and UCL all had eights out. We wound up a little early before the motorway bridge but settled into a nice chunky rhythm along first post reach. There was a bit of a wobble out of grassy corner, but we started to close on a big crew from Essex R.C. ahead. A highlight was our wind up from the railway bridge to the finish, which felt very very chunky but relaxed. There was a mutual agreement at the end that we had plenty more speed to come – bring on Fairbairns.

Stern pair also enjoyed a blast from the past with Boars Head later on in the day, kindly organised by James McMillan.