Last night QCBC hosted their annual fireworks party and BBQ at the boathouse for members of the College, and it was a great success with over 100 people attending. It was a great chance for college members across the years to get to know each other and learn more about the boat club and some of it’s history.
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!
The women’s side at Queens’ has got off to a promising start this year with a very strong Michaelmas senior squad. Alongside an impressive number of experienced rowers from last years’ Mays, we’ve also welcomed a small number of schoolgirl rowers to the club, giving us a depth and strength that will stand us in good stead over the course of the year. We’ve also brought in a fresh pair of eyes in our new coach, Lisa Silk, whose experience and skill is unparalleled – we’re looking forward to working with her this year and having our most successful year yet!
Our first few outings have been in mixed combinations to find the quickest crew, and one such mixed combination was put to the test in the W2 division of Autumn Head on the 14th October. Despite a slightly patchy race, we ended up narrowly winning our category, showing that although there is plenty of work to be done we have a strong foundation already! Next up is University IVs beginning on the 24th October; as the only Queens’ crew to enter, our W1 IV has been training hard to do the club proud.
Off the water, we’ve been reviving the social side of the club to reinstate QCBC as the most sociable, fun society in Queens’, and our calendars are very full already! Highlights so far include a cheese and wine night, several post-row brunches and an all-girl formal for both the senior and novice women. The team spirit off the water is translating into excellent commitment to and improvements in training, so we’re going to maintain it through the year to keep QCBC’s women happy, successful and climbing up the Bumps charts!
Welcome to all new students! In the last week we have held rowing taster sessions for new and returning students. It’s looking good for this year of new rowers, with over 100 people signing up! The coming weeks will be filled with rowing and socials alike. Special congrats to the women’s squad, who have their biggest novice signup in years with 5 boats worth of rowers.
On Tuesday 11th July 12 sixth form students from Dover Boys’ Grammar School visited Queens’ College Boathouse for a tour and to take part in some land based training.
The boys were staying at Queens’ for a two day residential summer school, during which time they had various access activities such as talks, and departmental tours. We decided it would be a great opportunity to also show them another side of College life, and get them involved with the Boat Club.
They had the chance to have a wander around the facilities and were interested to see all of our boats – particularly the VIIIs! Then they had a coached session on the ergs from the QCBC president with help from a Queens’ first VIII rower currently trialling for CUWBC, before splitting into teams for some races. We’d hoped to be able to get out on the water, but alas health and safety got in the way!
However, a great time was had by all and hopefully this could be the start of a lasting relationship. The school are very keen to come back and said that they’d love to be able to get out in some boats next year!
Having failed to catch Sidney, M2 were again faced with the challenge of escaping Christ’s M2 at the head of the third division. Feeling confident but not complacent, we rowed to the start and lined up on station one with the same plan as the day before.
We went off hard as planned, and settled nicely. The rowing felt much cleaner and stronger today, but Christ’s had clearly upped their game as well, as we didn’t pull clear so quickly this time. In fact, down plough reach we were more or less on station, and Peterhouse did not close on Christ’s at all as they had the day before.
Coming around Ditton into an extremely strong headwind, we started to open up the gap, and had about three lengths by the time we reached the railway bridge. We were confident enough to start winding down as we passed the P+E, but Christ’s definitely made us work harder today than on Wednesday!
Again, we were set to start at the bottom station, this time chasing Pembroke. We all knew this one was going to be tough, having been so far off Sidney the day before and with Sidney taking a lot of the course to catch Pembroke. We opted for the fly and die strategy, and even modified our start by adding an extra five winds to get the rate even higher.
This worked well, and off the start we reached and maintained rate 46. We started to move on Pembroke, and gained between a quarter and a half of a length, getting just shy of our first whistle. But while the ‘fly’ part worked well, the ‘die’ part came all too soon, and by the time we reached first post we had nothing left. The challenge of having to race after three row overs had taken it out of us. Pembroke had opened up three lengths, and we gave up the chase around Grassy.
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.
M1 rowed over on the first day to retain 9th position on the river. After a solid start the crew felt we dropped off the pace slightly when the crews behind us bumped out, but nevertheless got the row over. Tomorrow we have Emma chasing us and we look to go for Peterhouse.
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.