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W2 Fairbairns

Coach: Isabella Mahoney
Crew: Leonhard Redlich (Cox), Isobel Jack (Stroke), Bethany Capstick (7), Caroline Breeden (6), Emma Campbell (5), Zsofi Belovai (4), Carly Gilson (3), Alice Wenban (2), Jennifer Michail (Bow)

Michaelmas had been a difficult term for our crew, with fewer outings than we would have liked, mostly because of the pesky yellow flag! But come racing day, we were excited to challenge ourselves and prove a W2 worthy of both Isabella’s fabulous coaching and Queens’. With our regular 6-seat unfortunately unavailable, a saviour came in the form of novice Caroline, who very kindly and courageously stepped in to the 6-seat last minute. As the 42nd boat of our division, marshalling was long and slow, but slowly and surely the starting line got closer and soon it was ‘Queens’, whenever you are ready’.

And we were off! With the race divided into four sections, we focused on rhythm and power through the winding river to Green Dragon Bridge. After the plough we hunkered down and settled into a good rhythm, Leo calling for length and power. Before any of the rowers knew it, we were closing in on the crew in front, Darwin W2. As we raced down the Plough Reach and with the rowers hardly believing it, Leo called ‘come by! Through some expert coxing and the encouragement of both Isabella and the W1 coach Lisa, we powered past Darwin on Grassy and began to pull away from them. Spirits were high after our takeover and the third section of the race flew by. Soon we were nearing the Motorway Bridge and Leo called for us to empty the tanks. We pushed with the final strength in our legs and crossed the finish line.

We finished in a time of 18:49, the third fastest W2 crew. We were very excited and it was a fitting send-off for our cox Leo, who has been amazing this term and will be going home to row in Germany. Congratulations to W2 and we are looking forward to Lent

W1 Fairbairns

Crew: Beth Kemp (cox), Billie Meadowcroft (stroke), Léa GP (7, captain), Ulrika Andersson (6), Kathryn van der Byl (5), Pippa Sayers (4), Katy Relph (3), Charlotte Hallam (2), Kate Attfield (Bow), Lisa Silk (coach)
 
Having logged the water miles and clocked the watts on the ergs, Fairbairns was anticipated by the Queens’ Michaelmas W1 crew. They had been training hard for many weeks and were a committed, determined crew. The girls were prepared with a solid race plan in mind that split up the long race into four distinct sections. This race was their opportunity to showcase the tremendous amount of progress they have made throughout the term.
 
The weather conditions were idyllic, as it was unseasonably warm, sunny and the wind was in our favour. The girls were nervous as they boated and marshalled past the boathouses. ‘Queens’ whenever you are ready…’. We came to front stops. Two strokes and into a rolling start. We started the race with a long and steady pace, holding back slightly, aware of the 4.3km that lay ahead. We weaved in and out of the corners in town and under the Green Dragon Bridge. Beth cornered nice and tight around Chesterton and delivered the ‘gear change’ call. This marked the end of the first section.
 
Up two on the rate, more pressure in the water. A real shift was felt in the boat. A long stretch of water lay ahead and the crew was determined to make the most of it. Best of all, Newnham W1 ahead of us were only 5 boat-lengths away. With a new goal in sight, we placed our blades into the water and drew them into our chests with intent. Along the Long Reach, we chipped away at the distance that separated us from the crew in front making sure to stay strong with our posture and efficient with our rowing. Beth went through the pairs, asking for strong catches from the bows, a real shunting feeling from the middle four and a sustained rhythm from the stern. On all fronts, the crew executed whatever was called and the boat was flying through the water.
 
Ditton marked the end of the second section. By this point in the race, we weren’t thinking anymore, we were just pushing. We had gotten to two boat-lengths between us and Newnham, and had to take the corners slightly off the racing line to avoid a collision. Nonetheless, the girls mastered the corners, applying the right amount of lateral pressure into their riggers to stay on top of their platform. Rowing in the wake of the crew ahead of us, we feathered high and kept executing our racing plan. 20 bigs strokes got us through the gut.
 
Once the rudder was off, we knew that we had entered the last section of our racing plan. The end sequence. This is a section that we have been working on all term. Going up on the rate and power at the end of the race without losing the balance or technique has always been a challenge for us. We went up two. The power matched the increase in speed. Our blades were going in and out cleanly, only one boat-length away from the crew ahead of us. We came under the motorway bridge and Beth called for us to ‘sit up and go’. We shortened our strokes, and wound through the finish line, just half a boat-length off of Newnham.
 
We had finished in 17:11, 35 seconds off of the winning college crew and placing us 6th within the colleges. A result to be very proud of. A smashing end of a nearly perfect term of rowing, which has left the whole crew very excited about Lent.

M2 fairbairns

On the morning of the race, m2 (the meatheads) decided that every edge would be necessary to achieve their ultimate aim of crushing the opposition. So they initiated psychological warfare with all the boat with the misfortune of marshaling outside the Queens boat club. As we squatted in 8s, the fear in the souls of the boats floating helplessly past was palpable, the sweat falling off their brow made the water levels of the cam increase noticeably. With every cheery “good luck Bois, you’re gonna smash it!” and every “I wish I had your leggings! “, more damage was inflicted upon the opposition. The mantra of marginal gains also inspired mercurial 4 seat Stephen to shave his head, drastically increasing the drag of the boat and reducing his weight. As we all know, weight adjustment matters.

When it the clock finally tolled for m2, we glided up to the start, cheerfully wishing a good race on homerton m1. But that facade of friendliness melted away the second we knew the race was upon us. As the Marshall called us ready, a silence fell over the city, and eyes around the world tuned in to watch that tract of water outside the jesus boat club.

While it’s true we’ve had cleaner starts, the fallen leaves made the water soupy it felt like every rower in the boat crabbe at least a little bit off the start (Arian, our meatiest boi, definitely did). While the start wasnt clean, we quickly banded together demonstrating the legendary m2 spirit to get our heads in and zoom off and into the course.

Will had committed hours to tracking exactly where we would be at every minute of the race, calculating the landmark we would be zipping by, assuming our speed to be 276 metres per minute. And with every landmark we passed, our noisy 3-man would let us know “downing boat club, thats one seventeenth of the way Bois”. Or “here’s where I always crab, only 7.3 minutes to go”.

Our firey Cox Iona had spent the best part of the term enforcing silence and crushing chat in the boat, to the extent that all chat was forced underground. But during the race any rower with an opinion felt free to pipe up. That m2 spirit really is impossible to squash, with every stroke, a different voice was heard trying to push the boat to that next gear.

It seemed during the race that people gravitated to the boat, our bank party of the “so sweet” Hidde swelled to two on the reach when Rob appeared and grew once more on the plough reach when keen bean Fresher Kevin started to follow us. But at that point the lactic acid was swirling, I had fallen into a trance, the only thing that stayed clear was the nape of Cam’s neck and the yells of 3 man Will.

That was until we arrived at Grassy. A new wave of undying energy burned in my very soul, I sat tall (Lukas did too I’m assuming who knows), my blade found connection instantly and I drove my legs as though the race had just started, and I shunted with the might of a god. Around grassy the split fell, we took the sweetest of lines. Iona, who had sworn not to congratulate my ability to drive us round corners couldn’t help but marvel in the brilliance. Sensing my work done, I fell back into my trance until the race ended.

M2 this term took an unconventional approach, rowing exclusively in the afternoon. While the trope ‘you get used to the early mornings’ is not true for the neatheads, that rowing is a great way to make friends is still just as true.

M1 Fairbairns

Crew:

Cox – James Zimaras, S – Noah Milton, 7 – Marco Muttoni, 6 – Daniel Germon, 5 – Kit Gallagher, 4 – Alex Ander, 3 – Sam Amey, 2 – Alexander Miscampbell, B – Hugh Selway. Coach – Rob 

With last years split in mind, the crew was set on proving that ‘lightweight’ does not mean slow. After a cold start, we soon settled into our rhythm, cruising through town focussing on that low split and remembering the long row we had ahead. Tightly around Green Dragon bridge, the half way line was in sight. We picked up the power and sailed along the straight “‘to the bridge NOW!” James demands, and the split drops. As we come onto the reach, the crew feels the end is near, another push takes us away from the bridge. We notice that Trinity Hall M1 was approaching from behind, and are only spurred on by the chase. A new challenge – hold them off. Around ditton corner they gain a few feet, but a perfectly timed ‘rhythm reset’ relaxes the crew and we regain our lead, long and strong. Once on first post reach, with Trinity Hall right on our tail, James takes some slick lines to keep them at bay.

We glide through the finish, at a time of 15:36, 1m25s behind the first place crew. Well under the average speed from the year before. Though more time may have allowed a better time, this was certainly a race we can all be proud of. Bring on Lent.

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

CREW

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.

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’.