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.

Men’s Term Report

The men’s side has a strong base this year with two full eights. However we have learnt that coxes during the colder months are a rare commodity with some rowers having to take to the rudder (with varying degrees of success!). President Chivers proved that he deserves his name on the new honours board, stroking M2 to victory at Winter Head, winning the student M2 category. We have strong hopes for M2 for Fairbairns – good luck boys!

M1 had a rocky start to term, but gained over 20 seconds against other colleges in Winter Head compared to Autumn Head. This is in part due to cox Jayna Patel running ruthless core sessions while barking orders and wielding a large stick. The crew has also benefited from strong technical oversight and encouragement from coaches Rob Jeffrey and Chris Clark.

After Autumn Head, a new squad based training system was used where up and coming rowers got the opportunity to row with more senior members. This had huge advantages to consolidate the squad rowing style, improve cohesion and bonding as well as vastly improve individual technique. This has paid off for both boats in Winter Head and we hope to see the returns for the rest of the year.

Peter Stevens

QCBC Men’s Captain 2017/18

Fireworks 2017

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.


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!

Start of Michaelmas, Women’s Report

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!

Georgie Holmes, QCBC Women’s Captain 2017-18

Start of Michaelmas

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.

2017-18 Committee

We proudly announce the committee for the coming year, as elected at the AGM:

President – Callum Chivers
Men’s Captain – Peter Stevens
Women’s Captain – Georgie Holmes
Coxes’ Captain – Jayna Patel
Men’s Lower Boat Captains (LBCs) – Will Robinson, Lex Van Der Stoep and Noah Milton
Women’s Lower Boat Captains (LBCs) – Lea Gansser-Potts, Billie Meadowcroft and Ulrika Andersson
Treasurer – Hidde Boekema
Secretary – Charlotte Harrop
QErgs Presidents – Charlotte Harrop and Ulrika Andersson
Social Secretary – Jonathan Heywood
Webmaster – Tamara Norman
Alumni Secretary – Dan Lafferty

Thank you to the leaving committee for all the hard work they’ve put in over the last year!

Dover Boys’ Grammar School Visit

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!

May Bumps 2017 – M2 Day 2


Queens’ M2. Photo by Giorgio Divitini.
First race

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!

Second Race:

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.