M1 By Mark Varley 1st Student College Division in 8.28

Queens’ M1 entered Winter Head having only had one week training together as a crew and was unsure what to expect for the race.  As always with Winter Head the marshalling was terrible and having spent 30 minutes sat in a queue to row down to the start where non-rowing related problems, rowing related problems and everything else under the sun was discussed we finally got moving.  The row down felt really switched on and powerful probably some of the best paddling done all term.

As we set off from rolling we built the boat speed up and went through the motorway flat out.  Down first post reach the rhythm didn’t quite feel right, the boat was probably over-rating and we just weren’t as set as we could be.  Out down the gut a call for suspension reset the crew into a solid rate 34 and the boat just started to move.  The lock on and send through was so much better and we started to move relative to the crews around us.

Coming onto the reach we were within one length of a Kings College London Boat and as Bronwyn called for the overtake and to take the seats off them the crew responded over taking comfortably down the reach really giving us the motivation when the legs were hurting.  This speed was carried through the railway bridge.  Into the finish the rate was called up and the crew responded smashing through the line at rate 36.

Results came out later in the day showing that we had won our division in a time of 8.28.  However Kings were 3 seconds faster but were entered into an invitational division instead due to having their coach in the boat.  As a crew we now have 2 weeks to try and close that gap and try and take Kings and Caius who did not race for the Fairbairns win. Stroke – Mark Varley (c) 7 – Tom Bury 6 – Matt Edmonson Jones 5 – Helge Dietert 4 – Matt Chipping 3 – Rob Emery 2 – Peter Mildon Bow – James Edgely Cox – Bronwyn Jones

W1 By Abi Smitton

8th Student College Division in 10.46

On a cold and what was looking to be a potentially wet Saturday morning, W1 made their way to the start line of the 2.6k race. With super sub Fiona Gillanders filling in at 4 for Malti, the crew showed their competition they meant business and paddled to the start in confident and aggressive fashion, startling an 8+ of schoolboy rowers with their speed on the reach.

After hanging around at the Motorway Bridge for what felt like an age we finally set off on the race course. The windy conditions of the day had meant we ended up marshalling practically at the start so had to immediately set off on our wind strokes. The start felt a little shaky as everyone tried to warm themselves up while also taking the rate up. Once we settled into our rhythm, however, we found that pushes and bursts into corners (expertly coxed by Anisha) proved to elicit really good responses in the boat. A particularly well timed ‘surge’ call on Plough Reach had the boat flying. During the second half of the race, we found Murray Edwards W1 coming up on our tails but we held our cool and pushed off them. Going under the Railway Bridge and into the home straight, any power that had been lost in the previous 500m was regained and a call for Queens’ had the boat speed pick up and the legs come hammering down.

All in all, it was a variable race. It could have gone a lot better but for a new and relatively inexperienced W1 crew we gave it our all and came out with a time of 10:46, 8th in Women’s Colleges and beating Magdalene, Selwyn, Peterhouse and others in the process. A special mention to Anisha, who coxed her first 1st boat and indeed Women’s race and to Rachel and Jemima who completed their first ever W1 race.

Onward and upward ladies!

Stroke – Abi Smitton (C) 7 – Claire Armstrong 6 –  JonesHelena Wickham 5 – Mathilde Spiess 4 – Fiona Gillanders 3 – Elaina Davis 2 – Jemima Graham Bow – Rachel Salter Cox – Anisha Mistry

M2 By Greg Steele 15th Student College Division in 9.09, (Second M2 Boat)

M2’s Winter Head 2012 got off to a slow start as we were held in a queue at the white bridge for at least half an hour!  However, some entertaining chat among the crew, and some games on her phone for Emily, passed the time well.  The row up was strong and we felt confident rowing past the many marshalling crews, before demonstrating an almost perfect tap turn for their wonder and amazement.

The first few strokes wound us up for the race, and we hit a nice rhythm at 29, which stayed pretty much constant throughout.  A really solid and chunky row brought us down to the reach, and some big pushes from Emily put a lot of pressure on the crews in front, distance on those behind.  The power feel good and rose as we came up to the line.  All in all, a really decent row from Queens’ M2, one that should give them a lot of pride and confidence coming into the bigger races ahead.  The result of second fastest College M2 backs this up, with 10 days now before Fairbairns to make up 20 seconds over 2.5k on Caius M2, our nemesis.  The next few outings will be looking for those small but significant changes every stroke that give us that extra inch and will hopefully take us to victory at the end of term. No-one likes to lose to Caius! Stroke – Alex Chappell 7 – Hamish Houston 6 – Jack Robinson 5 – Jack Amey 4 – Greg Steele 3 – Yang Xu 2 – Fernando Bravo Bow – Mike Hope Cox – Emily Baxter

Women’s W2 by Anna te-Water-Naude

7th Women’s IVs in 12.40

Despite the torrential rain, all of the women’s IV crew turned up bright and early on Saturday for Winter Head, our first proper race as a boat, and the first Cambridge race for two of us! The forecast of incessant drizzle thankfully proved incorrect, and, after worrying that we’d turned up at the wrong time - there were no other IVs to be seen - and not being able to find our race numbers, we rowed down to the start (just beyond the motorway bridge). After sitting around in the cold and chaos that was the start line, still seemingly surrounded only by VIIIs, we were given emergency race numbers and could begin the race! Chased by a quad scull, we gained on the coxed four ahead of us, almost overtaking them before being overtaken by the scull. Slightly disheartened, we persevered until the end, gaining on the four ahead of us again. We finished 7th in our event and 209th overall, with a time of 12.40. We rowed back tired but with a sense of achievement: the boat sits better after every outing, so we look forward to rowing better as we become more practiced!

Cox - Anoushka Amin Stroke – Kerri-Ann Edinburgh 3 – Becky Lawrence 2 - Anna te Water Naude Bow – Grace Wright (C)