M13rd in M1 division in a total time of 13:25 W110th in W1 division in a total time of 17:18

Following a week of training camp on the Cam, the newly formed and selected Queens’ W1 took to the river for the first race of term – 2x2k bridge to bridge. With super sub Charlie Drury filling in for Mathilde at 5, we rowed up to the start and waited….and waited….and got colder. By the time we got to the start line we were cold, flustered and nervous and this set us up for an uncomfortable race. Hitting rate 32 off the start and settling to 28, we rowed over the course up to the Motorway Bridge with City of Cambridge in hot pursuit. Pushing them out through the corners we held them off all the way to the finish line thanks to gutsy pushes from the 8 rowers and some fantastic motivational calls from Anisha. After the spin, we all agreed that it hadn’t felt all that great. We hadn’t settled on a rhythm and had simply rowed the course. But we knew that the motivation and the determination was there and we were proud of our ability to push off the much faster crew behind. We went into the second leg in the knowledge that we knew we would ‘Never Give Up’

The second 2k felt much better. Rowing into a headwind and with a very fast flowing stream meant the row took longer but our start was firmer and the settle came much more easily. Tiredness set in at Grassy corner and we had to deploy the big guns to get around onto Plough Reach but we eventually managed it. Calling for three of our specially designed ‘test strokes’ we reset the pace onto the Reach and went for the final push. The wind was battling against our backs but the ‘surge’ calls from Anisha spurred the crew on. It was tough and tiring but we completed the two legs in an overall time of 17.18. It placed us 10th out of the W1s – a result that was solid but slightly disappointing. We knew it had been a shoddy race and was the kick up the rudder we needed to spur us on this term. Next stop…Bedford! Stroke – Abi Smitton (c) 7 – Claire Armstrong 6 – Becky Lawrence 5 – Charlie Drury 4 – Jemima Graham 3 – Elaina Davis 2 – Helena Wickham Bow – Rachel Salter Cox – Anisha Mistry