After many mornings in the cold and a strong effort indoors at QErgs the women’s novices were eager to finally race on the water. The row to the start was a focused one - the excitement to finally show their progress was apparent. The NW1 boat (nicknamed the Gummy Bears) lined up at the start next to Caius NW1. The start was an even one, with Caius coming out slightly ahead only to move into the bank and be forced to a stop. Queens’ pushed away ahead to show their speed even without a competitor near to push them, but then a cross-wind hit and they too were forced to restart as they hit the bank. Caius were now a length ahead with half the race to go, and so Queen’s did a massive push on long strokes to regain the lead and came up next to them. Both crews were getting tired and pushed to their limits by being neck and neck with the competition. In the last 200m, the race was excruciatingly close, neither crew keeping the lead for more than a couple of strokes. In a brilliant call from cox Ellesheva Kissin, Queens’ gave their all in the last strokes to push ahead and won by half a foot!
Their second race was against Clare NW1, and here too the start was even. Queens’ pushed ahead by a canvas as they lengthened out and settled into a solid rythm, keeping Clare there for 300m. The crews drifted together closely and as their blades interlocked in the headwind a couple of crabs occurred in both boats, causing the boats to turn towards each other. Clare came out ahead as they faced towards the right side of a bend in the river and could thus restart fairly swiftly. Queens’ took up the chase and gained significantly but ultimately had too much to gain and too little river left. They lost by a length and a half in the end, but were happy with their first race day and looking forward to another regatta, Clare Novices, next weekend.