As Michaelmas draws to a close, the Queens’ women’s side are in the final stages of training before Fairbairns on the 1st December. The term got off to a promising start, with a large crop of returning seniors and some new schoolgirl rowers joining the ranks. The women’s side this year also has several girls trialling with CUW and CULRC, and looking ahead this will add some serious strength to the squad come Mays. Our new coach, Lisa Silk, has also been invaluable so far; her unparalleled knowledge of Cambridge rowing and firm but fair attitude have gone a long way in getting the best out of the girls this term.

We began the term in mixed crews to see who worked well in which combination; one such combination was put to the test in Autumn Head in early October, where we won the W2 category. Meanwhile, the W1 IV entered the University IVs as the definitive underdogs and ended up reaching the semi-finals, beating both Newnham W2 and Clare W1 and losing out to Downing in the semis by a measly 5 seconds. This was a considerable achievement given that QCBC women have never made it past the first round before, and it certainly spurred us on to train harder and keep up the good work.

After Uni IVs we settled into a 1st VIII and 2nd IV for the rest of term. W1’s first race as a full crew was at Winter Head on 18th November, in which we were the 6th fastest college. Our performances so far and the girls’ continued commitment and dedication to training means that I am confident we will do ourselves proud in Fairbairns next week!

Off the water, the QCBC social campaign is still going strong and is working wonders to bring the club together outside of training. We’ve had plenty of women’s side and whole club socials and are very much looking forward to the next one, an ice-skating, carol-singing, mulled wine-fuelled Christmas extravaganza (although we are proceeding with caution to prevent any skating injuries before Fairbairns!). We’ve also been getting to know some of our boathouse neighbours (discovering on a social that certain senior rowers didn’t realise that John’s and LMBC were in fact the same…) and are planning plenty of events next term to maintain QCBC as the most sociable society in Queens’.

Overall, the QCBC women have had a great term both on and off the water. We’ve worked hard and put the hours into our training, and I am truly impressed with the seemingly boundless enthusiasm and commitment shown by the squad so far. I’m sure that this will continue and deliver success for the girls both this term and for the rest of the year.

Georgie Holmes, Women’s Captain 2017-18