On Friday 21st February, 5 Queens’ boats raced in the Lent Bumps Getting On Race. We were very proud to be the club with the most boats entered for Lents (5 men’s, 4 women’s). The competition was tough, with 33 men’s boats vying to fill the 16 available spots, and 32 women’s boats competing for 16 spots too. Fortunately the quality of the squads shone through, and we retained the crown of Biggest Club of the Cam with the most boats to get on to Lent Bumps… read on to find out how many! Queens’ are keen to prove that quantity is no substitute for quality over the coming 5 days of racing.
M3 was the first Queens’ boat off and spirits were running high after a string of promising performances at Winter H2H and Newnham Head. Throwing in some solid pause paddling in the run up to the start, M3 was more concerned about maximising the gap to the boat ahead of them than the upcoming race. M3 quickly proved that this confidence was not misplaced with a fast yet clean start that soon turned into a good technical row despite the windy conditions. Some nice lines around Grassy & Ditton meant that M3 were well placed to execute an overtake down the Long Reach in the closing stages of the race. Comfortably getting on, M3 is looking to continue their march up the third division and is hoping to obtain the converted title of highest M3 on the river.
MGrad was off next but the conditions had worsened dramatically. Following some last-minute tips on the row up and a rousing speech from their LBC, the graduate boat was pumped up and ready to go. A strong start and a nice line round Grassy meant that things were looking promising coming round Ditton. Unfortunately, the strong winds knocked MGrad out of their rhythm as they battled the elements down the Reach, which sadly meant that MGrad did not get on.
MUndergrad were looking to replicate their good performance at Newnham Head and despite the headwind, the boys went off at a speedy (if albeit unsustainable) rate 34. A few hiccups notwithstanding, MUndergrad made the most of the sheltered sections of the course and were close to M3’s time going past The Plough. Coming onto the Reach, MUndergrad showed grit that belied their short rowing careers as they stormed within two lengths of King’s M2 and looked utterly shattered as they crossed the finish line. Luckily this determination was rewarded with a spot in the Lent Bumps and earned them the official title of Queens’ M4.
Despite the need for a last minute sub, W3 looked solid and quietly confident as they marshalled in slightly wild winds down by the Lock, going off last of the division. A pacey start had the girls settling into a strong rate 34 down First-Post Reach. Some beautiful corners through the Gut had Pembroke W3 in their sights. A powerful push down Plough Reach, followed by a call to “sit up!” into a ferocious head wind down the Reach, W3 showed fierce determination to complete a full overtake on Pembroke and power through to the finish. Thanks to this gutsy row W3 retake up their place for Lent Bumps this week - having beaten several W3s and even a significant number of W2s. They start at the bottom of the W3 division - exciting things in store!
It is a true credit to the depth of strength and dedication in the club that W4 managed not only to complete the 12 outings needed to do the GOR, but also how strong they looked. As one of only three W4s to compete in the GOR they faced stiff competition from many W2 and W3 crews also competing. They set a strong pace off the start, moving beautifully together at a gutsy rate 30 in to the wind. Some anxiety-inducingly tight corners from the cox had them swiftly through the Gut and moving into a strong rhythm down the Reach. They left Pembroke W4 far behind as they pushed strongly to the finish. Unfortunately they weren’t quite fast enough to get on, but it was a row to be proud of and bodes well for the Mays with another’s term’s training!