Novices are members of the boat club who are in their first term of rowing with Queens’, and who have never rowed before. They are coached by other students (Lower Boat Captains, or LBCs) from the college who have often started rowing in our novice system themselves. If you’re curious about rowing at Queens’, you can contact them at and

Novices can be students of any age or ability in college, so it is a brilliant opportunity for socialising between years. The novice year starts in October, when we have a ‘Boatie Squash’ where you can sign up, as well as ask any questions you might have. Novices get to attend a ‘tubbing’ session on the river, having a go in a very stable 2 person boat. You are then assigned to boats of 8 persons (along with a cox), whom with you will remain throughout Michaelmas. Usually novices train 2-3 times a week, depending on the ability of the boat.

Training is used to build novices up to participating in several races specific to new rowers. One of those novice races is our very own indoor competition, Queens’ Ergs. Hundreds of novice rowers from across the University race each other in a team relay of 500m sprints on rowing machines.