Erne Head 2009; Women's Head of the River Race

Queen's rowing eagerly awaited the weekend's racing, to get their first sample of the competition and to put their hard winter training into practice. The senior ladies headed off to London on Thursday to compete in the Women’s Head of the River Race 2009, along with coach Sean O’Kane. The men’s squad and the remaining ladies’ squad set off to Enniskillen for the 52nd Erne Head of the River Race, along with coach Mark Fangen-Hall.
The conditions in London were excellent for the women’s HORR and the event attracted a total of 291 womens crews. The ladies entered in the elite category and were placed 183rd in the start order. After a solid performance, Queen’s finished an impressive 38th overall in a time of 20min 17sec. This put them ahead of Dublin rivals Trinity College, who finished only 10 seconds behind in 48th place. This bodes well for an interesting university boat race in June.

Back in sunny Enniskilen, Queen’s men entered eights in the senior, intermediate and novice categories. The senior men won their category convincingly, passing both UCD and Trinity after the Killyhevlin straight, to finish in a time of 19min 15sec; 15 seconds ahead of the second placed NUIG/OC composite. The intermediate eight also topped their category after pulling away from NUIG, and finally passing UCD before the final bridge. They finished in a time of 20min 7sec, only 52 seconds behind the senior crew, proving they’ve gained boat-speed since Lagan Head. The novice men placed 3rd in a time of 21min 52sec, 11 seconds behind the winning DUBC novice eight and 2 seonds off Garda. This was a promising first competitive race, leaving room for improvement for a crew with great potential and good team spirit. UCD novices finished 4 seconds behind Queens, showing 15 seconds separating the main field. Once again, the mens novice category could prove extremely interesting.

The women’s novice eight A crew finished 2nd, 6 seconds behind UCD. This was a strong performance and a narrow loss considering the distance. The women’s novice eight B were unfortunate not to row, after suffering a mishap whilst launching. Despite this they cheered on their team mates in good spirit.

The next event for the men is HORR 2009 on March 21st, where Queen’s are aiming to better last years perfomances against the 420 competing crews. If weather permits, the event should hopefully be an excellent occasion as it was last year. All support, from rowers past and present is welcomed!

Women's HORR results
Erne HOR results
Irish Times excerpt