Following a short summer break, Queen's rowing began preparation for the 2009/2010 season. Both clubs had a good uptake of fresher rowers, providing the club with its biggest field of athletes in recent years. This year we have been fortunate to attract various experienced rowers from other clubs, who have since become great assets to Queen's rowing.
The men and ladies' dinners both took place in December in the Great Hall of the Lanyon Building. The men's club was honoured to have guest speaker Martin McElroy (Performance Director, Rowing Ireland) attend and deliver a great motivational speech. Likewise the ladies were honoured to have Karen Cromie (GB Adaptive Rowing Team) deliver an inspirational speech.
Six Queen's men attended the Rowing Ireland trials on December 12 and 13 in Newry. After the 2k erg and 5k scull, two Queen's heavy-weights (Eoin MacDomhnaill and Colin Williamson) and one lightweight (Jonathan Mitchell) received call-backs for 5k testing in February (13-14, Newry Canal). The following weekend (December 19th) Queen's took part in the Festive mini-Head. The event was held over the Lagan HOR race course. The two Queen's senior men's crews finished first and second place, with both breaking the course record. Just over 10 seconds separated the two. The men's novice eight completed their maiden race, putting in a strong first performance. The women's novice eight impressed, beating local veterans in their maiden race. This was the departing event before Christmas and the tough exam period.
As Queen's approach the end of the exam period, the focus shifts back to rowing and the fast approaching head races. With a hard winter's training in place to date, this will hopefully provide the athletes with the aerobic base on which to build upon, so each race can be relished in the face of competition.