Captains Addresses 2017/18

Queen's Rowing Captains Paddy Holden and Vikki Wallace

Paddy Holden - QUBBC Captain

Welcome to Queen’s University Belfast Boat Club, a club where student aims and objectives take priority. I will take this opportunity to introduce myself, Patrick Holden, Captain of QUBBC for the 2017/18 season. After a summary of my background in Queen’s Rowing I wish to share some of the core aims that the club is working towards throughout the season ahead.

  My responsibilities at QUBBC have progressed from Novice, to Novice Manager and now onto Captain. Of course, novice year was spent feeling untouchable, winning medals and cups at Irish University Championships, Skibbereen regatta, Queen’s regatta and British University Championship’s. Stepping up to intermediate level, reality set in that victories were harder to come by. After a shaky start to the season, a new hope in the form of Trevor McKnight arrived in December, which, in turn, directly improved the structure and positivity of the squad. Against every odd, we pipped Oxford University on the line to take home the bronze medal in the light weight Championship 8+ at BUCS regatta.

 Parallel to my experience as a rower was the ever-rewarding job of novice manager alongside (now Vice-Captain) Tom Drummond. Watching the men clean sweep Britain and Ireland in the 8+, and become the most successful novice squad ever at Queen’s topped the year off in fanatic style. Thanks to our Novice coaches Jason Greenwood, Ewan Murray, Paddy Doc, James Cook and Mark McMullan, the club can continue to strengthen and build these novice rowers into the senior squad. 

 One of the leading aims of the men’s club is to field the fastest 8+ that it can produce throughout the year. Although still performing in lightweight rowing, a focus on open weight boats (especially in Ireland) is the way forward for the club. The 2017/18 season will see the Senior Queen’s 8+ grow, develop and perform by competing at those prestigious Head and regatta races such as British Championships, BUCS Head, Eights’ Head, Irish University Championships, BUCS regatta, London Met, Henley Royal and Irish Championships.

Queen’s rowing is experiencing a movement. A movement among those who run the club- our student athletes. Off the water, it is our goal to maintain and strengthen our position as a representative student society. It is our committee, our constitution and our community that is a reminder of our importance and authority. My aim as Captain of the Men’s Club is to prioritise the goals and objectives of the students and to help fulfil the sporting goals we set out to achieve as one squad. We are the life blood of the sport who will continue to exercise our responsibilities and authority to do so. This, a precedent that has been set since the creation of the Boat Club in 1931.

It is our alumni club who unquestionably support the student aims and objectives as well as provide continuity for each year’s committee. For this, I would like to thank Lady Victoria Boat Club on behalf of everyone at Queen’s Rowing. The background help and support is essential for the running of QUBBC. As part of our responsibility as student athletes who run the club, we will continue to educate oarsmen on the role of Lady Vic to develop relations between club and alumni.

The 2017/18 season is already reaching goals set out during the summer. Our brand-new sponsorship deal with FinTrU, Thanks to past novice rower, Ronan Savage, is a great example of the club’s early success. Headed by Darragh McCarthy, FinTrU are a rapidly expanding and professional financial services company who have agreed to support Queen’s Rowing with trailer transport to regattas. Thanks to FinTrU, the club will be able to perform at more regattas further afield, which will undoubtedly aid our future success on the water.

Thanks to our new and improved PR system you will be able to keep up to date more frequently on Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Don’t miss out as we embark on an ambitious season on and off the water.

Paddy Holden                                                                                                      QUBBC Captain

Vikki Wallace - QUBLBC Captain

Hello, my name is Vikki Wallace.  I started rowing 4 years ago as a first year student, studying Mathematics and Computer Science.  Despite having no experience in the boat and being “vertically challenged” as some would say, I figured “why not” give it a go.  However, I don’t think anybody could have imagined I’d be entering the 2017/18 season as Captain of QUBLBC (and what a privilege it is). 

The club has become a huge part of my life over the past four years for many reasons. The obvious one, of course, is the training.  I have seen myself evolve from a student enjoying a couple of taster sessions a week whilst revelling in the hedonistic student life to one whose 6 a.m. alarm is set daily, who devotes themselves to 12 training sessions per week and rarely leaves the boathouse.  The not-so-obvious reason, and often one they leave out when they urge you to sign up at the fresher’s fair, is the relationship you form with the sport and the people around you.  Those painfully cold winter mornings on the river and countless kilometers on the erg in the tropical heat of the PEC is much more bearable when spirited by the infectious laughs of your crew members.  These girls have become like family to me; such friendships are hard to come by.  The endless amount of support Lady Victoria provides has largely contributed to the success of our club and the team morale, which we at QUBLBC are hugely grateful for.  Not forgetting the coaches, in particular, Trevor McKnight, Julie Lynch and Stuart Kelly who have had to put up with my complaints, tears and ultimately, faff.  These people have made the club a home, and my aim as captain is to give back what this club has given to me.

So, this year, we are going to come back bigger, better and fight harder.  Following the fresher’s fair and recruitment, we are excited by the huge number of students who seem massively interested in the sport; and have already shown true potential on the water.  I’m certain that with the coaching and support of our experienced team of novice coaches, including Andy Wells, Ewan Murray and Stuart Kelly, this year promises to be an exciting one for the novice squad.  The Intermediate women have entered the new season fast and furiously with a series of erg tests, 14k time trials and those routine 6:30 starts.  We intend on returning to some of our favourite Head races and Regattas, including: Bann, Lagan, BUCs Head, Erne, Irish University Championships, BUCs regatta, Queen’s Boat race and Irish Championships.  We also intend to compete at Women’s Eight Head of River, Women’s Henley and London Met Regatta.  With ample ambition and drive fuelling our desire to succeed, I’m confident we will come back from each event triumphant.

Finally, I’d like to welcome our new sponsors for the year, FinTrU ltd, to the team!  We introduced them to the club in style by showing them the ropes of the river before challenging them to some very competitive side-by-side racing! They certainly brought “passion, partnership, people and professionalism” to the river; we hope to bring the same values to our club this year.

Vikki Wallace                                                                                                     QUBLBC Captain