Novices

Enniskillen Training Camp

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At the beginning of the Easter holidays, Queen's Rowing Novice men and women travelled to Enniskillen for an intensive training camp in preparation for regatta season.  

Over the course of the training camp we got the true Enniskillen experience with some beautiful and some not so beautiful weather! But nonetheless, Queen's Rowing powered through their training and made some serious gains on the water. 

With all that training, however, rest and recovery is vital...

Queen's Rowing would like to say a huge thank you to Enniskillen Royal Boat Club for hosting and allowing us access to their outstanding facilities. Queen's Rowing Novices are ready to dominate in Britain and Ireland this regatta season. Lets bring the goods back to Belfast! 

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BUCS HORR 2018 - Day 1 Round-Up

Ladies Novice 8+ A crew bringing home the Gold

Ladies Novice 8+ A crew bringing home the Gold

Success breeds success, so goes the old maxim. Never has this been truer than with the Queen's Novices at their first major event of the season. With a morning of good rowing and great results under their belts, with Men's 8+s taking Silver and Bronze, and the Ladies 4+ narrowly missing out on medal, the spirits within the club were sky high.

The afternoon saw the Ladies 8+s in action, as well as a Men's 4+. Having been achingly close to medalling in the morning, the Ladies crews went out determined to put in their best performances. And they certainly didn't disappoint.

Ewan Murray counted them out, and counted them all back in again.

Ewan Murray counted them out, and counted them all back in again.

The B crew moved well through the pack, looking strong right to the end to post an impressive time of 10.52, coming 5th overall out of 27 crews.

The A crew were able to put in a thundering performance, posting a truly fantastic time of 10.17 in very testing conditions, and taking the first Gold medals of the weekend for Queen's.

Keen to improve on their earlier medals, the Men's 4+ also rowed well in the rougher water, steaming down the course in 10.03 to take the second set of Gold medals for Queen's this weekend.

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All in all, a wonderful day's racing for the club and a raft of medals and great times for the Novices to show for all their dedication and graft over the long Winter months. The Novice squad is in rude health this year in terms of numbers, with retention maintaining high throughout the season. Today showed us that the squad is blessed with great ability and determination as well.

A fantastic day's rowing. Tomorrow sees the Senior crews competing and hopefully adding further to the medal pile. Updates will be posted on here throughout the day and results can be followed live on the BUCS HORR results page.

Also very best of luck to the 3 Queen's Rowers down at the NRC in Cork for Irish trials this weekend. Here's hoping the club's success this weekend is spread far and wide!

BUCS HORR - Day 1 Update

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Hello from BUCS Head! Novices were in action this morning with two Novice Men's 8+s and one Novice Ladies 4+ racing. With boats built nice and early, and the Tyne looking calm (relatively) there was just enough time for a pep talk and some nerves to build before launching.

First down the course were the Novice Men's A 8+, looking strong and efficient and posting an impressive time of 10.20. Not to be outdone the B 8+ steamed through the pack to post a fantastic time of 10.27. Putting the crews 2nd and 3rd respectively out of a field of 25 crews. A truly phenomenal achievement to have two 8+s on the podium at a BUCS event, when the standard of Novice rowing in the UK in recent years has got better year on year.

Then came the Ladies 4+ who rowed exceptionally well in a competitive field. Coming 4th and narrowly missing out on a medal by only 3 seconds. This sets them up fantastically well for this afternoon's Ladies 8+s, as the quest for more medals continues unabated!

Results can be watched live on the live results page or we'll have further updates on here after this afternoon's racing. 

 

Winter Sprints 2017

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Now an annual event, the Winter Sprints offer the Novices another chance to gain some valuable race experience. Having won it the last two years, the Novices were keen to renew the rivalry with Trinity and keep the trophy up North for another year.

The day itself provided near-perfect water conditions and as the crews took it in turns to make their way down to the start line at Belfast Boat Club, the results began to roll in. A crowd had amassed at the finish line near the Queen's pontoon and they were treated to a number of incredibly close races.

Overall, Trinity men put in a very strong performance to win their races 5-2, leaving it to the Queen's Ladies to win all but one of their races and ensure that Queen's came out top on the day. 

We'd like to extend our warmest thanks to DUBC and DULBC for making the journey up and for a great day's racing.

Men's Tub Champs 2017

On Sunday the 19th of November, the Novice men descended upon the boathouse to take part in the fêted and fabled Tub Champs. A first chance at silverware, but more importantly a chance to write themselves into history of this fine club. Names were taken, and entered into a hat. As pairs were drawn, and the races populated, a few favourite crews were apparent. And in true Tub Champs style, they all got knocked out in the first round.

Jack Lafferty tries his hand at Coxing for the first, and hopefully last, time.

Jack Lafferty tries his hand at Coxing for the first, and hopefully last, time.

In the end, after some questionable coxing, jettisoned riggers and uncooperative slides, the final was contested by the quiet and unassuming crews of Alex Hill and Keelan Logan vs Bailey Gribben and Ben Forrest.

Both crews rowed their best race of the day but with Ben setting a steady rhythm and Bailey providing the horsepower, they were able to take the final race right at the line, to become the 2017 Tub Champions.

2017 Tub Champions Bailey Gribben and Ben Forrest

2017 Tub Champions Bailey Gribben and Ben Forrest

Novice 1kms

A busy weekend for the Novice squad as they faced their first Erg test on Saturday morning. As part of the BUCS Indoors, the Novices undertook a 1km piece on the ergs. The stage was set up in the PEC and things kicked off at 9am with the first set of participants. With a thorough warm-up under the command of Ewan Murray and James Cooke complete, they were called to front-stops and after a moment of deafening silence, they were unleashed.

As the morning ran on, Women and Men alike posted strong scores, amid anguished faces and determined cries. Roared on by the rest of their squad, one by one they reached the end. With a mixture of relief and lactic acid, the atmosphere was buoyant. Not only were the scores strong but each Novice now had a marker for themselves to surpass in the near future.

 

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In the spirit of inclusion, the coxes also joined in to cap off a morning of graft, taking part in their own 500m competition. Experience proved decisive as Ed Wilson came out narrowly on top.

Lisle Halkett left nothing in the tank

Lisle Halkett left nothing in the tank

Congratulations go to Jayne Mulhall and Lisle Halkett for coming top on the day with times of 3.40 and 3.06 respectively. Also congratulations to Kathryn Spinks-Dear, who was unable to take part on the day but subsequently pulled a fantastic time of 3.38, coming top of the Ladies squad overall.

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We'd also like to take the opportunity to wish Novice Coach Niall Moore well as he undertakes his placement at PCEA Hospital, Kikuyu, Kenya. We eagerly await his return to the fold.

November Update

As we continue through the winter months, the days have been getting shorter as the training gets harder. We hope this reaches you well, and would like to give you an update on what we have and will be getting up to at Queens Rowing.

The weekend of the 4th November, Queens sent 4 athletes to the GB Rowing Trials 1st Assessment in Boston, Lincolnshire. The trial consisted of a 2k erg and if successful, a 5k water trial. Sam Mckeown in the Mens Open category pulled an outstanding 5.55.8 to come 10th out of 149 entries. He then finished 15th on the water. Fiona Bell in the Women’s Open category stormed to a PB with a time of 6.58.1 finishing 16th out of 98 entries and then 14th on the water. Miles Taylor in the Men’s Lightweight category also achieved a personal best time of 6.26.3, finishing 17th out of 48 and later 12th on the water.

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The following weekend saw us unable to compete at Bann Head. The senior squads continued training as normal, but with our novices determined not to miss out on any racing activity, a mini-head was held, with write up to follow this post.

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This past weekend, Queens Rowing took part in the BUCS Indoor Rowing Championships. The championships included a 1K for our beginner men and women and a 2k for our senior athletes. Everyone pushed themselves to fantastic performances, with PB’s for the majority of our athletes. We await the official results of this event, but hope to see Queens athletes high up on the leader boards. Our goal is to carry on from our successful past season, keeping the Queen’s name out there to be talked about as a high performing university.

The years remaining events are the Queens Vs Trinity Novice sprints to be held on the 9th December, the annual dinners as well as the Lagan Festive Head on the 16th of December. We will let you know more about these events and the results of the BUCS Indoor Rowing Championships in due course.

Novice Mini-Head

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Unable to compete at Bann Head, the Novices had their own Mini-Head on the Lagan. Training hard over the last few months, they were keen to finally cut their teeth with a first race on the water. Conditions were kind, with little wind and a forgiving current, the stage was set for a little bit of inter-squad competition, giving context to all they had learnt thus far and offering the Novice coxes a chance to take charge.

Ed Wilson briefs the coxes

Ed Wilson briefs the coxes

Marshalled at the Waterfront and set off at ten second intervals, the crews embarked on a 3km slog down the river. Driven on by the coxes and fighting off pursuing boats, through gritted teeth the crews battled down the river.

Despite the occasional crab, all crews rowed well under pressure, maintained their composure and  made their way down the river in good time. With their first race under their belts, focus now turns to the BUCS Indoor 1kms on 18th November with the Men's Tub Champs following on Sunday 19th November.

 

 

Novice Taster Sessions 2017

Queen's Rowing Novice Taster Sessions 2017

Having gathered a hefty list of prospective oarsmen and women, the next priority was to put on great taster sessions to give them a first taste of rowing and get them hooked. Given the bigger than expected turnout, extra sessions were planned, with a carefully planned pipeline of tour of a boat, stretching, demonstration on ergs followed by a coached session on the water. 

With all members of the club chipping in and manning the stations (or boats), the gates swung open in anticipation of swarms of fresh-faced newcomers. Conditions were kind to us. The water was calm, wind was light and skies were blue. 

As attendees began to arrive and feed into the pipeline, crews were formed and Novices were sent on their maiden paddles. Averting any disasters and with plenty of enthusiasm from coaches and Novices alike, the day was a complete success. Bringing boats back in at the slip and being met with broad smiles and sweat-streamed brows was immensely satisfying.

After weeks of planning and effort, worry and panic, recruitment was officially a success. In the subsequent sessions, attendance has remained much higher than in recent years, giving us both the numbers and talent to begin forging strong competitive crews for the season ahead.  

Novice Recruitment 2017

Queen's Rowing Recruitment Lanyon Building QUB - September 2017

As a new season dawns, the focus of both clubs turned to Novice recruitment. Novice rowing has long been the lifeblood of Queen's Rowing and we set about recruiting a new intake with renewed vigour, keen to build upon last year's Novice successes.

Fresher's Week began and arrived at the Lanyon Building, with boat, blades and trestles in tow. From there we spread out all over campus, seeking out enthusiastic people keen to try something new, something brilliant. Interest was strong among the fresh faced new students.  As the week went on the weather began to conspire against us but with an ever-swelling list of interested recruits we retreated to the boathouse to make plans for the Fresher's Fair.

A more targeted event, with a captive audience, the Fresher's Fair is an essential day in the recruitment stage of the season. With all Clubs and Societies on display, it's an opportunity to present Queen's Rowing as the professional and prestigious outfit it is known to be. With medals, trophies and our promo video on display, and this time protected from the elements, we once again descended upon the Fair in numbers.

As the day the progressed, the sign-up sheet grew longer, and as the crowds peaked we averaged one new recruit every minute. This was a fantastic display of both clubs at their very best, with never fewer than 20 members espousing with genuine affection and enthusiasm the virtues of not only rowing but of Queen's Rowing itself. In doing so we were able to more than double our number of signups in one day alone, a fantastic achievement and hopefully a good omen for the season to come. 

Exhausted but content with another successful recruitment drive, we packed up our stall and began to make plans for the first taster sessions. With more recruits than we dared to hope for, the emphasis now shifted to giving them a first taste of Queen's Rowing and giving them a great start to their rowing careers.