2013 – 2014
Officers: President Ingvild Gudim; Men’s Captain Sam Hutt; Women’s Captain Nicola Oldroyd
The Boat Club has had an extremely enjoyable year, the results not necessarily reflecting the enthusiasm and dedication of its members. With very few experienced oarsmen remaining in College it was pleasing to see a large number of both experienced and novice oarsmen among the freshers. Queen’s was able to enter only one men’s novice eight in Christ Church Regatta which progressed to the second round. The senior crew raced in the Isis Winter League head races and gave a good account of itself, beating crews placed much higher than itself in Torpids. Floods prevented rowing on the Isis for the last weeks of the Christmas vacation and almost all of Hilary Term, a result of which was the cancellation of Torpids. The senior crew did, however, manage to get some outings at Dorney Lake, the venue for the 2012 Olympic events.
The land training that had taken place over the winter months provided a basis for the two men’s crews entered into Summer Eights. The 1st VIII rowed strongly and, after narrowly missing a bump on all of the first three days, rowed over on all four days to maintain its position on the river. This is the best result since 2008 and it is hoped that it represents a turn around in the fortunes of the Queen’s 1st VIII. The 2nd VIII had a good chance of registering a bump on the first day but was denied by a division-stopping klaxon. Unfortunately, this opened up the path for the following crews and the 2nd VIII was bumped on the next three days. The prospects for 2015 are, however, good since there remains a nucleus of experienced and capable oarsmen in the College. The Boat Club is grateful to its coaches and to the waterman, Terry Baker, for their help this year.
With only one member of the previous year’s 1st VIII returning, the prospects for any great success were not good. However, the large number of novices keen enough to put in the effort required to gain a seat in the 1st VIII was very encouraging. The novices got off to a good start as they progressed to the final day of the Christ Church Regatta, the best result for several years. With a 1st VIII beginning to take shape at the end of Michaelmas Term, the weather from January to April put paid to the pre-term training programme, and crews could neither get onto the river nor, for some periods of time, make it to the boathouse gym because of the flooding, the one trip to Dorney being the only outing.
The cancellation of Torpids was a disappointment but at least presented an opportunity for the women’s crews to gain some experience before Eights. The 1st VIII contained five members who had less than two term’s experience but made huge improvements in the weeks up to Eights. Although technically sound by Eights Week the crew was one of the lightest on the river and found itself placed in front of four much heavier and more experienced crews. The 2nd VIII consisted entirely of novices and produced the fourteenth fastest time in the rowing-on races. However, it too had the misfortune to find itself drawn in front of two much faster crews.
Despite the poor results, this year has shown resurgence of enthusiasm in the Club. All its members have turned up to every training session and have been willing to work hard. As a consequence, the club spirit is high, both on and off the river and the large proportion of those remaining in College are proud to have represented the College this year and are ready to do so in 2014-15. This collective commitment and contribution is particularly epitomised by Naomi Bradshaw, who has been awarded the Jack Wooding Memorial Prize for the undergraduate who in his or her first-year made the greatest contribution to the Boat Club. Jack was a stalwart of the Boat Club (2003-2006) who met an early death in pursuit of his other sporting passion, climbing.