Just before examinations, Queen’s headed off to Nottingham to compete in BUCS Rowing Regatta 2009. 62 universities competed in 230 races over three days. Queens brought the whole contingent of men and ladies’ squads to seize the great racing opportunity this regatta provides.
On Saturday it was the turn of the men’s Championship VIII, intermediate quad, novice IVs and intermediate sculls (Howell). The men’s intermediate scull got underway first with Howell winning his heat and qualifying for the final. William Howell then put in a relentless row to win gold by 2.49 seconds, over a 2nd placed Durham sculler. Congratulations to Will who seems to have ignited a competitive streak since narrowly missing out in last week’s Irish equivalent. The championship VIII progressed through their heat and semi-final comfortably, coming second on both occasions to Cambridge and Brookes respectively. In the final Cambridge led from the outset with Queen’s, Brookes and Durham left fighting it out. Brookes then pulled away leaving Queen’s and Durham battling. In lanes 2 and 6, both crews went for home with Durham winning on the surge by a margin of 0.14 seconds. Unfortunately the guys narrowly missed bronze spot, but pushing Durham to the line was a mark of the standard to which they rowed, as both crews had gained overlap on Brookes crossing the line. The all-fresher ladies VIII blew away opposition in their heat to progress to the semi-final, were they finished a tight 2nd (0.93s) to reach the final. The ladies managed fourth in the final, pushing Manchester into fifth spot.
On Sunday, the men’s intermediate IV and novice VIII competed. The men’s intermediate IV progressed to their final and finished an impressive 3rd overall, getting the bronze medal for Queen’s. The men’s novice VIII rowed well in their heat and semi to progress to the final. In the final they managed to better their intermediate team-mates, rowing an incredible race. The lads pulled away and never looked back extending their margin each stroke. By the finish they had gained clear-water on the field winning them the gold. Congratulations must be paid to lads for their performance and robustness, after a last minute switch-up in the crew.
On Monday the bad weather meant most finals were drawn through fastest crews in the heats. The men’s championship 4- got to the final but only managed 5th position to strong opposition. The lightweight pair of Black and Hannon got to the final with the fastest qualifying time of the day. In the final conditions worsened with a strong crosswinds. On the starter’s ‘GO’ Queens were off-set veering them out of lane within a few strokes. The pair then had to chase the race after stopping to avoid disqualification, managing fourth much to their dismay. The inter VIII qualified for the final finishing fourth overall closely behind Durham. The success of the day, came in the shape of the women’s intermediate VIII who finished second in their final to Brookes. This earned the girls silver and concluded Queen’s BUCS expedition.
BUCS proved a mixed bag of success and near misses. However, Queen’s rowing has undoubtedly grown in strength over this last year hauling two golds (novice VIII and inter1x) a silver (women’s inter VIII) and a bronze (men’s inter IV) at BUCS. This regatta has given invaluable experience of the 2k course, which Queen’s rowing aims to put to good use in Dublin Metrpolitan Regatta (June 7th) and the University Boat Race (June 13th).