London Fours Head, 14th November 2010
Today 461 crews took to the river Thames to compete in the 2010 Fuller’s Head of the River. Queen’s had three crews entered, Men’s Elite Quad, Men’s Elite Coxed Four and the Women’s Elite Coxless Four. Weather conditions held up for the day’s racing, with crews only having to contend with light winds along 4 and ¼ mile stretch from Mortlake to Putney.
Queen’s Men’s Elite Quad started 10th in the order, in a fourteen boat category. Tideway Scullers led the order with Leander I and II chasing. Queen’s took off chasing Tideway Scullers II. This newly formed crew produced a staggering first row, pushing their way through the field to finish second in their category and fifth overall in a time of 18:30.02, just under 10 seconds behind the Elite4x- pennant winner’s Leander I (winning time of 18:20.88).
The Men’s Elite Coxed Four took off 49th in the start order, ninth in the thirteen strong field of Elite Coxed Fours. The crew were sandwiched between Cambridge III and IV. The crew overcame both Cambridge crews, using Cambridge IV to push off and eventually through Cambridge III. Along the 4 and ¼ mile stretch, the crew managed to supersede a further three crews finishing fifth in the field of thirteen in a time of 19:26.28, 58th overall. This put them 24 seconds behind the pennant winners, Molesey BC II, who won in a time of 19:02.15.
The Women’s Elite Coxless Four were last to row, starting 128th in the order, last in the group of nine boats in the category. After a gutsy row, the ladies gained two places to finish 7th in the nine boat category, in a time of 21:27.12. This put the crew just 30 seconds behind winners Oxford Brookes III, who finished in 20:56.5.
This was a promising start to Queen’s competitive season, with the crews making a great first impression. These performances provide the benchmark from which the senior squad will now build upon, for the forthcoming Irish domestic and wider British Head Season.
The Fresher crews competed in Bann HOR on Saturday, with the Fresher Ladies having the only outside competition in their Women’s Novice Eight category, in the shape of Carrick-on-Shannon. The Women’s Intermediate Coxed Four also raced in the first of two races, but finished second to Bann, who won by a 22 second margin on home water.
The Men’s Fresher Eight had a great maiden row, finishing the course ahead of two Masters Eights’ unadjusted times. This is always a good measure of a fresher crew’s potential and with this in mind they did well. However, the strong J18 eights sent a clear message of how much this crew must progress over the next year, before they can start to win races of their own. The two Women’s Fresher Eights rowed well to finish second and third in a three boat category, with a seasoned Carrick-on-Shannon Women’s Eight taking the win in the category. With their first races complete the new recruits must now knuckle down and focus on becoming ‘crews’, moving and thinking as one. An exciting season lies over the horizon if they can get this combination right.
This Friday is the Men’s Annual Dinner in Queen’s Lanyon Building. Tickets for the event are still available and can be purchased online. It is certain to be a fantastic night and we all look forward to the banter that comes with it. Bring spare pennies with you for the annual auction, with all proceeds going towards funding the club on its exploits during the 2010/2011 season. Hope to see you all there!