Firstly, Queen’s Rowing wishes a Happy New Year to everyone and that you have all had safe and enjoyable holidays over the festive period!
Annual Club Dinners
The Queen’s Rowing Annual Club Dinners have always been well looked forward to as one of the most well attended and enjoyable rowing occasions of the season and this year proved no exception for either the Lady’s or Men’s club.
Friday night, December 7th was the night of the Men’s Dinner with the former coach for the Queen’s Senior Eight who won the Irish National Championship Senior Eight title in 1962, James ‘Dusty’ Anderson, in attendance as the keynote speaker for the evening. A member of that 1962 championship winning crew, David Porteous was also in attendance for the evening and said a few words prior to James’ speech.
Former Queen’s Rower and Queen’s Novice coach for the Novice Irish National Championship winning Eight for last season, Marc Butler, received the prestigious ‘Donal Murphy’ award for his achievements in balancing his efforts at his academic pursuits and his dedication to rowing for Queen’s for six seasons throughout his studies at Queen’s. Some of Marc’s previous rowing achievements include winning the Men’s Senior Eight ‘A’ Final at the British University Championships in Nottingham in the 2009/2010 season, as well as representing Ireland in the Irish University Crew which achieved the Bronze medal at the World University Rowing Championships in Szeged, Hungary during the summer of that same season.
Both Queen’s rowing and Lady Victoria made a fond farewell to David Storrs, who announced his official ‘stepping down’ from his role of Club Captain for Lady Victoria Alumni Club at the dinner. David has done a fantastic job as Lady Victoria Captain and has played a crucial role in the development of Queen’s rowing and all its landmark successes in recent years. A massive ‘Thank You’ for all your hard work from Queen’s Rowing, David!
The role of club Captain for Lady Victoria will be taken by Maurice Warnock, with whom Queen’s Rowing and the club committees look forward to working with.
Queen’s Rowing Men’s Club captain Andrew Little also made the traditional captains speech to much applause and former Queen’s rower and current Novice Coach Steven Lockwood presented the Novice of the Year award to Joshua Holmes.
The Milne Barbour Challenge Cup was also formally presented to this year’s ‘Tub Champs’ winners, who were Jason Armstrong and Marty McCann and their cox was Stacey McGaughey.
The Ladies Dinner took place the following evening, on Saturday, December 8th, with Zoe de Toledo, Cox for the Oxford Boat at this year’s Annual Oxford Cambridge boat race, in attendance as the keynote speaker.
The Novice of the Year presentation was made by former Queen’s Rower and current Coach Julie Lynch and given to Jill Thornton.
Ladies Club Captain Rebecca McGookin made her Captain’s Speech and the Novice managers for the Ladies club all said some words of commendation to the Novice Girls for all their efforts up to this point of the season. They also presented the Millne Barbour Cup to the ‘Tub Champs’ winners for the Ladies club for 2012, Zara Morgan and Rebecca Edwards and their cox, current Queen’s Rower Katy Fair.
Lagan Festive Head of the River 2012
On Saturday, December 15th, santa hats and reindeer outfits were seen in droves around the Lagan as Queen’s produced an armada of festive crews to compete in the annual Lagan Festive Head of the River.
Due to high tides, the river weir had to be shut and so the course was shortened, making the new start-line the Albert Bridge and the new total length of the race for this year 2700m.
The standout performances came from the Men’s Novice Eight ‘A’ crew, coxed by Harry Rhys Davies, who finished in 6th place with a time of 11:23.7, the Men’s Novice Eight ‘B’ crew, coxed by Stacey McGaughey, placed 21st, to finish with a time of 12:16.1. More standout performances continued with the ever impressive Novice Ladies placing 25th with their Novice Eight ‘A’ crew, with a time of 12:46.6, coxed by Ellen Thompson and their ‘B’ Novice Eight crew placed 42nd with a time of 13:55.2, coxed by Catherine Campbell.
A further commendation is due to the Women’s Novice Eight ‘A’ crew, who won the prize of ‘Best Dressed Crew 2012’ of the Head- well done girls!
Single scullers Donald Evans and Kevin Coughlan also gave great performances, with Donald finishing 19th with a time of 11:23.7 and Kevin finishing 23rd at 12:37.1.
Donald has been doing particularly well thus far this season, with being the fastest lightweight at GB November trials at Boston and now more recently having been invited to train with the GB squad in Caversham in December.
The Queen’s Senior coxless four disappointingly placed second overall in the race, as they had an unfortunate collision with the Coleraine- Inst. Junior 18 eight at the Ormeau Bridge, costing them to lose to the schoolboys by 7 seconds, with the Queen’s boys finishing with a time of 10:31.2 and Coleraine Inst. with the winning time of 10.24.4.
The Women’s Intermediate Quad finished 46th overall with a time of 14:13.1 and the Women’s Novice Eight ‘C’ crew finished 54th with a time of 14:59.0.
The overall race and after event was a success, with novice managers and Queen’s Committee members organizing the traditional club ‘Secret Santa’ as well as mince pies and mulled wine being kindly provided by volunteers.
A massive thank you as per usual is due to all coaches and volunteers who helped to organize the day. Well done to all Queen’s Rowers!
Newcastle Match Racing
Head Coach Mick Desmond and head Ladies coach Julie Lynch travelled over with the Lady’s 1st Eight and the Men’s 2nd Eight to Newcastle Upon Tyne for the first ‘Match Racing’ weekend of the 2012/2013 rowing season. These ‘Match Races’ are a series of weekends racing, where the top eight rowing universities within the UK compete against each other in a series of races. Newcastle University Boat Club was hosting the visiting the Queen’s crews, with three University clubs in total competing against each other on the Tyne river for this first Match Race; Durham, Newcastle and Queen’s.
Due to illnesses and injuries among many within the Queen’s Senior Men’s squad, unfortunately they were unable to form an eight for this Match Racing weekend event, but will be racing in the Match Races to come.
The race on Saturday, December 15th, was a 5km race, with the Queen’s Men’s Eight entering as a lightweight eight and finishing fifth among the six men’s crews with a time of 16:19.3, beating the Newcastle 3rd eight by 45 seconds, finishing 17 seconds behind the Durham 2nd eight and 41 seconds behind the Newcastle 2nd eight.
The Queen’s Lady’s eight finished third among the four Ladies crews on Saturday, with a time of 18:58.9, four seconds behind the Newcastle 1st Ladies Eight and 54 seconds behind the Durham 1st Ladies eight. They beat the Newcastle 2nd Ladies Eight by 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
On the Sunday, there were two 1500m races, with the Newcastle Men’s 3rd Eight dropping out of these sets of races. Both Queen’s crews finished last place in both races but only by small margins. Exact times are only available for the 5km race at present but further results will be made available online in time.
Both Head Coaches were happy with the two crews’ performances and all rowers involved found the weekend to be a good learning experience as well as providing a solid idea of the standard of the some of the main crews in England at this stage of the Rowing Season.
The visiting Queen’s crews got on amicably with their hosts off the water during the post race presentation and lunch held at Durham Boatclub on Sunday and showed their appreciation to both Durham and Newcastle club members.
On a final note, good luck to all Queen’s Rowers in their January exams. See you all on the Lagan soon!
My father, Sam Anderson, my uncle, James ‘Dusty’ Anderson and my godfather, Donal ‘Spud’ Murphy would be proud of this article. I enjoyed reading it very much.