Update – June 2015

WIth Queen’s regatta finished it was off to the library for the rowers as they prepared to take their summer exams. However, the minds naturally began to drift toward the University Boat Race on the 6th June.

Eventually the big day arrived and it was a fantastic day of racing on the river Lagan. The men’s novice 8 stormed to a clear water victory, another brilliant performance from this hugely impressive crew. Controversy overshadowed a great novice women’s race where at collision at the Governor’s bridge resulted in an unfortunate disqualification for Queen’s. In the senior women’s race Queen’s faced a daunting task taking on the Trinity senior 8+; they threw everything at the classy Trinity crew but in the end they succumbed to a valiant defeat.

The afternoon was concluded with the race of the day, the men’s senior 8+. With Queen’s on the down station, the first bend gave Trinity a big lead, through the Ormeau bridge Queen’s began to claw back the deficit and when the crews reached the Governor’s bridge Trinity were ahead by a length. In the final 400m Queen’s wound up the rate and emptied the tank, and began to walk up the Trinity crew; but they ran out of water and when the buzzer sounded Trinity were ahead by a canvas. An enthralling race, and well done to Trinity for a well deserved victory.

This week both the men’s and Ladies’ clubs had their Annual General Meetings, in which the committees for the 2015-2016 seasons were elected. Jason Armstrong follows in his fathers footsteps in taking up the role of men’s captain; and Ellie Holmes will be the Ladies captain. Congratulations and good luck to them both.

QUBBC Executive Committee 2015-2016:

Captain – Jason Armstrong

Vice Captain – Mark McMullan

Hon. Secretary – Patrick Martin

Hon. Treasurer – David Roy

Novice Managers: Patrick Swaile & Alex Crowley

PR manager: Chris Rice

Fundraisers: Ross Williamson & Ryan Urquhart

Logistics Officer – James Durkan

Dinner Co-ordinator – Brian Murray

Regatta Co-ordinator – Mark McMullan

QUBLBC Executive Committee 2015-2016:

Captain – Ellie Holmes

Hon. Secretary – Gemma Canham

Hon. Treasurer – Charlotte McCausland

Novice Managers – Ellen Greene and Holli Burgon

PR manager – Alice Foynes

Fundraisers – Siofra Corr & Rebecca Davison

Logistics Officer – Rosanna McBrien

Social Secretaries – Ruth Taylor & Vicki Wallace

Last weekend then Men’s and Ladies intermediate squads made the journey down to the NRC for the final regatta before the national championships; Cork Regatta. Saturday saw the men’s intermediate four, the mens intermediate pair and the women’s club 2 8+ in action. The men’s four struggled in the tricky conditions in their heat, but qualified as the second fastest crew, giving them a central lane in the A final. They flew out of the blocks and lead the race from early on, however they were passed by UCD with 500m to go and were unable to claw back the defect and finished half a length down. They finished second in the intermediate category but also second overall as they beat the senior entries. A mistake with the times for the heats of the intermediate pairs races lead to a re-run of the heats in which the times were used to decide the winners. A fast row from the Queen’s pair saw them finish in 3rd place. The women’s club 2 8 put in a solid performance against fierce rivals commercial; they led the race from the front but we unable to hold on in the final 500m and finished in second place. A disappointing but promising result, the ladies will be training flat out with the aim of overturning the result at the national championships in just over two weeks time.

After being beaten on our own river by Trinity at the University Boat Race two weeks ago, on Sunday the men’s 8+ were pumped up and out for revenge, and that is exactly what they got. The strong tailwind meant that the Queen’s 8 flew down the course with the rate not once dropping below 40 strokes per minute. In the heat they stormed out to an early lead and continued to extend it, finishing the race two lengths ahead of the Trinity Intermediate 8+. They qualified as the fourth fastest crew in the division 1 8s, meaning they would line up alongside the fastest 8s in Ireland in the A final. They finished in fourth place behind the Trinity Senior 8, UCD, and NUIG Grainne Mhaol, comfortably winning the club 1 8. The crew clocked their fastest ever 2k at 5:54, only eight seconds behind the NUIG Grainne Mhaol composite 8 that have dominated Irish senior rowing for the last four years. An impressive and promising result for a crew containing five of last years novice 8. The women’s four claimed that elusive victory in the women’s club 2 category. After a strong start the Queen’s boat moved ahead of the field and lead from the front, but they couldn’t shake off the Cork crew; in an enthralling finish both crews wound it up and sprinted for the line, with the crews so close together the rowers did not know who had won. But the result was announced and Queen’s had won by just half a second.

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In other news, a huge congratulations to Chris Beck on being selected for the lightweight men’s four for the U23 World Championships that take place from 22nd-26th July. This a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work he has put in in the last few years at QUBBC. We wish him the best of luck with the preparation and we will keep you all posted about his races.

The next blog post will be the last of the season, a round up of the Irish Rowing Championships, so keep an eye out for that.

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