January has been a busy start to the rowing year as both clubs took part in our Winter Training Camp on the Lagan. We trained three times a day, from Monday to Friday, and individually clocked up over 200km each. The clubs mixed things up halfway through the week by training boats made up of both novices and intermediates, so that we could train together and learn from each other.We ended our training camp on Saturday 28th by entering the Lagan Mini-Head of the River, racing from the Odyssey to the finish line at QUB Boathouse. The Women’s Intermediate 8+ shone as the fastest women’s crew, fifth overall, whilst the Men’s Novice 8+ claimed an impressive third place out of all the crews. It was a fantastic end to a very intense week, showing that those winter miles really do pay off.
The training camp was also a great chance for everyone to welcome Trevor McKnight, our new Club Development Officer, back to Queen’s Rowing. Trevor rowed for QUBBC whilst studying at Queen’s and was part of the Men’s 8 that represented Great Britain at the European University Championships in 2010. As he has returned to Belfast after over a season of coaching at the University of York, his experience and expertise is priceless and we look forward to the year ahead under his guidance. Mick Desmond continues his work at the club as the High Performance Coach.
Queen’s University Belfast came third in the UK at the BUCS Indoor Rowing Championship 2016-2017, claiming two gold medals and two bronze medals. Sam McKeown came joint first in the Men’s Championship 2km, with a time of 5:59.0, and Philip Doyle came third, with a time of 6:01.5. Tiernan Oliver scored an impressive time of 6:06.6. In the Men’s Lightweight Championship 2km, Ewan Murray scored a time of 6:26.4 and Jordan Wilson a time of 6:31.0. These are extremely positive results, as all of the aforementioned competitors scored within the top 10 for their respective categories!
We also saw some very impressive results for both the Women’s and the Men’s Novice 1km, with competitors achieving times within the top 10 of their categories. In the Men’s Novice 1km Fergus Gordon came third with a time of 3:00.4, Lorcan Oliver finished with 3:02.7 and Denis O’Dwyer with 3:05.0. Elle McMaster came eighth for the Women’s Novice 1km with a time of 3:39.3. These results are extremely promising for the year ahead.
On Saturday 21st January 2017, Sam McKeown broke the Irish Record at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick. Massive congratulations are in order for his amazing 2km result, a sub six minute time of 5:55.
We would like to extend an enormous thank you to Lady Victoria Boat Club for donating a new coaching launch to Queen’s Rowing. Lady Victoria will be hosting their annual winter dinner on the 3rd February at the Crowne Plaza Belfast where Neill Wier, a former QUBBC rower, globe-trotting cyclist, runner and hiker, is set to be the guest speaker. This event is open to all rowers, past and present. Tickets are available via the Queen’s Rowing website.
The clubs are now building towards the final head races of the season: BUCS 4s and 8s Head in Newcastle, Erne Head and Lagan Head. All squads are grafting hard and making the most of their time on the water. We would like to thank everyone for their support throughout 2016, and we hope we can do you all proud in the year to come.
Yours in rowing,
Laura Potts and Bilal Korimbocus