2016 - 17 Season
The 2016-2017 season has been one of success for the Boat Club. Participation has increased from all sections of the College, the men’s squad has continued to achieve success unprecedented in over twenty years, and the women’s squad has achieved bumps in both Torpids and Summer Eights. This year’s strong results and an enthusiastic returning squad provide a strong starting point for the 2017/2018 season.
The 2016/2017 season consolidated Queen’s oarsmen as an established force in college rowing. The 1st VIII and 2nd VIII both bumped four times, and the 1st VIII has had an almost continuous rise of twelve places since the 2014/2015 season. The retention of oarsmen from the successful 15/16 season was low due to a number of triallists in university squads and finalists. Hence the focus of Michaelmas Term shifted to training novices as the top priority. The men’s novice intake this year was above average and the A boat performed well in Christ Church regatta, and the B boat also made it through to the second round. Hilary Term marked the beginning of training for Torpids with four from among the novices in the first boat. Training went relatively well. The first boat raced at Bedford head, and held its own against first and second division boats in practice races. The second boat failed to qualify for Torpids. Unfortunately, a slow start in Torpids rendered the first boat vulnerable in the first minute and a half, being bumped on three days out of four. This was a tough result to take given that the boat proceeded to close on boats that had bumped them on previous days past the island.
Full training for the major competition of Summer Eights was resumed during the vacation and included the return of four university lightweight oarsmen to the squad. The influx of oarsmen and new novices allowed a third boat to be raised that qualified comfortably for Eights. A weekend training camp at Peterborough, attended by the first boat, created a cohesive Queen’s crew of unprecedented speed, even when compared to successful boats of recent years. The second boat was strengthened by three members of the 1st Torpid. Both the men’s first and second VIIIs made four bumps in Summer Eights. For the 1st VIII this was the seventh time it had done so since competition commenced in 1833. The 1st VIII caught the opposing crews without needing to row more than 90 seconds on any single day of the regatta, testament to a performance befitting a top college crew. Many returning oarsmen aspire to continue the climb into the first division next year. Special thanks are due to David Zimmer, the departing coach of both the 15/16 and 16/17 seasons.
The women’s squad had a very successful Michaelmas Term. The novice crew entered Nepthys, only being beaten by a typically strong Wolfson boat, and then did brilliantly in Christ Church regatta, reaching the third day of the tournament. One novice also rowed with the seniors’ squad at the Wallingford regatta. Hilary Term was an exceptional one for the women’s crew, which achieved faster women’s times at Henley than most other Oxford colleges. Their efforts culminated in an effective Torpids campaign which secured the first bump for Q.C.B.C. women for some years, and followed with a second bump. In Trinity Term the women soldified their boat, and thanks to the exceptional coaching from Tom Coles, made massive strides in the weeks leading up to Eights, securing the first bump for Q.C.B.C. women in Summer Eights since 2013.