On the 25th of November 2017, we had our inaugural Hughes Hall Boat Club Dinner for the Michaelmas term. This is the first dinner organised since the mutual separation with Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club and it was an occasion to formally welcome and celebrate the successes of the new members of the club this term.
More pictures can be found here:
Hughes Hall Michaelmas Boat Club Dinner 2017
Hughes Hall has a big tradition of having a number of Cambridge Blues rowers that have gone and won in The Boat Race against Oxford for the past few years.
This year we have three Hughesians trialling for the Men’s Blues boat. They are James Letten, Dara Alizadeh and Finn Meeks. In the Trial Eights, the triallists are split into two crews of equal ability as returning Blues rower, James, will be rowing with Dara in the Goons Crew against the Goblins Crew that will be stroked by Finn.
The race for the men starts at 1.55pm today and this will be their opportunity to race the full course from Putney to Mortlake. We wish the Hughesians good luck for the race and may the best team wins!
The Novice Fairbairn was held on the 30th of November where our novice men had a really strong race. They started well and looked strong, together and in control around the first few bends. By the time they passed our boathouse they were fully in their stride. Spurred on by the cheers from the women’s crew, the guys started to close the gap on the boat in front of them. By Riverside Bridge, First and Third were already in their sight, despite a minute head start. Then came the Green Dragon where initially, the First and Third cox took the (now traditional) step of not giving way to our Hughes boat. Our crew made short work of passing, waiting just long enough for this manoeuvre to take place directly in front of their waiting coaches and the marshals at the P&E. Our crew then claimed the reach, while chasing down Lady Margaret. Another 500m would have given them the double, but what a way to finish the term! The final results showed a time of 11:14.1, which flew by. The novice men placed 17th out of 56 crews! (19 places higher than last year!)
Being the first ever entry for the Hughes Hall women’s team in the Novice Fairbairn race, our women were not intimidated. With a strong rolling start they were powering on ahead. Our women kept a strong rhythm and a constant rate throughout. Passing the Green Dragon, they pushed for a power 10 and no one could overtake them at this point. Even with a strong form, in the last 300 meters of the race they caught a crab which could not be rescued. Caius took this opportunity to overtake in the last stretch to the finish line. Regardless of this minor obstacle, our women powered on to finish the race, ranking 16th out of 47 crews! Considering it being the debut year for the Hughes Hall women’s team, this is an incredible feat achieved by our ladies to be as competitive as the far more established boat clubs on the river!
The senior/experienced rowers on the men side have been training all term together to prepare for the Senior Fairbairn race held on the 1st of December. Despite the initial chilly morning after an evening of heavy snow, the senior men were not daunted by the 4.3km race course that awaited them. Having started the race strong with the help of some cheers from the Hughesian’s Blues rower triallists as they pass the Goldie Boathouse, they kept a constant rate to row full force right up to the Green Dragon. As they reach the middle of the Long Reach, having put in a considerable amount of work to cover half of the race course, the power in the boat started to dwindle as the crew gets tired. But with the encouraging screams from the bank by their coach and the determined voice of their cox, the men found their strength back only to start seeing the Homerton boat in front of them within reach even with their 1 minute head start. Passing through the First Post Corner, the coach yelled for a rate build up to empty the tank for the very final stretch of the race. With a clear exhaustion towards the end, the senior men finished strong with a time of 16:55.7 to place 32nd out of 57 crews. This is definitely the best showing that has been achieved by a senior crew from Hughes Hall in the Senior Fairbairn race! With strong performances throughout the boat club this term, we are definitely excited to see what we can do in Lents! 😀
On a cold winter morning of the 25th of November, the Hughes Hall novice women rowed upstream to the start line of the Clare Novices Regatta, practicing race starts along the way. Jeff, our Senior Treasurer parked alongside the bank and gave them his encouragement and support. They aligned with Pembroke in round 1 at the start line, ready and focused. Our women made a fast-paced start and was side-by-side with Pembroke, but Pembroke pushed ahead. But then they quickly found their stride and maintained a strong form for a catch up in the last 200-meters, however, this was not enough to clench the win. Despite this outcome, spirits were high and our women shared a friendly cheer for Pembroke for their win. They managed a strong rhythm in the latter half of the race, a pace and style that will carry forward to the upcoming Fairbairn Cup.
The Hughes Hall Novice Men crew competed in the Clare Novice Regatta last Saturday and faced a tough competition with Catz M1. Although our novice men had a good start and covered some distance, Catz managed to catch up. But they were determined to fight back and followed closely behind the other crew. Their technique was really good and it was clear that they had improved significantly since Emma Sprints. Unfortunately, St Catherine went for another push just before the railway bridge and got a clear advantage. Even though Hughes Hall ended up losing this race, they showed real determination and proved themselves able to hold a steady pace over a slightly longer race. We should all be proud of their improvements and will look forward to the novice men’s performance in the final race of the term!
HHBC Novice W1 Wins Emma Sprints 2017!
Yesterday we saw the victorious win by Hughes Hall Women’s Team at their first ever race on River Cam! A race filled with drama and suspense from the word “Attention, Go!” We showed consistency, courage and beating the odds in four 500-meter side-by-side sprints. The first race was against Jesus NW2 and the two boats overlapped at the beginning of the race, with blades clashing wildly between the boats. Our women kept their cool and rowed on whilst Jesus came to a losing halt! We maintained a strong form in the 2nd round against Selwyn NW1 and in the semifinals against the host Emmanuel NW2. In the final race we went up against the mighty Newnham college, with their strong NW2 rowers that got a head start but we were not phased. Our women caught up in the first 200m of the race just when Newnham lost their rhythm with their stroke woman losing her blade and their boat rearing into the bank. Hughes Hall rowed strong to finish as the W2 division winner! We beat the odds and showed everyone that we might be new but we are not to be messed with. Huge congratulations to our ladies!
HHBC Novice M1 fought till the very end to earn a respectable 3rd place.
The NM1 came together as Noah’s Ark with the cox dressed as Noah (with a beard!) and each rowing pairs dressed as different animals. Having to use a completely different boat that is bow-rigged than what they trained in, the new stroke, Connor O’Pray, had to muster a lot of courage within a short time for the crew. They started their division just as they witnessed our NW1 winning their whole division before them. Gathering the same focus as the women, they started off their first race against Emmanuel NM2 strong. Emmanuel had their boat steering towards ours right off the start but we managed to push off them just before they could do any damage and rowed on to the finish line. In the quarter-finals we showed Caius NM2 who’s the better crew by finishing another sprint race with a strong win. Going into the semi-finals, we were up against First and Third NM2 (who ended up as the division winner). Both crews were equally matched having stayed side-by-side throughout most of the race. But with our boat that kept steering into theirs forcing the race to stop twice, our novice men had to concede defeat. Not phased by the semi-finals, our NM1 went up against Jesus NM2 in the final race to claim the third place position of the M2 division! Well done guys.
The Hughes Hall NM2 dressed up as zombies to scare and beat the opponents! It was unfortunate that the officials called the start of their first race before the boat was lined up with the course, which led to an accidental crash to the bank. The crew extracted the boat from the bush very quickly and got back into the race. They remained calm and rowed hard and strong towards the finish line. Having better technique and coordination, they would have caught up with Darwin NM2 if the race was longer! Under tough situations like this the whole crew didn’t show any frustration but only positive attitude and sportsmanship. They have proved themselves as one capable and committed crew and we’ll see more of them in action in the Clare Novices’ Regatta next weekend!
This year saw the debut of Hughes Hall Women’s Team in the first novice race of the Michaelmas term. The team worked tremendously hard over the past month to get to where they were, with a dramatic improvement in both form and timing. On the night of the 11th of November, the team came together and finished 8th out of 10 crews in their W1 division and 21st in the overall W1 division! To put this into context, 44 women’s college teams competed in Queens’ Ergs this year. This is a huge achievement as a debut team!
The Hughes Hall novice men did an amazing performance to show a lot of willpower and grit. Being referred as the loosing team by the officials after just a couple of minutes into the first race, we bounced back with a glorious comeback. Hughes Hall men came 7th out of 14 crews in our M1 division and 9th in the overall rank from the initial heats, which earned ourselves a place in the M1 finals! The harder they hit us, the stronger we become.
Unfortunately one of the novice men sprinted too hard in the initial heat that led to him not feeling well and was advised not to race further. With one man down, Diana Robinson, our fastest novice woman, stepped up and became the sub for the novice men finals and achieved a personal best split of 1:46.7s! Finishing 12th overall in the finals, the crew had no regret but enjoyment. It is also worth mentioning that one of our rowers Philipp Sterzinger finished the 500m with a split of 1:23.9, just 0.2s away from the fastest novice man of the night. Good job Philipp! We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Diana Robinson, our W1 crew, coxes and everyone who supported the crew throughout the event. Every cheer you made had driven us stronger and faster. Let’s go Hughes!