Rower’s Ark: Queen’s M1 gets blessed by a chaplain…and goes on to win Blades

It’s a miracle

M1 national Queen's Rowing Summer Eights

Summer Eights was a roaring success for Queen’s. Their M1 won their first set of Blades in 18 years. They bumped Somerville, Corpus Christi, Christ Church, Exeter and St Peter’s – just after they were blessed by their college chaplain.

The Revd Dr Daniel Inman, pictured in his cassock, blessed the boat and crew before they set off.

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And the call for divine help worked: the crew went onto defeat Somerville on the first day “by smashing into their boat so hard that the Oxford University Rowing Clubs officials had to prise the boats apart, rescue several rowers from the water and serious damage was done to The Queen’s College boat”, said 32-year-old rower Alistair McComas.

There was then a second miracle: the boat was repaired overnight by heroic boatman Terry Baker, ready for another bump against Corpus the day after.

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A photo of the blessing went viral on Facebook, with a caption from the Book of Genesis: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters… And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered into one place…’ And it was so.”

Queen’s M1, made up of Oliver Perrow, 20 (Men’s Vice-Captain), Frederick Parker, 20 (Club President), Hardi Edlich, 22, George Watkinson, 27, Alistair McComas, 32, Rowan Arthur, 21, Alexander Pavitt, 20 (Men’s Captain), Alexander Vervuurt, 22 (Club Treasurer), Hugo Forshaw, 20 and coached by Andrew Sayce, 27, have “a reputation for being extremely aggressive on the water while having a great sense of humour off the water,” said McComas.

Clearly they have God on their side too.