GRC Blog

Guildford Rowing News

Down Your Wey January 2018


  • Wins for Seniors at Henley, Walton and Weybridge, Juniors at Teddington and Burway
  • Adaptives and Juniors have strong showing at the British Rowing Indoor Championships
  • Puss in Boats receives rave reviews
  • Christmas Scratch Regatta sets the festive scene
  • 2018 starts with a win at Weybridge


At Henley Long Distance Sculls Annika Gleichman won the Masters A single sculls event and Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won the Masters H/J double sculls event.

The Teddington Head is rowed from Hampton Court to Teddington – 4800 metres. The Club had a large entry from the Junior squad with many juniors competing in both divisions: 20 kms of rowing in a day. Despite this daunting distance against clubs and schools who train on this stretch and the Thames generally every week the Guildford juniors recorded 7 wins: double sculls at J18 (James Reckord and Nathan Jones) and J15 (Danny Mulligan and Max plus 3rd and 5th places too), coxed quads at J15 (Eddie Vaughan, Joe Bryant, Josh Ingham and Richard Loch coxed by Reece Marriot), WJ15 (Keziah Markfort, Emily Wolfenden, Jess Bebbington and Francesca coxed by Reece Marriot) and WJ14 (Adelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland, Aimee Newenham and Silvia Harrop coxed by Hannah Kingerlee), single sculls at WJ16 (Lucy Stevenson), J15 (Danny Mulligan) and WJ15 (Keziah Markfort). James Casemore and Adam Goecki just missed out on a win finishing second  in the J16 double sculls.

The Junior squad failed to record any wins at the Hampton Small Boats Head the following week but produced some good results with the J15 boys finishing 4th from 29 in the coxed quads event where only 0.2 seconds separated the top 4 crews! The J15 boys then took 2nd, 3rd and 6th from 36 crews in the double sculls category and 4th, 5th and 15th from 36 in the single sculls category – great strength in depth. Nathan Jones and James Reckord did well to finish 6th from 14 in the J17 double sculls.

Burway Small Boats Head saw the Junior squad in action again and wins were recorded by the J16 boys in double sculls (Adam Gorecki and James Casemore) and single sculls (Peter Denton) whilst the J15 boys won in quad sculls (Josh Ingham, Joe Bryant, Eddie Vaughan, Richard Loch coxed by Reece Marriott), double sculls (Eddie Vaughan and Josh Ingham) and single sculls (Danny Mulligan), plus the WJ15 girls coxed quad (Keziah Markfort, Jess Bebbington, Emily Shepherd and Emily Wolfenden coxed by Sofia Palau).

To finish 2017 on a high note Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won Masters H double sculls at Walton Small Boats Head.

Meanwhile, off the water, several club juniors and adaptive rowers competed at the British Rowing Indoor Championships. This annual event is held at the Olympic Park Velodrome and attracts a vast range of competitors of all ages. Performance of the day was by Peter Denton in the J16 500 metres event where he won a Silver medal in a time of 1 minute 31 seconds. Elsewhere Martin Tye won the Adaptive Men’s 2000 metres in 7 minutes 51 seconds and Hilary Birkinshaw the Para Women’s 2000 metres in 10 minutes 36 seconds. The three J13 boys – Ben Isherwood, Daniel Gilbert and Lucas Hanin – posted sub 2 minute times in their 500 metres event and Chris Boys covered his 2000 metres in the Para Men’s event to finish 5th from 7. Guildford juniors performed strongly throughout and came back having had a great experience rubbing shoulders with the GB squad and the fastest indoor rowers in the world.

And finally we began 2018 with a win at Weybridge Winter Head for a new composite crew of Paul Woowat, Robert Hall, Neil Hopkins (Eton Excelsior) and Jeff Watling (Southsea) in the Masters H coxless quads event.

Forthcoming events:

Saturday 3rd February: Hampton 4s and 8s Head

Saturday 17th February: Molesey Veterans Head

Saturday 24th February: Burway 4s and 8s Head

Saturday 10th March: Women’s Head

Tuesday 13th March: Junior Sculling Head

Saturday 17th March: Kingston Head

Sunday 25th March: Vesta Veterans Head


Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

We have had a lot of boat handling damage which could have been avoided.  Request help with handling boats – especially at busy times; two people carrying a single is likely to avoid a lot of the damage that occurs to those boats.  It’s not a case of someone being judged as not capable of boat handling on their own, but of preserving the boats as best we can.

If you discover damage to a boat or other piece of equipment please record it in the incident book held on the bar so the Bosun and Captains are alerted to impending repairs and boats out of action early. This applies to blades, cox boxes and ergos – it all needs to be serviceable.

Victoria Starr did a good job repairing and assessing the ergos last year. Already some are showing signs of wear and tear. Please ensure all fittings are tight and any spares required noted in the incident book. There are spare parts and specialist tools for the machines held at the club – ask.


Puss in Boats was a huge success and received rave reviews. Many thanks to Richard Coldrick and all the team who made it come to life and set the scene for a great party afterwards. Hidden talent has been discovered in Bill Mansfield who is now officially the Club Ogre and Ben Hopwood who will be demonstrating the Cat Squat at future weight training sessions.

The panto put everyone in the right frame of mind for the Christmas Scratch Regatta the next day. However it was obvious the seniors couldn’t really take the pace of socialising followed by a bit of rowing so the regatta was mainly a Junior affair with 8 crews battling for those GRC medals – now collectors’ items. A new event this year was for family double sculls with parents and children rowing in the same boat against the clock. This proved both popular and entertaining, and it got very competitive – so we will ensure it is included in future scratch regattas. The winning crew on the day was:

Ben Alderton  Silvia Harrap   Benjy Kingerlee  &  Sofia Palau

Full results:

Crew Names Ergo Aquajog Quad Total Place
G Ben Alderton

Silvia Harrop

Benjy Kningerlee

Sofia Palau

8.04 2.49 5.50 16.43 1
C Tomasz Cowley


Reece West

Eddie Vaughan

7.45 3.52 5.35 17.12 2
F Alice Wilkinson

Josh Ingham

Emma Dodd

James Page

8.20 3.18 5.55 17.33 3
B Erika Booth

Daniel Gilbert

Genevieve Anderson

Adelaide Oakey

7.53 4.02 5.45 17.40 4
D Freya Cameron

Lucas Hanin

Hannah Kingerlee

Mimi Anderson

8.28 3.53 5.40 18.01 5
E Cecily Wilkinson

Cameron Cashen

Conrad Wells

Trinny Vasanthan

8.16 3.59 6.05 18.20 6
H Morley Pendred

Eloise Rennie

Darcie Moss-Brown

Will Dartnell

8.18 4.12 6.06 18.36 7
I George Simms

Ella Simms

Ruth Simms


8.46 4.13 6.40 19.39 8
A Yzzy Rawlinson

George Guest

Peter Denton

Maximos Karapapas

8.14 5.31 6.00 19.45 9


Garrick Doubles:


1=        Emma and Conrad Wells

1=        Mark and Yzzy Rawlinson

The Club annual formal evening dinner and dance – the Spring Fling – takes place at the Guildford Harbour hotel on Saturday 17th March. Please respond to the recent message from Helen Gray giving ticketing details.

Committee Notes

Next meeting Wednesday 7th February. Send your questions and views to the Secretary or through your squad Captain.

Annual General Meeting.  The AGM is scheduled for Thursday 22nd March at 8.00 pm. A formal notice will be distributed in due course along with a request for volunteers to stand for election to the Committee. Please make an effort to attend the AGM and consider serving on the Committee. If you wish to know more about the work and responsibilities of Committee members please contact an existing Committee member who will be more than happy to explain the routine and dispel fears!


Winter is still here – wear high visibility tops and warm layers underneath for training and racing. The club holds a stock of survival blankets – the space age foil versions. They are stored with the first aid kits above the throwbag shelf. Coaches should carry one or more and it is recommended they are carried by crews attending head races where lengthy times may be spent in poor conditions waiting for the start and hypothermia may start to set in, especially amongst younger crews.

Bar access should be ensured for all sessions at the club in order to provide hot drinks and phone access. A number of keys are available – ask who has the key if you are training at the club.

Be aware of safety requirements and briefings at events on the Thames and open water – the conditions will be very different to our sheltered and benign River Wey.

We have had our first Red Board situations of the year. All members must understand the rules surrounding permitted rowing activity when the river is closed to navigation (Red Boards). All squads should have been briefed on the rules; if you missed a briefing contact your squad captain to arrange an explanation. If in doubt do not go out.

A senior member went sculling on his own last month and returned to find the boathouse locked and his keys inside. As it was winter and he had no spare clothing he borrowed a phone from the pub and called a locksmith to enable him to gain entry to the club. The club has paid for the locksmith and we have managed to get the lock barrel replaced so keys will still work as before. We do not want to stop members using the club and the river but would ask that individuals use common sense when on their own; ensure you make adequate arrangements regarding access, communication and spare clothing.

Club Development

The major build project has planning permission thanks to the efforts of many club members. Guildford Borough Council is prepared to sell the club the extra land required for the project.

However, Sport England funding opportunities have been significantly reduced after being assessed as having had minimal impact on numbers participating in sport since 2012. The development sub-committee are re-examining options for the next steps in realising the aspirations of the club for the long-term. But some difficult decisions will have to be made if we are to make the best of what we have, what we need and what we can afford.

We will continue raising funds for the Club’s future and we will be organising a sponsored row between Weybridge and Guildford in September – the Big Row. Details will start to emerge – the date is likely to be Sunday 23rd September. Please keep the day free as we will be asking for crews and a significant army of volunteers to operate locks, ride shotgun on the bank and provide support in a myriad of ways – plus raise funds.

A tale from the riverbank. A member of the public called at the club on Sunday afternoon to commend a junior crew who had executed an emergency stop whilst doing a piece on the straight to avoid running over a swimming dog. He is an experienced coxswain from Lensbury RC and said it was the best piece of watermanship by a crew he had ever seen. The dog was pretty impressed too. Well done the junior crew concerned.

Send Danny your pictures and stories so they can be shared in the next newsletter.