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Down Your Wey March 2018

Down your Wey

The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter


  • Masters’ win at Molesey Head of River
  • Medals galore for Juniors at Hampton
  • Juniors selected to represent Thames and London Region at the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta
  • Harold Macmillan raced in the Veterans’ Head
  • Fun at the Spring Fling
  • New Committee elected at AGM


Hampton Junior Head on 3rd February saw 700+ crews race over 3,000 metres downstream in atrocious conditions of wind, rain and cold. Guildford crews produced good results:

Two  crews were from the J13 and WJ13 Beginner squad: Ben Isherwood, Lucas Hanin, Daniel Gilbert and George Guest, coxed by Emily Shepherd raced as J14s and did exceptionally well to finish 12th from 15 in a time of 12 minutes 28 seconds. Darcie Moss-Brown, Ella Curtis, Imogen Wells and Ellie Young, coxed by Jess Bebbington rowed against a strong field of other WJ13s and finished 7th from 9 in a time of 12 minutes and 26 seconds (boys please note).

The WJ15 4x+ of Jess Bebbington, Keziah Markfort, Fran Bowden and Grace Perrit, coxed by Fay Dodd, finished 10th from 41 crews in a little over 10 minutes. The J15s: Eddie Vaughan, Joe Bryant, Josh Ingham and Zac Harrison coxed by Reece Marriott came 2nd from 38 in the quad event and 2nd and 3rd from 10 in the doubles event; the WJ14 quad of Aimee Newenham, Addelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland and Rebecca Boddington coxed by Sofia Palau, finished 2nd from 13 and the WJ15 double of Keziah Markfort and Fran Bowden finished 3rd from 8.

That made 3 silvers and 2 bronzes – quite a haul for a little club from a little river. The Junior squad also entered a further 3 coxed quads, a coxless quad and 3 doubles who all raced exceedingly well in the demanding conditions with good results but outside the medal positions.

Molesey Veterans’ (now known as Masters) Head, Saturday 17th February. Guildford fielded three crews in this event raced downstream over 3000 metres.

Eva Heywood, Elaine Parkin, Kim Villaweaver and Giselle Beaumont, coxed by Brian James, came 3rd in the WMasA/B/C 4x+ event.

Rachel Spruce, Sue Loughlin, Emma Wells and Rachel Townsend came 2nd in the WMasC4x- event.

Jeff Watling (Southsea), Robert Hall, Nigel Hopkins (Eton Excelsior) and Paul Woowat won the Mas G/H 4x- event, overtaking their younger rivals to eliminate any need for handicap times to be applied.

The conditions for the event were fine despite recent flooding on a great stretch of the Thames. However, attendance was disappointing with only 60 crews taking part.

The Junior squad had a strong entry at the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head raced over 3,400 metres at Eton Dorney lake on Tuesday 13th March. This event augments the Schools Head of River Race, rowed by 8s on the Thames in London, and is used to select crews for the inter-regional championships.

The J15 4x+ of Eddie Vaughan, Joe Bryant, Josh Ingham and Zac Harrison, coxed by Reece Marriott, finished 5th from 59 crews – an outstanding result at national level.

The J17 4x- crew of Adam Gorecki, Billy Murphy, James Casemore and James Reckord was made up of three J16 boys and one J17.  One J16 was injured so they agreed to row up and came 12th in their age group.

The WJ15 4x+ of Grace Perrit, Fran Bowden, Keziah Markfort and Jess Bebbington, coxed by Adam Gorecki, came 13th out of 60 crews, another excellent result at a national standard event.

There were two coxed quads in the WJ14 event with Adelaide Oakey, Aimee Newenham, Francesca Morland and Rebecca Boddington coxed by Reece Marriott, coming 14th out of 44 and the other crew of Lucy Gowing, Elin Williams, Genevieve Anderson and Silvia Harrop, coxed by Ella Curtis, finishing 36th despite one member suffering a dislocated shoulder during the race.

Finally the J14 quad of James Page, Jack Bentley, Nataniel Knurowski, Michael McNally, coxed by Reece Marriott, came 26th out of 48 – this is the first season for half the crew.

Great strength in depth from across the squad.

The Veterans’ Head of the River Race on Sunday 25th March raced over the London Boat Race course and featured the new Club 8+ – Harold Macmillan, Earl of Stockport. This was also the first outing for the crew of Richard Warne  Jeff Watling  Bill Mansfield  Paul Woowat  Rob Jewkes  Richard Cooper  Steve Wright  Richard Coldrick  coxed by Becky Tsao.

The initial results placed the GRC crew 6th from 12 in the Masters F category but the final results moved GRC to 9th in a time of 20 mins 15 secs (winners Crabtree in 18 mins 25 secs). A very pleasing and enjoyable performance, and ahead of some international crews.

Junior Inter-Regional Trials for Thames London Region took place on 24th March.  The Thames London Region includes all clubs and schools from the London Tideway upstream to Weybridge.

The trials took place at Walton Rowing Club over a 1400m course with the finish being some 150m downriver of the club.  Guildford entered 4 crews in 3 categories based on their performance at qualifying heads.  We had two J15 2x crews because it was not possible to separate them on our limited stretch of river.

The WJ14 4x+ crew of Adelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland, Aimee Newenham, and Rebecca Boddington, coxed by Sofia Palau, put in an amazing row and won by 9.5secs from their nearest rivals.

The J15 2x of Joe Bryant and Eddie Vaughan won by 3 secs with the second double of Josh Ingham and Zac Harrison coming 3rd just 4.6secs behind them.

The WJ15 2x of Fran Bowden and Keziah Markfort, due to the fact we were boat sharing, had to do their trial on their own after all the other categories had finished!  They too won but the margin of 0.5 secs from two other doubles means the region has decided there will be a re-trial which will take place at Kingston on 9th April.

The WJ14 quad and the J15 double are confirmed as the Thames and London crews for the JIRR at Nottingham on 21st April, hopefully to be joined by the WJ15 double.

Good luck to our Juniors from everyone at the Club.

Forthcoming events:

Sunday 8th April: Abingdon Head – cancelled

Saturday 21st April: Junior Inter-Regional Regatta Nottingham

Saturday 28th April: Hammersmith Regatta

Sunday 29th April: Phyllis Court Regatta

Sunday 20th May: Maidenhead Junior Regatta

Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

Tweedledum has been refurbished – new riggers, slides, seats, shoes and hull repairs and re-spray. Just waiting for a plug for the cox box and it will be 100% ready for use by all – this is a 75kg/12 stone crew average weight boat.Helene has also had a facelift but only cosmetic as there were some deep gouges in the hull. Now re-rigged and ready to go.

The new heavyweight double, Walrus, arrives after Easter and will match Roger in weight and specification.

Together these 3 boats represent nearly £13,000 of Club money – that’s a lot of subs. Please continue to exercise care during handling which is when we as a club incur most damage to our equipment. All boats should now be fitted with plastic caps on the tops and bottoms of the pins to avoid scrapes when removing and replacing on racks. Check these are in place – there are plenty of spares in the bosun’s cupboard.

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.

.Club Maintenance Day

Saturday 14th April from 10.00am is a whole-Club maintenance day. We will look at everything inside and outside the Club, large, small, yellow, green, new and old to check serviceability, condition and well-being. There will be refreshments and plenty for all to do of whatever ability, strength or age.


The Spring Fling went ahead at Bramley Golf Club on a wintry evening in late March. Nearly 60 Club members and their guests enjoyed good food and company and joined in enthusiastically with the music and dancing provided by the Craigievar Ceilidh Band. Many thanks to Helen Gray for organising an excellent event.

The next Social event will probably be in July. Watch this space.

Committee Notes

Annual General Meeting.  The AGM took place on Thursday 22nd March and was well attended by 39 members, including 3 Junior members exercising their right to vote for the first time!

The full minutes, including the 2017 financial summary, will be published on the Club website in due course. The new Committee was elected as follows:

Chairman                  Paul Woowat

Secretary                   Richard Warne

Treasurer                   Danny Skillman

Captain                      Robert Hall

Vice Capt Men          Tom Sawyer

Vice Capt Women    Helen Gray

Vice Capt Junior      Ian Pigram

Vice Capt Adaptive  Chris Boys

Water Safety Adviser           Rachel Morris

Deputy WSA                         Rachel Spruce

Membership Secretary        Steve Wright

Bosun                                    John Redmond

Welfare Officer         Claudine Chiplin

Social                         Kim Peschier

Cttee members         Diana Little and Caroline Crampton-Thomas and Nick Hopkins

Thank you to the outgoing Committee, welcome back to those continuing and welcome to those serving for the first time. It’s an exciting time and there’s lots to do.

First meeting of the new Committee is Wednesday 4th April. As well as following up issues raised at the AGM the new Committee will be looking at the Club development plan, the equipment plan for the next few years and fund-raising for this year. Please contact any Committee member if you have a matter you would like the Committee to consider.

The other significant item discussed at the AGM and endorsed by those present was the level of subscriptions for 2018-19. In order to continue accruing funds for Club development a small increase was agreed which resulted in the following figures:

Full Membership (seniors) £275.

Junior / Student £190.

Adaptive Senior £185.

Adaptive Junior £65.

Social /Coxwains / Coaches £20.

Racking Fee Inside £205.

Racking Fee Outside £125.

 The Bank details for payments are – Lloyds Bank, Guildford High Street. Account Name Guildford Rowing Club. Sort Code 30 – 93 – 74. Account Number 00168428.


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 more Red Board situations recently. On one occasion the Club Water Safety Adviser witnessed 2 adult members obviously completely unaware of the rules regarding Red Board use of the river. All members must understand and abide by 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.