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Guildford Rowing News

Down Your Wey May 18


The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter


  • Juniors have strong showing at Hammersmith
  • Juniors represent Thames Region at Junior Inter-Regional Regatta
  • Juniors win Victor Ludorum at Maidenhead
  • Masters win at Shrewsbury
  • Adaptive squad shine at Marlow


Junior Inter-Regional Regatta Nottingham A long day at Nottingham which was a great event running to time throughout.  The crews were in general disappointed with the results but from the GRC point of view it was a good day.  Two crews made ‘A’ finals and the third would have done but broke a blade in their heat.  To summarise:

The WJ15 2x of Kezia Markfort and Francesca Bowden came 3rd in their heat and in the ‘A’ final finished 4th.  Only 3.5secs separated the first four crews so it was a close final.

The WJ14 4x+ of Adelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland, Aimee Newenham, Rebecca Boddington and Sofia Palau coxing came second in their heat and so qualified for the ‘A’ final.  In the final they were a very close 6th.

The J15 2x of Joe and Eddie in the heat were up on the rest of the pack but broke a blade, which was down to them, and so qualified for the ‘B’ final.  They won the ‘B’ final and given their time would have been 3rd or 4th in the ‘A’ final.

So no medals but some good solid results which bodes well for the future.

Hammersmith Regatta On Saturday 28th April the Junior squad competed on the Tideway at Hammersmith with a tight timetable of events, especially in the afternoon, which meant winning crews would need to turn round after racing and go straight back to the start for the next round.  Given that we, along with other clubs, were reusing boats and coxes across the age groups it was always going to be difficult.  Inevitably some crews had a long wait on the start for their opposition, the J14 boys in particular.We had 4 wins and the crews were:

J18 1x – James Reckord

J16 2x – Zac Harrison and Josh Ingham – this involved a dead heat in their first race with the other Guildford 2x of Joe Bryant and Eddie Vaughan and a rerow on a shortened course. Both doubles were also rowing up an age group.

J15 4x+ – Zac Harrison, Eddie Vaughan, Joe and Josh Ingham

WJ14 4+ – Adelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland, Aimee Newenham, Rebecca Boddington and cox Sofia Gauntlett-Palou

What was particularly pleasing was that we also won through to a number of other finals in separate events and those crews were:

WJ14 4x+ Tier 2 – Silvia Harrop, Olivia Aczel, Lucy Gowing, Genevieve Anderson and cox Ella Curtis

J14 4x+ – Jack Bentley, Michael McNally, Oscar Soni-King, Nathaniel Knurowski and cox Ella Curtis

WJ15 4x+ Tier 2 – Eli Crosby, Iona Hickman, Eloise Rennie (WJ14), Ella Simms and cox Silvia Harrop

Marlow Spring

Despite the cancellation of Marlow spring regatta due to a flooded regatta field all the adaptive events went ahead running out of Marlow boat house. Normally where adverse conditions result in cancellation it is the adaptive events that go first. Marlow’s commitment to adaptive rowing was illustrated by this reversal of practice.

Racing was on a handicap basis based on times from the Phyllis Court time trials. This resulted in very close racing including a crew holding a 40 second advantage over 500 metres winning by 1 foot. Guy Williams and Rachel Morris were successful for Guildford.


GRC Masters Men started their regatta season with a first win for Harry

With Marlow Spring cancelled due to water logged meadows the crew had to wait until Shrewsbury to start the season.  Starting their first race as crew No 1 in the programme the crew lost by two lengths to a strong crew from Grosvenor in the Master E/F event.

Regarding the result as ‘just testing the water and warming up’ the crew made an improved performance on the Sunday event winning in the D/F category against Nottingham & Union.  A first win for the boat.

Crew: Richard Warne  Rob Hall  Richard Cooper  Mark Rawlinson  Bill Mansfield  Paul Woowat Steve Wright  Richard Coldrick cox: Ellie Mosley (Shrewsbury)

The crew doubled up in fours for both regattas:

A new trial quad of Richard Cooper Mark Rawlinson Rob Hall Paul Woowat also won the Saturday event  against Worcester – not bad for their second outing as a crew in the boat.  In the Sunday final they narrowly lost by two thirds of a length against a strong Runcorn crew.

The coxed four of Bill Mansfield Richard Warne Steve Wright Richard Coldrick  lost again to Grosvenor,  but came very close in the Sunday final losing by one metre to a crew from Warwick .  Exciting racing on both days on a sunny weekend at a very well organised regatta.

Maidenhead Junior Regatta


This year’s Maidenhead Junior Regatta was a great day out for the GRC Beginner squad with 9 crews in 5 events which resulted in 3 event wins and 22 races, and winning the Victor Ludorum prize for overall success, shared with Henley Rowing Club.

This regatta is designed for clubs and schools with beginner squads from under 12 to under 15. Only those juniors with less than 2 years experience can take part and they must have had limited success in competition. It is rowed over 500 metres and operates a repechage system which gives losing first round crews another race in their category.

After 18 exciting races we had the WJ13A crew of Darcie Moss-Brown, Ella Curtis, Imogen Wells and Ellie Young coxed by Imogen Oakey in a semi-final against a very strong Henley crew who were pushed all the way but, despite a Herculean effort, the Guildford girls just lost out in the end. Then we were treated to an all-Guildford final of the MxdJ12B event with the girls’ crew of Alice Wilkinson, Elle Harvey-Turner, Amelie Webb and Maia Bentley coxed by Adelaide Oakey just beating the boys’ crew of Joseph Kennedy, Toby Forwood, Ben Smoothy and Reece West coxed by Reece Marriott right at the end. The J13A boys crew of Lucas Hanin, Daniel Gilbert, Ben Isherwood and Benjy Kingerlee coxed by Hannah Kingerlee met Claires Court School in their final and rowed superbly neck and nexk over the course to pull away towards the end and win by just half a length. Lastly the MxdJ12A final saw the Guildford boys Julian Herschel, Morley Pendred, Jacob White and Sebastian Oakey coxed by Reece Marriott beat Headington convincingly to take the prizes.

Great support from everybody and a special thanks to Richard Mattos for getting the boats to and from Maidenhead in one piece and to the 5 coxswains who gave up their whole day for steering duties and encouragement to the rowers. We came up against crews from the top clubs and schools in the country and showed we can compete at this level across age groups with style and determination. Fantastic support for the yellow boats in the sunshine and a wonderful team effort from everybody.

Forthcoming events:

Friday 25th – Sunday 27th May National Schools Regatta (Dorney)

Saturday 9th June    Walton and Weybridge

Sunday 11th June    Weybridge Ladies

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th June Henley Women

Sunday 24th June    Thames Valley Park (Reading)

Wednesday 4th – Sunday 8th July Henley Royal

Saturday 14th July    Kingston (Sens and J16s)

Sunday 15th July      Kingston (Juns)

Saturday 21st July    Molesey (Sens and J16s)

Sunday 22nd July     Molesey (Juns)

Saturday 28th July    Staines

Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

Thank you to everybody who helped check and mend/clean boats and equipment at the club maintenance day. Please continue to check boats and equipment both before and after use – it is extraordinary how many times an individual or crew returns to the landing stage to fix something that should have been spotted with a proper pre-boating check. It is also disappointing that we still find unreported/unfixed faults on boats; this shows that no post-outing check has been completed. It has got better but there is still room for improvement. It is strongly recommended that boats are washed down inside as well as outside so that faults with shoes, stretchers, seats and slides are spotted. The Junior squad already do this – thank you.

If you find broken kit do report it in the incident book if it cannot be repaired, and tell the bosun or squad Captain. We budget for ongoing repairs and maintenance and would rather spend some money now than more later when an unreported fault leads to major damage.


Next social event is on Saturday 30th June. Please look out for the poster and other information – in an inbox near you soon.

Committee Notes

Next Committee meeting Wednesday 6th June. As well as being the anniversary of the allied invasion of Europe in 1944 this is the time when your representatives meet to agree Club policies and action required on a range of subjects. The Committee also takes budgetary decisions and will be briefed by the membership secretary on the subscription income situation. If you have not paid yet, or are unsure of how to/how much please contact Steve Wright before you find yourself barred from getting in a boat.

Swimmers in the river

Two swimmers decided it would be a good idea to jump from the Pilgrims Way footbridge along-side a crew passing underneath – fortunately missing the boat by less than two feet.  Please take note in summer the river bank is often crowded with alcohol-fuelled public doing strange things and often in charge of hire barges and other craft – BE AWARE – if dogs & swimmers are in the water by the bridges then avoid them and warn other rowers of the hazard.

Dogs at GRC

A number of members and supporters bring their dogs to the Club.  They can present a hazard if not under control.  Please ensure they are not left unattended and are held on a short lead.

We also have a rodent problem to be addressed in the coming weeks so there is the potential for rat poison to be on the site, a further reason for ensuring dogs are supervised and under control at all times.


A serious collision

We have had a serious collision on our river between 2 club boats. Two members were injured and shaken badly. Fortunately the injuries were soft tissue damage and minor damage to equipment.  The error occurred due to misunderstanding and poor communication regarding the session in progress.

On this occasion our ‘rules of the river’ (bye-laws) were not adhered to as the boat moving downstream was on the wrong side of the river having assumed no other boat was moving upstream. It is important that all members abide by our rules of the river at all times unless in a supervised session, with the required coaches in attendance on the bank who can oversee all river users and suspend, if necessary, any unsafe activity. For the avoidance of doubt, and from now on, at no time can members operate any “convoy” system or other change to circulation pattern without adequate supervision from the bank and with agreement of all other club members on the river.  In addition, whether supervised or not, coxswains, steers persons and individual scullers remain responsible for being aware of what is ahead of them  – particularly with the prevalence of canal boats and other river users who may not be aware of the rules of the river

Summer rowing – dos and don’ts:

  • Take drinking water in the boat, especially at regattas where you may be afloat for longer than expected
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear a hat
  • Cover up do not strip off when training or rowing (the Club bye-laws prohibit topless training and rowing)
  • Do not be tempted to jump into our river, especially not from our landing stage, as many hazardous items are thrown into the river at this time of year
  • Beware of increased levels of unqualified/unpredictable river traffic, particularly day-hire boats from Farncombe.
  • Wear bright clothing if rowing at dusk

And finally…..

Emma Brown (L) and Millie Chadwick, now at University of Kent and ex-GRC Juniors, win a pairs pot at the Lea regatta last month.

Good luck to all our alumni – we look forward to seeing you on the regatta circuit.