AuthorAlastair Dodwell

Captain’s Update – April 2021

REMINDER 1: Register for EGM on 12 May at 8 pm

This is your chance, as a member of the Club, to vote on amendments to the Constitution, put forward to help us be more inclusive and operate more effectively.

Register for the meeting by the 11 May by signing up to the link below:

Notice of the Club Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 26 May,  will follow shortly.

REMINDER 2: Membership fees due!

A general reminder to pay your membership fees as soon as possible. Fees are available on the website:, and you can renew your membership via ClubHub:

For more information on renewing via Clubhub, please see the guide sent with this Newsletter.

It’s really important to pay promptly, not only for insurance purposes, but to ensure that the Committee is able to forecast and plan expenditure inline with our income. Any questions, please do get in touch with Membership Secretary, Elizabeth Loch: [email protected]

RACES! Save the dates – check Spond for sign-up.

May 22nd: Desborough Dashes – Walton & Weybridge : Private event. Juniors and Masters – sign up on Spond or speak to your squad captain. Walton and Weybridge are good friends of the club so let’s support them and get out of GU1 for the day! .

29/30 May – Nat Schools Regatta at Dorney Lake  – premier rowing event for our older Junior rowers.

31 May – Junior Sculling Regatta at Dorney Lake – great Junior squad racing opportunities – J15 and above.

12 June  –  British Rowing Masters Champs – at Holme Pierrepont/Nottingham – great multi-lane racing opportunity for Masters Rowers.

9-10 July: Henley Masters – National Level Competition on Henley stretch. MasB and above.

31 July (planned): Henley Town and Visitors – iconic stretch of river suitable for wide range of squads – very friendly race!

Covid-19 and the GRC Bar: New Rules

We are pleased to open up the GRC Bar as we passed the Roadmap milestone on the 12 April allowing hospitality to open up with restrictions. Please follow the rules below for happy and legal riverside drinks!

  • You do need to remain outside – even if it’s raining!
  • You do need to follow table service – with members ordering and drinking at a table. Please assign a ‘bartender’ for your evening to go and collect/pay for drinks.
  • Please remember that if we’re not following the rules, the club is the one that gets fined £10k – and we’re very visible to the public!
  • Please complete the sign-in sheet in the bar and check in to the Test and Trace app for the Bar.

GRC Square Blades Kit Shop Open!

Get some stylish club garb – hoodies, training tees, hats, socks, and everything in between. Shop open until midnight 9 May. Order here!

GRC Trip to Dorney

GRC held a successful and vibrant trip to Dorney Lake on Sunday 25 April, with almost 70 rowers in attendance and a huge number of support people on the bank, loading and trailering. This is only the second opportunity we’ve had since the pandemic started to get out of the local area – the excitement was palpable!


downey race

We hope everyone had a great time experiencing the cross-wind, rowing for 2000m, and remembering how to load trailers! We hope to make such trips a regular feature of the rowing calendar.

Many thanks to our trailer drivers – Victoria Lumb and Andrew Isherwood – without whom this trip would not have been possible. 


After a month back on the water, we’re picking up the fitness training ready for racing. Please check Spond for details!

  • Junior Fitness in the Field – Wednesday Evenings
  • Erg Tuesdays and Thursdays (PM) – Seniors – outside at the club
  • Tissue Conditioning and Online Circuits – Virtual training for Senior squads on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays


Thank you to our painting party – Danny, Simon and Richard Cooper, who have refreshed our external paintwork and given GRC a cool makeover!

GRC painting

Requests for Information:

We are continuing to resolve the  hazardous condition of the collapsed river piling opposite the clubhouse, and to request to the National Trust that they take action to address the safety concern. This is a busy area for turning boats during many club sessions – the submerged piling creates an underwater hazard to rowers as well as other river traffic, and it would be virtually impossible to use a throwline for someone struggling in the water.

river hazard

Before we contact the NT it would be helpful to understand whether we have had any near misses with boats running over the roped buoy line, and we’d like anyone, including rowers, coaches and parents, who have experienced or witnessed any incidents to get in touch with us and share the details. People can respond to the corresponding post in Spond or can contact Helen Gray ([email protected]) or Andy Curtis with a short description of the event (approx. date, scenario, boat/crew size, etc.)

If you do have a near miss, please do remember to fill out the British Rowing Incident Report @ This helps us to understand and respond to safety issues, and keep GRC activities safe for all.

Plans Underway for Summer Gathering …

We’re keeping an eye on the loosening restrictions but we are planning to host some form of Summer Party and Scratch Regatta in the first half of July, in line with Government guidance…keep your eyes peeled for details and fingers crossed!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next update:

  • Race reports
  • New boats to be delivered…
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River Activity Timetable

Goods news.

Back on the water soon.

See GRC Timetable.

Please ensure all boats/crews are off the water and boats managed so not to hinder the start of the next session.

Junior-adult session interfaces. A 15 minute gap has been incorporated into evening sessions to facilitate transition. Ensure changing rooms are cleared before the next session for safeguarding purposes.

Free rowing sessions are open to all club members. Beginners must be signed off by Vice Captains




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Captain’s Update – March 2021

Dear Members, Parents, Guardians, Coaches,

The Committee is pleased to share with you our plan for the return to rowing commencing Monday March 29th, following the Government Roadmap out of Lockdown. We sincerely hope this is the last, and we know that everyone is looking forward to getting back out onto the water. We’ve also got some important club updates – so please read until the end!

Andy Curtis, our Club Safety Adviser, has updated our Covid-19 Update, based on the Guidance set out by British Rowing, which sets out what club facilities will be open and in what way at each stage. We will provide an update as we come to the subsequent stages of the easing. Thank you Andy for your hard work in pulling this together.

Plan: From Monday 29th March, the Club boating facilities, landing stages, and toilets will be open for covid-secure outdoor crew rowing, similarly to when we re-opened from Lockdown 2 in December 2020. There won’t be a number limit for sessions but we do need everyone attending to sign up on Spond in good time so we can manage people’s safety at these sessions. We will be reopening the rowing sessions on Spond in due course, so please look out for them. 

Before Coming Down to the Club: We ask that you: 

  • Make sure that you’ve read the Covid update attached.

  • Reaffirm yourselves of the ‘GRC Behaviours for a Covid-safe club environment’ Poll.

  • Please support your squad captains and coaches in being able to lead these sessions and keep the environment Covid safe and socially distanced.

  • Please only come down if you are scheduled to row or coach, and you’ve signed up to the Spond session. If you want to catch up with other rowers, parents, etc., please do this away from the rowing club, go for a walk, coffee, etc.

  • Please continue checking in on the Covid-Check In App when you arrive at the club.

  • Please boat, land, clean, and re-rack boats expeditiously to avoid any gathering and to make space for other rowers.

  • Please do not come to the club if you are unwell and showing any Covid symptoms. 

  • Finally…enjoy your return to the Club!

THANK YOU to our virtual training leaders who have been putting us through our paces in online circuits during 2021 while we awaited the return to the club!

See more in this PDF: march2021returntorowing

Committee Updates

The Committee have been hard at work at a number of different projects over the last few months, looking to simplify and professionalise our governance and record keeping, invest in our boat stock; and to prepare the club on a long-term basis for managing Covid. 

  • Improving welfare: the Welfare Working Group has worked hard to pull together all necessary junior safeguarding and consent information for circulation over the coming weeks for parents to complete, improving and digitising the way the club captures and stores this information. We are looking to roll this out as necessary to the wider club following a successful rollout. 

  • Covid-Secure Clubhouse: as Covid measures are likely to be with us for some time, the Committee are working hard to make improvements that enable us to train in a Covid-secure way for the long-term. This includes structures to enable outdoor erging in all weathers. We’re also looking at return to play capital grants to improve the ventilation in the clubroom. Additionally, we are installing a potable water tap outside by the club entrance, so that members can fill up their bottles without having to queue up for the bar area. 

  • Equipment Investment: the Captains have agreed on the Captain’s proposals for new boats for this year’s budget. Investments include two new featherweight single sculls to meet the needs of our many members who aren’t catered for in our current singles boat stock. We are also investing in a new coxed quad as our premier junior racing boat, and which has been on the cards for a couple of years. We’re also building a grant proposal for some new stable single sculls for our beginners and members who wish to learn how to single scull.

Member Updates

Harold back in one piece with a lick of paint: The men’s vet squad have been busy throughout the latter half of 2020 putting Harold, the club Eight, back into one piece following a trailer accident. Arnold Paikin has done an excellent job in bringing the crew together to repair and refresh the Eight. We hope it gets out again when we return!

  • Clubhouse Exteriors Refreshed:  Danny and a crew of enthusiastic junior parents have been hard at work during the last few months (when restrictions allowed) refreshing the club exterior and interior paint jobs – the club looks fresh and ready for us all to come back. Many thanks for your hard work!  


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Based upon the latest Government updates and advice from British Rowing and the National Trust relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) it has been necessary to cease all club-based activity. Due to the need to maintain social distancing and the need to stay at home no one should visit the club nor use the River Wey for any water-based activity.  The club has developed a range of home-based fitness activities which are now regularly held via video conferencing and social media available for all Junior and Senior members. Do join in. Training with others, even virtually, is a great way to stay in touch and motivate oneself to train. Details via spond or contact Mike or Mark for more details.

Our AGM has been postponed until current restrictions are eased. For Membership renewals the Club Committee agreed to reset all fee categories to just £20 which will be valid from 1st April until 1st September – when hopefully we will have been able to hold the AGM. Renewals via ClubHub in the ordinary way – just click Here . Please do renew your membership as soon as possible so that the Club can keep in touch with you and that you can attend the AGM when it is held.

 We wish all our members and their family and friends good health and safety at this difficult time and hope that we can return to our beautiful river soon.

Club News November 2016

November 2016

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of autumn. It’s a season of change both on and off the water, with lots of new club members across the squads and a chance to make new plans for the coming season.


In case you missed it, we have a fantastic regatta win to report, with Rachel Morris winning Paralympic Gold in the Arms & Shoulders Women’s Single Scull with a fantastic and breath-taking surge for the line at the Lagoa de Freitas in Rio be Janeiro. Those of us watching at the club went through the full spectrum of emotions as Rachel moved from 4th position at the half-way mark to storm through to 2nd with 250m, to then go on to win in a new Paralympic Best time.


As captain, I couldn’t be prouder of Rachel and her incredible performance and we’re having a celebration at the club on Sunday (6th November) now that the whirlwind of returning home has settled down a little. Please do let Paul (Chairman) know if you would like to join us ([email protected])

Our full list of race results across the club continues to be updated on the Club website – we had some great results across the squads at Weybridge Silver Sculls the weekend before last, so do make time to have a look:

Phil the Bag & Fundraising

Thanks to Carolyn Turner and Catherine Houston for their support in organising this fundraising initiative and to everyone who donated bags of clothes. Every little helps now that we have been granted planning permission for the redevelopment.

Safety thoughts

As the nights draw in and the weather starts to throw more at us, we all need to take extra care both on and off the water. With rain comes red boards and it is important that all coaches, captains, coxes and steerers familiarise themselves with the red board procedure and safety rules as we all get out of practice over a benign summer.

We’ll also be organising a programme of safety events for coaches and rowers alike, including capsize drills, first aid courses and red-board refreshers. Please keep an eye out for information on these.

Club improvements & maintenance

You may have noticed the new edging to the landing stage, which was sorely needed after a few decades of wear and tear. While we are obviously hoping to rebuild in the near future, there are some maintenance issues that just can’t wait for safety reasons or to reduce other costs, such as boat damage; the landing stage was one of these. Thanks to our Chairman, Paul Woowat for arranging this.

Your Committee

We realise that sometimes the committee can seem a bit of a faceless entity, especially when we’re all so busy with our different squads and sessions. So, we are putting together committee profiles for the noticeboard and I’ll try to include one each month in the Newsletter. To kick everything off, here’s a bit about me:

I joined GRC in 2007 when I started studying at what was then the College of Law. I learned to row as a student and continued after graduating with a local town club. While at GRC, I’ve been Social Secretary and Women’s Captain, a rower, sculler, coach and occasional cox. Off the water, I work as a solicitor, am married to Ian (occasional Men’s squadder) and have a nearly two-year old daughter, Leonie. When not rowing (there is such a thing!) I enjoy baking, gardening and watching terrible tv.

There’ll be a new committee member profiled next month, or maybe two to catch us up a bit before the year is out.

I look forward to seeing lots of you on the river.

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Club News 2016 September 2016

Hello all

I hope you’ve all had a lovely summer – there’s been a lot going on at the club over the last two months and now we’re back with the new season.


Our full list of race results continues to be updated on the Club website – do have a look as we have quite an impressive list of wins from the summer regattas:

Special congratulations to the Junior Squad who have won no less than three Victor Ludorum trophies again this regatta season, at the Ball Cup (South), Kingston and Staines.  Well done and many thanks to all involved.

And a special message of congratulations also to Justin Wells and Colin MacCombe from the Senior Men’s Squad who won at Maidenhead Regatta to lose their novice status.

Road to Rio

Coming up this week we have our very own Rachel Morris, Club Water Safety Officer, racing in the Paralympic Regatta in Rio de Janeiro.  We will be watching the Finals on Sunday 11th September at the club from 12.30pm, so please do come and join us – the bar will be open.

Summer Party

Thanks to all those involved who help us have a great day down the river, with even the weather cooperating.  Look out for our upcoming events, dates and details to follow over the coming weeks.

New Club Members

As is traditional at this time of year we are running beginners’ courses for both adults and juniors and we have also had an influx of new members over the summer, especially following the success of Team GB at the Olympic Regatta in August.  So, welcome to all our new members and please be patient with us while we try to remember all your names!


We are continuing our fundraising initiatives and have raised £1,000 over the summer thanks to Fiona Land (Flo) and Peter Scott running sculling courses and coming up this month we have “Phil the Bag” taking place again on the weekend of the 24th/25th September.  Please do support these initiatives and if you have any ideas for further fundraising please do contact Carolyn Turner ([email protected]).

I look forward to seeing lots of you back around the river after the summer break.

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Maidenhead Regatta

Probably our last regatta of the year Guildford men pick up 3 regatta wins.

Most notably Justin Wells and Colin MacCoombe win their novice double convincingly whilst the masters F four Bill Mansfield Paul Woowat Steve Wright & Richard Coldrick win a double coxed and coxless 4 together with Aimee Marshall super cox. The coxless four avenging the Staines defeat to Twickenham and last year’s defeat at Maidenhead to Walbrook, making it an honourable draw in terms of friendly rivalry.


Nottingham Masters


Annika & Jackie win Gold at Nottingham Masters

Having missed this event last year, but been Gold and Silver medalists the previous year’s, the crew were excited to race against some crews they hadn’t come up against so far this year. A larger field this year, Guildford won their heat which set them up in a good lane for the final. A strong row meant they pushed through their competition and pulled out a comfortable lead by the finish.

Women’s Masters B 2x. 1st out of 8

Crew; Jackie Johnson, Annika Gleichmann

Other results:

  • Masters G/H 4x-; 3rdout of 4

o Crew; Robert Hall, Jeff Watling, Nigel Hopkins (Eton Excelsior), Richard Coldrick

o Comment; After 4 outings the crew lost to two experienced crews who had medalled in previous championships .

  • Masters H/J; 2ndout of 4

o Crew; Robert Hall , Jeff Watling

o Comment; Having failed to catch the J crew (80 to 85 years old) who had a 22 second handicap Jeff and Robert arrived at the podium expecting a silver medal. They were surprised that the organisers had decided to award two gold medals one for H and one for J

  • Masters F 4-; 3rdout of 4
  • Masters F 4+; 5thout of 10

o Crew; Mark Starling; Richard Warne; Robert Hall; Jeff Watling

o Comment; Having medalled in the last two national championships the crew found that the event had moved on with three new crews who had just reach the 60 average. These crews medalled leaving last years gold medallists Durham in 4th place and Guildford in 5th.








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