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!
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!
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.
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 @ https://incidentreporting.britishrowing.org/- 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!
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
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!
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.
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!
We bring you the sad news that John Eden, one of our Life Members, passed away on 30th March this year. For those of you who did not know John, he served as Club secretary for many years and was bar manager at a time when bar income was far more important to club finances than it is today. John was made a life member of the Club in 2006.
John served in the Royal Navy on Minesweepers at the end of the second world war (Petty Officer) and afterwards went to Cambridge University to read Modern Languages, and first started rowing in Emmanuel college crews.
We know he spent over 8 years working in the United States in the early 50’s and on his return worked in London for Johnson Matthey bank.
John spoke several languages: good French, some Spanish, Latin and German. He did name our first carbon fibre boat many years ago –Viridisima – it was a very bright green!
He joined GRC in the 70s and regularly rowed in the eight’s head of river race with a bunch of other Veterans from his age group. Their most famous race saw them disqualified for having a girl rowing in the bow seat (not noticed until the photos were released).
John had 2 sons and 2 daughters and was one of the nicest people to know. John served the Club faithfully for many years and the Club meant a lot to him.
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.
Monster the Loch – 5 intrepid Guildford rowers row the length of Loch Ness
United Nations Annual General Assembly – Guildford Junior addresses the UN General Assembly on Climate Change
‘Monster the Loch’ is an annual challenge for any human-powered craft raced over 22.7 miles on Loch Ness from Fort Augustus in the south to Dores in the north.
Emma Dodd was the driving force behind completing this challenge and she recruited/persuaded Flo Land, Brad Bryant and her son Conrad Wells(17) to join her, and a coxswain Ella Simms (16). Emma wanted to mark this year of a significant birthday but also to raise money for the charity Mind.
The story is told by Emma:
Safe in the knowledge that September would never come and that it would be logistically impossible, I ran the idea past my friend Flo Land, (Olympian Rower, Seoul 1988) and to my amazement she agreed to join me. A few phone calls later and I’d secured a coastal rowing coxed quad, some blades, and someone to trailer it up there.
Oops.. it actually looked as if we were going to do this thing.
In April my husband, Justin, injured his back, so my 17 year old son agreed to step into his seat. I recruited Brad Bryant, a member of the men’s masters squad at Guildford. Our cox would be the gutsy Ella Simms, a 16 year old junior cox. Accommodation, flights, car booked. No getting out of it now.
On September 27th we flew to Inverness and found our boat waiting for us at Fort Augustus at the south end of Loch Ness.
The day of the race dawned.
Having only taken hand luggage we were without tools, and found ourselves having to chase the one screwdriver between 64 crews. (Note to self— never do that again).
As a result we were amongst the last to boat and half way to the start, some 500m from shore, disaster struck. One of Brad’s blades snapped.
A hurried return to shore in the hope of finding a spare and a message to the start to go ahead without us if we were holding them up followed. A blade was found, unfortunately rather longer than the other one, and the race waited for us to get back into line.
Sixty -four boats, including Cornish Gigs, Scottish Skiffs, Kayaks, Fine Boats, a GB Men’s Eight and even Pedalos, lined up on the start
Then we were off into the mist.
It was absolutely thrilling. There is really no other word for it.
As the mist lifted and the mountains came into view the magnitude of our task became clear, but the stunning surroundings made the whole experience such a pleasurable one.
The weather was calm and dry, but the Loch was still very choppy in places.
The first 10 miles flew by and we stopped for a stretch and some food half way. Hands were blistered, but otherwise everything else was holding up nicely.
The second half was great too. Only in the last couple of miles did I start to long for the finish.
We arrived to the sound of bagpipes and a great reception. It was a fantastic atmosphere and there were smiles all round. We’d done it in 3hrs 45 minutes, actually rowing for 3.15.
And I drank the most delicious beer I can ever remember!
The GB men’s eight broke the record by 22 seconds, despite having to bail out the boat several times having not got a pump. They did it in an impressive 2hrs 4 mins.
It was an altogether epic experience and one that I highly recommend. I’d love to do it again. Maybe a double next year with my husband.
It was particularly special for me to do it with my son, who loved every minute, too. ‘Monster the Loch’ surpassed all my expectations and I will never forget it.
We were rowing in aid of Mind, the mental health charity. Below is a link to the story behind our row. And also a lovely short film made by the official time keepers, Marloe Watches. It really gives you a taste of the atmosphere. (Ed: The Marloe film is highly recommended – as Emma says, captures the atmosphere: inspiring)
A Guildford WJ15 Emmie Dowling was at the United Nations Annual General Assembly in New York. We’ll hear about how and why Emmie came to be there:
In June I attended an iamtheCODE hackathon at RGS (hosted by Marieme Jamme, CEO of iamtheCODE, who is listed in the BBC’s top 100 most influential women) where we explored the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set by the United Nations. In groups made up of pupils from a wide range of Guildford schools, we were tasked with picking any goal and developing a digital solution. My group picked Goal 4 (quality education for all) and we developed the idea of a platform which would enable teachers to connect globally and collaborate to share their knowledge. A panel of judges selected our group to have the best solution and as a result I was asked, with another pupil from our group, to present the idea as part of the United Nations Action Summit in New York.
On 25th September we travelled to the UN headquarters for their Annual General Assembly. The conference centred around the SDG’s, the speakers and panels were very powerful and inspiring. Our group’s idea was well received with many influential businesswomen and men asking to follow up on our solution. With the iamtheCODE team I was able to speak via video call to girls in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya (they had been taught basic programming by Marieme and her team) who shared their incredible and moving stories, talking about their aspirations and future plans that iamtheCODE is helping them to achieve.
Overall, I had an unforgettable experience and developed strong ties with the iamtheCODE organisation for whom I am hoping to become an Ambassador.
Boats come back from the repairers looking smart and ready for the new season
GRC Junior alumni win Gold medals representing GB and England at international level
As the last of the schools went on holiday the seniors breathed a sigh of relief and did some rowing tourism. Oxford City regatta saw the W Open 4x- of Aimee Marshall, Annika, Helen Gray and Kate Stevenson win (proving Lizard is a competitive boat despite a previous bad press)
Sam Mogridge and Ben Hopwood reached the final of Open 2x losing by just 2 lengths.
Henley Town & Visitors is a classic summer regatta rowed over a section of the iconic Henley Royal Regatta course with much of the same atmosphere. A new pairing from the club of Matt Oakey and Paula Reddy entered the Mixed 2x event and won the Band 4 section – the happy duo below
.Jeff Watling (Southsea) and Robert Hall continued their successful season with a win in MasH 2x and combined with Richard Coldrick and Nigel Hopkins (Eton Excelsior) to win the MasH 4x- event – happy quartet below
The Bank Holiday weekend saw the Masters travel westwards to compete at GloucesterMasters regatta. Bill Mansfield, Mike Spruzs, Arnold Paiken and Richard Coldrick borrowed a local coxswain and rewarded her with a victory in the MasE/F 4+. She was so impressed she agreed to cox the same GRC 4, plus Richard Warne, Nigel Hopkins (Eton Excelsior), Brad Bryant and Paul Woowat to a win in the MasF 8+.
With only a night’s rest and barely enough beer to float a single in a bath the intrepid GRC Masters travelled a little bit further to compete at Ross-on-Wye Masters the next day. Using the well-rehearsed practice of kidnapping the top local coxswain the same 2 crews won MasF 4+ and Mas E/F 8+ before the long trip back to Guildford.
With the regatta season over, without a pause, the long-distance rowing started on the first weekend in September with the Great Ouse Marathon rowed as a time trial over 21.5kms near Ely in Cambridgeshire. A small contingent travelled up for the event and had a good day with Jackie Johnson winning WMasC 1x and Annika with Ben Hopwood taking the MxdMasA/B/C 2x trophy.
As a season starter for the Junior squad, and continuing the strong beginning by the seniors a large contingent from the club competed at the Isis Sculls over 1900m on the Thames at Oxford. Rowed in several divisions over a twisting course this event produced 11 wins for GRC and many strong performances from new combinations, including a WMas 4+ from the Beginner squad – below
Aimee Marshall brought home the WMasA 1x prize, Jackie Johnson the WMasB 1x version and Helen Gray with Sam Hancock the WMasA 2x
The junior squad won J14 2x (Morley Pendred and Jacob White), WJ14 2x (Leah Reddy and Maya Macfarlane), WJ14 4x+ (Leah, Maya, Zoe Leslie and Maia Bentley coxed by Mimi Anderson), J15 1x Band 1 (Ben Isherwood).
J15 4x+ (Ben, Nick Summerfield, Dylan Taylorson and Lucas Hanin coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson), WJ15 1x Band 1 (Imogen Wells) and WJ15 2 x Band 1 (Erika Booth and Ella Curtis).
A long way to go but well worth the trip in the glorious late summer sun.
On the same weekend Annika and Ben travelled to Lincolnshire to compete in the Boston Marathon a monstrous 42.5kms. Despite a minor steering error which involved hitting a wall with 10km to go (Ben hit the wall, not the boat) the brave duo recorded a time of 3 hours 54 minutes making them the fastest Mxd 2x and the second fastest 2x overall, just missing the Course record.
This event attracted many top notch crews from all over the UK so this performance by Ben and Annika should be recognised as top class.
Still together despite steering issues!
And on the last weekend in September a group of senior women raced over the long Wallingford Long Distance Sculls course of 4250 metres. Jackie Johnson finished 15th from 25 in the W 1x, Kate Stevenson, Aimee Marshall and Helen Gray finished 19th, 20th and 24th in the same event. Then all four scullers combined to race as a 4x- finishing 4th from 7 in the W 4x- (open) category. That’s a lot of sculling in a day! Many thanks to Richard Coldrick and Richard Mattos for towing the trailer – Richards rule OK?
Meanwhile there has been some international rowing in the summer and Guildford alumni featured in 2 of the events. At the Junior Home International in Strathclyde Katherine Stenning (GRC WJ12 – WJ16) won Gold medals in both the 4+ and 8+ representing England. And at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Italy Peter Denton (GRC J12 – J16) rowed at 4 in the GB 8+ which won Gold and Silver medals over the 2 days of the regatta.
Onwards and upwards – forthcoming events. The autumn ‘head’ racing season is mainly for small boats – 1x, 2x and 4x+/4x-. This list of events appears on the Club website under ‘events’. There are quite a few which clash with each other and with routine club activity. Please ensure you discuss all entries with respective Captains in order to coordinate entries and to ensure all sections of the club can function whether competing or not:
Sun 6 Oct Pairs Head of River (London)
Sat 12 Oct Reading Small Boats Head
Sun 13 Oct Bedford Autumn SBH
Sat 19 Oct Weybridge Silver Sculls
Sun 20 Oct Little Big Row (Junior sponsored row from Guildford to Send and back)
Sat 26 Oct Marlow Long Distance Sculls
Sun 27 Oct Upper Thames Autumn Head
Sat 9 Nov Henley LDSc
Sat 16 Nov Teddington SBH
Sat 23 Nov 4s Head of River (London)
Sun 1 Dec Wallingford 4s & 8s Head
Sat 7 Dec Burway SBH (Chertsey)
British Rowing Indoor Champs
Sat 14 Dec Walton SBH
Sun 15 Dec GRC Christmas Scratch Regatta (surely the peak of the 2019 season?)
Additional clubhouse bookings you should be aware of:
Tue 5 Nov First Aid Course (evening)
Tue 12 Nov First Aid Course (evening)
Welcome: we have beginner courses underway for both seniors and juniors which have seen a significant increase in the activity at the Club on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Thank you to the many club members who are helping with these courses. We hope all new members will enjoy their rowing experience here at Guildford on our small (but perfect) river. We look forward to seeing you all progress on and off the water and to be part of our thriving and exciting Club.
The Club has an active Adaptive section which usually has a healthy Friday morning session. For adult adaptive rowing there are many opportunities to help, such as rowing/coaching in a double, river bank safety and/or coaching and setting up boats.
The junior adaptive section has two keen young girls. We’ve overcome the use of an ergo for those with impaired vision by rigging up ErgChatter (old unsupported Concept2 software for PM3 and PM4 monitors) to allow selected items displayed on the monitor, such as stroke rate and split time, to be broadcast using a computer and speakers. This has been very successful in providing feedback to the user and facilitates setting a target split time. With adaptive rowing it is essential to have sufficient helpers to provide a safe rowing environment. Junior adaptive helpers usually comprise a coach and skilled junior (in another single, on the bank or in a double) per boat. Parents are an important ingredient for junior adaptive rowing and often contribute great value to the coaching session with their insight.
Many thanks to our regular helpers Robert (the master of all adaption), Steve, David, Roy, Roger, Sofia, Ben and Richard. If you would like to help please contact Ian Pigram.
Boats & Equipment
So lucky to have a great fleet – look after it.
Queen of Hearts, Mock Turtle and No. 13 have returned from Janousek after a summer facelift and are looking as good as new. Alice and Roger have also returned with their wounds repaired after colliding some weeks ago – more under Safety. Duchess is languishing with the repairer having sustained damage to the bows which was letting in water and hidden under the black tape. Please let the club know if you cause or note any damage to boats and blades. We will always aim to get it sorted out as fast as possible so the equipment can be returned to use but we cannot be expected to know by magic mirror.
Helene (4x-) has been fitted with a new larger rudder and can now negotiate the bends in a reasonably controlled manner.
Arnold Paiken has offered to become the ergo fairy (not his words) and will be conducting a review of the machines to establish a maintenance and repair programme. It would be helpful if users could let Arnold know of problems with machines – they are all identifiable by letter – as soon as they are noted to avoid further damage/wear and tear.
Next social event will be the Crew Supper on Thursday 17th October. Details are on the Club noticeboards and you can reserve your ticket by contacting Georgie at [email protected]
Please get in touch with Georgie if you have any ideas for Club social events and/or you can help her with the organisation.
Club Development continues and the land purchase is imminent as we go to press. We now have a Funding sub-committee which will lead on raising funds to support the plans of the Development sub-committee. The initial intention is to make the new land capable of supporting a boathouse structure. A new boathouse will be constructed in the next phase.
Next Committee meeting is on Wednesday 9th October. Please contact any Committee member if you have any concerns or wish to raise any matters.
We had a serious collision between a 4x- and a 2x on a summer evening. Both crews were experienced and wearing bright clothing but were hindered by moored narrow boats and evening shadows. One crew member was lucky to escape serious injury, thanks to the effective bow ball on the 4x-. Lessons to learn:
There is no substitute for maintaining a lookout for other river users at all times
Pre-outing boat checks are absolutely vital
Winter rowing – dos:
Check the weather forecast when planning outings and attending events
Wear several thin layers of clothing
Bring spare clothing to the club
Think carefully about solo sculling – it’s not whether you can manage the conditions whilst upright; it’s what happens if you fall in that should exercise your decision-making process
Wear bright clothing – compulsory for single scullers, bow steers and bow rowers in coxed boats
Continue to wash the boats and equipment thoroughly after use – as rainfall and river flows increase there is more opportunity for water-borne bacteria to enter the river by being washed off the land
Stay hydrated, even when it’s cold and damp – take water with you in the boat; do not assume you can always pop back to the boathouse for a top-up.
Winter rowing – don’ts:
Lock yourself out of the boathouse whilst on the water
Leave the clubroom door open
Go out if the Red Boards are on display during river-in-flood conditions unless authorised to do so by a certified Club member – the Red Board instructions are available in the Clubhouse and a list of authorised Red Board conditions assessors is included. Please ask your Captain if you are unsure of the requirements.
With Bedford Autumn Small Boats Head coming up here are some pictures from 2007 which show you are never too young or old to be involved with rowing.
Successful Senior and Junior sculling camps at Henley
Juniors selected to represent Thames London Region at JIRR
MasH 4x win Gold at National Masters regatta
Juniors win Bronze at National Schools regatta
Not one but two Summer parties
National Junior Championships’ finalists
Victor Ludorum at Molesey Junior regatta
Over 30 wins at regattas this season so far…………
The last head race of the season was at Abingdon where Jeff Watling (Southsea) and Robert Hall won the MasG/H 2x event.
Sculling camps took place at Henley for both Senior and Junior squads (below).
The regatta season is now coming to an end but it has been a successful one across the Club. Some weekends have seen GRC crews and individuals racing in 3 different locations thanks to a lot of coordination by the Captains and our great volunteer trailer towers.
For reasons of space and brevity only the winning individuals and crews are reported here but we should be very proud of the many Guildford rowers from all squads who have represented the Club up and down the country in all weathers and at all levels.
The regatta season story so far: based on performances at the Junior Sculling Head and other winter races three GRC crews were selected to represent the Thames London region at the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta to be held at Peterborough:
WJ15 4x+ Rebecca Boddington, Silvia Harrop, Aimee Newenham and Francesca Morland coxed by Ella Simms.
J14 4x+ Columbus Mais-Harding, Daniel Gilbert, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Sofia Palau.
WJ14 4x+ Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson.
Doubles from these crews also won their selection events but were not selected as we were already providing the quads! Alas, the event was cancelled at the last minute due to forecast poor weather.
At Marlow Spring regatta Helen Gray and Aimee Marshall won the WMasA/B 2x event and Jeff Watling (Southsea) and Robert Hall won MasH 2x, whilst the Women’s Adaptive 1x event was won by Gerry Brierley.
At Nottingham Masters the MasH 4x- of Nigel Hopkins (Eton) Steve Denley-Hill (Ardingly) Robert Hall and Jeff Watling (Southsea) won the Gold medal.
At Shrewsbury Open Ben Hopwood won the 1x Band 1 and MasA/B 1x, Mike Spruzs, Richard Cooper, Bill Mansfield and Arnold Paiken, coxed by Vicky Shutt, won Mas E/F 4+ and the W 4x A event was won by Aimee Marshall, Anika Gleichman, Jackie Johnson and Helen Gray.
The next day at Shrewsbury Sprint the MasD/E 8+ of Tom Ostle, Richard Cooper, Richard Warne, Mike Spruzs, Bill Mansfield, Brad Bryant, Paul Woowat and Richard Coldrick, coxed by Vicky Shutt, won their event and Paul, Richard W, Richard C and Brad also won the MasE 4x- whilst Richard Cooper brought home the MasD 1x trophy! A very successful and fun weekend.
A motley bunch masquerading as the GRC MasD/E 8
The Junior squad entered 10 beginner quads at Maidenhead Junior regatta, reached 5 finals and recorded wins for Julian Herschel, Jacob White, Seb Oakey and Morley Pendred, coxed by Ella Curtis (J13s rowing up as J14s) in J14 4x+ and for Cecily Wilkinson, Freya Cameron, Erika Booth and Emmie Dowling, coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson in WJ14 4x+.
Junior Squad at Maidenhead Junior
At the National Schools regatta held at Dorney Lake the WJ15 4x+ of Rebecca Boddington, Silvia Harrop, Aimee Newenham and Francesca Morland coxed by Sofia Palau finished 15th from 68 crews in the time trial, missing the B final by just 3 seconds.
The J14 4x+ of Lucas Hanin, Daniel Gilbert, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Charles Currie-Aird qualified for the A final from 41 crews and finished 5th, whilst the
WJ14 4x+ of Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson also qualified for the A final by finishing 3rd from 41 crews in the time trial and won a Bronzemedal in the final, missing Silver by less than a second.
J14 4x+ at National Schools, Dorney Lake
Twickenham regatta saw Jeff Watling (Southsea) and Robert Hall win in MasG/H 2x
Thames Valley Park regatta, near Reading, recorded wins for several Junior crews in a very strong field:
WJ15 4x+ Rebecca Boddington, Silvia Harrop, Aimee Newenham and Francesca Morland coxed by Sofia Palau.
WJ14 4x+ Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Oakey coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson from an entry of 26 crews.
WJ14 2x Yzzy Rawlinson and Imogen Wells.
The J14 4x+ of Daniel Gilbert, Columbus Mais-Harding, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Ellie Young finished 2nd in their final from an entry of 35 crews.
Kingston Borough regatta saw wins for the
WJ12 4x+ of Amber Wild, Annabella Evans, Isabella Hanin and Esme Young coxed by Olivia Howie;
The J13 4x+ of Julian Herschel, Jacob White, Seb Oakey, Morley Pendred coxed byToby Forwood;
J14 4x+ Lucas Hanin, Dylan Taylorson, Daniel Gilbert and Nick Summerfield coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson
Henley Masters didn’t produce any wins for Guildford but is a premier event with a high standard of competition. Jeff Watling and Robert Hall lost in the final of the MasH 2x; the MasG 4x- of Nigel Hopkins, Paul Woowat, Jeff Watling and Robert Hall lost to the eventual winners in the semi-final and the MasD4+ of Manu Pezier, Tim Ostle, Richard Cooper and Richard Warne, with Vicky Shutt as guest cox, lost to a star-studded Molesey crew in the semis who also went on to win the event.
Richmond regatta saw crews from both men’s and women’s masters’ squads racing but with no wins.
The National Junior Championships, held at Nottingham, was a step up from previous years and saw the J14 4x+ of Lucas Hanin, Dylan Taylorson, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Sofia Palau, finish 10th from 23 and the WJ14 4x+ of Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson qualify for their A final in the 3rd fastest in the time trial. An equipment issue in the final slowed the boat and despite an extraordinary effort they finished 5th, just out of the medals. Very disappointing but they will be back next year.
Molesey regatta in July did not see any wins for Guildford crews but it was notable for the first entry by a beginner 4x- under the guidance of the Women’s Captain. A great demonstration of what is possible for those new to rowing as adults.
.On to Molesey Junior the next day (after some complex trailer-loading) where the WJ12 4x+ of Amber Wild, Lottie Isherwood, Annabella Evans and Esme Young coxed by Olivia Howie won the Open J12 event (beating a boys’ crew from Weybridge in the final). There were also wins for:
J13 4x+ of Julian Herschel, Jacob White, Seb Oakey and Morley Pendred coxed byToby Forwood;
J14 4x+ Lucas Hanin, Dylan taylorson, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Sofia Palau;
WJ14 4x+ Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed byYzzy Rawlinson;
WJ14 2x Ella Curtis and Erika Booth
WJ15 4x+ Rebecca Boddington, Silvia Harrop, Aimee Newenham and Francesca Morland coxed by Sofia Palau;
These wins earned the Club the Victor Ludorum trophy for best Club at the regatta.
And most recently at Staines(-on-Thames) regatta Jeff Watling (Southsea) and Robert Hall won MasH 2x.
Jeff Watling and Robert Hall win MasH 2x
J12 4x+ Lottie Isherwood, Ruben Parnell, Harry Dowling and Isabella Hanin coxed by Toby Forwood (beat Weybridge boys – again);
Lottie Isherwood, Isabella Hanin, Ruben Parnell and Harry Dowling (absent on coxing duty: Toby Forwood)
Winners J12 4x+
J13 4x+ Julian Herschel, Jacob White, Seb Oakey and Morley Pendred coxed by Toby Forwood;
J14 4x+ Lucas Hanin, Dylan Taylorson, Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield coxed by Sofia Palau;
WJ14 4x+ Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed by Emmie Dowling;
J14 2x Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield;
WJ14 1x Imogen Wells;
Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Emmie Dowling, Imogen Wells and Darcy Pellowe
Winners WJ14 4x+
And onwards and upwards……….
The regatta season continues. Please help all Club members by planning early and checking with your Captains so that potential clashes of equipment can be resolved early and with minimum fuss and impact on the rest of the Club. Do not assume you can have the boat you want when you want it – there is a bigger picture.
Forthcoming regattas and events:
Saturday 3 August: Henley Town & Visitors
Saturday 10 August: Maidenhead
Saturday 17 August: Oxford City Royal
Sunday 18 August: Oxford City sprints
Saturday 24 August: Gloucester Juniors & Masters
Sunday 25 August: Ross Masters & Juniors
Sunday 1 September: Great Ouse Marathon
Wednesday 11 September: Adult beginner Course commences (Weds eves and Sat mornings)
Sunday 29 September: Little Big Row (Junior squad fund-raiser from GRC to Send and back)
Visiting schools. Woodcote and Sunningdale schools had a day out at the club for their leavers (year 8s). Thank you to Mike Spruzs, Richard Warne and Paul Woowat.
Boats & Equipment
So lucky to have a great fleet – look after it.
Queen of Hearts, Mock Turtle and No 13 are away at Janousek boat builders getting a facelift after many years service – Queen is one of the oldest boats at the Club having arrived in 2002. Twelve oars have also been re-sleeved, tipped and new handles fitted.
The Boat Race attracted a gathering of Club members to witness a win by…..can’t remember but it was either Oxford or Cambridge.
The Junior squad had a party in June which provided entertainment for all as most of the juniors ended up in the river.
And Georgie Moore organised a Summer party in July which made the best use of our unique location and where Club members and their guests enjoyed wood-fired oven-baked pizza and Pimms.
Next social event will be the Crew Supper in October – date and details to follow.
Please get in touch with Georgie if you have any ideas for Club social events and/or you can help her with the organisation.
There’s something going on at the Rowing Club – maybe a Committee meeting?
Club Development continues and the land purchase is imminent as we go to press. We now have a Funding sub-committee which will lead on raising funds to support the plans of the Development sub-committee. The initial intention is to make the new land capable of supporting a boathouse structure. A new boathouse will be constructed in the next phase. Our planning permission will have lapsed by this time which will necessitate a new planning application, although most of the associated surveys and supporting documentation will be carried over which will save costs and time.
The current boathouse under construction in the 1950s – carried out entirely by club members
Summer rowing – dos:
Stay covered up in sunny weather despite the temptation to soak up the sun
Use sun block and other protective screens when afloat – the sun’s effect is magnified by the water
Wear socks in the boat – we share our rowing shoes
Check the weather forecast when planning outings and attending events
Wear several thin layers
Bring spare clothing to the club
Think carefully about solo sculling – what happens if I go in to the water even in Summer
Wear bright clothing – compulsory for single scullers, bow steers and bow rowers in coxed boats
Continue to wash the boats and equipment thoroughly after use – as river flows slow there is more opportunity for water-borne bacteria to thrive.
Stay hydrated – take water with you in the boat; do not assume you can always pop back to the boathouse for a top-up.
Summer rowing – don’ts:
Strip off when using ergos outdoors – it sets a bad example to junior rowers and is an unpleasant sight for others
Lock yourself out of the boathouse whilst on the water
Leave the clubroom door open
Jump into or swim in the river off the Club landing stage: there is an unknown quantity of potentially dangerous rubbish in the river as a result of summer public activity on the island opposite
Leave food out after parties (especially BBQs) – the rats look forward to Summer as they get endless free picnics by the river………………
Medals for Juniors at South
East Indoor Rowing Champs
Junior wins at Burway Head
Medals at Oarsport Junior
Women win at Kingston Head
Juniors selected to
represent Thames/London Region
Victoria Starr wins World
indoor rowing Gold in USA
Club AGM elects new
Guildford goes to sea
Following on from
a successful BRIC in December the Junior squad had a large entry at the South
East Indoor Rowing champs in Abingdon with a steady stream of medals to
entertain the many supporters
Silver for WJ15 Francesca Morland, Bronze
medals for J14s Nick Summerfield, Columbus Mais-Harding, Ben Isherwood and
Lucas Hanin relay team, Bronze for WJ14 Darcy Pellowe
The WJ13 girls
came close in their relay finishing 5th from 31 teams. Maia Bentley
won Silver in the individual event.
The Junior squad
returned to the Thames between Chertsey and Laleham for the Burway Head of River Race and had a
bumper day out with wins for:
J13 4x+ of
Julian Herschel, Morley Pendred, Jacob White and Seb Oakey coxed by Ben
of Daniel Gilbert, Nick Summerfield, Columbus Mais-Harding and Ben Isherwood
coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson Other GRC crews finished 3rd and 5th
in this event.
of Nick Summerfield and Ben Isherwood
WJ14 4x+ Band 1 of
Ella Curtis, Erika Booth, Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells coxed by Yzzy
Rawlinson. The GRC crew in Band 2 of this event finished 3rd.
WJ14 2x Ellie
Young and Imogen Wells with Erika Booth and Ella Curtis in 2nd by 2
WJ15 2x Band 1
Aimee Newenham and Francesca Morland with Silvia Harrop and Adelaide Oakey in 2nd.
In March the
Juniors entered crews at the OarsportJunior Sculling Head raced over 3,600
metres at Dorney Lake (2 laps of the Olympic course minus a bit at the end).
Junior crews from across the country race in 14 divisions throughout the day
with up to 80 crews in some events. The WJ14 crew of Ella Curtis, Erika Booth,
Darcy Pellowe and Imogen Wells, coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson, won Silver medals in an entry of 46, the
J14 crew of Daniel Gilbert, Nick Summerfield, Columbus Mais-Harding and Ben
Isherwood, coxed by Rebecca Boddington finished an agonising 4th from 44 crews and the
WJ15 crew of Rebecca Boddington, Silvia Harrop, Aimee Newenham and Francesca
Morland, coxed by Yzzy Rawlinson finished 35th from 66. A second WJ14 crew
finished a creditable 37th.
Sir Steve Redgrave
was on hand to observe how well Guildford crews were prepared on their tiny
stretch of water – he seemed to know all about us!
earned the J14s and WJ14s selection to represent the Thames/London region at
the forthcoming Junior Inter-Regional Regatta (JIRR) at Peterborough at the end
of April. However, to give other clubs and schools a second chance to represent
the region, the crews had to race again at Walton the next weekend in a trial
over 1000 metres. The J14s and WJ14s confirmed their selection in style and the
WJ15s also beat all other crews to earn their place in the regional team. These
squads also raced in doubles and won their events but are not allowed to double
up at the JIRR so will race in quads only. Watch this space for results.
That same weekend
saw crews from the Women’s and Junior squads compete over 5200 metres at the Kingston Head of River race. The Junior
crews competed admirably over this challenging distance whilst the Women’s quad
of Helen Gray, Sam Hancock, Aimee Marshall and Jackie Johnson won the WMas A/C 4x- event.
A small group of
Masters men and women ventured out to sea
under the encouragement of Robert Hall and with the guidance and specialist
boats of the Coastal Rowing Centre at Studland Bay near Swanage, Dorset. A Saturday
of good weather saw the intrepid scullers exploring the coastline of the bay
before discretion replaced valour on the Sunday as the weather threw up waves
of daunting size and confirmed the pre-match pub decision of ‘go for a walk’. ‘Great
fun if challenging’ seems to be the main comment!
Meanwhile, on the
far side of the USA, our very own Victoria
Starr was competing at the World
Indoor Rowing Championships in Long Beach, California and finished in Gold
medal position in the Women’s Masters C class! Awesome.
To finish off the Head
season the Masters men competed in Harold at the Vesta Veteran’s Head over the Boat Race course in London and came
home 33rd from 45 in the Masters F category in demanding conditions.
And onwards and upwards……….
The regatta season
approaches fast. Please help all Club members by planning early and checking
with your Captains so that potential clashes of equipment can be resolved early
and with minimum fuss and impact on the rest of the Club. Do not assume you can have the boat you want when you want it – there
is a bigger picture.
has returned from Janousek where she received an overhaul which has returned
the boat to almost-new stature. Jabberwock
and White Rabbit are with Eric
Sims Racing Services at Dorney being refurbished and we expect them back soon. Knave of Hearts and another double are
scheduled for treatment but we may now have to wait until after the regatta
A new single sculling
boat in the 75-85 kg range is on order from Swift and will arrive in May.
Four more pairs of Concept2 sculling
blades are also on order and should arrive at the same time. Our aim is to
have a pair of blades allocated to every sculling seat in the Club.
Several boats have been damaged by clumsy handling on and off
racks. Please take care when lifting and moving boats; check plastic protective
caps are fitted to top-nuts. Do not lift and move singles on your own if it can
be avoided – we don’t award medals
for lifting sculling boats (as it is not very difficult) but we do get irritated when people bash them
about showing off.
The ergos continue to
be used in their new home in the clubroom. We have bought a ‘new’ second-hand
ergo from a member which will replace one of the older machines. Some ongoing
maintenance is still needed: as a user, if you notice a loose fitting please
tighten it; if you find a broken item please note in the incident book and tell
the Bosun. Concept2 parts are actually quite cheap and fast to obtain; early
repair prevents subsequent damage. Do
not leave it to the ergo fairy to fix.
Please note the Bosun’s bench is now the proud owner of a new
spares storage rack which has been carefully labelled and is for the use of all
members. Please tell John the Bosun if we need any more bits and pieces – ahead
of the regatta season not the day before.
The Spring Fling had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales – sorry! We are in a difficult situation regarding Club social events as we are told there is a demand but we always struggle to make them fly. Our new Social Secretary is Georgie Moore and she has hit the ground running with an invitation to watch the University Boat Races at the Club on Sunday 7th April:
Please get in
touch with Georgie if you have any ideas for Club social events and/or you can
help her with the organisation.
The Club Annual General Meeting took place on 21st
March and was attended by 37 members (just enough for a quorum of voting
members). The minutes of the AGM are now available on the Club website. The good news is that subscriptions are not going up this year; the bad news is that
members must now pay their subscriptions. We have adopted the British
Rowing-provided Club Hub system for
administering the Club in a GDPR-compliant manner and through which members can
check and update their details. Members should pay their subscriptions using
Club Hub and a separate instruction has been distributed to explain this
members have stood down during the last year – Robert Hall as Captain and Steve
Wright as Membership Secretary – and others did not stand for re-election – Tom
Sawyer as Vice Capt (Men), Chris Boys as Vice Capt (Adaptives) and Nick
Hopkins. The AGM elected a new Committee, which includes the parent of a Junior
for the first time in order to provide representation for this major element of
the Club and a new position of Vice Captain (Development & Beginners). The
new Committee is as follows:
Bosun John Redmond
Welfare Officer Claude Chiplin
Safety Adviser Mike Spruzs
Membership Sec Kim Peschier
Vice Capt (Men) Ben Hopwood
Vice Capt (Women) Helen Gray
Vice Capt (Adapt) Ian Pigram
Vice Capt (Juniors) Mark Rawlinson
Vice Capt (Dev) Gerry Brierley
Social Secretary Georgie Moore
Junior Parent rep Andrew Isherwood
meets for the first time on Wednesday 10 April. Please contact a member of the
Committee if you wish to raise any matters at that meeting.
was discussed at the AGM. The purchase of land from Guildford Borough Council
is in the final stages and we are looking at options for utilising the new land
in order to progress development of Club facilities. The original scheme, which
gained planning permission in September 2016, is now regarded as unachievable
due to high cost and low likelihood of funding. Therefore the Development
sub-committee is exploring options for a phased development aimed at improving
aspects of the Club facilities where they are most needed, and within the
realms of financial realism.
rowing – dos:
covered up in sunny weather despite the temptation to soak up the sun
sun block and other protective screens when afloat – the sun’s effect is
magnified by the water
socks in the boat – we share rowing shoes
the weather forecast when planning outings
several thin layers
spare clothing to the club
carefully about solo sculling – what happens if I go in to the water even in
to wear bright clothing whenever on the water at all times
to wash the boats and equipment thoroughly after use – as river flows slow
there is more opportunity for water-borne bacteria to thrive.
hydrated – take water with you in the boat; do not assume you can always pop
back to the boathouse for a top-up.
rowing – don’ts:
off when using ergos outdoors – it sets a bad example to junior rowers and is
an unpleasant sight for others
yourself out of the boathouse whilst on the water
the clubroom door open
into or swim in the river off the Club landing stage: there is an unknown
quantity of potentially dangerous rubbish in the river as a result of summer
public activity on the island opposite
food out after parties (especially BBQs) – the rats look forward to Summer as
they get endless free picnics by the river………………