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Guildford Rowing News

Captain’s Update – June 2021

Club News – John Noble

Guildford Rowing Club is sad to announce the death of John Noble on Thursday 10 June 2021, at the age of 80.  John had been a successful cox at school and later as part of Vesta and Tideway Scullers. John also held the record for the Head of River Race for many years. John joined the Guildford about 15 years ago, getting involved with Juniors, particularly coaching the new starters. Despite being unable to drive after suffering some ill health, John continued to catch the bus from Camberley to Guildford each week, to help with the Juniors and police the car park, ensuring no shoppers used the GRC car park.

Amongst Junior coaches and parents he’ll be remembered fondly for his stories, keeping them entertained while the Juniors rowed. He will be sorely missed by all at the club. 

Race reports:

GRC has had a great start to the regatta season!

Desborough Dashes saw a great number of senior and junior entries for the first event since lockdown, with 9 heat or event wins!  17 Juniors had their first ever race, and commiserations to our J13 and WJ13 squads whose events were cancelled due to the stream. Two senior crews led a valiant effort in the MxMas2x (Matt Oakey and Paula Reddy) and the WMas4x- (Emma Wells, Rachel Townsend, Claude Chiplin and Sue Loughlin). Sadly spectators were discouraged due to Covid restrictions, we hope events will soon start allowing them so family and friends can cheer on from the bank!


Many congratulations to the WJ16 2x crew (Eleanor Morris and Emmie Dowling) and the MasD4- (Crispin Payne, Tim Ostle, Brad Bryant and William Tilbury) for the event victories! 


The Junior Squad followed up with a half-term week of activity at Junior Sculling Regatta (on the May Bank Holiday) and a half-term camp at Henley Rowing Club. 

At JSR our intrepid Junior athletes pulled some great times given the reduced training; and the high calibre and competitiveness of this event. The OJ162x crew of Ben Isherwood and Nick Summerfield came 6th out of 18 nationally; Annie Williams and Matilda Dunstan came in 5th in their event with a courageous row in the WJ152x event and 17 nationally, and the WJ154x+ crew of  Amelie Webb, Isabella Hanin, Maia Bently and Maya McFarlane, Toby Forwood (cox) who came 3rd in their B Final and 10th nationally. Extremely well done to our J152x of Seb Oakey and Jacob  White, and the WJ152x of Ruby Lloyd and Trinny Vasanthan, who missed out on their final places by a whisker, but who nevertheless gave huge rows in their time trials. Well done to all who took part, and for the live commentary and updates throughout the day for parents who were not allowed to attend. 

The Junior squad at Junior Sculling Regatta and Henley. A very well done to Morley Pendred, who won a silver in the J152x for Tideway Scullers, but has learnt almost all of his trade at Guildford!

At British Rowing Masters Championships on 12 June, Rob Hall and Jeff Watling (Southsea) had a fantastic win  in the MasI2x, with a very comfortable lead of 30 s! Well done also to Paul and Nigel for their valiant effort in the MasG/H2x. 

Our next races planned include Marlow Town, (26 June), Henley Masters (9-10 July), Kingston (10-11 July), BR Junior Champs (16-18 July), Molesey Masters and Juniors (17-18 July), Henley T&V (31 July) and Staines (24 July) .  We are sorry to not be going to Maidenhead, which has been cancelled due to the lockdown extension. All the best to our crews across the squads training for these events. We hope to bring race reports as they happen.

New Boats!

We have now put our newly purchased boats into action! A new coxed quad replenishes our ageing fleet, and two new featherweights singles extend our provision of single sculls to our mighty lighties. We are pleased to see these getting the miles in on the water now they’ve been set up.

We are pleased to name our new coxed quad Ace of Blades a nod to our Alice in Wonderland theme with a twist! The singles will be 9 and 10 in line with the current numbering.

The featherweight singles have a weight range of 50-60 kg- if you’re unsure if you can use them, please consult with your squad captain.

Women’s Captain Aimee in a new featherweight single, and the WJ154x+ in the new coxed quad!

BOTTLES…..We have a growing community of water bottles – please collect stray waterbottles – any remaining by the end of June will be removed to keep the club tidy.



We’re planning our club BBQ for the Sunday 25 July…more details on how to sign up coming soon! We hope this will be a great opportunity to celebrate the club’s achievements in this truncated regatta season, and with any luck the final lifting of lockdown!

Please keep a lookout for details on how to book!

Erg Bosun sought!

The Club is looking for some volunteers to help coordinate the maintenance and service of our ergs – as we are getting back to fitness it is more important than ever that our equipment is working well and supporting our race ambitions!

If you can help (no previous experience required – just enthusiasm!) please let me know @ [email protected] 

Reminder on incident reports:

As we’ve returned to rowing, we’ve had several boat damages that haven’t been reported. It’s extremely important that boat damage and other incidents are reported in the black book in the club house and to your squad captain so that the Committee can promptly take care of any work needed to get the equipment back up and running for members to enjoy. Members aren’t financially liable if a mistake was made – we need to know so we can fix things and learn from incidents. See this guide on the website  if you are unsure of what to report.

Please look out for any damage when you wash your boats and blades down at the end of an outing, or re-rig at the end of an event.

BR Safety Updates:

Every month BR send a safety report, and when necessary Safety Alerts. I’ve attached both of these to the update. They are also available on the BR Website: Monthly Safety Reports and Safety Alerts.

Trailer drivers – please take a look at the Safety Alert regarding the structural stability of towbars. 

All members – please take a look at the safety report, covering collision avoidance, lifejacket tests, SUPpers and some information about (the absence of) covid transmission in rowing clubs. It is vital that everyone still stays vigilant and keeps to good hygiene and distancing practices.

Welcome to new Committee members

We are pleased to welcome new committee members: Dan Wood (Junior Captain); David White (Junior Parent Rep) and Robert Hall (Water Safety Advisor) to the 2021-2022 Committee, and look forward to working with them to progress our goals for the next Committee Season.


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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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John Eden 1925 – 2020

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.

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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.

Down Your McWey – A Special Supplement September 2019

A Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter Supplement

Guildford rowers go International

  • 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)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic…..

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.

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Down Your Wey September 2019

The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter


  • Lots of fun and wins at the late Summer regattas
  • 11 wins at the first head race of the new season
  • A win and nearly a record at the Boston Marathon
  • Senior and Junior beginner courses start up
  • 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 Gloucester Masters 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

                        Kingston SBH

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.

Committee Notes

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.

Memory Lane

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.


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