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Down Your Wey May 18


The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

J18 1x – James Reckord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marlow Spring

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

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


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

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

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

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

The crew doubled up in fours for both regattas:

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

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

Maidenhead Junior Regatta


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

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

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

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

Forthcoming events:

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

Saturday 9th June    Walton and Weybridge

Sunday 11th June    Weybridge Ladies

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th June Henley Women

Sunday 24th June    Thames Valley Park (Reading)

Wednesday 4th – Sunday 8th July Henley Royal

Saturday 14th July    Kingston (Sens and J16s)

Sunday 15th July      Kingston (Juns)

Saturday 21st July    Molesey (Sens and J16s)

Sunday 22nd July     Molesey (Juns)

Saturday 28th July    Staines

Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

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

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


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

Committee Notes

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

Swimmers in the river

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

Dogs at GRC

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

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


A serious collision

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

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

Summer rowing – dos and don’ts:

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

And finally…..

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

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

Down Your Wey March 2018

Down your Wey

The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great strength in depth from across the squad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck to our Juniors from everyone at the Club.

Forthcoming events:

Sunday 8th April: Abingdon Head – cancelled

Saturday 21st April: Junior Inter-Regional Regatta Nottingham

Saturday 28th April: Hammersmith Regatta

Sunday 29th April: Phyllis Court Regatta

Sunday 20th May: Maidenhead Junior Regatta

Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

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

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

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

If you discover damage to a boat or other piece of equipment please record it in the incident book held on the bar so the Bosun and Captains are alerted to impending repairs and boats out of action early. This applies to blades, cox boxes and ergos – it all needs to be serviceable.

Victoria Starr did a good job repairing and assessing the ergos last year. Already some are showing signs of wear and tear. Please ensure all fittings are tight and any spares required noted in the incident book. There are spare parts and specialist tools for the machines held at the club – ask.

.Club Maintenance Day

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


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

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

Committee Notes

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

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

Chairman                  Paul Woowat

Secretary                   Richard Warne

Treasurer                   Danny Skillman

Captain                      Robert Hall

Vice Capt Men          Tom Sawyer

Vice Capt Women    Helen Gray

Vice Capt Junior      Ian Pigram

Vice Capt Adaptive  Chris Boys

Water Safety Adviser           Rachel Morris

Deputy WSA                         Rachel Spruce

Membership Secretary        Steve Wright

Bosun                                    John Redmond

Welfare Officer         Claudine Chiplin

Social                         Kim Peschier

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

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

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

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

Full Membership (seniors) £275.

Junior / Student £190.

Adaptive Senior £185.

Adaptive Junior £65.

Social /Coxwains / Coaches £20.

Racking Fee Inside £205.

Racking Fee Outside £125.

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


Bar access should be ensured for all sessions at the club in order to provide hot drinks and phone access. A number of keys are available – ask who has the key if you are training at the club.

Be aware of safety requirements and briefings at events on the Thames and open water – the conditions will be very different to our sheltered and benign River Wey.

We have had more Red Board situations recently. On one occasion the Club Water Safety Adviser witnessed 2 adult members obviously completely unaware of the rules regarding Red Board use of the river. All members must understand and abide by the rules surrounding permitted rowing activity when the river is closed to navigation (Red Boards). All squads should have been briefed on the rules; if you missed a briefing contact your squad captain to arrange an explanation. If in doubt do not go out.


Down Your Wey January 2018


  • Wins for Seniors at Henley, Walton and Weybridge, Juniors at Teddington and Burway
  • Adaptives and Juniors have strong showing at the British Rowing Indoor Championships
  • Puss in Boats receives rave reviews
  • Christmas Scratch Regatta sets the festive scene
  • 2018 starts with a win at Weybridge


At Henley Long Distance Sculls Annika Gleichman won the Masters A single sculls event and Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won the Masters H/J double sculls event.

The Teddington Head is rowed from Hampton Court to Teddington – 4800 metres. The Club had a large entry from the Junior squad with many juniors competing in both divisions: 20 kms of rowing in a day. Despite this daunting distance against clubs and schools who train on this stretch and the Thames generally every week the Guildford juniors recorded 7 wins: double sculls at J18 (James Reckord and Nathan Jones) and J15 (Danny Mulligan and Max plus 3rd and 5th places too), coxed quads at J15 (Eddie Vaughan, Joe Bryant, Josh Ingham and Richard Loch coxed by Reece Marriot), WJ15 (Keziah Markfort, Emily Wolfenden, Jess Bebbington and Francesca coxed by Reece Marriot) and WJ14 (Adelaide Oakey, Francesca Morland, Aimee Newenham and Silvia Harrop coxed by Hannah Kingerlee), single sculls at WJ16 (Lucy Stevenson), J15 (Danny Mulligan) and WJ15 (Keziah Markfort). James Casemore and Adam Goecki just missed out on a win finishing second  in the J16 double sculls.

The Junior squad failed to record any wins at the Hampton Small Boats Head the following week but produced some good results with the J15 boys finishing 4th from 29 in the coxed quads event where only 0.2 seconds separated the top 4 crews! The J15 boys then took 2nd, 3rd and 6th from 36 crews in the double sculls category and 4th, 5th and 15th from 36 in the single sculls category – great strength in depth. Nathan Jones and James Reckord did well to finish 6th from 14 in the J17 double sculls.

Burway Small Boats Head saw the Junior squad in action again and wins were recorded by the J16 boys in double sculls (Adam Gorecki and James Casemore) and single sculls (Peter Denton) whilst the J15 boys won in quad sculls (Josh Ingham, Joe Bryant, Eddie Vaughan, Richard Loch coxed by Reece Marriott), double sculls (Eddie Vaughan and Josh Ingham) and single sculls (Danny Mulligan), plus the WJ15 girls coxed quad (Keziah Markfort, Jess Bebbington, Emily Shepherd and Emily Wolfenden coxed by Sofia Palau).

To finish 2017 on a high note Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won Masters H double sculls at Walton Small Boats Head.

Meanwhile, off the water, several club juniors and adaptive rowers competed at the British Rowing Indoor Championships. This annual event is held at the Olympic Park Velodrome and attracts a vast range of competitors of all ages. Performance of the day was by Peter Denton in the J16 500 metres event where he won a Silver medal in a time of 1 minute 31 seconds. Elsewhere Martin Tye won the Adaptive Men’s 2000 metres in 7 minutes 51 seconds and Hilary Birkinshaw the Para Women’s 2000 metres in 10 minutes 36 seconds. The three J13 boys – Ben Isherwood, Daniel Gilbert and Lucas Hanin – posted sub 2 minute times in their 500 metres event and Chris Boys covered his 2000 metres in the Para Men’s event to finish 5th from 7. Guildford juniors performed strongly throughout and came back having had a great experience rubbing shoulders with the GB squad and the fastest indoor rowers in the world.

And finally we began 2018 with a win at Weybridge Winter Head for a new composite crew of Paul Woowat, Robert Hall, Neil Hopkins (Eton Excelsior) and Jeff Watling (Southsea) in the Masters H coxless quads event.

Forthcoming events:

Saturday 3rd February: Hampton 4s and 8s Head

Saturday 17th February: Molesey Veterans Head

Saturday 24th February: Burway 4s and 8s Head

Saturday 10th March: Women’s Head

Tuesday 13th March: Junior Sculling Head

Saturday 17th March: Kingston Head

Sunday 25th March: Vesta Veterans Head


Bosun – Boat & Equipment use

We have had a lot of boat handling damage which could have been avoided.  Request help with handling boats – especially at busy times; two people carrying a single is likely to avoid a lot of the damage that occurs to those boats.  It’s not a case of someone being judged as not capable of boat handling on their own, but of preserving the boats as best we can.

If you discover damage to a boat or other piece of equipment please record it in the incident book held on the bar so the Bosun and Captains are alerted to impending repairs and boats out of action early. This applies to blades, cox boxes and ergos – it all needs to be serviceable.

Victoria Starr did a good job repairing and assessing the ergos last year. Already some are showing signs of wear and tear. Please ensure all fittings are tight and any spares required noted in the incident book. There are spare parts and specialist tools for the machines held at the club – ask.


Puss in Boats was a huge success and received rave reviews. Many thanks to Richard Coldrick and all the team who made it come to life and set the scene for a great party afterwards. Hidden talent has been discovered in Bill Mansfield who is now officially the Club Ogre and Ben Hopwood who will be demonstrating the Cat Squat at future weight training sessions.

The panto put everyone in the right frame of mind for the Christmas Scratch Regatta the next day. However it was obvious the seniors couldn’t really take the pace of socialising followed by a bit of rowing so the regatta was mainly a Junior affair with 8 crews battling for those GRC medals – now collectors’ items. A new event this year was for family double sculls with parents and children rowing in the same boat against the clock. This proved both popular and entertaining, and it got very competitive – so we will ensure it is included in future scratch regattas. The winning crew on the day was:

Ben Alderton  Silvia Harrap   Benjy Kingerlee  &  Sofia Palau

Full results:

Crew Names Ergo Aquajog Quad Total Place
G Ben Alderton

Silvia Harrop

Benjy Kningerlee

Sofia Palau

8.04 2.49 5.50 16.43 1
C Tomasz Cowley


Reece West

Eddie Vaughan

7.45 3.52 5.35 17.12 2
F Alice Wilkinson

Josh Ingham

Emma Dodd

James Page

8.20 3.18 5.55 17.33 3
B Erika Booth

Daniel Gilbert

Genevieve Anderson

Adelaide Oakey

7.53 4.02 5.45 17.40 4
D Freya Cameron

Lucas Hanin

Hannah Kingerlee

Mimi Anderson

8.28 3.53 5.40 18.01 5
E Cecily Wilkinson

Cameron Cashen

Conrad Wells

Trinny Vasanthan

8.16 3.59 6.05 18.20 6
H Morley Pendred

Eloise Rennie

Darcie Moss-Brown

Will Dartnell

8.18 4.12 6.06 18.36 7
I George Simms

Ella Simms

Ruth Simms


8.46 4.13 6.40 19.39 8
A Yzzy Rawlinson

George Guest

Peter Denton

Maximos Karapapas

8.14 5.31 6.00 19.45 9


Garrick Doubles:


1=        Emma and Conrad Wells

1=        Mark and Yzzy Rawlinson

The Club annual formal evening dinner and dance – the Spring Fling – takes place at the Guildford Harbour hotel on Saturday 17th March. Please respond to the recent message from Helen Gray giving ticketing details.

Committee Notes

Next meeting Wednesday 7th February. Send your questions and views to the Secretary or through your squad Captain.

Annual General Meeting.  The AGM is scheduled for Thursday 22nd March at 8.00 pm. A formal notice will be distributed in due course along with a request for volunteers to stand for election to the Committee. Please make an effort to attend the AGM and consider serving on the Committee. If you wish to know more about the work and responsibilities of Committee members please contact an existing Committee member who will be more than happy to explain the routine and dispel fears!


Winter is still here – wear high visibility tops and warm layers underneath for training and racing. The club holds a stock of survival blankets – the space age foil versions. They are stored with the first aid kits above the throwbag shelf. Coaches should carry one or more and it is recommended they are carried by crews attending head races where lengthy times may be spent in poor conditions waiting for the start and hypothermia may start to set in, especially amongst younger crews.

Bar access should be ensured for all sessions at the club in order to provide hot drinks and phone access. A number of keys are available – ask who has the key if you are training at the club.

Be aware of safety requirements and briefings at events on the Thames and open water – the conditions will be very different to our sheltered and benign River Wey.

We have had our first Red Board situations of the year. All members must understand the rules surrounding permitted rowing activity when the river is closed to navigation (Red Boards). All squads should have been briefed on the rules; if you missed a briefing contact your squad captain to arrange an explanation. If in doubt do not go out.

A senior member went sculling on his own last month and returned to find the boathouse locked and his keys inside. As it was winter and he had no spare clothing he borrowed a phone from the pub and called a locksmith to enable him to gain entry to the club. The club has paid for the locksmith and we have managed to get the lock barrel replaced so keys will still work as before. We do not want to stop members using the club and the river but would ask that individuals use common sense when on their own; ensure you make adequate arrangements regarding access, communication and spare clothing.

Club Development

The major build project has planning permission thanks to the efforts of many club members. Guildford Borough Council is prepared to sell the club the extra land required for the project.

However, Sport England funding opportunities have been significantly reduced after being assessed as having had minimal impact on numbers participating in sport since 2012. The development sub-committee are re-examining options for the next steps in realising the aspirations of the club for the long-term. But some difficult decisions will have to be made if we are to make the best of what we have, what we need and what we can afford.

We will continue raising funds for the Club’s future and we will be organising a sponsored row between Weybridge and Guildford in September – the Big Row. Details will start to emerge – the date is likely to be Sunday 23rd September. Please keep the day free as we will be asking for crews and a significant army of volunteers to operate locks, ride shotgun on the bank and provide support in a myriad of ways – plus raise funds.

A tale from the riverbank. A member of the public called at the club on Sunday afternoon to commend a junior crew who had executed an emergency stop whilst doing a piece on the straight to avoid running over a swimming dog. He is an experienced coxswain from Lensbury RC and said it was the best piece of watermanship by a crew he had ever seen. The dog was pretty impressed too. Well done the junior crew concerned.

Send Danny your pictures and stories so they can be shared in the next newsletter.

Support Through Sport UK and Adaptive Rowing

The Charity Support Through Sport UK recently published an article on Adaptive Rowing at Guildford.

Thank you to Danny and Robert for your contribution.

Support through Sport UK had the pleasure of chatting to Guildford Rowing Club’s Robert Hall and Danny Skillman about the club’s adaptive rowing sessions.
Hi Robert and Danny.
Huge thanks for chatting to us today. To begin, can we ask when, and why, Guildford Rowing Club started offering adaptive rowing sessions?
 We first started offering sessions in the early 2000s when a former member of our club – Simon Goody (who’s now the British guru on classification for adaptive and para rowing) – introduced a few people to the club who he thought could make it into the British Paralympic team. Two of these people did indeed make it into the team: Helene Raynsford – who won the first ever Paralympic gold medal at Beijing – and Vicki Hansford, who took a silver in the four. A few years later, in about 2010, I (Robert) was winding down from work and so decided that we should start up the adaptive sessions again. At about that same time, a lady called Claire – who’s a wheelchair user – approached the club about getting involved in rowing. I began by holding her up on a rowing machine and, from there, we acquired some special seats for rowing machines and have since built up a whole fleet of specially-adapted boats (five singles and one double, with another double on the way). This kit has all been funded by external sources. Members of the adaptive squad have won medals at several Rowing World Championships and at the 2016 Rio Olympics (gold), as well as at many local and regional events.
What advice would you give to other rowing clubs – or sports clubs in general – who would like to set up adaptive, or para, squads or sessions?
 I think just do it. Just start. We’ve had a number of clubs come and visit us to seek advice, but it’s not as difficult to do as people might think. The three key things that you need are: (1) equipment (and I’d say that this is almost the easiest of the three things to get as people are really responsive and supportive when you have a story to tell), (2) participants and (3) volunteers. All of these things are critical and there’s nothing worse than when we have people who want to row but we can’t cater for them, or volunteers who don’t have anything to do as we don’t have enough participants. However, over the last few years, we’ve had a fair turnover of people and we’re now one of the most active adaptive rowing clubs in the country.
A few years ago, the Phyllis Court rowing club at Henley invited our adaptive squad to a time trial, so we started going to that, which provided the squad with a good introduction to racing. We’ve actually trialled a number of different racing innovations in order to make racing more open to everyone. For example: as there’s a relatively small number of people racing, we’ve introduced a handicap system that’s based on individual performance, and we’ve also introduced what we call ‘inclusion doubles’, which is where you have a para-athlete with an able-bodied athlete. Chris and Dave from our club recently won the inclusion doubles event at Bedford Head and they also competed in the Pairs Head a couple of weeks ago, which is held on the same stretch of water as the Boat Race.
With adaptive rowing, there are two main streams: para and adaptive rowing. What’s the difference?
 Para-rowing is Olympic rowing and it comprises three very clear classifications: (PR1) Arms and shoulders (there are two events for this category: a men’s and women’s singles event)., (PR2) Trunk and arms (where the event is a mixed double) and (PR3) Leg, trunk and arms (a mixed event (two men and two women), where no more than two members can be registered as visually impaired).
With adaptive rowing, however, we can be far more flexible and aren’t restricted by strict classifications. In the Paralympics, you obviously have to have a clear set of rules, but our mission with the adaptive rowing here at Guildford is to get as many people as we can out on the water enjoying themselves. When someone turns up to the club, I’ll put them on a rowing machine and work out what their capabilities are. For example, with sliding seats, a lot of people can use their legs but they haven’t got strong enough core muscles, so they’re actually much better off in a fixed seat. We have a range of seats they can try and then they can be adjusted to suite the individual. It’s amazing what you can do with a roll of gaffer tape and camping mat! So, to summarise, adaptive rowing is for everyone, and anyone can compete in adaptive racing.
How big an adaptive rowing squad does Guildford Rowing Club now have?
 We currently have about 10 to 12 people.
Did any of your current athletes compete at the recent Invictus Games?
 Yes. Martin Tye and Steve Alman.  Both Martin and Steve actually competed in, and won medals across, a variety of sports including rowing, wheelchair rugby, power-lifting, athletics, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.
If someone is reading this article and is interested in trying out adaptive rowing at your club, who should they contact?
 We’d ask that they fill out an application form, which can be found here.
And, in a similar vein, If someone is reading this article who would be interested in volunteering with the squad, who should they contact?
 You can contact us here. We’d also stress that you don’t have to know anything about rowing to become a volunteer; there are so many different ways that you can help us.
Thanks so much for talking to us, both, and for showing us your fantastic, inclusive club.
You can find the source article and the Charity Support Through Sport UK here:



Down Your Wey – The Guildford Rowing Club Newsletter Nov17


Martin Tye wins 6 medals and Steve Allman one at Invictus Games in Canada

Robert Hall and Jeff Watling win at Pairs’ Head

Wins at Wallingford, Bedford and Upper Thames autumn head races

Chris Boys wins the Frank Toner Cup at Bedford

New Adaptive double scull to arrive this month – to be named ‘Invictus’

 Invictus Games

Martin Tye and Steve Allman from the GRC Adaptive squad took part in the Invictus Games for disabled ex-servicemen held in Canada in September. Martin set a World record in the Heavyweight Powerlifting with a lift of 188 kgs to win Gold. He also won Gold in the 1 minute rowing and Silver over 4 minutes, followed by Silver in the Wheelchair Rugby, Bronze in the Wheelchair Basketball and bronze in the Shot Put. His family were there to watch this outstanding performance.


 Steve Allman also won a Gold medal in the Mixed 4 x 50 metre freestyle relay.


At Wallingford Long Distance Sculls, the women’s squad had Aimee Marshall and Helen Gray being the third fastest women’s double, by only 0.2 sec over the 5km course.  Aimee also won fastest women’s Masters A single in 21mins 15secs with Annika Gleichmann coming in at 20mins 37secs but racing in a different category.

Scott Warden came in 12/29 in the men’s singles in a time of 17mins 49 secs.

With the new Personal Ranking Index becoming more common across all races for this season, it will take us a little while to become familiar with how events split the competition in their events.  Win/results reporting may therefore be a little unfamiliar for a while yet.

Bedford Autumn Head saw another healthy GRC entry with some good results for club crews.  The novice women’s sweep crew finally got a chance to race after some difficulty getting entries over the summer. Hopefully they can build on their experience over the coming season.  The women’s masters racing squad coxed quad of Aimee Marshall, Eleanor Mead, Claudine Chiplin, Rachel Townsend and coxed by Becky Tsao were joint winners in the coxed quads in a time of 8mins 30secs.  The other combinations from the masters racing squad and the novice quad (last year’s beginners) also raced with the masters racing squad crews coming in third and fifth with only 18 seconds separating the three different crew combinations.

Chris Boys and David Jillings won the adaptive supported doubles by a comfortable 6 second margin, with Hilary Birkinshaw and Rob Hall also taking to the water, but coming 6/6 in the open event.

The Women’s Mas A/B/C single sculls was well-populated with GRC rowers, and although Jackie Johnson won in time terms on the water, she lost out in the handicap by 4 secs despite being only a couple of months from Mas C herself.  Sue Loughlin also raced well in the Mas D/E/F singles, completing her first race in a single.  The Masters E/F coxed four came in fourth in a very strong field, in a good time of 8 mins 3 secs.

Chris Boys Wins the Frank Toner Cup at Bedford

The Frank Toner Cup – sponsored by Frank Toner would you believe from Bedford to encourage inter club competition in Adaptive Rowing.  Chris has won the trophy on both the occasions there has been competition.  Not only has Chris won the trophy twice but on this occasion he sculled twice the distance and a passer by had to tell him to stop as he should have finished 1000 metres earlier!

Also at Bedford Chris won the supported double with Dave Jillings.  This is a new adaptive event created by the GRC Adaptive team assisted by the GRC newly created handicap system that allows all age groups and genders to compete together and successfully resulting in some closely fought racing across the squad

In the Pairs’ Head, raced over the Boat race course in London, the Mas H double of Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won their event finishing 372nd overall. Chris Boys and Dave Jillings raced in the Supported 2x event and finished 2nd out of 3, 451st overall. We are fairly certain this is the first ever recorded win by a Guildford crew in this event.

At Upper Thames Small Boats Head Robert Hall and Jeff Watling won Mas G/H 2x, rowing as Southsea.

Adult Beginners course

We accepted 24 onto the course starting last month and have 18 now regularly attending.  We accepted what we thought were nearly equal numbers of men and women, although this has now changed to be around 6 men and 12 women after initial drop-outs and gender guesses based on people’s names proved to be incorrect!

Junior Beginners course

We accepted 28 onto the course which started in September. We still have 27 and they have now joined last year’s beginner squad to form a 12/13 squad of 40. We have been fortunate in recruiting several parents as coaches and helpers and the older juniors have played a significant part in bringing the new juniors into the squad.

River use – Bye Laws

Please remember to use the full stretch of river unless it has been agreed otherwise by all users – coaches and rowers. Early turning can lead to confusion and lack of awareness of boat positions and actions.

Boat & Equipment use

We have had a lot of boat handling damage which could have been avoided.  Request help with handling boats – especially at busy times; two people carrying a single is likely to avoid a lot of the damage that occurs to those boats.  It’s not a case of someone being judged as not capable of boat handling on their own, but of preserving the boats as best we can.


  • Crew Supper – the 2017 GRC Crew Supper took place on Thursday 2nd Over 40 members enjoyed fish and chips followed by chocolate cake and Prosecco and the Captains presented awards to members of their squads and from the wider squad. The occasion was made particularly memorable by the presence of Martin Tye, along with a selection of his Invictus Games medals. He was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award by Chris Boys on behalf of the club.
  • Christmas Panto – the 2017 GRC Christmas panto is ‘Puss in Boats’ and will be performed on Saturday 16th December. Please contact Richard Coldrick if you would like to take part. No previous experience necessary.
  • Christmas partySaturday 16th December. Contact Helen Gray. Tickets for the party and panto will go on sale later this month.
  • Christmas Scratch RegattaSunday 17th December. Contact Danny Skillman. Pre-entry preferred but entry on the day will be possible. Events for all ages and abilities accompanied by snacks and drinks to get you in the Christmas spirit.
  • 2018 Spring Fling – date and venue TBC. Contact Helen Gray with suggestions and/or offers of help.

Committee Notes

Next meeting Wed 8th Nov. Send your questions and views to the Secretary or through your squad Captain.


Winter is here – wear high visibility tops and warm layers underneath for training.

Be aware of safety requirements and briefings at events on the Thames and open water – the conditions will be very different to our sheltered and benign River Wey.


Report damage or carry out self-help repair and inform the Bosun – John Redmond – so replacement parts can be ordered.

The boat fleet is complete and fit for use along with blade sets and ancillary equipment.

Thank you to Victoria Starr for checking and maintaining the ergo fleet – some spares are awaited. Please clean after use and fix loose items before they break.

Club Development

The major build project has planning permission thanks to the efforts of many club members. Guildford Borough Council is prepared to sell the club the extra land required for the project.

However, Sport England funding opportunities have been significantly reduced after being assessed as having had minimal impact on numbers participating in sport since 2012. The development sub-committee are re-examining options for the next steps in realising the aspirations of the club for the long-term. But some difficult decisions will have to be made if we are to make the best of what we have, what we need and what we can afford.


Another 12 wins to end the GRC summer season


First Win for our Ladies at Maidenhead

See the results page for details.  To summarise, 12 wins across all squads. Despite thunderstorms at Staines cancelling some events we recorded 4 junior wins.  The masters double of Rob & Jeff achieve back to back wins at Henley Town & Visitors and Maidenhead.  7 wins at Maidenhead from Adaptive and Senior.  Aimee wins her first 1x and the Mas F4- get two for the price of one, having to re-row after Walbrook collided with a paddling crew straying on to the course.

End of Season for Junior Beginners

Molesey winning J12 crew

Cameron Cashen   George Guest   Henry Chadwick (cox)   Charlie Hall   Lucas Hanin

It is suddenly the end of the summer term and our junior beginner squad have completed their last regatta. The Club thank the coaches and helpers who work to make it all happen.  Many have already gone on holiday and the rest will follow soon. Sadly this means it is the end of the official rowing season for the beginner squad and the new season kicks off in September as follows:

The current J13s and WJ13s move up an age group and will join the main Junior squad. There is a meeting for juniors and your parents at the club at 10.00 on Sunday 3rd September.

The current J12s and WJ12s become J13s and WJ13s on 1 September. The first training session will be at 9.00 on Sunday 3rd September.

The new beginner course starts on Saturday 9th September at 14.00 and will run for 6 Saturday afternoons. It would be appreciated if the current J12s and WJ12s would help with the course whenever they are able to do so.

Between now and September most of the coaches will be on holiday but we can offer the following holiday sessions:

Wed 2 Aug    16.00 – 18.00

Sun 6 Aug    9.00 – 10.30

Sun 13 Aug    9.00 – 10.30

Wed 16 Aug    16.00 – 18.00

Sun 20 Aug    9.00 – 10.30

Wed 23 Aug    16.00 – 18.00

Wed 30 Aug    16.00 – 18.00

Please email or text Danny to let him know if you wish to attend any of these sessions. Some parental help would be welcome.

It has been a fantastic year and on behalf of all the coaches and helpers we would like to thank you and congratulate you on achieving so much and with such great enthusiasm, humour and commitment. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have and we look forward to seeing you progress in your rowing careers wherever you may pursue them.

With very best wishes for a great Summer,

The Junior Coaches


5 Junior Wins at Kingston

Guildford Juniors win 5 at Kingston:



Win:  J16 4x- of Henry, William, James and Nathan

Win:  J16 1x of Lucy Stevenson rowing up a year as WJ16


Win:  J14 4x+ of Zac, Richard, Joe, Josh and Reece (cox)

Win:  J14 2x of  Joe and Josh

Win:  WJ12 4x+ of  Darcie, Ella, Imogen, Ellie and Silvia (cox)

Final: J14 2x of Ben and Zac

Final:  J12 4x+ of Ben, Benjy, Charlie, Lucas and Adelaide (cox)

GRC Juniors are Eagle Radio Team of the Week

Four of our youngsters featured on Eagle Radio as ‘team of the week’ here is the recording that was aired:  We also feature in he latest edition of Rowing & Regatta magazine.


Thames Valley Park Regatta (TVP)

2 wins at TVP and lots of finals.

Win:  J16 4x+ of Henry Miguda, William, James Reckord, Adam and Reece (cox) beat Magdalen College in the first round and then Reading Bluecoat and Whitgift schools in the final.

Win:  J142x of Josh Ingham and Joe beat Eton Excelsior and Kingston Grammar School in the first round and then Henley Rowing Club and another Kingston Grammar School crew in the final.

Final:  J16 2x of James Reckord and William

Final:  J14 2x’s of Emily Wolfendon/Jess and Emily/Ella

Final:  J13 4x+ of

Final:  J15 2x of James Casemore and Peter Denton

Egham Regatta

At most regattas quads and singles are in the same division so we rarely get the opportunity to compete in singles.  We entered only small boats at Egham and the number of race wins we got demonstrated our strength in this area.  All the categories were fully subscribed with a possible total of 4 races in each.  A number of us also doubled-up which proved to be quite tiring!

Win:  After 4 rounds it was an all Guildford final in the J14 2x event with Joe Bryant/Josh Ingham beating Richard Loch/Eddie Vaughan.  Richard Loch suffered an injury so it was another win for Joe and Josh.  This was a tough event with 16 crews entered.

Final:  Emily Wolfendon/Jess Bebbington.  Beat Surbiton High School in the first round, Staines in the 2nd round, Langley Academy in the 3rd and narrowly lost to Reading in the final.