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Guildford Rowing News

Juniors Qualify for JIRR Finals in Nottingham

Guildford Rowing Club’s junior squad have hit a new high this week. Their J14 coxed quad, Eddie Vaughan, Richard Loch, Joe Bryant, Josh Ingham and cox, Conrad Wells, took part in the JIRR regional trials at Millennium Boathouse, Hampton yesterday. The boys beat Walton Rowing Club in a timed trial cover 1500m but an impressive 8.5 seconds and have qualified to represent Thames London region at the Junior Inter-Regional Finals in Nottingham on April 22nd.
Junior Head Coach, Richard Turpin, said “This is a tremendous result for Guildford Rowing Club as a whole. The boys rowed superbly. We need to bear in mind that all the clubs we row against train on the Thames, which make our achievement even more impressive. This is a testament to the extraordinary level of commitment given to the junior club by all the coaches and young people, who train on both land and the river. ”
The boys were entered for the JIRR trials after winning bronze at the Oarsport Junior Head at Dorney Lake on March 25th, where they competed against 63 teams from all over the UK.
Club Captain Rachel Spruce said “We are so proud of our J14’s. All their hard work and training, and that of their coaches, has really paid off.”
In Nottingham the crew will be competing against boys from 11 other regions of Britain.
Guildford Rowing Club, whose members include Paralympian Gold winner Rachel Morris, is currently raising funds for an exciting re-development which will make the club more accessible for adaptive rowers and enhance the club’s central ethos of making rowing available to all.

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Club News November 2016

November 2016

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


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


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

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

Phil the Bag & Fundraising

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

Safety thoughts

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

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

Club improvements & maintenance

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

Your Committee

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

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

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

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

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Club News 2016 September 2016

Hello all

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


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

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

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

Road to Rio

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

Summer Party

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

New Club Members

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


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

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

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Maidenhead Regatta

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

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


Nottingham Masters


Annika & Jackie win Gold at Nottingham Masters

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

Women’s Masters B 2x. 1st out of 8

Crew; Jackie Johnson, Annika Gleichmann

Other results:

  • Masters G/H 4x-; 3rdout of 4

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

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

  • Masters H/J; 2ndout of 4

o Crew; Robert Hall , Jeff Watling

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

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

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

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








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Marlow Town 2016

The day was set fair with 7.00 loading and excited chatting about the day ahead. The trailer was loaded and away by 8.00 – thanks to Peter for towing there and helping with unloading.

Marlow T 2016 Group2

First up was the W.Nov.4x-. Guildford, on the Bucks Station sculled well into second place, beaten by Kingston Grammar School but ahead of Maidenhead. Well done to Eleanor, Rachel Townsend, Claudine and Aimee – who steered the crew well.

Next up was W.Mas.C/E.4x-. Maidenhead were given a big handicap advantage, but Guildford, again on the Bucks Station led Marlow from the start. For their first race, this crew were settled into the race and need only to race together more with focus on ratio to do great things too. Well sculled by Emma, Sue, Kathryn and Rachel Tasker who steered this crew very well. Well done indeed to all.

Eleanor, Rachel, Claudine and Aimee then took to the water in W.Nov.4+. with Brian coxing. On the Berks Station this time, they rowed very well against LYR Tradesmen and pushed them hard down the course. Another very valuable race experience for this crew.

Marlow T 2016 Joe2

Joe Johnson then took on two Marlow scullers in Ada(Handicap)1x. Joe, who has sculled well at Phyllis Court and at Heron Lake to set up this time handicap system beat both of the Marlow scullers on their home water to take the medal. This event worked well as part of the main regatta and was a pleasure to see. On the Bucks Station, Joe led from start to finish.

Marlow T 2016 Gill

Gill was racing last in W.Mas.C/E.1x. Taking on a very accomplished Falcon RC sculler, Gill sculled very well throughout the race. The support for this last race was full on. Gill was cheered all along the course and showed why she is the deserving winner of the Women’s Cup. Sculling this event was also very valuable race experience.

Thanks to Bill Austen who volunteered to come out for the return towing – giving his time so willingly, the Club was also well supported by Lauren and Sam. Finally, we have moved adaptive rowing forwards again and British Rowing will know that the Marlow Town Regatta was enhanced by a very special race that day. Thanks to Carolyn, Chris and Rob at our end; and Bruce and Sally at Marlow, the sport has gained…..

Steve Wright.



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Twickenham 2016

The masters men’s squad raced an eight in a straight final against Walbrook at Twickenham.  It was not a winning result for GRC but the scratch crew performed well in a closely fought race.  To support the event the crew doubled up in small boats with the E4+ crew of Mark Starling  Richard Warne  Rob Jewkes  Steve Wright and cox Becky Tsao winning their event in two highly contested races.  Rob Jewkes and Becky Tsao won their first ever Guildford pots.  The double of Rob Hall and Jeff Watling  lost their final in a closely fought race and Paul Woowat remembered why he hadn’t entered his single at Twickenham in recent years claiming the lumpy water hindered his attempt to overhaul his formidable opposition.

Thanks go to Walbrook RC for the use of their boat, although it was noted they chose to use the fastest of their four Empachers!

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Weybridge Ladies 2016

What a great day at Weybridge!

GRC Pic 1 GRC Pic 2 GRC Pic 3 GRC Pic 4

5 finals and 3 wins and Keziah and Jess had 6 races each! Not bad for the first regatta of the season for the GRC Beginner Junior Squad.

WJ13 1x. Keziah Markfort won her first race against a girl from Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) school by so much she caught up with the race in front. She had a row-over in the next round as her opposition withdrew then won her final by a significant margin over a Radnor House girl.

J12 Mixed 4x+. All 3 of our crews had 2 boys and 2 girls. First up the course were Silvia Harrop, Nathaniel Knoworski, Mattie Wagstaff and Adelaide Oakey, coxed by Hannah Kingerlee, racing Cranmore School in the first round; they had a fantastic race coming back from a length down to win by 2 lengths. The second GRC crew of Hugo Worthington, James Carter, Lucy Gowing and Francesca Morland, coxed by Millie Davis raced neck and neck with the third crew of Henry Chadwick, Olivia Aczel, Aimee Newenham and Callum Macfarlane, coxed by Ben Calvert for the entire course then Millie’s crew just got their nose in front and powered away to win by a couple of lengths. Millie’s crew went on to beat Hannah’s crew in the Final by several lengths as Hannah’s crew tired after their first round battle with Cranmore. All of these rowers were competing at their first regatta. To race twice over 900 metre’s was demanding but showed that the Guildford crews can do it.

WJ13 2x. Jess Bebbington and Keziah raced really well in round 1 and beat a LEH crew convincingly. In the next round they beat another LEH crew in style. They met a pair from Weybridge Rowing Club in the Final and couldn’t quite get past them – Keziah’s 5th race by this stage – and lost by a small margin. Really well done on reaching the Final.

J13 2x. Eddie Vaughan and Jonah Parnell raced against Cranmore school in their first round. They were neck and neck for the first third of the course then drew ahead by over a length, but just couldn’t keep the boat away from the bank – the stream I think rather than a wonky boat – and crashed into the bank 2 lengths up. Cranmore snuck past. Eddie and Jonah re-started and came back to within a canvas but ran out of river. Bad luck. Ben Nolan and Ben Calvert raced Radnor House School in their semi-final and won convincingly. But they were then beaten by another Radnor House crew in the Final by a couple of lengths having tracked them all the way. Another good effort.

WJ13 4x+. Jess, Abbie Jarvis, Emily Shepherd and Emily Wolfenden, coxed by Hannah, raced 3 times and did brilliantly to beat crews from Henley Rowing Club, LEH and Radnor House – all close, hard fought races. Jess in her 6th race for the final – which was inevitably the hardest one of all. The GRC girls in their matching visors and war paint held their nerve and kept the power on right to the end. well-deserved medals.

J13 4x+. The J13 squad formed 3 crews supplemented by Keziah and Adelaide. All raced really well: first up were Guy Tregear, Joe Bryant, Richard Loch and Jacob Hanney coxed by Sofia Palau racing against a crew from Henley Rowing Club. Henley took a lead off the start but couldn’t get away from the Guildford boys who put in bursts again and again staying in touch for the whole course. The Henley crew managed to stay together and reached the line ahead of Guildford but not by much. Next up were Ben Calvert, Zac Harrison, Jonah Parnell and Ben Nolan coxed by Millie Davis, against a Radnor House crew. Once again this was neck and neck throughout the course with Radnor reaching the line first by just a length. Lastly the mixed crew of Nathan Page, Keziah Markfort (in her 6th race of the day), Adelaide Oakey (racing a year above her age group) and Eddie Vaughan, coxed by Millie Davis, came up against the Henley crew which had beaten the first Guildford crew earlier in the afternoon. This was another fantastic race with both crews racing their hearts out and staying almost level for most of the course before the Henley boys edged ahead in the last 100 metres and crossed the line first. Henley went on to lose the final to Walton – no doubt exhausted by having to beat the 2 Guildford crews.

Danny Skillman

… and our Ladies 2016

With a select number of entries, the women’s squad joined an enthusiastic junior contingent at Weybridge Ladies for some good racing and a thoroughly enjoyable regatta.

GRC Pic 5

For the development women’s crew of Ellie Mead, Emma Dodd, Sue Loughlin steered by Jackie Johnson, there was a convincing first round win.  This was a fantastic first coxless quad race for stern three as shown in the picture above.

The Quad Squad also put in a quad of Lenka Higley, Emily Rowland, Olivia Magee and Rachel Spruce, with Jackie joining Lenka in a MasA double, Rachel and Liv racing an Im3 double whilst Emily took to the water in her single.  There was plenty of close racing, but sadly no wins for the seniors this time.

Thanks to everyone who supported, especially Peter Scott who went above and beyond to make sure everyone got as much as possible out of the day’s racing.

Rachel Spruce