GRC Blog

Guildford Rowing News

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

Club News May 2016

Hello all

So here we are, my first newsletter as Captain.  It’s taken me a little while to get this under way, so I apologize if anyone has missed any recent news – I’ll do my best to catch you up.

Summer party

We’re planning this for the afternoon and evening of Saturday 25th June.  As always, this is a great event to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and find out whether you recognise everyone out of rowing kit.  Keep an eye out for further details.

Plant & cake sale – 4th & 5th June

Get your apron on, dust off your garden trowel and come and support our fundraising efforts on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June.  You can donate some cake or plants, volunteer your time, buy some goodies or all of the above.  Please email Carolyn if you can help ([email protected])

Committee & admin

We’ve had a few changes since last year, as set out in Rachel T’s email introducing herself as membership secretary.  In addition, Robert Hall is our new entries secretary for the seniors – and we also have a new regatta account for senior race fees.  Seniors – please make sure that you pay all race fees to this account from now on.

A/c number: 1975 8176              Sort code: 23-05-80


The season has now turned and we’re getting well under way with some side-by-side regatta racing, with some great results already rolling in.  It’s been brilliant to spend time on the bank with so many different squads recently, although the logistics involved in getting so many people racing at the same time is quite incredible.  So, thanks must go to all who give their time behind the scenes, arranging entries, towing trailers and otherwise supporting our racing crews.

Robert and Paul have been working on a new results section on the website, so have a look at our recent wins here:

Boat love

As we all come out of hibernation and pile on to the river in the light evenings and warmer weather, our boats get used more intensively.  This can also lead to more wear and tear so it’s a great chance to give the boats an extra clean out inside, check hatch covers or scrub the slides – please take five minutes after your outing to give your boat some TLC.

I think that will do for now, if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see in these newsletters, please do let me know.

Rachel Spruce

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Club News March 2016

Sunday 6th. March was a great success at Heron Lake. The Adaptive Regatta was fun and the rowing was enjoyed by many – trialling the time handicaps helped to create seven close races for the afternoon. The lake proved itself to be entirely suitable for a multi club event. Looking ahead then, April 3rd is the target date for this – supported and promoted by British Rowing.

Friday 11th. March was an exceptional day for the Junior Squad. At the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships the following results were confirmed alongside other very commendable results.

  • Charlotte Chapman – Individual Gold.
  • Lawrence, Adam, Peter and James – Team Relay Gold. 2K time…6.29.
  • Katherine Stenning (Guildford High School) – Individual Silver
  • Charlotte Adcock – Individual 4th.

Such an inspiring report to receive – and proof of the benefit of the training programme through a Heads Racing Season dogged by cancelled events (including Kingston) due to river conditions.



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Vesta Vets Head to the River 2016

Guildford entered a composite boat with two members from Eton Excelsior Nigel Hopkins and Richard Fulton.

Without any prior training together as a crew and using an alternative borrowed boat the crew enjoyed an excellent row on the tideway in ideal conditions, recording a respectable finish time of 21:24:08 (+1.20) – 7th out of 16 in the F category. Thanks go to Walbrook Rowing Club for the use of the boat and Thames Tradesman RC for hosting.


Crew: Jeff Watling, Robert Hall, Ben Schmittzehe, Nigel Hopkins, Paul Woowat, Richard Fulton, Steve Wright, Richard Coldrick, cox: Becky Tsao

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The National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships

GRC came home with two 2 first places and therefore 2 national titles. All of the juniors participating in the event did exceptionally well.

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Charlotte Chapman won the individual WJ15 race, improving on her silver medal at the South of England competition.

The J14 boys relay team of Peter Denton, Adam Gorecki, James Casemore and Lawrence Turner won the sprint relay, equalling their first place finish at SEIRC.

Katherine Stenning won a silver medal in the individual WJ15 race.

Lottie Adcock and Annabel Barker Lomax both performed very well in their individual races.

See PDF report: GRC NJIRC

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South of England indoor rowing

GRC juniors came out in force to compete in the regional championships on 24th Jan 2016

GRC juniors

The younger rowers performed really well in individual and team events.

Teamwork and fierce competition in the relay resulted in:

Joe, Josh and Eddie 5th

Ben C, Ben N and Jonah 11th

Keziah, Abbie and Emily W 6th

Emily S, Jess and Adelaide 15th

The older rowers then took up the baton and produced some outstanding results.

Individual achievements:

WJ15 SILVER: Charlotte, 1metre away from gold

WJ16 BRONZE: Steph and Molly equal with Lottie 1 second behind

GRC coach Flo

COACH GOLD: Flo, setting a new competition record

Relay achievements

J14      GOLD: Adam, James, Peter and Lawrence

WJ15 SILVER: Charlotte, Millie, Molly and Katherine

J15      SILVER: Eden, James, Will and Nathan

WJ16 BRONZE: Lottie, Steph, Stazia and Molly

WJ17 GOLD: Honor, Anna, Beth and Freddie

Thanks to Danny and Flo and congratulations to everyone for their outstanding contributions.

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British Indoor Championships

GRC made its presence felt at the British Indoor Rowing Championships on 12th December and brought home 10 medals, with 3 British titles.

Each of the 6 adaptive rowers present came home with a medal.

The relay team brought home gold and were crowned British Champions. There were also medals collected in the 1km individual events :Martin Tye won gold ,Hilary Birkinshaw silver and then Joe Johnson and Rupert Effenberg won gold and silver in the junior adaptive category.

These excellent results were followed by great performances from the juniors. Stephanie Banks and Kyle Perrins won silver and bronze in the 500m sprints and many others achieved personal bests.


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Emily Run’s the London Marathon


Emily who is part of the senior women’s squad ran in the London marathon on Sunday 26th April.

She took part to raise money for the Alzheimer’s society, a charity that means so much to Emily and her family after her Dad sadly passed away last year after suffering with Alzheimer’s.
Emily had originally expected to raise £2500 for the charity but has more than doubled that amount coming close to nearly £6000. Thank you too all the club members who donated so generously and showed such kind support.

Guildford rowing club could not be more proud of Emily who finished the marathon is a time of 4 hours and 26 minutes and with a smile on her face.

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