Club News

John Pearce

John Francis Pearce
JohnPearce1941 - 2017

 

John Pearce's (Piggo) Funeral will be held next Wednesday 25th January at the Isle of Wight Crematorium PO32 6NJ. Anyone wishing to attend should catch the 10.0am ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth. Transport from Yarmouth will be available to the Crematorium and then back to the Royal Solent Yacht Club, Yarmouth which is very close to the ferry. There is ample parking by the ferry terminal in Lymington.

It is with sadness that I have to report the death in the early part of this year, of John Pearce, a Vice President and great stalwart of Kingston Rowing Club. He was educated at Kingston Grammar School and rowed in their 1st Eight whilst there taking a few years off when he left school, to study marine engineering at Tough Bros in Teddington. Upon completion of an apprenticeship with this company he returned to row at KRC. By this time, his father had firmly established Thames Ditton Marina and work commitments meant that John had less time to devote to his rowing. After a few years concentrating on work with the Marina, John joined his younger brother Peter who had since joined KRC, to row with him in a pair entering the Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta. The following year, both brothers teamed up with Peter and Geoff Risk to enter the Wyfolds at Henley Royal Regatta making the first time a pair of brothers had entered as a crew! After giving up rowing, he spent time as a coach with our highly successful Britannia Four, deputising for Ron Needs their coach, on the occasions when he was unable to get down to the Club.

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Alistair Court-Smith

Alistair Court-Smith 1942 - 2016

After a prolonged battle with illness, it is with sadness we report on the death of one of our longstanding members, Alistair Court-Smith. His association with the Club goes back over 60 years when he was rowing at Kingston Grammar School and as such, was a Cadet member of KRC.

On leaving school he studied civil engineering and worked on the M1 which was under construction in those days. From building highways in the UK, his career took him to the Bahamas working for Sir Robert McAlpine where after five years, his work took him to Algeria, Belgium, back to the Bahamas returning in the late eighties to Belgium once again.

In 1990, he returned once more to the UK and renewed his contact with KRC rowing in the veteran crew on a Sunday morning. Marrying June in 1992, his career had changed from being an active engineer to Project Management, becoming a director of Widnell and running their project management division.

It was his skill in project management that was to be so useful to KRC when he was involved with others in negotiating the new lease for the Club. His help was to be invaluable in negotiating the terms of the new lease and with the planning of the alterations that we have started to make at the boathouse.

Following retirement, Alistair became a non-executive director for the Primary Care Trust NHS and also a non-executive director of Rosemary Simmons Memorial Housing Association based in Esher.

He leaves behind his wife June and daughter Melanie.

Richard J. Ayling

13th June 1952-1st November 2016 – A Colossus of World Rowing

Richard Ayling

If I had three words to describe Richard Ayling who has just died at the age of 64 they would be: passion, commitment and fun. He was a giant of a man, who loved, just loved, the sport – every bit of it. He always wore his heart on his sleeve. And his laughter – Richard could take a joke as well as dish them out – was always raucous. His life touched so many who helped make our sport great. But it would be typical of ‘Lurch’ – his ‘70s nickname given to him by his crewmates in Bob Janousek’s British squad – to give credit to others. Make no mistake though; British rowing owes a debt to Richard Ayling.

 

 

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KRC Coxes Win 4 Gold Medals for England at Home International Regatta

Two KRC coxes were selected for the England squad for the Home International Regatta 2016, held in Cardiff Bay on Saturday 23rd July. 

Adele Hing (KRC Senior Men's Cox) was selected to cox for England (Senior Men's 4+ and 8+). Scott Cockle (KRC Junior Cox) was selected to cox for England (Junior Men's 4+ and 8+, along with other GB Junior Triallists from Claires Court School, St. Pauls School, Hampton School, Bedford School and Canford School). 

Conditions at Cardiff Bay were tricky, with a strong cross wind and rough water and narrow lanes to contend with.  The Senior Men's 4+were up first and led from the start and sat ahead of the field for the entire race. They dealt with the rough water well and had a very strong 500m, fighting off the Irish crew in the last 300m to win by 3/4 length.

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Boat Naming Ceremony - 10 April 2016

KRC held  a boat naming event at Canbury Boathouse on Sunday 10 April, to name three new boats. We had a number of distinguished guests – the deputy mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Geoff Austin; the deputy mayoress, Sheila Austin; Annamarie Phelps, chairman of British Rowing; Councillors Hugh Scantlebury, David Cunningham and Maria Netley; John Parrish, chairman of Canbury and Riverside Association – and Jacquie and Rod Payne, parents of Giselle.

 Our president, Peter King, was frustrated on his long journey from Essex by an M25 closure and our chairman, Mike Bate, stepped in to conduct the affairs of the day. The deputy mayor congratulated the club on the great contribution that KRC makes to the Royal Borough and Annamarie Phelps spoke inspirationally on the unique nature of rowing and how it forms peoples lives – better than any other sport! Next we had the Jack Petchey awards – the deputy mayor presented a leadership award to Chris 'Foxy' Fox and Annamarie presented a range of Petchey awards to ten members of our junior squad

 We named three Boats:

The new eight was named Giselle after Giselle Cowie (née Payne) who died at the tragically young age of 43 in September last year from cancer.  Ian South, who coached Giselle in the 1980s, brought her memory to life and then Rod and Jacquie spoke emotionally of the their daughter.  The naming was by Giselle’s husband, Jamie, and Giselle’s children, Will, Ollie and Jess.   Also present with their families were Giselle’s sisters, Georgina and Gabrielle, both former KRC rowers.  

 A new four was named Foxy, after Chris Fox, a much loved member of the junior coaching team.  Chris launched the successful grant application to Sport England which allowed the purchase of the boat.  Chris Griffiths spoke fondly of Foxy who then poured the champagne and named the boat.

 Last but not least, the new pair was named after ‘club treasure’ David Ford, universally known as Dinsdale – so that is the name of the boat!  Mike Bate emphasised the unrelenting work that Dinsdale does behind the scenes to keep Canbury Boathouse going.  David then poured the champagne and named the boat. A crew made up of all squads at the club took 'Giselle' out for a row after the naming (pictured  below), whilst senior men James Marsden and Hal Bedford-Payne took the pair for a row.

 Thank you to Dermod Sweeney for organising the event and to all who attended - it was a great occasion!

boat naming KRC

Alan Spong

Alan Spong

Our past president Alan Spong has passed away, aged 94.

The timing is particularly aposite as the club is planning its 'Row to Remember' Sponsored Row and Alan was one of the last surviving Dunkirk veterans.

 A dozen or so Scarlet Blazers attended his funeral to complement the Dogget Coat and Badge uniforms worn by three recent winners  (Alan was a member of the Worshipful Company of Watermen and Lightermen of The Thames and was elected their Master in 1980)

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James Townley

captjamestownley

Members will be saddened to  hear of the death on Friday 21 September of an ex-KRC member, Captain James Townley, who was killed in an incident whilst serving in Afghanistan at the age of only 29.

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Andy Holmes MBE

It is very sad to report the death of Andy Holmes MBE on 24 October 2010  aged 51.

Andy Holmes SeoulAndy rowed at Kingston in the early 80’s before going  on to win two Olympic Gold medals: Coxed Fours at Los Angeles in 1984 with Richard Budgett, Martin Cross and Steve Redgrave with cox Adrian Ellison;  and then in Coxless Pairs at Seoul in 1988 with Steve Redgrave (where they also doubled up to win a Bronze in Coxed Pairs).

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Alistair Graham

I am very sorry to inform you that Alistair Graham died on Wed 28th July 2010 in hospital following a fall at home.

Alistair was a former Captain of Kingston Rowing Club including the 1981 season when the Men's squad at Henley Royal Regatta reached three finals, winning the Goblets, the Prince Philip and narrowly losing in the Britannia Cup - the best results in a century. The Men's Pair and Coxed Four together with the Women's Double Scull of Astrid Ayling and Sue McNuff went on to represent Great Britain in the 1981 World Championships, a level of club rowing success unprecedented before or since.

As well as being a long standing and popular stalwart and coach of Kingston Rowing Club, Alistair was also a Vice President at Dittons Skiff and Punting club, Punting being a sport about which he was passionate. He will be much missed and I am sure you will wish to join with me in expressing sincere condolences to his surviving sister and brother, Deirdre and Charles and his nieces Victoria and Emma-Jane.

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Steve Chasey - Obituary

steve-chasey.jpg It is with sadness that we report that Steve Chasey, a rower, coach, and a great character of  KRC passed away last night.

Steve will be fondly remembered for his enthusiasm and love for all things rowing, and for passing some of that on to the many rowers, novice to elite, that he coached in recent years.

Steve's involvement in KRC spanned decades and his love for the sport is clear from this short excerpt of the History of the Kingston Regatta published in last year's regatta programme.

Steve Chasey who first rowed at the Regatta for Kingston Grammar School and has been a lifelong member of Kingston RC where he still coaches and with the greatest of respect to Steve can safely be described as being a member of the ‘MAD’ crowd. Steve writes:

“Without rowing I really don’t know where I would be. It has been the constant that has held everything together. From schooldays in Kingston through the hedonistic 60s into the armed forces, special forces, whatever the world has brought, rowing and the river has always given me space to breathe again. To take those gasps of air after a heavy workout on the river as the mist rises to reveal a warming sun saying ‘good morning’, easing those aching muscles, giving fresh light on the world again. The river has been my life, so much so that I can’t imagine life without it. I now live on a boat on the river at Kingston, a part of its ebb and flow. From competing at the Regatta as a boy to coaching crews I have been coming to the Regatta for 50 years now and I wouldn’t miss this day for the world.”

Our sincerest wishes are with Steve's family.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday 4th June 2008 at Kingston Crematorium, 2:20 and afterwards at the Club.

Kingston Cemetery
Bonner Hill Road 
Kingston upon Thames 
KT1 3EZ  
Map

River Safety Information

KRC provides all members with information relating to safety at the KRC boathouse and our stretch of river, and requires all members to have read and to adhere to the Safety Plan as part of their acceptance of membership. You can download the KRC Safety and Boating Plan here.

KRC adheres to the Row Safe guide  (replacing the ARA water safety code) and expects all members to adhere to these basic safety standards.  The British Rowing Safety section of their website contains a wealth of additional documents.

The state of the stream at Kingston can be indicated by visiting the Environment Agency web site (Molesey Lock to Teddington Lock reach).  The latest information is available by contacting the Lock Keeper directly on 0208 940 8723  Teddington Lock website.

 

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