Captain’s Report – December 2008

Unfortunately no racing since the last update so the wins remain static, but we’re looking forward to the first races of the coming year with eager anticipation, and I’d like to update you on a few significant developments that have occurred this month.

I’m enormously pleased to confirm that Laytons Solicitors will be continuing their sponsorship of the club for the 2008/9 season, and many thanks to Nigel Wilson-Dykes who has put considerable effort into securing this support for the club.  The club has grown considerably over the past few years, and the support of Laytons has been an important catalyst that has enabled a significant acceleration of club development.

We also held a highly successful Rum Punch VIIIs and IVs (seniors and juniors respectively) on Sunday 21st, with 5 senior boats and 6 junior coxed quads, both of mixed ability and gender.  A great day was had by all, including Richard Ayling who won his first pot for many years, and Kemlo Longstaff, who in taking a break from his traditional rugby training forgot the golden rule of covering up in the cold and won a prize for the most interesting costume on the day.  Thanks must go to Birgith Sims and Marcus Hoskin for organising the event, the Junior Parents Support Group for providing a fantastic spread of food for the competing athletes, Angela Goodrich for the Mulled Wine, and Nicola Burden, who spent the entire event coxing almost every crew!  We look forward to having similar events in the future, and thanks to all who took part.

Prior to the Christmas break we also ran a club head, from Hampton Court down to Steven’s Ait.  Although the conditions were challenging at the start and we’d already lost a number of athletes due to the time of year we still managed to boat 15 crews, including 3 novice VIIIs.  I look forward to seeing these crews racing over the next few months, and mention must go to the small boat with the best Gold Medal Time Percentage, and 2nd overall in those standings, Ellie Warner and Roxana Ayling.  Upcoming races include Weybridge, Hampton and the BUCS Champ Head for eligible crews.

We’re also having significant movement with regard to the club equipment, with a planned refurbishment of the Junior fleet when downtime allows, a new Senior double currently under construction at Stampfli, and a recently purchased VIII for the Novice group, which will allow us to continue to broaden the base of the club, with a planned induction of a further 16 beginners later in January.

In a further development we’re now able to offer subsidised Physiotherapy for active athletes, with the ability to treat a wide range of minor sports injuries on site.  This complements the existing sports massage which has been available since the beginning of the season, and means that we are starting to become one of the most advanced clubs in the area in terms of onsite sports medicine.  For more details please speak to either myself or Ian South, Director of Rowing.

Tickets for the Annual Dinner on Saturday 31st January are selling fast; please make sure that you contact Ceri Jones by email to confirm your place before 10th January, as the venue need final numbers by that date.  The dinner will be held at Glenmore House in Surbiton, and will include both dinner and dancing later in the evening.  The premises are very accommodating, with a large bar area separate to the main dining area, and tickets are priced at £45 per head.  There is more information available on the club website at

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year, and look forward to catching up over the coming season!!  As ever I am contactable directly by email.

Kind regards,

Andy Hall.

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