Lots of news and notices this week. Glad that so many crews were back on the water this weekend after the long period of red and red/amber boards.

I’m pleased to announce that Chris Sneller and Diane Steel will take over as joint Club Safety Rowing Advisors with immediate effect. They succeed Claire Pugh and Emma Collins who have provided this important service to the club since 2017. Please join me in thanking Claire and Emma for this.

Yesterday saw some great race performances from Maidenhead members. 7 scullers represented the club on the Tideway for the Vesta Scullers Head, the UK’s largest race for single scullers, racing the championship course from Chiswick to Putney. Izzy Sellers was 2nd in WJ17, Jasmine Stockdale 2nd in WJ16, Jacob Ioras 3rd in MJ16, Ametz Parcell-Arregi 3rd WJ16, Olivia Hall and Alexandra Hollis put in good performances in WJ16 and WJ18 categories. For the first time that any of them have raced singles on the Tideway, these are fabulous results. Representing the seniors, Nick Steel finished 16/30 in MasE.

Meanwhile, in the Lee Valley VeloPark, several of our members represented the club in the Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships. Max Bird smashed the Y11 Boys 6mins event, taking a gold. Josh Barnes took silver in the Y8 Boys 3 mins, and 4th in Y8 boys 500m. Steve Bloyce took silver in the PR3 Mens 4 mins, and a close 4th in the PR3 Mens 2k. Maidenhead/Invictus Adaptive relay team (Steve Bloyce, Dan Stevenson, Luke Delahunty, and Chris Brogan) took gold in the Adaptive mens relay event. Strong performances from other members: Al Bird 16/81 M40-49 2k; Claire Wincomb 13/22 MW40-49 2k; Annabel Rayner 10/59 and Emma Rayner 31/59 Y10 girls 5 mins; Amelia Carpenter 7/51 Y11 girls 6 mins.

Max Bird will be attending an invitational GB U18 camp in Spain next week; we wish him all the best for this great opportunity. Smash it again Max.

Upcoming events with Maidenhead entries include: Walton Small Boats Head (14th December); Scratch regatta (15th December); Weybridge Winter Head (18th January); and we will be hosting the Thames Valley Sunday League event (26th January), for which volunteers are sought – please contact Diane Steel.

In the clubhouse, the gym equipment was delivered, installed and put into use last Monday. We have hosted 4 successful functions (Heidi’s painting exhibition, River Road supper club, Brunel University’s pub quiz, and a presentation by Reading University Boat Club), with multiple compliments on our facilities. Please help keep them clean and tidy; they are a valuable asset. The photos/memorabilia project is progressing apace; more on this anon. Reminder that our Christmas party is on 20th December. Carlotta’s breakfasts are so successful that she sold out of uova today.

Carpets and flooring will be fitted this week. The kitchen will be out of action on Monday 9th, and the changing rooms/kitchen/function rooms are not to be used on Tuesday 10th December, until 1700. Please access the ergo room via the back door (as always preferred).

We are hosting a British Rowing course on Tuesday 10th December 1730 - 2130, so please avoid the function room and weights room during this time.

With Layla moving abroad, we are searching for a new member of the Party-hire team. Please contact her for more details.

Finally, please remember not to give the door code out to anybody. Members should know the code. It is important we maintain our security.

Thank you

Nick

 

Cancellation of Maidenhead Regatta

We are very sorry to have to advise you that the 2019 Maidenhead Regatta has had to be cancelled on the basis of the current weather forecast where strong winds are expected across the region.

The Regatta  Committee has been monitoring the weather forecast closely over the past few days and, regrettably in the interests of the safety and well being of all competitors, spectators & volunteers we have decided unanimously that the risks presented by the weather were too great. The expected strong winds (circa 25mph) and gusts (circa 40-50mph) will mean that the conditions may be unsafe for travelling to the event with trailers as well as to race in. It has been a difficult decision to make, and one that has not been taken lightly without proper consultation and consideration of all possible alternatives.

The Regatta Committee has been taking steps to minimise costs incurred, and some costs were unavoidable, but we do intend to offer a full refund of entries fees. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had entered or who had volunteered to help as your continued support for Maidenhead Regatta is very much appreciated.

For those of you who are especially disappointed at missing out on your regatta burger and pint of beer - we are organising a Regatta BBQ at the Maidenhead Rowing Club boathouse from 3:00pm to 11:00pm where a range of food and drinks will be on offer. It would fantastic if our friends from local rowing clubs would still be able to join us!

We look forward to seeing you next year

Kind regards

The Regatta Committee

Dear Members

It’s some time since my last monthly news letter, but I hope to get back into the swing of sending you regular updates of all that has been going on at the Club. We have been really busy on a number of Club Projects and the summer Regatta season is already in full swing – so there is plenty to catch up on!

Firstly – a gentle reminder on security of the Clubhouse. On a number of occasions in the past weeks Members have arrived at the club to find it deserted but with doors/shutters/windows left open. Before you leave, please check whether you are the last one to leave and make sure that the Clubhouse is left locked up – it only takes an extra few minutes to check!

As usual we have already seen a number of wins for Maidenhead RC at a number of Local and National events which is fantastic to see, and continues to do great credit to the club’s standing:

  • Phylis Court Timetrial on 9th April – the Adaptive Squad were the first into action for this summer’s racing season where they picked up a couple of wins after a day for close racing:

Ada 1x (Dan  Stevenson – Coach: Nick Steel)                                                                                  

Ada.Sup 2x (Dan Stevenson & Marcus Richards – Coach: Nick Steel) 

  • Junior Sculling Regatta  on 28th April – as usual saw a strong representation from Maidenhead RC with the following medals being won:

WJ15 2x (Amelia Carpenter & Jasmine Stockdale – Coach: Huw Jenkins) - silver

WJ15 2x (Olivia Hall & Ametz Parcell-Arregi – Coach Huw Jenkins) - bronze

WJ14 4x+(Annabel Rayner, Emma Rayner, Scarlett Hunter, Sylvie Evans & Matilda Stockdale – Coach: Huw Jenkins) - silver

J15 4x+ (Jacob Ioras, Nat Harlow, Max Bird, Danny Lewis & Jimmy Harlow – Coaches: Victor Kleshnev/Mike Harlow) – gold and qualification to Junior Inter-Regional Regatta 

  • Marlow Spring Regatta on 6th May – with another strong performance from the Adaptive, Senior Women and Masters Ladies Squads:

W4x (Vicky Palmer, Caroline Steel, Kelsey Murrell & Natasha Brown)

WC4x (Sue Harker, Laura Lion, Amaia Arregi  & Claire Pugh – Coach: Jim Hotchin)

WE2x (Sue Harker & Laura Lion – Coach: Jim Hotchin)                                                                     

Ada1x (Dan Stevenson – Coach: Nick Steel)                                                                                        

Ada.Sup.2x (Dan Stevenson & Nick Steel) 

  • Maidenhead Junior Regatta on 19th May – a fantastic day of racing with fine weather and a great atmosphere, this year’s Junior Regatta was another big success raising over £1000 for the Club. Thanks to Liam and his team for organising the event and to all the Members and Parents who volunteered to help out. It was also good to see the Maidenhead Juniors deliver a strong performance a number of wins:

WJ14 4x+ (Olivia Everett, Eloise Templing, Milly  Hall, Tara Ryan & Matilda Stockdale – Coach: Huw Jenkins)

J13 4x+ (Unai Parcell-Arregi, Benjamin  Jones, Henry Curno, Jimmy Harlow & William Bennett – Coach: Mike Harlow)

J15 4x+ (Luke Purnell, William Bennett, Jake Swainston, Ethan Towers & Jimmy Harlow – Coach: Mike Harlow) 

  • National Schools Regatta 23rd-25th May – good to see Maidenhead Juniors once again being very competitive at this National event with the following medals being won:

J15 4x+ (Jacob Ioras, Nat Harlow, Max Bird, Danny Lewis & Jimmy Harlow – Coaches: Victor Kleshnev/Mike Harlow) - silver

J16 2x (Dillon Cook and Olly Evans – Coach: Mike Harlow) won the B final to finish 7th overall

WJ14 4x+ (Amelia Carpenter, Olivia Hall, Jasmine Stockdale, Ametz Parcell-Arregi & Matilda Stockdale – Coach: Huw Jenkins) - bronze 

  • Twickenham Regatta on 25th May – another favourite early season regatta, with a good result for the Maidenhead RC Masters Ladies WC4x who were racing in the senior open event and progressed through the heats to reach the final only to be beaten by a crew of ladies from Mortlake RC half their age! We also had the following win for the Senior Women:

W2x (Nati Marti & Eva Mitring)

  • Peterborough Spring Regatta on 2nd June – was attended by the Veteran Men’s Squad achieving their first win of the year and setting a new course record for the E2- Event that had stood since 1990 in the process!

E2- (Nic Hutchins & Mark Stockdale) 

  • Weybridge Ladies Regatta on 9th June - saw a strong contingent from the Junior Girls, Senior Women and Master Ladies with the following wins:

WJ15 1x (Amelia Carpenter – Coach: Huw Jenkins)

WJ15 2x (Amelia Carpenter & Olivia Hall – Coach: Huw Jenkins)

WC4x (Sue Harker, Laura Lion, Amaia Arregi & Claire Pugh – Coach: Jim Hotchin) racing in a C/D age group event where they had to catch-up from a 9 sec head start given to their older competition in heats and final to win, making their victory all the more impressive!

  • Marlow Town Regatta on 15th June – again so some good wins for Maidenhead:

WE2x (Sue Harker & Laura Lion – Coach: Jim Hotchin

MxE2x (Eva Mitring & Orlando Fricker)

Henley Royal Regatta is now approaching fast and I am very pleased to see a Senior Men’s crew from Maidenhead RC already entered into The Wyfold Challenge Cup – with a Junior Boys crew looking to enter The Fawley Challenge Cup before entries close on Monday. If you are planning to head to Henley to support our crews, John Truswell has kindly agreed to co-ordinate tickets sharing for the Stewards’ Enclosure and is proposing to arrange a club picnic if there is sufficient interest – please get in touch with him asap to register your interest…

Since the Club EGM on 13th April where the new Gym Project was approved, work has begun on the second floor converting the flat into the new Cardio Suite project managed by John Steers and his team of helpers (Roger Macrae, Ken Bedwell, Brian Smith, Dylan Gomersall, Chris Stratham, Mike Dyer, Phelim Daniels, Tim Hudson, Jerry Bailey and many others). A huge amount of work was done to remove walls etc at the Club Work Day (in addition to all the other jobs undertaken around the club on the Workday), and has progressed significantly with builders/electricians/plumbers undertaking the “heavy lifting” task and decoration now well underway before the flooring and wall mirrors are fitted in a couple of weeks time. The flexibility shown by Members by adapting to ergo training on the first floor of the clubhouse whilst works on the second floor are in progress is also much appreciated – hopefully it won’t be long before we are back on the second floor in the new Cardio Suite which is already looking to be a fantastic asset to our Club! 

Fund raising for the rest of the Gym Project is also well underway led by Kelsey Murell and her Commercial Team (Laura Lion, Billy Brooks, Nick Steel, Anne James, Sue Harker, Layla Gilhooly and others) who have between them already raised over £25,000 through grants, sponsorships and fund raising events is a fantastic effort in just a short space of time, and have plenty more opportunities in the pipe. I am sure you will agree that this is a fantastic effort and testimony to the huge amount of work they have put in to getting the Gym Project off the ground.  I will keep you posted how we progress over the coming weeks…

As you will all have noticed Carlotta Marshal has taken on the provision of weekend breakfasts for hungry rowers which she has already transformed by extending the range of food and beverages on offer to include fresh fruits, pastries and “posh coffees” in addition to the traditional bacon, eggs, sausages and toast. I am sure you will all agree that this new arrangement is working very well, and our thanks go to Carlotta for not only stepping into the gap to take this for but for bringing together so many fresh ideas together with friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the Function Room on Saturday and Sunday mornings which is great to see!

We have also seen evening mid-week suppers restarting with the launch of Chip-Ole run by Claire Langley on 28thMay with a Mexican Chili evening where 23 meals were served and many other Members joining in for drinks only for what was a very enjoyable evening of good food and good company. The next Chip-Ole evening will be on Tuesday 18th June for Italian Pulled-Pork Porchetta (or veggie alternative) with Ciabata bread and all the trimmings followed by seasonal dessert. There are already 16 bookings made, so please contact Claire on 07920280777 to make a reservation as places are limited!!! Following this we can look forward to an Indian feast of Chicken Tikka Masala (or veggie Paneer alternative) with Pilau rice, Minted Cucumber Salad, Yoghurt and dessert on Tuesday 25th June where bookings are again filling up fast. It is great to see Chip-Ole becoming a popular feature of the Club’s mid-week social scene, which I would encourage you all to try to ensure its continued success…

Thank you all for your support (in particular Carolyn Smithson and Jim Hotchin) in facilitating the smooth transition to the new ClubHub system for 2019/20 membership renewals. I am pleased to see almost all of our existing Members signed up for another year – and I would also like to welcome the new Members who have joined us for 2019/20! It is also good to see the Learn to Row courses and follow-on Learn to Row courses not only being filled to capacity, but also the great progress that the new rowers have made on the water over the past weeks thanks to Natasha Brown and her team of Lead to Row Coaches. This project is key to bringing new people into the sport (and new Members to the Club), and will be helped by the two brand new tub boats now on order to replace our existing tub boats that are now getting a bit tired after many years good service to Beginners, Recreational and Adaptive athletes.

A number of you have contacted me in recent weeks over the pressure of demand being placed on our limited number of 2x/2- boats. This has been an issue for a few months and is being addressed in a couple of ways:

Firstly by selling underused boats to make rack-space for new boats to be purchased. Its “one out, one in” for racks as we are pretty much at capacity - but we have now sold the Tim Wildboar (2x) and the Sean Kearns (4x+), so once these boats have been collected I hope to use the funds raised to purchase additional 2x/2- boats to add to our fleet. If you have current/future plans for 2-/2x rowing please get in touch with your Squad Captains to outline your needs so we can be sure we buy boats of the right weight and specification to meet future demand and allocate boats to Squads accordingly.

The second area where we have been working to managed the demand on 2x/2- is boat sharing. The Squad Captains meet monthly at the Rowing Committee meeting to agree (amongst many other things) boat allocation to Squads, prioritisation of usage and allocation to crews. Without boat sharing we would not be able to sustain so many members who fund both our fleet of 81x club boats and our Club Infrastructure – so the making the practice of boat sharing work smoothly is an essential element of our Club’s success! To make boat sharing work we all need to observe the following principles to avoid the chaos and frustration that ensues when the system breaks down: 

  • “Communication, communication & communication” – find out who you are sharing a boat with and agree with them who will use it when, and which regattas you will be entering (Squad Captains can assist with this – or look at the chart on the boathouse wall nearest to the car park) – and if you plans change ask the other crews if they can accommodate. There is nothing more frustrating than turning up for a training session to find your boat already on the water, which then forces the displaced crew to take another boat which passes on the frustration onto the next crew etc etc…
  • Share your racing plans – there is a link used by the Rowing Committee to have visibility of racing plans for crews which we plan to use in the future for trailer and truck booking. The further ahead we plan the more time available to resolve any clashes (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qsgN4FVHPkBgHw92EVyl9CYo_wMTeQ1IK8KseH33i9Q/edit?usp=sharing)
  • Follow the Boat Allocation to Squads – you can find this on the wall of the boathouse nearest to the car park. In the case of a clash that can’t easily be resolved escalate to your Squad Captain as  there are clear prioritisations for boat usage agreed, and the Squad Captains are normally able to propose alternative solutions that will work for all.
  • Leave rigging as you found it - Another common frustration is to turn up to race or for training to find that someone has changed the rig of a shared boat. The smaller the boat the more frustrating this can be - especially when you are not sure what changes were made. If you need to change a boat’s rig (other than foot plate position which is easily re-adjusted) please discuss first with the other crews using the boat and agree what changes are to be made BEFORE making them.
  • Avoiding damage – we are currently in the busiest time of the rowing year, and any boats damaged will have a further impact on water training whilst they are being repaired to ALL the crews using them. Most damage is avoidable, so please take extra care… 

Finally, a gentle reminder on litter – particularly the number of plastic bottles that are being left on the wall outside the club and which end up in the river. A headline on the BBC website highlighted that – “‘If everyone picked up a piece of plastic each week (and didn’t drop any in the first place) canals and rivers could be free of plastic in a year”...

Keep training hard – and I look forward to continued success in competition on the water over the coming weeks as well as good fellowship and support from the riverside!

Regards

Keith

Dear Members

Summer racing is starting to feel like a distant memory as the nights are drawing in, but we have seen our run in racing success continue right into the tail end of the season!

In case you have not heard, on 12th August at the World Junior Rowing Championships Victor Kleshnev won a silver medal in the GB 4x repeating the success of 2017 by holding off a fast finish by Germany to take second place behind home favourites Czech Republic. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Victor on this fantastic achievement!

On 11th August we hosted the annual Maidenhead Regatta which has been running since 1860, and this year was an extremely busy day with an entry of 229 crews from over 40 clubs competing over 157 races - an increase of 20% from last year!  I spoke to a number of people from visiting clubs who really appreciated the effort that went making our event well organised and "stress free" for our visitors, with lots of good food/drink to enjoy and a really friendly "end of season regatta" atmosphere - together with some great racing. It was also good to see so many Maidenhead crews being successful on the water in some thrilling racing! The Maidenhead winning crews are listed below:

WJ14 1x  (Jasmine Stockdale) - coach: Huw Jenkins

WJ13 2x  (Rucha Potdukha & Sylvie Evans)  - coach: Adrian Smith

WJ14 2x (Ellen Gomersall & Dallas Thompson) - coach: Huw Jenkins

WJ14 4x+ (Ellen Gomersall, Abby Jones, Bethyn Roberts, Dallas Thompson & Christa Scott) - coach: Huw Jenkins

Open 4- (Ethan Walters, Elliot Kemp, Sean O’Mahony & Jonny Sneller) - coach: Katerina Kleshneva

W E4x (Janet Woffinden, Maggie Hendry, Janet Dutton & Marion Holmes)

Mixed D4x (Nic Hutchins, Claire Pugh, Nattie Marti & Rob Brockwell)

D1x (Mark Stockdale)

F1x (Marcus Richards)

H1x (Steven Janisch)

E2x (Nick Steel & Marcus Richards) – coach: Jordan Felstead

E4x (Nick Steel, Marcus Richards, Keith Abbott & Tim Hudson) – coach: Jordan Felstead

D8+ (Nic Hutchins, Keith Abbott, Andrew Scott, Rob Brockwell, Nick Steel, Dan Corkin, Huw Jenkins, Dylan Gomersall & Christa Scott ) - coach: Owen Bryant

Once again the regatta was a superb effort by all involved in the organisation and running of the event on the day – so a big thank you to all! Not only did we have a great day of rowing, but we also raised over £3000 for the club's coffers which will be put to good use during the coming year...

Other regattas where Maidenhead crews have seen wins were as follows:

  •  Oxford City Regatta on 18th August saw a number of entries from the club with several 'nearlies' coming very close to winning a special 50th anniversary pot! In the end though there was only one win for Maidenhead: 

AdaM1x (Dan Stevenson) - coach: Nick Steel

  •  Worcester Autumn Regatta on 8th September is an event not often attended by Maidenhead crews, so was good to see a number of squads taking part as well as the following wins:

Open W 2x (Natasha Brown & Caroline Steel)

F1x (Marcus Richards)

The Daytime and Recreational Squad has also been busy, having arranged for 16 members to visit Lake Varese in northern Italy from 6th-10th September for a rowing camp on this huge 9km long international rowing lake.  The participants enjoyed their rowing - which was helped by great weather, good food and drink and a warm welcome from the locals.  Many thanks to Annette Golledge for organising yet another successful overseas visit for the Rec Squad!

Off the water, on 15th September the Junior Squad held its annual end of season Dinner which was well attended by boys and girls from all of the junior squads, parents, supporters and coaches. We were very lucky to have Giedre Rakauskaite, BR Para Rower as the guest speaker who gave an inspirational talk and presented prizes to recipients of the Coaches' Awards.  It was humbling to see the continued success of the Junior Squad at Maidenhead and to celebrate all the hard work and commitment on and off the water that has gone into making 2018 a year to remember! Many thanks also to Chris Sneller and her team of parents for organising the event.

After a really successful racing season for the club in 2018 with wins at local, national and international events for Maidenhead crews, the Squad Captains and I have been spending a lot of time at the Rowing Committee meetings discussing how our racing success can not only be sustained, but developed further in future years. A consistent theme in these discussions is the role played by coaches in optimising a crew’s performance, which I think we all agree is so often a critical determinant in realising a crew’s full potential at all levels of competition. To help us achieve this end we have outlined a Coaching Strategy to develop this coaching competency within the club.

Firstly it is worth saying that coaching can often be seen as a “thankless task” for the individuals concerned, spending hours in the cold/wet on a launch ploughing up and down the Reach – but we are lucky at Maidenhead to have a number of very active and experienced coaches who are very much engaged in training and developing crews across a number of squads. To sustain this, the heart of the coaching strategy is to create an environment within the club where we can attract new coaches, provide them with training and development as they progress their coaching careers – and most importantly to formally recognise the role they play in achieving the competitive success of which we are all so proud! It was also clear from the feedback that I received from members that our coaching strategy had to be built on fairness, transparency and good governance - values that need to be maintained in all aspects of running the club.

The Coaching Strategy can be summarised as follows:

1)  Develop a long term sustainable coaching competency centre within the club by creating a Coaches’ Squad for all volunteer coaches led by an experienced Squad Coaches’ Captain. The Coaches’ Squad will undertake the following:

  • Recognise contribution made to the club by our volunteer coaches:  All volunteer coaches committing >8hrs each month will receive 50% reduction in base membership fees after their first year of being an active coach.
  • Recruit and train our volunteer coaches: The club will embark on a rolling programme to invest up to £5000 (in yr 1 and to be agreed annually thereafter) for the training, development and coaching by professional coaches of our volunteer coaches as directed by the Coaches’ Squad Captain. All new recruits welcome!
  • Manage coaches’ development: Coaches’ Squad Captain to agree assignment of coaches to crews with the other Rowing Squad Captains on quarterly basis as  coaches grow in experience and ability.
  • Share coaching knowledge: Monthly training seminars to be arranged at Coaches’ Squad meetings with expert speakers. Interact with and gain support from British Rowing to share coaching expertise.
  • Non-compulsory: Coaches do not have to join the Coaches’ Squad to be an active coach or receive coaches’ benefits.

2) Fill short term demand for paid coaches/high performance coaches by having a named panel of approved professional coaches from whom members can procure additional coaching services as needed whilst volunteer coaches are developed to this level of proficiency to meet top-end demand. There is no compulsion to use paid coaches, but for the top crews requiring intensive high performance coaching, professional coaches are being used more and more. The aim of our strategy in this sensitive area is to provide a basis for paid coaching within the club environment that is safe, fair and well governed for those who wish to use it:

  • Members Protected: Professional coaches to be CBD checked, launch qualified and first aid trained.
  • Transparent: Names and rates to be added to MRC website. Clear rules for professional coaches (eg Coaches can use MRC fuel/launches if coaching MRC members, but professional coaches cannot coach non-members using club equipment even if members themselves).
  • Well Governed: Need to ensure that professional coaches do not fall under classification of being MRC employees without full Club Committee approval.

3) As a general principle the Club Captain and Coaches’ Squad Captain will seek to ensure that fairness and equality to be maintained by not having combinations of paid/unpaid coaching within squads/crews where some members are subsidising others without the sustained unanimous agreement of all affected parties.
 

So if you have ever fancied giving coaching a go, but not known how to get started, or if you are an experienced coach looking to pick up a crew and share your rowing knowledge with others – now is the time to sign up! Watch out for details of the first Coaches’ Squad meeting to get the initiative up and running...



We have recently upgraded our water safety equipment following an inspection by the RNLI ready for winter training with new life jackets, flotation aids and throw bags being purchased. Thanks to Jim Hotchin, Claire Pugh and Emma Collins for getting this arranged. Please remember to return the equipment to its correct location after use and if you have any issues or queries please ask before you head out on the water.

Another project that has been approved by the Club Committee is the purchase of a towing vehicle to be used to take our boats to regattas and head races. This has been the subject of intense debate over a number of years, but we have now agreed that the time is right to buy a vehicle specifically for this purpose which members can use (subject to insurance conditions) for a small charge per boat seat. This initiative, which I hope to be in place in time for the Fours Head, will reduce the need for the small number of members with a tow bar fitted to their car from having to shoulder this task throughout the year. I will advise of the process for booking the vehicle for events once it is in place.
 
I have had a number of reports from private scull owners that their boats have been used by other members without permission. I know that at peak times there is growing competition for our top 1x boats – which is an issue that we hope to address at the next Rowing Committee meeting to allocate club boats across the squads. If you are having trouble finding a 1x to use please speak to myself or your Squad Captain who will advise you which club boats are available at the correct weight. If you are not sure if a boat is a club boat or not – please do check with your Squad Captain or on the EFA system before using!
 
Gym training and ergo training times for winter training are due to be finalised at the next Rowing Committee meeting also – please try to adhere to these arrangements so that all members can get best use of the training facilities available. We have the junior girls (WJ14/15 and WJ16/17/18) leading the way at Wallingford Long Distance Sculls on 29th September as the first head race for the junior squads this season. Following close in their wake we have the Pairs Head on 6th October, the Fours Head on 3rd November and Vet Fours Head on 4th November for which we have a large number of Maidenhead crews entered. So keep training hard on and off the water!
 
Regards
 
Keith

 

Dear Members

The Head Racing season is now well underway, and already we have seen Maidenhead crews of all ages achieving success at local, national and international events!

  • Wallingford Long Distance Sculls on 29th September saw a number of Maidenhead crews take part from the Junior Squad over the 4250m and 1500m courses, with the following notable performances:

WJ15 4x+ (Ameila Carpenter, Olivia Hall, Jasmine Stockdale, Ametz Parcell-Arregi and Ione Parcell-Arregi – Coach: Huw Jenkins) who despite being impeded by slower crews ahead, still managed to win their event over the longer course by 13sec over second placed Henley and third placed Headington.

WJ15 2x (Ellen Gomersall and Jasmine Stockdale – Coach: Hue Jenkins) won the shorter event over the 1500m course, with the Maidenhead WJ15 2x (Ametz Parcell-Arrigi and Dallas Thompson – Coach: Huw Jenkins) in second place.

WJ14 4x+ (Emma Rayner, Annabel Rayner, Sylvie Evans, Rucha Potdukha and Ione Pacell-Arregi – Coach: Huw Jenkins) also won over the 1500m course in a time that would have seen them placed in the top half of the WJ15 event, with the Maidenhead WJ15 4x+ (Tara Ryan, Olivia Everett, Milly Hall, Scarlett Hunter and Jimmy Hunter – Coach: Huw Jenkins) in second place.

  • Pairs Head on 6th October saw a strong entry from a number of Maidenhead crews who had endure particularly wet weather whilst marshalling. However once racing got underway we saw the following notable performances:

D2- (Alan Bird and Rob Brockwell – Coach: Owen Byrant) won a pennant for achieving first place in their event.

WMasC 2x (Nat Marti and Sue Harker) finished in third place in their event and the 7th fastest time out of the 35 womens’ 2x crews taking part.

  • Reading Small Boats Head on 13th October saw further wins for Maidenhead crews even though the organisers (somewhat prematurely as it turned out) cancelled all of the WJ14 events and the WJ15 small boat events due to forecast strong winds:

    WJ15 4x+ (Ellen Gomersall, Amelia Carpenter, Olivia Hall, Abby Jones and Jimmy Harlow – Coach: Huw Jenkins) won their event by an impressive 25 sec margin to win prizes of engraved whiskey tumblers!
  • Head of the Charles on 20th October once again saw entries from Maidenhead competing on the International stage  in the Men’s Senior Masters Fours event (50-59 age group) where the Maidenhead 4+ (Nic Hutchins, Rob Brockwell, Alan Bird, Andrew Scott and Ali Plump – Coach: Owen Bryant) achieved a creditable 8th place our of 49 entries. 

     
  • Seville Masters International Regatta on 20th and 21st October saw entries from Maidenhead in the G2x and G2- (yes – G!!!) events with the following success:

G2x (Piers Allington and Stephen Janisch) finished in second place behind the French crew, (and a long way ahead of the Russian crew in 3rd place) despite a punishing head wind and driving rain.

G2- (Piers Allington and Stephen Janisch) finished in second place again, but this time behind the Belgian crew and in glorious sunshine!

This year Armistice Day falls on a Sunday, and also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 making it a particularly poignant occasion. The Thames Regional Rowing Council has asked that Members of all clubs across the region observe a moment of silence at 11:00am on 11th November (even if they are out on the water) for what is not only a significant moment in history, but a chance to remember the Members of our own club who lost their lives in the line of duty. There will be a short ceremony in front of the Clubhouse at 11:00am which will be carried out by clubs nationally as a mark of respect – details to be circulated shortly…

As some of you may have already noticed, the club has recently bought our own towing vehicle so that we can now transport our boats to Regattas/Head Races without relying on the one or two Members who have a tow bar fitted to their private vehicles. The club has funded the capital cost of buying the vehicle, but the running costs of the vehicle (eg insurance, tax, repairs, maintenance and depreciation) need to be shared by the Members using the vehicle on a pro rata basis as outlined below. A big thank you needs to go to Dylan who not only organised the purchase, collection and insurance of the vehicle, but has also agreed to manage the vehicle moving forward!

The Committee has agreed the following basis for using the club vehicle:

  • The vehicle can be used by any Member (or Parent volunteer) with a full UK driving licence valid for towing at the discretion of the Vehicle Manager. Note that if you were born after 1997 you will need to have passed the separate DVLA test for trailer towing.
  • There will be a £5 charge per rowing seat towed (inclusive of fuel used) for all trips other than to Dorney Lake (which will be free of charge). This charge was calculated using the data from the past couple of years’ trailer usage (around 80 trips each year) and estimated running costs for the vehicle with the aim of achieving a cost neutral position, and will be reviewed every 12mths and adjusted accordingly. Whilst the “fixed rate” nature of the charge does mean that you are paying more for short trips (eg Marlow) than longer trips (eg Nottingham) it also means that racing costs are spread across the year as the longer trips often have other expenses such as hotels etc which all adds up. Also the “fixed rate” has the advantage of simplicity and transparency to administer and means that the Vehicle Manager isn’t chasing 20 Members for “pennies” after a trip to Marlow...
  • To keep track of wear and tear the driver collecting the vehicle will be asked to complete a short form with details of the driver(s), destination, safety checklist before heading out (eg lights, brakes etc) and details of damage before/after (similar to when you hire a car – but not as scary!) which will be put on the website to be available as needed.
  • There will be club fuel card available for longer trips where fuel top-ups are needed.
  • International trips will need to be arranged separately as additional insurance cover will be required and fuel costs for such trips have not been included in the fixed charge calculation.
  • If Members still want to use their own towing vehicle or make other arrangements for boat transportation, this is fine and the trailers can be booked as before.
  • In the rare cases (usually not more than once or twice a year) where both trailers are needed on the same day, the following approach will be applied:
    • For shared trailer destinations, the club vehicle will be used to tow the heaviest load and the private vehicle owner will be compensated using the calculation used at present. The fixed charge per seat will apply equally for boats on both trailers.
    • For separate trailer destinations, the club vehicle will be assigned to tow to the destination with the heaviest load and the fixed charge for using the club vehicle will apply. The other trailer will need a Member with a private vehicle to tow them (who will be compensated using the calculation used at present) paid directly by the Members racing at the secondary destination, but the fixed club vehicle charge will not apply.
  • When the new emissions charge for diesel vehicles come into force across the Greater London area, we will have to review how to accommodate this additional cost for trips to the Tideway.
  • The club vehicle will not be available for private hire/usage (eg trips to the rubbish dump).

Please forward your booking requests to Dylan directly. We will be tracking closely how this new asset for the club is working out and will keep the usage rules under review so that accessing the club vehicle is straightforward, safe, fair to all and cost neutral to the club – if you have any suggestions or concerns please let me know.

I can also appreciate that towing a large trailer may seem a daunting prospect for many, so if there is interest, we can arrange for “towing practice” sessions for Members who want to tow but would appreciate the chance to have some “dry runs” (ie without boats on the trailer) and with a more experienced Member on hand to advise – please let Dylan or I know if you would be interested in this.

As many of you will know, Karon retired from New Wave earlier this month after many years as their UK agent for supply of club racing kit to Maidenhead RC. Karon’s support in this regard has been very much appreciated and I would like to thank her for all the hard work over the years keeping us properly attired whilst representing the club on the water. It is really important that as a club we all wear the same kit at Regattas and Head Races – not only for “esprit de corps”, but also to comply with BR directives and prevent crews from being issued penalties, so confirming new supply arrangements for kit is a top priority. To address this issue, the Committee has approved a Members’ project team to review the following:

  • To select the official supplier(s) of Maidenhead RC racing kit (same design as at present) on the basis of quality, price and ease of supply. An effective on-line ordering capability direct to Members’ home addresses will be a key selection criteria. This is the top priority that needs to be completed as quickly as possible.
  • Work with the selected supplier(s) to extend the range of official Maidenhead RC attire to meet the needs of all Members. The project team will be seeking input on this point from all of the squads, so if the Veteran Men are looking for the latest design of hoodie/baseball cap – now is the time to ask!
  • Agree the frequency and next date for review of the official Maidenhead RC racing kit design. We will be keeping the design as is for the time being, but it is important that plenty of notice be given of a design review so that inputs can be requested from all squads and purchasing decisions adjusted as necessary.
  • Review the opportunities for sponsorship of club racing kit. A number of other clubs have taken this direction to reduce costs of kit for their Members, but it is important that we carefully review this option and agree on the best direction to take.
  • All proposals to be approved by the Club Committee.

If you are interested in joining this project team or have any suggestions to make please let me know!

Unfortunately, I have received complaints from our neighbours in the flats next door to the clubhouse of noise from the ergo room, which on busy days starts early in the morning and continues off and on throughout the day until late evening. Clearly the ergos are a key element of our winter training – but the noise of 12 machines being used together, radio on full blast and verbal encouragement from coaches etc needs to be contained. On the other hand, we need to ensure sufficient cooling and ventilation to keep athletes as comfortable as possible whilst training, especially in summertime.

As a trial running up to end-December, the Committee have agreed to keep the two roof windows adjacent to the flats permanently closed to assess if this significantly alleviates the noise issue – the windows overlooking the river and car park can still all be opened as needed. Dylan will be installing temperature and humidity sensors in the ergo room which will be periodically checked before/after training sessions at different times of the day so that at the end of the trial period we can make informed decisions on noise management and cooling arrangements (eg fans, air-conditioning, window tinting etc) that will enable us to strike the right balance moving forward. Your support during this trial period is much appreciated – and please let me know if you have any feedback to add to this study.

Well done for a great start to the winter racing season – and keep training hard on and off the water!

Regards

Keith

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