Reading Head cancelled; more land training. Frustrating though this may be for us all, it helps build the foundation for the summer’s race/tour performances. WEHoRR scheduled for 7 March; if that goes ahead – good luck to our SW 8+.

We are planning to launch the Sport Relief ergo challenge (for us collectively to row the 1,175 km distance from Lands’ End to Shetland) next week, once formalities are completed. The final day will remain Sunday 15 March, but bringing the start date forward enables us to positively benefit from Red River ergos. Further details to follow.

Please follow the NHS guidelines on the Corona Virus. If you are feeling unwell and think that it could be the Corona Virus please self-isolate and do not come down to the club until you have been cleared. As an additional precaution please clean all weights, rowing machine handles with antibacterial spray both before and after exercise. Our Safety Advisors, Chris and Diane, have shared some advice, so please read and heed their email.

A reminder that club policy is for new Maidenhead racing kit to be purchased exclusively from our nominated supplier, Regatta Sport. Please refer to Club Kit Manager, Mark Stockdale’s recent email for the rationale, which includes our desire to present a unified club identity.

The club’s rich history is being vividly portrayed, as the reframed photographs are being hung around the clubhouse. Thanks to Roger and Caroline for the considerable time they are putting into doing such a professional job. One of the benefits of our refurbished clubhouse is an increase in the demand to host external functions. This is an important source of revenue, and I’d like to thank Carlotta for picking up the Party-hire role from Layla, and Chris and Peter for continuing to run corporate hires. Thanks also to Paul and Laura for running the bar on Sunday afternoons, for those who are not sleeping off yet another weekend of long ergo pieces.

Another reminder that our clubhouse reopening event is on Saturday 28 March starting at 14:00. Flyers will soon be displayed at the club.

Some useful reminders on ergo technique from British Rowing’s Go Row Indoors programme https://www.britishrowing.org/indoor-rowing/go-row-indoor/how-to-indoor-row/british-rowing-technique/.  The sequence is key: Legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs. Focus on your legs – 60% of the power is from the legs, 30% body, 10% arms. Maintain good core stability. And breathe. Adaptive rowing techniques are included in workouts with some of the current Invictus team: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SJ9RIqN_5Y.

Nick

Kingston Head and Oarsport (20 March) cancelled. Next scheduled events are: School’s HoRR (18 March) - 4 quads; Junior Inter-regional trials (21 March) –– Ethan (J15 1x), Jacob and Danny (J16 1x and 2x), Amelia and Jasmine (WJ16 1x and 2x); and Vet’s HoRR (22 March) – 2 eights and 2 quads. Good luck to all Junior and Veteran crews. 

As the coronavirus situation evolves, and government advice develops, we wish to take proportionate measures to protect our members, guests and visitors. We have therefore decided to postpone the Clubhouse reopening from 28 March to 19 September, and to suspend bookings for parties/corporate events until the government guidance is relaxed.

We succeeded in our Sport Relief challenge, and rowed from Lands’ End to Shetland, and onwards towards the Vøring Plateau – a total of 1,222 km logged against a target of 1,175km – from 55 members representing all squads. Great job everyone! The VetMen rowed 51% of the distance, combined Junior squads 14%, and Senior and Masters Women 12% each. Top contributors were John Steers (VetMen - 105km), Stewart Robertson (Rec – 87km), Karon Phillips (WMas – 46km), Max Bird (JM – 40km), Sofia Marelli (SW – 31km) and Izzy Sellers (JW – 20km). To date, we have raised a total of £3,297 to be split 50/50 between the club and Sport Relief. We will keep the fundraising pages open for a short while longer, so please encourage friends and family to make a donation on your behalf: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/mrc. Special mention to Stewart who rowed a full marathon (42,195m) on Friday, and John Steers who rowed over 100km in memory of his father who passed away this week. Many thanks to John, who organised this challenge for us.

As part of our community connect initiative, MRC was represented by Sam and I last Wednesday at the Lent Rise School’s Sports Relief Week. Lent Rise School is one of our local schools in Burnham for children up to 11 years. We received a very enthusiastic welcome as we introduced rowing to many children and their parents for the first time. Over 35 children rowed 100 metres on an ergo, competing furiously to achieve the top time, while many noted that the MRC Learn to Row programme might be their sports choice in a few years’ time.

The clubhouse redecoration continues, with John and Keith painting the rear lobby and stairs to the cardio suite, Ken replacing the quote with one that better reflects our membership’s diversity, and Roger and Caroline building out the picture gallery, including a couple more paintings from talented club members, Jacqui and Heidi, to join Derek’s artwork. Our Safety advisors, Chris and Diane, and Premises manager, Ken, conducted a full fire alarm test this week, and will be updating the policy to reflect learnings.

Claire will be resuming Tuesday suppers next week; please book on FitClub. Great way to refuel after yet another ergo.

Some ergo technical tips that will improve rowing when we eventually return to the water in this short video of Robin Williams (Helen Glover and Heather Stanning’s coach) recently coaching at a workshop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2RqnL8z2vs,

Please continue to pay heed to the Coronavirus guidance our Safety Advisors circulate and post around the club, noting that this is a rapidly evolving situation. We expect all our members, visitors and guests to the Club to also follow the government advice. Please do not come to the Club if you are displaying any of the above symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone who has - stay at home and use the NHS 111 or NHS 111 Online Coronavirus help line. Ensure if using the ergo suite or weights room or the boat house - that you clean ergo handles and seats, weights, and blade handles - both before and after use with the sprays provided, to help prevent spread of this virus.

Nick

“In the boats, we explore the concepts that underlie creation. Like Einstein, we wish to know God’s thoughts. We shall attempt to pry them loose with an oar. The raw elements of the sport are our teachers: the wind and the water, the boat and its oars, our own bodies and minds.” Craig Lambert, “Mind over water – lessons on life from the art of rowing”.

I hope that you are all keeping well and enjoyed VE Day celebrations this weekend and, in between front-garden tea parties, were able to continue activities related to our two club Spring Challenges, that run until midnight on Saturday 23 May. Please continue to log all your activities on Strava https://www.strava.com/clubs/maidenhead-rowing-club-624714 , and send pictures of cakes and tracks to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Carlotta will be judging the cake decorations, so that gives you an idea of the standard to strive for! This week’s leader boards (Time): Sean O’Mahony (11h 42m); David Gibbon (10h 42m); Jasper King (10h 21m).

A belated shout-out to Jacob Ioras, who completed a 26-mile marathon ergo two weeks ago for his 2.6 challenge in under three hours; great work, Jacob.

Huge thanks to Jack Beaumont who took time out from his training to chat with, and answer questions from, a large number of our Junior rowers on Tuesday. He shared insightful tips, experiences and thoughts from his rowing journey (the first 7 years of which were at Maidenhead). It really demonstrates the importance of creating the environment and conditions to support and develop a passion for rowing. Jack noted the positive impact that his early coaches and other members (most of whom are still active at the club) had on him. So that is a good reminder for us to thank everyone who contributes to making our club such a special place. It was good to hear that he is still proud to consider Maidenhead to be his club. We are equally proud of him and his achievements, and wish him well for the next phase of his international rowing career.

Before joining the GB team, Jack benefitted from part-time temporary work with some of our club members who ran their own businesses; so, this is request for any of our members who might be in a position to offer opportunities to our current Juniors who are approaching transition ages. It is clearly not an ideal time to make such a request, given the uncertainties that all businesses face right now, but should you have any suggestions, please message me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you might be able to support this initiative, now or in the future.

Jack clearly enjoyed himself (our Juniors posed some great questions), as he has generously offered to join us for another club exclusive Q&A session; this time open to all our members (Timing TBA).

Squad virtual activities continue apace: all Junior squads came together for a quiz on VE Day; The VetMen workout together weekly for ‘Dylan’s erg heaven’; whilst the Adaptive squad ergoed up Mt Everest on Saturday and enjoyed Dan’s power sprints this morning. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18VXMls6sJL9BfVTrfwiJ8jfZs0JAfsjz_GgoMW6mLTo/edit#gid=1431650702.

Late notice, but if you have an ergo at home, and are looking for another challenge, British Rowing, Rowing Canada Aviron, Rowing Australia and Rowing New Zealand have organised the One Minute Challenge, a joint initiative for indoor rowers across the respective nations: https://www.britishrowing.org/2020/05/british-rowing-announces-four-nation-indoor-rowing-challenge/. The competition closes at 23.59 (BST) on Monday 11 May.

We are all hoping to get back onto the water as soon as we safely can, and will be following British Rowing’s guidance, which reflects UK Government rules and advice. Their latest update was published last week: https://www.britishrowing.org/2020/05/planning-a-safe-return-to-rowing/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=covid19&utm_content=planningforasafereturn.  The Rowing Committee and Club Committee are looking at risk-informed options specific to our club ecosystem, and welcome any suggestions from members (please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Several of our members, including Jim Oliver, Brian Smith and Ken Bedwell, have been maintaining an active and frequent check on the safety and security of our boathouse, boats and truck; many thanks to them and others for spending time doing this to enable us to restart operations as smoothly as possible.

BR Lock-down webinars continue to be a source of useful information: last Thursday’s episode provided an introduction to ClubHub, featuring our very own Jim Hotchin. Essential viewing which will soon be available on-demand. Another interesting piece looking at energy system contribution to rowing performance was published last week: https://www.britishrowing.org/2020/05/rowing-physique-and-performance/.

Our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. project continues to provide some useful support to many of our members. A recent suggestion offered via this forum is for HelloFRESH - choose recipes from a weekly menu and they’ll deliver the ingredients and recipe (there are other companies that offer this service; this is a recommendation not an endorsement!).

We plan to run a club-wide quiz in the near future. As a taster, try this without Googling: Why did Bobby Pearce slow down during his rowing race at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam?

Please look after yourselves and your loved ones, and do not hesitate to connect in with the Maidenhead RC family if any of us can provide you support, or just have a chat.

Nick

This weekend we have enabled a limited number of members (meeting the criteria set out in my email issued at 12:17 on Friday 15th May) to return to the water in their privately owned singles. We are adopting a cautious, safety-led, risk-based approach, fully in accord with UK Government guidance, and advice from British Rowing and the Environment Agency. We are gathering feedback from these experiences, to update procedures as may be required, and determine readiness to proceed to Phase 2 (addition of club singles). British Rowing’s most recent guidance was published on Friday 15th May https://www.britishrowing.org/2020/05/phasing-a-safe-return-to-rowing-15-may/, and will answer many of your questions.

Last weekend, the club was represented in the 4-nations One Minute Ergo Challenge by 7 VetMen, and WJ16s Abby and Izzy. GB won the event, with 1194 rowers covering 364,010m. Former Maidenhead junior, Phil Clapp, was second overall with 425m.

Plans are underway for a club-organised virtual Nat. Schools Regatta replacement event next weekend. This will be open to all our juniors, and we have invited a number of other clubs. Information will follow.

Next Saturday 23rd May (7.45 pm for 8 pm start) Annette and Bob are kindly hosting a Club Virtual Quiz Night. Teams of 4; Team captains please email Annette with participant’s names by Thursday 21st May. Please see Annette’s email (16th May) for further details.

We will be closing both the Club Spring Challenges (multi-activity time/distance and artistic cake/track shapes) at 23:59 on Saturday 23rd May, so please make those final pushes to the line. Remember that Carlotta is judging cake photos, so the standard is high! Details on the online virtual resources sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18VXMls6sJL9BfVTrfwiJ8jfZs0JAfsjz_GgoMW6mLTo/edit#gid=0

We are fully aware that the UK Government’s approach to ‘lock-down’ easing is differentiated, and that many of our members may well appreciate continued support from the Club community, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Keep safe

Nick

I hope that you all wish to renew your club membership for the 2020/21 year, and suggest that, whilst this continues to be a challenging time for everybody, the club still has much to offer. 

Please remember to renew your senior membership today, for the 2020/21 rowing year. At the recent EGM, it was agreed that the club would offer an optional reduced membership fee of 10/12 of those published, but to qualify for that discount you need to have signed up by the end of today.  Please see Carolyn's 22nd May email for details on how to renew. Note that payment can be deferred until 31st July, but if you plan to do this, you need to: renew your membership online via Club Hub as normal, but choose the 'Pay Later' option; and email Jim and Carolyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please remember, if you have not renewed your membership you may not access the club premises or equipment as we make a gradual return to rowing. Junior membership fees are due by 31st August.

You will have seen from my 29th May email that we have now progressed to Wave 2 of our Safe Return to Rowing plan, adding a limited number, but broad range, of club singles and ‘household boats’, to provide opportunity for as many members to scull/row as we safely and practically can, whilst following UK Government, British Rowing, and Environment Agency guidelines.

Please follow the procedures detailed in my email carefully; they are designed to keep you and other members safe. Thanks to Jim for managing the FitClub bookings every day for us; to get as many people out as we safely can, whilst adhering to our new protocols. The 2-hour boating slots, from 0700 – 2000 daily, are presently available to all, but I would request that, if you have flexibility, you allow those who are working full-time priority for the early morning and evening sessions. You can note this in the comment section.

In addition to private singles (from Vetmen, Masters Women, Senior Women, Alumni, Senior Men, and J/WJ16-18), I can see from FitClub that tomorrow there will be club boats going out from representative of almost all our senior squads: Alumni; Daytime; Recreational; and Vetmen. These are still early days in our return to the water, and we will undoubtedly learn from this Wave, and revise the plan prior to the next Wave. For everyone fortunate enough to get back onto the water: please keep safe and please enjoy it.

Last weekend 33 Maidenhead juniors took part in a unique event, a virtual Nat. Schools Regatta, together with rowers from Tideway Scullers School, The Windsor Boys' School Boat Club, Lea Rowing Club, Marlow Rowing Club and Henley Rowing Club. Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to those who showed exceptional fitness and finished on the top of overall results or in separate events (2k erg or run, 250m erg or run, 5k run). Notable performances: Olivia won 250m run; Steph was 3rd in 2k run; Alex was 4th in 250m erg; Izzy was 3rd in 5k run and 3rd overall in erg/run events with Abby just behind her in 4th; Zara and Katie were 16th and 18th overall, but 1st and 3rd among WJ14s; Stephanie was 2nd overall in run only events; Max was 6th in 2k and 5th in 250m erg; Josh, J13, was 7th in 2k run; Ed was 5th overall in erg/run and Josh was 3rd overall in run only. A very solid performance from all, under challenging conditions. Well done all.

Thanks once again to Jack Beaumont for taking time out from his home training schedule to join us for an exclusive Q&A session last Monday. We look forward to welcoming him back on the Maidenhead reach before too long.

Our Spring challenges are still in progress. This week’s leader board for time: 1st: Jasper king - 12H 16M; 2nd: Dillon Cook - 10H 33M; 3rd: Josty - 10H 13M. Keep sending in Strava route shapes and cake photos.

British Rowing have a number of online challenges and races available https://www.britishrowing.org/indoor-rowing/online-challenges-races/?utm_source=GRI&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GRI-27052020&utm_content=article-5. Well done to Marcus for a great performance in the 1k challenge this weekend, finishing top in category, and 14th overall. Cake well deserved!

Finally, many of our members continue to appreciate support from the Club community, and you are welcome to join the scheme via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Stay safe

Nick

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