Captain’s Update – 14th January 2016

This Happy New Year is long overdue – but here it is Ladies, and I hope it finds you full of enthusiasm for the year ahead.

We started our rowing year with a BBL Time Trial on Sunday 3rd January, followed by a work session sorting blades.  Very productive and very satisfying to have lined up, checked and labelled our refurbed sets of sweep (6 sets!) and sculling blades.  The next task will be to paint them all……
Our first racing of the season was to be at Weybridge this Saturday, but the Winter Head has been cancelled, much to the disappointment of the Magnificent 7 crews we had entered.  We will thrash it out on the Tideway instead (conditions permitting).
Conditions closer to home have not been so great either, and many Novice, as well as some Intermediate outings have had to be abandoned in favour of land training.  We should be thankful that the excess water is flowing down the River and not into our living rooms…….
Quintin Head is on Saturday 23rd January at 2pm, coming upstream to finish above Chiswick Bridge. We have a WIM3 8 racing.  Cygnets have two crews entered and are desperately looking for coxes – please help if you can.  What better way to hone your race coxing skills…
Thames Valley TT is the following Sunday 31st January, and Mark did well to enter two WIM3 4+’s before entries closed 24 hours after opening.
Capsize Drill Saturday 30th January at St Paul’s School 2.30 to 3.30.  This is important for everybody’s safety, please sign up if you haven’t already done one .  We will be keeping a register!
We will have lots of crews out for Hammermsith Head on Saturday 20th February – please sign up to race or cox. We’ve had a request for launch drivers to help with marshalling – please let me know if you can help.
BBLRC AGM will be on February 10th at 7pm – please make sure you can attend.
Wrap up warm for the coming weeks, and keep up the land training while the river is so inhospitable – circuits on Tuesdays at 7pm at Cavendish School with Maxi are fab, and the shed is always available and free!  Come down and join the (not so hardcore) erg posse on Wednesday nights from 6pm.
See you soon

Captain’s Update – 16th December

Lovely Ladies of Barnes Bridge – what a night we had of it at our Annual Christmas bash!

The venue, the food, the music were all perfect thanks to Michelle and Vicki’s organisation.
The on-screen entertainment was spectacular thanks to Sarah P’s IT creativity and some lovely club photos – see it again here
The company – oh the company!  Thank you all for coming, for laughing and for dancing.  If you weren’t there, please come next year.
Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Dave Gledhill for his contribution to the Club over some 20 years of membership, coxing, coaching and teaching, as well as looking after our equipment and boat stock, and fulfilling the role of Safety Officer.  We have all benefitted from his expertise and help, and appreciated his cheerful and lighthearted manner.  His command of Tideway Vocabulary is second to none, covering all eventualities that a rower might encounter while out on the water.
Club Memeber of the Year was awarded to Michelle Weiss for her great contribution to the smooth running of the Club, managing all our catered races, taking on Kit provision, Club Day and Social events – raising some £4000 for Club funds.
Most Improved was awarded to Sarah Thompson.  Sarah has trained tirelessly to improve her fitness and technique this year, and has been in the top crews.  She has also learnt to scull, and – always willing to help – has proved herself a very proficient cox.
Sculler of the Year was awarded to Sharon Leow who – already one of our most skilled sweep rowers – was in the pennant winning 4x at Weybridge Head in January, de-noviced in a 1x at BMI Regatta in the summer, raced in a mixed 2x with Simon Suthers at Oxford City and with Bec Stackhouse at Pairs Head.
Crew of the Year went to the 8 which de-noviced at Barnes and Mortlake Regatta, Vicki, Gillian, Kat, Amy, Jess, Sophia, Lorna and Ania, coxed by Anna.  Well done ladies!
Last but by no means least – our favourite Cygnet this year is Simon Suthers, for his coxing, coaching, support and encouragement.  He even came to training camp!
My thanks to the Coaching Team, the Committee, and of course Sian and Sarah P, without whom nothing would get done.
Before I leave 2015 – we have bought a new scull (to replace Digger and Spring Fever, both ahem ‘retired’ under my watch).  A 70 to 85 kg Janousek, totally refurbed with all new parts.  As yet s(he) has no name – appropriate suggestions to me please!
So Ladies, on to 2016 – quick catches and heels down.
New Year’s Day if the Tide and Weather permit, come down for a quick spin, and even if they don’t permit, come to the Clubhouse for Captain’s Open House.  Timing to follow.
Our first Boathouse Workday is Sunday 3rd January, with a Club Time Trial at 07.15.
Our first race will be Weybridge Winter Head on 16th January.
In the meantime, have a very restful and Happy Christmas,

Captain’s Update – 1st December

Well Ladies we’ve survived Abigail, Barney and Clodagh – next it’ll be Desmond trying to keep us off the water.  No chance!

 In spite of Clodagh’s best efforts last Sunday 29th the first (monthly) BBL Time Trial went ahead as planned, and thanks to Sarah’s technical wizardry, and Jess and Katie Lean’s stoicism on the shore, here are the results  Over sausages and tea Dave Gledhill delivered the first (land based) part of a coxing/steering course.  We desperately need more coxes to get all these keen rowers – especially our 24 strong Novice squad – out on the water.  Let me know if you could take a turn…
Sarah P and Mark have been working all through November upgrading the Club boat fleet, fitting new slides, gates, and seats where needed, and checking the rigging and adjusting pitches on our Club 8’s, 4’s and 2’s.  JD is away having a new fin box fitted, and Rocky is off next week to have a hull refurb.  One set of wooden handled blades have been refurbished, and another to follow, as well as a set of smoothies.  Club and private singles have also been given the once over to be ready for Saturday.
Not all of them….due to an exciting Captain’s Capsize amongst the piers of Kew Rail Bridge (the capsize was exciting not the captain) Spring Fever has finally been put out to grass.  As we have also lost Digger (I know, I know, one is an accident, two is just careless) we are now looking for 2 servicable club singles.  Please let me know if you hear of anyone offering a good bogof deal.
This Saturday 5th is Vesta Scullers Head at 11:00.  We have 4 BBL Racers: Sarah P #397, Bec #402, Sian #525 and Katy #533, with 5 from next door: Bart #150, Guy #288, Neil P #299, Captain Jez #321 and Robin #380.
Please come along and cheer from the hard, bring cake and help with boating or serving tea.  You know the drill!
Next Saturday 12th is the Christmas Party – see you there!
Sunday January 3rd will be the next BBL Time Trial, and First Sunday Boathouse Work Day.
And another date for your diary Saturday 16th January Weybridge Winter Head, where last year our WMasC 4x were pennant winners.  Let’s do it again, but better!
In the meantime – if you’re doing any Christmas shopping please use this easyfundraising link  and raise some money for the club.
Look forward to seeing you on Saturday,