Women's Henley 2016

Senior Women's coxed four

After months of erg training, ripped calluses, burst blisters and bruises; we finally had our four together just over a month to go (it took a while for us to sync our diaries!)

The senior women’s squad has grown this year and this crew is a real testament to that; with two ex-junior athletes, an Oxford University blue boat competitor, and a home grown Twickenham body in the boat, supplemented with the most dynamic cox you could find, we were ready...well as ready as you could be with just three weeks when the five of us could finally get in a boat together for Henley Women’s regatta. 

Our crew bonded pretty quickly over a love of Percy Pigs and general quirky behaviours. Our common love of all things carb related, meant a brilliant team carb loading session on the Thursday evening allowed us to focus on our race plan and discuss what motivational calls we would like to hear. We wish there was a saying like teams who eat together... but there isn’t and it would also not strictly be true. True commitment to the crew was shown by Jamie, our cox, who sat there devouring a single dough ball and bread stick in his determination to shred as much weight as possible before race day.

Despite a disgustingly early start, we still had to battle the traffic in order to rig our boat and prepare ourselves (mainly Millie) mentally for our time trial. A rather suave gentleman pushed us off the pontoon, and to our excitement, it was Sir Matthew Pincent! Having shown him what Twickenham were made of, we paddled to the start with a few warm up pieces ready for our cox to strip and start a new coxing trend #TheNakedCox (see our Instragram page for evidence @twickenhamrowing).

Ready for our time trial we paddled to the start prepared to throw the kitchen sink at the 1500m stretch ahead of us. Finishing with lungs filled with blood, barely able to breathe and lactic acid burning through our thighs, we knew we had done our best...all we could do now was wait for the results. 

We were elated to discover that we had qualified; rumour has it that tears were seen in our bow woman’s eyes. 

What felt like a short couple of hours, we were back on the water ready to fight our opposition, a Thames crew who had months of training together, but with a fraction of the Twickenham heart.

We had achieved our objective.

From here on in, ce cerra cerra. 
Once again we marshalled by our new best friend Matt (that is Sir Matthew to the rest of you) we were focussed and ready to race. Despite a strong start, the oppo broke away from us around the barrier. We stayed in touching distance throughout the course on what was one of the closest races of the day, but it was not quite enough. We finished just over 1/2 length clear of Thames and felt extremely proud of our efforts.

Finally Twickenham senior ladies are back on the map and ready to build on this performance next year!

Cox: Jamie Wooller
Bow: Millie Smallbone
2: Isabelle Evans
3: Meg Thyne
Stroke: Morwenna Frankson (Senior Women's VC)

Coach: Nick Fulton

Junior double (GB Start)

This is the first year that the Junior athletes on the Twickenham Start program have raced at Henley Women’s Regatta.  After a number of weeks working in the 2x it was something that Charley and Megan were looking forward to.  Twenty eight crews were entered which were reduced to sixteen via a qualifying time trial.  The TWK boat looked strong as it raced down the 1400m and proceeded to qualify.  In the first round they met the boat from Northwich which had got a silver medal in National Schools Regatta in May.  In the race the Northwich boat took off from the Start at rate 46 and didn’t look back, excuse the pun, getting their bow in front and then proceeding to increase their lead down the course.  This was a tough first round draw against the eventual finalists and the girls were disappointed not to get further through the competition.  

There are positives to draw from the race as in the few weeks since the National Schools Regatta, Megan and Charley have reduced the difference between them and the Northwich boat by seventeen seconds. This is even more impressive as Charley and Megan are both a year younger than their fellow competitors meaning that they can enter the WJ 2x next year.

Thanks must go to Adam and Henry who came along on Saturday to support the girls and to Putney Town RC for towing the boat to Henley.

Bow: Charley Parr
Stroke: Meghan Duthart

Coach: Dan Cooper

Senior Squads: Road to HENLIES - TwRC, Met and Reading Regatta

Twickenham Regatta 28th May 2016

The Senior Mens squad were representing the club at their home regatta in the IM1 4-. In the first round they met Sons of the Thames and after dispatching them fairly rapidly in the first few hundred meters they took the rate down and found a solid rhythm to take them over the finish line looking strong. 

Unfortunately in the next round they had the unfavorable enclosure side against a strong Vesta crew. However unperturbed they decided to take the lead early and hold Vesta off. Both crews went off station from the start with Twickenham leading, coming towards the top of Glovers Island Twickenham was warned to move over. Still ahead they began to move back to their station, however not in time as there was contact and after an appeal led to our disqualification. This just lead to a hardening of determination to beat Vesta at future meetings.

The Senior Women’s novice eight had a toe-toe battle down the course against Thames RC. Knowing our home water and the sharp final bend, it almost propelled Twickenham towards their maiden win only to agonizingly lose the verdict by one foot!

Metropolitan Regatta 4th June 2016

For the first time in the Henley line up, the Senior men were keen to make their mark at Met, and build on some strong performances from Nottingham. With an 8 and two fours racing there were several races to see where we sat compared to other clubs. 

The 8 was off first and had a strong start, in the top few boats through the 500m and staying up in the pack through the 1000m mark. Unfortunately having not had as much time in the crew as others we struggled to find a punishing rhythm and ended up getting drawn into a side by side with Cantabriagn rather than pushing through them and moving on the rest of the pack. However in the last 500m with an impressive burn (7th fastest club of the day over the last 500m) we moved off and almost caught 3rd place, missing out on the semi finals by just over a second. Not the result we would have liked but we were heartened by the fact we beat several club crews, particularly Vesta, who had beaten us at the Head and knowing we had still more speed to put down. Showing not only had we moved on in boat speed, but had made more gains than several other clubs!

The two 4's raced next, with the coxed 4 putting in a strong performance with a time that would have either qualified them or won the other heats. However unfortunately was less than half a second too slow in that heat to get them through. The coxless four had less luck, due to some steering issues they went from being up with the pack through the first few hundred to slipping further back down the field finishing last. 

Overall though the men's squad is looking forward to Reading this weekend followed by Henley, buoyed by the fact that there is more speed to be unleashed now we are finally in a settled crew. 

Reading Regatta 11-12th June 2016

We all arrived at our various racing locations in what was an exciting couple of days of racing ahead for the Seniors, Start and Racing Masters group.

After an early start, the women's four were rigged and ready to face Maidstone, an unknown quantity. After a shakey start, Twickenham quickly made up any lost ground, with some excellent coxing and a gutsy row, the girls won by five lengths qualifying for the quarter finals against Henley. This was a closer race, with Henley trying to make up for a slower start, and Twickenham holding their ground the entire 1500 meters going on to win by a couple of boat lengths. The semi final against Worcester university saw Twickenham take a strong start against a brilliantly polished crew, however they subsequently lost to the better boat, having fought to gain back lost ground, Twickenham's determined finish saw the girls give it everything as well as praise from the commentary box to ensure that we are ready for women's Henley having posted the fastest club IM2 time and losing to the overall winners of the day. A big step forward for this combination and we look forward to racing at Women’s Henley this week.

The senior men’s eight lined up against Eton College 2nd VIII. To our surprise, we managed to get out to an early ½ length lead and managed a strong transition to pace to hold them down the course. They reacted with some strong pushes but we kept our composure and knew that they wouldn’t be able to hold us for our final sprint. Unfortunately in our Ozzie Four moment, we mistimed the finish and thought we heard the finish line marker, winding down 40m short of the line. Obviously in an attempt to hide our speed for Henley in 2 weeks… In reality, a lesson learnt and certainly for Henley qualifiers we won’t be stopping until we are at the next lock. It gives us a lot of confidence given we still have plenty of speed to find and 2 weeks in which to execute it.

Our Start girls racing in the IM1 2x where drawn against a much-fancied Henley RC crew arguably the fastest junior double this year. Despite going 5secs per 500m quicker than in training, they lost out to the faster crew.

The senior women's novice eight category gave the ladies their first win of the season, with an elated boat beating Manchester university easily. Having sailed in to the semi finals, the girls were ready to fight a tidier battle against Birmingham university. Despite a much more efficient row, the ladies unfortunately lost to the winners of the finals, but took home some great experience ready for the next battle!

NEXT UP: WOMEN'S HENLEY REGATTA - Women's Club Four and Junior Double.
NEXT UP: HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA - Thames Challenge Cup and Wyfold's Challenge Cup.

GB Start Update: Road to National Schools

Nottingham City Regatta 14th of May

This was the first regatta for Megan and Charley this season and a chance to see what speed they have got from the long winter training.  Even through Megan is only a J16 and Charley is a J17 in order to get both the 2x and 1x raced they had to race in the WJ18 category.  They raced the 2x in the morning division where they had a good race in their heat.  They came out of the start with real intent and battled for the top spot for the first 1k, with two crews breaking clear and themselves clear of fourth spot by the 1500m mark they settled for third and a qualification spot for the final.  In the final they found it difficult to find other boats to race as the next two fastest boats were on the other side of the lake to them, even though each push was successful it couldn't be held and they finished 6th.

The 1x were raced in the afternoon and in the heats, much like the morning racing, both girls came off the blocks with good starts.  Charley seemed surprised by the initial pace of the race and slipped into 5th however had a very good final 750m and managed to take a solid fourth position.  A positive and strong row but not enough to qualify for the final.  Megan had a solid middle 1k which saw her row through two competitors and comfortably take second place, a fantastic result considering the other girls were two years her senior.  In the final Megan struggled to find the pace that she had in the heat and the competitors got away from her.  She tried a number of times to get herself back in the race but ended up coming sixth.

A good day's racing and a lot learnt in preparation for National School in the coming weeks.

Walton and Weybridge Regatta 21st May

With the Start juniors all currently doing their school exams Walton and
Weybridge was a chance for them to forget the revision books for a couple of hours and focus on moving their 1x quickly.  Charley Parr had a bye through the first round and then her competition didn't turn up in the quarterfinal!  Though fresh this meant that the girl that she raced in the semi-final had the experience in the fast running water.  Even though Charley had a slow start she managed to draw level by half way and take command of the race by the final three hundred meters.  In the final Charley faced some strong opposition who had not been challenged through the previous rounds.  Though Charley had a very quick finish she left herself a little too much work to do and missed out by a canvass.

For Megan this was the first regatta that she has been able to race in her age group, W.J16.  She took all the experience from her many races in the J18 category and won her semi-final comfortably even though she managed to hit three buoys and rowed the course at rate 24.  In the final she shot off from the start and worked hard through the first half of the final, closing the door early on her opposition and finished strong to win the W.J16.1x category.

All athletes worked hard and stepped up to the mark, especially in this
stressful time. One week to go!

National Schools Regatta and Junior Scullers Regatta 29th – 30th of May

On Sunday Charley and Megan competed in the Championship Girls 2x (W.J18) event.  They took the water at Dorney lake along with forty other crews for the time trail, in the certain knowledge that this would be a tough day’s racing against the top junior crews in the country. 

In the time trail they set off ahead of the much-fancied Thames crew, which has already proved to be one of the fastest boats.  Though our girls fought well they were caught by the Thames crew but by keeping composure they qualified sixteenth; making them the second fastest crew in the C final, Only missing out on a slot in the A/B semi-finals by under two seconds. 

The girls approached their final wanting to rectify some mistakes made in the time trial and to make a statement to the other crews.  After a quick start they were second by the 500m marker: However, staying true to their pre-race brief they pushed early and by the half way marker they had moved five seconds clear of the rest of the field.  This they increased to six seconds in the third 500m and by the time they finished the race they were nine seconds clear of 2nd place.  A very positive final where they posted the 10th fastest W.J18.2x time of the day, all the more impressive as they were racing girls one or two years older than themselves.

On Monday the girls were in their singles in their respective age groups.  Both girls had to contend with a strong cross wind for their time trials, which unfortunately caused Charley (W.J17.1x) to hit a number of buoys at the start of her run.  However she brushed herself off and qualified twelfth and into the B final.  Megan (W.J16.1x) excelled in her time trial and riding the positive wave from the 2x put in a strong performance getting the fourth fastest time and qualifying for the A final.  By the finals the wind had shifted to a strong cross tail, which helped the competition more than it did the TWK-Start athletes.  Charley was placed in lane 6 which was most effected by the wind yet she showed maturity beyond her years by picking off two girls that had beaten her in the time trail, ending up the wrong side of the race for third place with the boat across the lake in lane 1, by just 0.3 of a second. 

Megan had been put in lane three for her A final and went off like a rocket from the start.  By 500m two boats had broken clear but Megan worked well through the second 500 to stay in touch with these two and succeed in getting an overlap with 600m to go.  The final 500 meters of the race was thrilling to watch with Megan bursting early and rowing through both of the boats and leading the race with 150m left.  However Megan was unable to hold off the two girls’ final burst and came across the line in Bronze medal position.  With a short time to reflect Megan was thrilled with her position and determined to change the colour of the medal in future regattas.

The girls met or exceeded their, and my, expectations for the two days of racing and showed that all the training that they have been doing is now paying off.


The girls now focus on the 2x for Reading Regatta and Women’s Henley Regatta.

Juniors Update: Regatta Season so far

Our Junior squads have had a busy start of regatta season, see our race reports below:

Bedford Head

Due to the river conditions on the Thames being so poor and many local events being cancelled, we decided to send a full trailer of junior boats to Bedford for a days competition. We had 16 crews competing across the day in singles, doubles and quads over the challenging (and windy!) course. Ollie competed in his single 3 times across the day, posting consistent and fast times throughout the day. He did extremely well in the J18 1x coming 5th and also came 3rd in Nov 1x, a brilliant achievement.

The J16 boys (Sam, Henry, Max and Jasper) did very well in their 4x- coming 2nd in their category. They also competed in double sculls. Jasper/Sam came 5th in the category and Jasper/Max came 7th. Sam, also competed his first race in a single, where he displayed beautiful technique and timing throughout. 

Ruth (WJ18) and Molly (WJ16) both took to the river for their races in singles. It became very challenging for them during the second half of the course as the head wind increased! Both did the club proud and gave it their best shot. Unfortunately, Molly had a slight entanglement with a tree, but recovered well. Molly, also competed with Maisie (her first ever race!) in the WJ16 2x. This was a strong row from both and we hope to give them another race in this later in the season. Molly, Maisie and Ruth were joined by Hester to form a Nov 4x-. This was their last race of the day, with a very strong wind and Ruth’s first race steering a coxless quad. They rowed hard and gained 3rd place in their category. 

The WJ14s had two very strong races in the coxed quad. The combination of Caitlin, Emily, Holly, Ella DC and coxed by Hester came second in their category by a mere 5 seconds to Staines RC. They were disappointed, but will come back fighting. The second combination of Caitlin, Emily, Ella W, Beth and coxed by Jasper had a difficult run in a later division, with a very strong headwind! They came 6th overall, but it was the 3rd row for most of the athletes! 

The scratch coxed quad of Piers, Tom, Beth, Ella W and coxed by Hester, won the boys 4x+ by 18 seconds. A really strong performance from all, with some beautiful technique from some young rowers and a brilliant line steered by Hester. Very well deserved. 

It was a long day of racing, but all the coaches were delighted with the commitment from both the juniors and their parents! Especially when it came to trailer unloading at 8.30pm on a Sunday. We are thrilled to have a squad with so much potential.

Ball Cup

We had a great turn out for the ball cup and everyone performed brilliantly in difficult conditions and the heat. Out of nearly 40 clubs we were ranked 10th overall at the end of racing.

J18 2x - Henry & Ollie - Had a strong heat coming 3rd. They came 6th in the final, staying in contact with the field the whole way down the course.
WJ18 1x - Niamh - Rowed a great race to come 2nd in her heat. She finished 6th in her final, racing against strong competition.
Ruth - Only her 2nd appearance in the single she rowed really well coming 5th in her heat, unfortunately she didn't qualify for final this time.
J13 4+x - Lorcan, Piers, Tom, Beth and coxed by Hester - Had a fantastic race coming a close 2nd in their heat . They had quite a dramatic final coming 2nd and challenging for 1st in the last 200m, when they caught a crab, they got it back together a finished 6th. Though disappointing for them, lots of important lessons were learnt.
WJ13 1x Ella DC - Had a great race and dealt with the windy conditions really well in the single, coming 4th in her final.
J16 2x Max & Jasper - had a strong row coming in 4th for their heat and narrowly missed qualify for the final by less than a second.
WJ14 1x Caitlin - Rowed well to come 3rd in her heat, her final was cancelled due to bad weather but she was awarded bronze for her time.
WJ13 2x - Beth & Ella - Won their heat with an impressive performance. Their final was cancelled due to bad weather but they were awarded silver for pulling the 2nd fastest time in the heats.
J18 1x Ollie - performed really well racing up a year category in a strong field he came 6th in heat.
WJ15 4+x - Hester, Maisie, Holly, Caitlin and coxed by Ruth - Won bronze in their straight final, they dealt very well with the windy and sometimes stressful conditions on Dorney!
J16 4x- Jasper Max Henry Owen - pulled together well to come a close 2nd in their heat. They challenged Charterhouse the whole way down the course and came in 2nd in their final

Walton & Weybridge

Yet another blustery day in Surrey!

This event was 1000m downstream, with lots of local crews attending and was to be key preparation for those competing at National Schools later in the month. 

In the morning session we had 5 crews entered. First up were the WJ15 2x of Maisie and Hester. This was their first race as a paring and one that has a lot of potential for next season. They raced hard and gained valuable experience, but were knocked out in the first round by GRC (eventual winners of this category). The story was similar with Ruth and Niamh in the WJ18 2x, who were knocked out by KRC. However they did have the second fastest time of the day in their category. 
Caitlin had a strong start in her WJ14 1x, winning the first round, but was knocked out by a Walbrook sculler in the semi final. Molly had one of the most exciting races of the day in the WJ16 1x category. She fought from start to finish, but was defeated by the sculler from Christchurch. Both girls are developing into lovely single scullers and we hope for them to compete in them next season too. The WJ16 1x category was won in style by Megan, a member of the TwRC start programme. The WJ14 4x+ category was dominated by Surbiton High School, who successful got both their crews into the final. The TwRC crew of Emily, Ella DC, Ella W, Beth and coxed by Hester had a tough draw against Reading and lost narrowly in the quickest heat time. The time of the winning crew in the final was only a second faster than their heat, which shows that they are not far off the pace! 

The wind picked up throughout the day and by the afternoon session the tail wind was extremely strong and very difficult to navigate in! However, all the TwRC crews coped very well with the challenging changes. 

Niamh and Ruth both had good runs in the WJ18 1x event. Both rowed very strong and technical races, but unfortunately did not proceed to the next round. 

Ollie had a fantastic and nail biting race in his J18 1x against the Walton sculler (who eventually won the event). He lost by only a length and held contact with his opponent for 95% of the race! A strong start from a 17 year old in a 18 year old event. 

The final crew was the WJ15 4x+ of Caitlin, Emily, Maisie, Hester and coxed by Ella W. This crew has improved every session and this race was a test to see what they could do. They had a dodgy start and found it had to recover from. However at halfway they hit a fantastic rhythm and took a length out of the crew in front in 500m! This was a very promising row from a young and inexperienced crew. It will be great to see how they fare at National Schools Regatta! 


National Schools 

This was the first time in many many years that Twickenham juniors attend National Schools Regatta! 

On Friday, we had the time trial for the WJ15 4x+ (Caitlin, Emily, Maisie, Hester & coxed by Ruth). With 48 crews in the category it was going to be a very tough field! They had some experience from Walton & Weybridge the week before, but were still nervous going up to the start. They rose to the challenge and came 23rd in the time trial, which qualified them for the D final. They once again improved their performance and came 4th in the final, giving them an overall ranking of 22nd. This was such a terrific race to watch and they gave it their all! 

On Sunday it was Ruth and Niamh’s turn in the girls championship double sculls. This is one of the toughest races of the whole event, with most schools putting their GB trialists into the mix. They raced hard in the time trials and got a place in the F final. They then gained 2nd place in their minor final, with a really gutsy race, leaving them both exhausted! We look forward to seeing their progress as senior lightweight women at university level. 


This was an opportunity for some of our more experienced younger juniors to compete in small boats over a 1500m race at Dorney lake. 

Hester/Caitlin in WJ15 2x and Ollie in J17 1x both raced a solid time trial, but sadly didn't qualify for the next round. They had 40+ crews in their categories and only the top 18 progressed. Strong and fighting performances from both and we look forward to seeing what they can do next season.

The WJ16 2x of Molly/Maisie gained a place in the B final after and gutsy time trial. They fought for the whole race after a shaky start and rowed through a crew in the field to come 5th! 
Fantastic performances from all the juniors and it was another step up from all previous events! We cannot wait to see how they fare at these events next year. 

Twickenham Regatta: Timetable Changes

There has been some minor timetable changes for Twickenham Regatta.

Please check the Regatta tab for more details.

Nottingham City, Putney Town and Thames Ditton

It was a very busy Saturday for the club racing at three separate regattas, although Thames Ditton was cancelled in the end to the disappointment of the junior section. The Senior squads and Start were up at Nottingham City Regatta for their first chance to see what speed they have got from the long winter training whereas the masters groups were closer to home at Putney Town Regatta.

The morning racing at Holme Pierrepont was fierce and saw our Start athletes racing one and 2 years their senior to reach the final of the J18 2x against some stiff competition. The women's novice coxed four led the final though the first 500m marker but were rowed through in the middle 1000m to pick up 3rd position on the line against a strong Thames RC crew. The men's IM1 coxed four placed 5th in the final with a combative row in a scratch line up. 

During the break, we heard great news from Putney Town Regatta, where TwRC had picked up 3 wins so far for Robert Bailey in the H 1x, Jamie Wooller in the IM2 1x and our D/F 4x with Sarah and Jacqueline reaching the final of the double event (they were unfortunately slightly overpowered in the final to miss out on the pot).

Charley and Meghan from GB start began the racing in their singles and much like in the morning, both girls came off the blocks with good starts.  Charley seemed surprised by the initial pace of the race and slipped into 5th however had a very good final 750m and managed to take a solid fourth position.  A positive and strong row but not enough to qualify for the final.  Megan had a solid middle 1k which saw her row through two competitors and comfortably take second place, a fantastic result considering the other girls were two years her senior.  In the final Megan struggled to find the pace that she had in the heat and the competitors got away from her.  She tried a number of times to get herself back in the race but ended up coming sixth.

The women's novice eight set off in their heat and within 700m settled down into a straight bow-to-bowball fight for the final qualification throughout the middle 1000m with both boats exchanging the lead and responding. Over the line, the verdict went against us - a disappointing result especially since we would have come 1st in the other heat! Quite a lot of the crew made the classic 1st novice race mistake of forgetting to breathe whilst being caught up in the excitement of their first 6-lane event - they will remember next time! The women's pair on the other hand were in relative no man's land with crews several lengths behind or in front but they dutifully consolidated their 3rd position in the final.

The men's eight raced in the IM1 category against some stiff competition including Eton College who won in a time of 5.50 in neutral conditions. We had a last minute change in the crew in the week prior to the race with Dritan "The Mania from Albania" Bakalli fighting his way into the line up after only taking up sweep 6 weeks previously. They got off to a terrific start placing in the middle of the pack through the 1000m mark. They didn't quite get into rhythm caught up in a combative row with the rest of the field and hence the pushes didn't cause enough damage as we would like. It was a promising row though to cap off a good day's racing and a lot learnt at the beginning of our regatta reason for the club with the senior squads at Twickenham Regatta, Met, Reading and Henley qualifiers for the remainder of the season.  

Vets Head 2016

What a fantastic day with 45 TWRC rowers boating out of the club on Sunday. The build up with most crews had been patchy with red flags but a fair amount of herding cats made it all possible. Results placed us in the middle of a strong field. Some committed performances across the board with great battling down the course and it was even claimed that the sun came out for a short period. After post-race drinks, one of the masters women’s eights even decided to make the most of the river and embark on the round trip of over 33K back to base. All in all, some good racing to build on through the regatta season.