Captains Log No. 6 - February 2014

We've been doing lots of this recently

Squad News
  • I have been a member of TwRC for 30 years in March and have never seen river conditions like those at present. In order to get some time on the water, the Masters and Novice Men and Women have been rowing on Littleton Lake in Shepperton. Even the water levels there are rising, and conditions are very difficult when windy. However at least they have managed to get some time on the water.
  • The senior squads have been to Barn Elms tank to try to get some onwater work and depending on the wind, are hoping to go to Docklands over the next couple of weekends.
  • Presently the Ergo room is very busy most nights of the week and every weekend with squads having allotted time slots. Circuit training is still held at Orleans Park School on a Thursday night at 7pm run by Chris Vannozzi.

  • Henley 4’s and 8’s; Molesey Vets and Burway HORR’s have all been cancelled.
  • Reading HORR is still scheduled to take place on 1st March, so is the Head of the Trent on 2nd March and Kingston HORR on 22nd March.
  • Vesta WHORR, HORR and Vets HORR are still scheduled for 15th, 29th and 30th March respectively, let’s hope the weather calms down and we can get back to some rowing and racing.
  • If we ever get our water back, we will be joined by crews from Slovakia and Malaga, both of whom will be hiring boats from us and competing in Vesta HORR.

  • A composite crew consisting of Berend van Wachem, Doug Knox and Kosta Kolimechkov together with oarsmen from Auriol Kensington and Putney Town were the overall Masters winners of the Quintin HORR held on January 25th.

Intermediate/Senior Squad:
  • Race report for the Thames Valley Trial Head: W.IM3 4+ - Seniors/Intermediate Squad, by Henriette Kruimel. After barely two months off the water the Seniors/Intermediates crew of Liz Bushby (str), Claire Taylor (3), Helen Nicholl (2), Henriette Kruimel (b) and James Skeels (c) raced in a refreshing and busy Thames Valley Trial head at Eton Dorney which blew cob webs away and all agreed was definitely better than the ‘red flag’ Sunday morning erg session we’ve all been used to! Despite a strong side wind and an array of boat issues beforehand (that had Alex Walker working nearly 10 hour days!), we had a satisfying race in the first division and managed to improve the time by nearly 15 seconds during the race in the second division.
  • Although the boat moved well once the rhythm had settled, the opposition of Sir William Borlase Grammar School had probably enjoyed slightly more water time and they duly took the pennant.

  • On February 9th our junior squad accompanied by their Coach Alex Walker competed in the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships, held at Hinksey Sculling School.
  • I am very pleased to inform the club that we have had our first Gold medal win; WJ16, Jess Nicholls-Mindlen in a time of 7:45.9 beating Emma Andrews from Putney High School by 2 seconds. TwRC’s Niamh Hyland came 14th in this event with a time of 8:30.9.
  • MJ14 event Michael Bradnick came 7th out of 36 competitors.
  • WJ14, Orla Humphries came in overall 6th place with Grace Jacobson coming in at 14th out of a field of 32.
  • MJ13 Ben Nicholls-Mindlen won the silver medal being pipped to the bowball by 2m at the hands of Suphi Arden from Danes Hill School from a field of 29.
  • This is an excellent result for the Junior Squads first event of the season. Very well done to you all.

  • This is now fully underway 2 afternoons per week as a result of a grant from Richmond Council. The course is an indoor rowing course aimed at youngsters who have never rowed before. This is proving to be very popular.

  • Course A starts on 31st March running for 6 weeks. There are 4 courses A – D, running back to back every 6 weeks through the summer. It is expected that we will attract new members from these courses.
  • Andy Hale is heading up the coaching team and he needs help. So if you would like to dip your toes into the coaching waters to see if this is where your vocation lies, please contact me and I will put you in contact with Andy. It is vitally important that we have sufficient coaches to run these courses so please help.

Coaching Forum
  • A Coaching forum is to be held in the clubhouse from 2- 6pm Sunday 16th March. This is open to all coaches, land and water based. If you have an interest in helping me to develop the coaching squad and training programs you are more than welcome to join in. Dan Cooper and Steve Gunn from BR have agreed to attend, tea, coffee and nibbles will be supplied and the bar open. This is an opportunity to shape the future of rowing at TwRC. If you are a qualified instructor in a sport that you think is complementary to rowing training (this could be anything from yoga to zumba) or are a rowing coach, don’t hide your light under a bushel, come and join in the discussions. Please let me know if you are going to attend.
  • I have had a couple of meetings with Bill Mason who has agreed to come along on a Wednesday night to observe and help with the senior squad. This is very good news indeed for TwRC. Bill is a World Class and Olympic coach and ex –Olympian himself.

Boat Booking System
  • This is to go-live this weekend with training in the first instance for the coaches.
  • Boats can be booked out and back in and more importantly damage can be reported.
  • There is a PC in the tank room. After suitable training on the system you will be assigned a unique logon code.

Committee News
  • The committee met last night February 10th.
  • The next building project will be to upgrade the hard this is going to cost circa £100,000, which will be the main focus of any fundraising. Presently grants are being applied for from many organisations.
  • The Captain outlined her vision for future rowing through building a strong squad of on and off water coaches. A strong coaching squad and programs will attract new members. The aim is to consistently build oarsmen and women from the junior and novices through the ranks to senior squad and masters to realize their full potential with a uniform TwRC technique and fitness regime.
  • We have been awarded at £10,000 Rowability Grant from Sport England to help our adaptive rowing program, which is very good news.
  • The club is now hosting many events in the new clubroom, with at least 1 wedding per month. The aim is to increase this activity in the future.
  • It was agreed to increase Full Rowing Subs from £420 to £450pa from April 2014, with other categories pro-rated. An indoor sculling rack rent has increased fro £177 to £185.

Boat and Equipment Maintenance
  • Whilst the river is red-flagged it is a perfect time to maintain the fleet and equipment. As the land training sessions tend to be a lot shorter than water based sessions, there will be boat and blade maintenance from 10am Sunday 23rd February and Sunday 2nd March.
  • Berend and Paul McCarter will be offering instruction on the correct sanding and painting technique, whilst I will act as foreman with a bottle of white spirit and rags for messy bits.
  • Tea, coffee and snacks will be available and the bar will be open.
  • This will also be a chance to have some boat booking training if time allows.
  • All Squads will be expected to help, so please check with your coach.

The Bar
  • Club nights are going to be Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please do come along and support the bar. All profits go back into the club.
  • Quiz Night: The Novice Men’s Squad are organising a Quiz Night in the clubroom on Saturday 1 March at 7.30pm. The bar will be open. Tickets are only £15 per person (including supper) and you can pay on the door. Maximum 6 people per team. The evening is open to members and non-members alike. Please email with the name of your team and its members to reserve your table. Last year's quiz attracted many people so it would be great to have your support again and help the boat fund.

Water Safety
Below is a message from TRRC/PLA re Red Board System on Tideway: received 8th February 2014:
The PLA have been anxious to introduce such a system because of the many incidents that have occurred at times of very high ebb flow levels in the extreme conditions of the past year. The warnings apply only to the ebb tides as under these conditions, the weakened flood tide can produce ideal rowing conditions. We believe that we have agreed on levels that are realistic. They are advisory, but serious questions will be asked of any club which allows its members to boat in conditions which are beyond their capabilities, or in parts of the river where the effects of the stream flow are at their worst, especially if there is an incident. The ebb flow today is four times the normal winter flow, and well above the level at which the Red Flag will come into force, and it will certainly be the same for this weekend. The PLA will be issuing a Notice to Mariners to all clubs next week, which will give details of the Red/Yellow/Green Flags. Remember that by changing the times of outings to avoid the ebb, you can get excellent conditions on the weakened flood.Regards,Bill Mitchell TRRC/PLA Liaison,

Message from Henley RC
  • We have been advised by the Environment Agency that the river is effectively an "Open sewer" at the moment. During flood conditions, water treatment works have a legal right to discharge untreated sewage directly into the river - and they are all doing it right now. They recommend that people must avoid any contact with river water, mud or objects that have been in contact with the river, not allow animals to swim in the river and take great care with personal hygiene before eating or drinking. This situation is likely to continue until flow rates reduce to levels that stop this discharge.

House Steward News
  • All stray wellies have now been disposed of. Any new strays will find themselves in the lost property bins.
  • There are recycling bins, please ensure that you throw the correct items in the correct bin. Banana skins are not plastic bottles.

And Finally:
  • The Captains Surgery: Was Red Flagged, no-one turned up. The Captains couch was very lonely! So I guess everything is A OK at the moment. Maybe in the summer I will have the Captains bench on the verandah. If you want to talk over any issues (rowing ones) you can e- mail me and I will meet you on a Wednesday or a Thursday evening in the bar.

Debbie Dorling

Captain TwRC