On Saturday 4th December, we hosted our annual dinner - the first annual dinner since 2019.
Here’s an overview of the highlights and the awards presented by the Captains - Adrian Pearce and Danny Fitzgerald.
Highlights from the 2020/21 Season
Looking back over the season we can celebrate some great achievements across all the squads.
Women’s Henley / Pot Squad did us proud by qualifying for Henley Women’s for the first time in several years. Despite the disruptions this squad has grown impressively over the last 18 months and we are confident they will continue to grow stronger.
Women’s GB Start Squad – again, they have put in some astonishing performances at Henley Royal and Henley Women’s. More on that below.
Masters Women – saw wins at a number of regattas including National Masters and Henley Masters. And hot off the press, a late mention to Cathy Almond (pictured below with Dominique) who won the British Indoor Rowing Championships on Saturday.
Men’s Pot / Henley Squad – they had a great win at Molesey regatta. This is no mean feat given that this time last year there was literally no men’s squad and again we are confident they will continue to grow and turn in performances.
Masters Men – well a few of us old fellas decided we were actually young fellas and had a crack at Henley qualification only to discover we were probably old fellas after all. Some in the squad managed to poach a few wins at Staines regatta.
Talking of Staines regatta, we as a club actually won some prize money for the first time in as long as I can remember by winning the Victor Ludorum with 8 crews turning in winning performances.
Awards for the 2020/21 Season
This is an annual opportunity to recognise all the fine results, hard work and effort by individuals across the club squads.
Oarswomen of the year - Emily Granacher
From a strong field there were several candidates who put their hands up for nomination. However, since joining the club about three years ago, Emily has thrown herself at the sport and has dedicated to improving her performances year on year. This hard work and positive attitude has culminated in not only helping her squad qualify for Women's Henley, but she also went onto win her category at Scullers Head at her first attempt.
Oarsman of the year - Jamie Boyd
Again, from a strong field of nominees all staking a claim, we have been impressed with Jamie. Since he joined the squad, he has been fully committed to training, constantly improving his fitness and technique, again demonstrating a positive attitude and consistently looking to get the most out of an outing and always willing to help those around him.
Masters Women - Dominique Field
Dominique has been a core member of and contributor to the Women's Masters group for many years and instrumental in the 2008/2009 era in setting up a Masters rowing squad at TwRC.
She was an active squad member, supporting then (as she does now) anyone with a love of rowing who is keen to develop and improve. She has always been a keen volunteer at the club. She is often found in the kitchen or behind the bar on club nights, and helping with Learn to Row courses. Older club members might remember that for a time, TwRC welcomed and supported rowers with disabilities; one in particular (Clive) continued at TwRC when the programme ended, supported by Henry (Rogers), Kosta and Dominique. In recent years, Dominique has focused more on her single and double sculling, competing at both National and Henley Masters (pictured here), at the same time as participating in squad sessions in larger boats, both as rower and as a cox. This award is in recognition of Dominique’s longstanding commitment to TwRC rowing across all ages and abilities, and for continuing to share her steadfast enthusiasm and support with the current Women’s Masters squad.
Masters Men - Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd only started rowing a couple of years ago having finally realised he was far too old for rugby and was broken from the various injuries! He has really thrown himself into rowing and strives to improve. His team spirit can’t be questioned and he can be incredibly passionate. Indeed the long years of playing rugby has instilled a real team mentality and a very competitive nature. He is also someone who represents the strong ethos of TwRC, in that he is a real Clubman. He is often one of the first to volunteer for anything that needs doing around the Club. Over the last year he has been instrumental in ensuring outings take place by corralling crews, organising coxes and boats and convincing a bunch of old duffers to attempt to qualify for the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley Royal. Whilst the end result wasn’t what we hoped for, the journey was great.
Special Recognition Awards, recognising stand out performances:
Callum Dixon, from the GB Start Squad
After only starting rowing in September 2019, Callum pressed on this year with his first ever trial with the GB U23s where he made it into the A Final competing against both the U23s and GB Seniors. From there he managed to contest a seat for the U23 World Championships resulting in selection for the men’s quad. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete due to covid contact and subsequent enforced isolation. Not to be deterred he returned from that set back to jump back in the club boat to reach the final of the Prince of Wales Challenge cup at Henley Royal with Aidan, Alex and Nathan, narrowly losing to Leander in the process. If that was not impressive enough for his first racing summer, he headed to Poland to the U23 European Championships with Nathan where they beat some much-fancied crews to win gold by an impressive margin. We are hugely proud to have Callum as a member of this club.
Vwaire Obukohwo, from the GB Start Squad
Vwaire started rowing in 2018 when she joined the World Class Start programme. Apparently, she was not the most sportiest of individuals. However, she showed early promise on the ergo and recorded some quick times. Over the last year she has really demonstrated her talent on the water and developed as an athlete. This young lady won bronze in a single at the British University Competition regatta. She then won the aspirational singles at Henley Women’s Regatta in style, by winning by a good distance. This was quite something considering it was her first ever win! Furthermore, she jumped into a composite quad and ended up battling it out in the final of the Princess Grace Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. Which was a huge achievement! The Club would like to recognise Vwaire for the huge achievement of winning Henley Women’s Regatta. The last time Twickenham won Henley Royal Regatta or Henley Women’s Regatta was back in the 1920s, possibly 2024. Vwaire Obukohwo, huge congratulations!
Kay Plumtree Award - Aoife Lunscombe
We are very proud to announce a new annual award this year. This award is to recognise those people who go above and beyond insofar as volunteering their time to make this club a better place for all, both on and off the water. Very few clubs can survive for long, or well, without such people in their ranks.
It was decided to name this award after long term club stalwart Kay Plumtree. Now for those newer members here who do not know Kay, she was a huge presence at the club throughout the late 70s, 80s and 90s. She was part of the first wave of women members at the club after the merger with St Georges in 1979 and she was a constant presence on numerous committees helping to steer the club in the right direction and she currently chairs the fundraising 150 club. There is a double downstairs named after her.
It was tough deciding upon a recipient of this award as plenty of people over the last 18 months have stepped up and made huge contributions to the club. One person does stand out who we feel more than qualifies for the ‘above and beyond’ criteria. Aoife has been a constant presence insofar as assisting the coaches and captains off the water, she’s been a galvanising positive influence both in the boat and on the hard and we feel she has been instrumental in helping steer the Women’s Henley squad from tough beginnings 18 months ago to the strong position it is in today. We could have presented this award for her baking skills alone! Well done Aoife!