We start with some good news from the junior squads. Firstly at the Fours Head, where the J4x of Harry Glenister, Josh Kent, Sholto Carnegie and Charlie Simon won their class in a storming time: just 3.5 seconds outside the record and the fastest time since it was set in 1998. You can see a photo of them and rightful recognition of the coaching team of Russell Peacock, Carrie Collerton and Ray Bedder on the HOR4s website. To put this in context, the last time any all-Marlow crew won at the 4s Head was in the 1990s (MRC women's crews won 2x in '98, 4- in '96 and 4+ in '96) and the last men's crews were in 1977 (Vet 4s), 1970 (Restricted 4s) and 1958 (Clinker 4s). [EDIT: Inevitably, comments like this bring out corrections: since the Vets Head is now separate, there is an arguement that the recent Vet B win by Paul O'Boyle, Andy McCartney, Ben Kent and David Rendell should count... also we're reminded that there was a N4 win by 14/15 year olds in 1964 including Chris Lenton...]
Of course it wasn't just the junior squads competing on the Tideway - in total we had 9 crews competing in the fours head and a further 9 in the masters head the next day. The junior crews performed extremely well, with the second boys crew finishing 9th in their division and the girls J16 crews also finishing 9th against J18 opposition. The senior mens and womens squads also put in good performances with the womens coxed four just missing out on a pennant. Special mention to the masters novice coxed four who won their class at the veterans head the next day, as did a composite womens C quad, with the mens C4- placing second.
Sholto Carnegie was clearly on top form – having taken the Head of the River title at Marlow Long Distance Sculls, beating Guy Pooley into second place, he went on to win at junior GB trials by an impressive 21 second margin. Charlie Simon and Harry Glenister also performed well at trials, finishing just inside and outside the top 30 respectively, while Rosalind Wilson came 5th overall in the girls event, racing J18 opposition, and was the fastest J16 girl on the day. Very well done to all our triallists.
Club members have recently received national recognition for their contribution to the sport. John Gill and Peter Blaseby have both been awarded British Rowing Diamond Jubilee Medals to mark their long service to rowing, through coaching and coach education and event organisation (citations here). This is a fitting tribute to individuals who have put in a huge amount of time to helping others get more from the sport and we congratulate them on the achievement.
Our junior coaches were presented with British Rowing's Coaching Team of the Year award by Di Ellis at an award ceremony in London. This award recognised the outstanding results they achieved in the 2011/12 season and their dedication to their squads. The coaches don't often receive formal recognition for their contribution to the success of their athletes and it is very pleasing that they have been honoured in this way. Well done all.
Our current membership secretary is stepping down, so we need a new volunteer for the role. A lot of our standard renewals are now done online, and retaining and building the membership is important for the club, so the role has changed in the last few years.. If you would be interested in helping the club, or are interested in how we could build and manage the membership better – please contact me to discuss it.
After a long history the committee decided that Marlow Fours and Pairs should be suspended indefinitely. MFP has traditionally been run below the lock from Longridge, but for one reason and another has only actually run there 3 times since 2003 with the rest either being abandoned, cancelled or held at Dorney Lake. With more pressure on the Longridge site and fewer volunteers, the committee ratified the Rowing Subcommittee view that the event had no future.
The planning permission continues to work its way through the system. We will not know the outcome until December. Meanwhile we have been looking at how the building contract for the structure could be split into two, to allow both a two stage build and better control of costs. The construction programme now shows construction starting after Henley Royal in 2013, with completion in early 2014. While that may seem a long way away, there is a lot of money to raise and work to do to make that happen.
October saw the first major fundraising event for the club. The Champions Dinner and Auction was a success with nearly £20,000 profit raised. Over 230 guests attended, including special guests Sir Steve, Katherine Grainger, Anna Watkins, Zac Purchase and Naomi Riches, all of whom were expertly interviewed by guest host Steve Rider. We were also lucky to have Sarah Winckless and wildlife TV presenter (and canoeist) Steve Backshall attending. An auction of Steve's books raised around £500 and the chance to row with Katherine, Anna and Sarah between them helped raised around £1,000. Zac generously (and perhaps rashly!) offered to take part in Long Distance Sculls the next day (photos here) and raised £600 in the process and various other items – including Naomi's Paralympic duvet – raised good money. Many thanks to all those who attended, gave auction items or helped organise this event. Particular thanks to organisers Jonathan Walne, Maxine Macpherson, Chris Lenton and Jacqui Thornton.
The committee meeting last week also saw the presentation of the draft fundraising plan, written by Ali Kenny and a specific fundraising initiative for larger donors led by Larry Tracey.
Larry will be contacting large individual donors, starting immediately.
The wider draft fundraising plan by Ali looks at fundraising across the board from small individual donors, corporate, grants and large individual donors. It has generated a lot of discussion in the committee and we hope to be able to provide a summarised version for members next month.
Regards, Ed Phillips, Club Secretary