The Wraysbury Eye – April 2015


Only April and the season is truly upon us!

The Skiffing season has started with the first of the long distance races, the Simon Mepham Memorial Mixed Marathon and the Dittons Long Distance Singles already been and gone, the Tiny & Nancy Knight this weekend and the notices are out for the Mixed Marathon and our own Wraysbury Long Distance sculls. It will not be too long till our own Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls on Sat 16th May for which there will be the usual request from Imo for volunteers to help on the day with a job and for crews from the Club to actually enter.

You will have seen Imo’s notice for the Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls where there is an opportunity for the dragon boat section to go round in their O1’s and also for WSPC members to go round for time only in any combination of crew if they cannot find a partner for a status event or feel they aren’t quite ready for a race yet; we just want to get you out on the water and be seen.

The Henley Winter Series has finished for the dragon boaters with Wraysbury being crowned the most successful club, although they were beaten by the Rafters each time, but as a composite crew, this doesn’t count for what is a club competition; the huge Chinese trophy now adorns the bar. The BDA League events begin this weekend on Sun 3rd May with Liverpool.

On Sun 31st May we are hosting the first British Dragon Boat Association National League event on the River Thames and we will be calling on members for the usual Club effort for hosting a regatta; there aren’t actually as many jobs to do as a skiffing & punting regatta, but jobs nonetheless still need doing, like manning the bar and the teas; there is also laying a short 200m course with no stake boats, but lanes, and launch and safety boat driving; we would like to draw on your skills and generosity of time and effort to help make this event a huge success for the Club, as we hope it will showcase us locally, something we very much need at the moment to attract new members.

On the weekend of 13/14th June, we will be participating in the celebrations to mark 800 years of Magna Carta. How can you get involved? Well to be honest, details are still a bit sketchy to say the least, but we have had the dragon boat accepted for the trip down from Hurley on Sat/Sun and the pageant, while skiffs and a pun t have been accepted for the pageant only bit on the Sunday; the pageant is being organised by our old friend Malcolm Knight of DSPC and Thames Alive and WSPC will be the base for the event, giving us opportunities to promote ourselves and to have the bar open and offer refreshments to crews. When we have more details we will let you know.

On Sunday 28th June we host Egham Regatta, but as part of the Magna Carta celebrations, for one year only, the course will be an 800m one down Runnymede with the regatta enclosure on the end of the Pleasure Grounds but the big bend with good views of the finish; there are special commemorative medals for all competitors and helpers/officials and special commemorative prize tankards for the winners.

The first action from the Special Meeting at the Club has been implemented and there is now a glazed notice board attached to the flag pole to try to attract passersby and a waterproof leaflet dispenser stocked with the publicity cards we produced before for a mail out. This has already had to be re-stocked several times, so it shows a level of interest, hopefully not just thrown in the river, but we are yet to see any real results.

We are also looking at more signage so that people actually know where we are; to this end we are investigating signage on the main road with the Council, for which permissions will be required and a new sign, which is more visible, in the cafe car park to direct people down our drive.

We also need to look at medium to longer term plans to retain current members and attract new members, with such things as the ‘Learn to Row’ course in traditional Thames Skiffs, which Carol Cornell is going to run and will be asking for your help and support with coaching what are hopefully a new crop of prospective members; we will also look at getting the Club used by more outside ‘kindred’ sporting organisations, with 2 lots of runners already booked to use the facilities, with the Runnymede Runners starting this weekend.

The AGM was held on Thursday 23rd April at the Club House; there was a good attendance and lots of constructive comments from the floor; some positions were left vacant for people to be seconded before the first Committee Meeting in May.

You will notice that once again there was no volunteer for an overall Captain of the Club, although it was now felt that if there were a strong set of vice captains that could run their particular section and work together, then the Committee as a whole could look at the overall running of the Club without the need for a Club Captain, although if someone wanted to take on this overarching role of coordination, then a volunteer would be most welcome.

The following were elected as officers of the Club:

President – Paul Barfoot

Hon Secretary – Imogen O’Neill

Hon Regatta Secretary – Imogen O’Neill (although there is a general plea for help here so that there are actually more people that know how to run a regatta, which despite what you might see on the day, is actually a fairly mechanical task)

Hon Treasurer & VAT Officer – Dave Taylor

Vice Captain of Punting – Paul Barfoot

Vice Captain of Skiffing – Steve Myhill, Phil Costello and Ken Ducas to go away and discuss what the role entails and who can do what

Vice Captain of Dragon Boating – to be decided before the first meeting

Safety and Welfare Officer – Carol Cornell

Property Officer – Clive Hearne

Bar Stewards – Phil Oke, Greg Floyd and Colin Smith

Junior Coordinator – Vacant (If you want to bring your younger kids down on a Sunday morning for Kiddies Boating, then the Committee would welcome you to take on this role to get it all going again)

Note: Mike Oneill will continue to coach the older children who are now competing in the Junior Pennant for skiffing

Social Secretaries – Mary Sherry and Fiona Johnson

Publicity Officer (including Website upkeep) – James Neeves offered to look at the Website, but we still need someone to do other external publicity and people to feed Jeeves information from regattas and other events to update the website


General Club Stuff

Summer Circuits

these continue on Wed nights, 19.00 for a 19.15 start… there may well be hot food served afterwards. As usual, all are welcome.

Thursday Evenings

Club evenings didn’t stopped during the Winter and were largely just the dragon boaters, but perhaps the lure of food will tempt a few more people out on the water; Thursday night suppers have resumed and the bar is open and are already proving popular!

Please, please volunteer to take a turn and do the food on a Thursday evening, as it creates a terrific club atmosphere and takes some of the pressure of Imo.

Annual Subscriptions

if you do not pay by standing order, these became due on 1st April, as do racking fees for those that keep a sculling boat at the Club; both are unchanged this year:

  • Active Membership £175
  • Non-Active £55
  • Junior £50
  • Family (1) £275 (1 active adult and unlimited children)
  • Family (2) £395 (2 active adults and unlimited children)
  • Sculling Boat Racking Fee £100

If you would like to start paying by standing order, there are forms pinned to the notice board by the bar in the clubhouse with the membership forms or email Dave Taylor for one.

You can also pay on-line directly to our bank account; details below:

HSBC, 25 High Street, Windsor, Berks, SL4 1LN
Sort code 40-35-43
Account Number 30882542

Please add some narrative to your payment

Thank you to those who have already responded to the initial email reminder and for those who haven’t, please pay promptly.

Remenham Tickets for Henley Royal Regatta 1st – 5th July

I have had some responses for tickets, but would now like to order these, so one last chance to order tickets for Remenham.

  • Wed 1st Jul – £20
  • Thur 2nd July – £22
  • Sun 5th July – £24
  • All Days – Car Park Ticket £17

Please let Dave Taylor know by Friday 8th May if you want tickets; I will then put in an order for the requests I have received; cheques payable to Remenham Club not WSPC please.

WSPC 100 Club

The objective of the 100 Club it to raise funds towards new boating equipment and repairs to existing equipment; at present, the income is around £2,400, with £1200 given out in prizes and £1200 going to the Club.

Winners at recent draws were:

01/Feb/15 – £50 01/Feb/15 – £100 23/Feb/15 – £100
Julian Kapica Dave Bowyer Steve Duncan
Tony Cross Marcus Baker Ivan Jones
Linda Cameron Sue Warwick Debi Hallett
Bryan Corfield Hutch
Rowan O’Neill Ivan Jones
Libby Oke
Steve Duncan
Martin Rose
Phil Costello
Jo Kapica
Debi Hallett
Sarah Corfield
Chris Thornton

A number of people have donated their winnings back to the Club and we are grateful for their generosity.

SRA Umpires Course – you should all have received Imo’s email advising on the next SRA Umpires course; this is a very worthwhile way of putting something back into the sport and the WSPC contingent of umpires is very depleted now compared to yesteryear with only Imo really active and Jenks doing a few events at the Club.

Calendar of Events for the remainder of 2015

Below is the calendar for the remaining events for 2015 covering the Skiffing & Punting Regattas, Dragon Boat events and general use of the Clubhouse for events or by outside organisations.

Note – changed date for SSPC 6K Head and the BDA Event at Exeter

Sunday 26th April Long Distance Singles – long distance Single Skiff event DSPC – Thames Ditton
Sunday 26th April GB Dragons Training at WSPC  
Monday 27th April Peldon Rose Dragon Boat Training session  
Saturday 2nd May Tiny & Nancy Knight – Long Distance Double Skiff event DSPC – Thames Ditton
Saturday 2nd May Centurion Runners use WSPC as water stop.  
Sunday 3rd May BDA Event – hosted by Amathus
Liverpool Watersports Centre
Sunday 10th May Gordon Dear Mixed Marathon – Long Distance Double Skiff event The Skiff Club – Teddington
Saturday / Sunday 9th / 10th May Potential booking for GB U18’s GB Dragon Boaters to train at WSPC  
Saturday 16th May Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls – Long Distance Double Skiff event WSPC (am)
Sunday 17th May BDA Event – hosted by Notts Anaconda
River Trent – Nottingham
Sunday 24th May GB Dragons train at WSPC  
Thursday 28th May Jui Goodchild Memorial Dashes WSPC – 7pm
Sunday 31st May BDA Event – hosted by WSPC – Magna Carta WSPC / Runnymede
5th June Peldon Rose BBQ TBC
Saturday 6th June SSPC 6K Head – long distance Double Skiff event The Phoenix – Sunbury
Saturday & Sunday 13th & 14th June MC800 – Magna Carta 800th Anniversary – River Pageant Runnymede
Sunday 14th June BDA Event – hosted by Powerhouse
River Tees – Stockton
Saturday 20th June Potential Booking from Gable Events – Merc Hauck – to use facilities  
Sunday 21st June GB Dragons train at WSPC  
Saturday 27th June Potential booking for GB U18’s Dragon Boaters to train at WSPC  
Sunday 28th June Magna Carta Egham Regatta Runnymede (WSPC base)
Saturday 4th July BDA Event – hosted by Secklow
Caldecott Lake – Milton Keynes
1st to 5th July HENLEY ROYAL Regatta Henley
Saturday/Sunday 11th /12th July GB Dragons training at WSPC  
Sunday 12th July WBC Junior Marathon – skiff event for Juniors Wargrave Boat Club
Saturday 18th July TVSC Club Regatta (am) – Skiff & Punt Sprint skiff Regatta.Rag Regatta (pm) – family and fun event TVSC – Walton
Saturday 18th July BDA event – hosted by ExeCalibre
River Exe – Exeter
Saturday 25th July Hampton Court & Ditton regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta DSPC – Thames Ditton
Sunday 26th July DSPC Junior Regatta DSPC – Thames Ditton
Sunday 26th July GB Dragons train at WSPC  
Friday 31st July – 2nd August European Club Crew Dragon Boating Championships Divonne les Bains, France
Saturday 1st August Chertsey & Shepperton Regatta – Skiff & Punt Sprint skiff Regatta Dumsey Meadows – Chertsey
Friday & Saturday 7th & 8th August Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta – town Skiff, Punt, Dongola Regatta Wargrave
Saturday 8th August Wraysbury & Old Windsor Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta WSPC
Sunday 9th August Punting Championships Maidenhead
Saturday 15th August Sunbury Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta, with Dongolas and Local events Lower Sunbury
Sunday 16th August Sunbury Junior Regatta Lower Sunbury
Saturday 22nd August Walton Reach Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta TVSC – Walton
Saturday 29th August Hermes Runners use WSPC as base 6.30am till 5pm
Sunday 30th August Skiff Championships Regatta Remenham – Henley
Sunday 30th August BDA Event – hosted by Worcester River Severn – Worcester
Saturday 5th September The Skiff Club Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta The Skiff Club – Teddington
Sunday 6th September BDA Event – hosted by Raging Dragons Royal Albert Dock – London Rowing Club
Saturday 12th September Great River Race Blackwall to Richmond
Saturday 19th September DSPC Club Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta DSPC – Thames Ditton
Saturday 19th September InterClub (Lowe & Davis) – Team Skiff event DSPC – Thames Ditton
Saturday 26th September WSPC Club Regatta – Skiff & Punt sprint regatta(** The big one!! **) WSPC
Saturday 10th October (PM) Singles Marathon – long Distance Single Skiff event TVSC – Walton
Sunday 18th October Doubles Marathon – long Distance Double Skiff event TVSC – Walton
Saturday 7th November Bonfire Night Party WSPC
Saturday 7th November Hermes Runners use WSPC as base 6.30am till 5pm
Sunday 20th December Christmas Drinks & Nibbles WSPC – 12pm till 2pm

On the Water

Vic Wood has been repaired, but is in need of a top coat of paint over the repaired areas if there is a willing volunteer; there is already paint available and it is in the dory.


Sat 28th March – Simon Mepham Mixed Marathon – we had no entries for this event. In fact there were only entries from DSPC and TVSC.

Sun 26th April – DSPC Long Distance Singles – John Dymott entered the Gents Novice category coming 3rd and 12th overall out of 22 crews. Well done John.


Paul Barfoot has started work on Doug’s 2’ punt, which his family kindly donated to the Club; if you would like to help Paul cure the leak, I’m sure he would be grateful.

Dragon Boating

Sunday 22nd March 2015 Henley WS IV – For the first time, the Batchworth boat that we are looking after was used for this event and while the result was the same, Wraysbury were the first Club crew home by some distance, it must be said the boat was not any quicker; the Rafters were first home again, but the sub-30 min record time was again elusive. We had a good race, with Dave Sutton taking some good lines and we held off the rafters till after the turn at Temple Island and whipped past some crews this time, rather than getting into a prolonged overtaking battle with ‘suction’ as crews come close together; there was some ‘exciting’ paddle clashing with the Rafters as they went past and we held our steering line.

For those who have been training, and we would like to see more of you more often, you will have noticed that Ian Bowers has taken on the mantle of Coach.

We thank him for taking on this important role to prepare us for the forthcoming sprint season and his sessions have been imaginative, different and of course, hard.

Not of course that Dom’s weren’t, and we thank Dom for all his effort in ‘steering’ us through the Tao years.

The following Wraysbury Dragons members gained selection for the Seniors squad for the World Championships in Canada:

Dom Walker, Neale Johnson, Fiona Johnson, Julia Griffin and Romy Nash.

Congratulations to Romy getting in on her first trial, and to new member Lucy Scott, who despite having hardly ever being out in an O1, and falling in, still had a go at the time trial and has something to aim for.

Put these National League event dates in your diary now.

NOTE that the Exeter data has moved to the Saturday from the Sunday; we have also advised the BDA that we are unlikely to be able to attend 2 events this year – Stockton-on-Tees because we are involved in the Magna Carta celebrations and Worcester because at least half the crew are still away in Canada or are on holiday; for Worcester, we may see if another crew needs paddlers to enable them to race.

Date                 Day                  Club                             Location

03/05/15          Sunday                        Amathus                      Liverpool

17/05/15          Sunday                        Notts Anaconda                       Nottingham

31/05/15          Sunday                        Wraysbury                    Runnymede

14/06/15          Sunday                        Powerhouse                 Stockton-on-Tees

04/07/15          Saturday          Secklow                       Milton Keynes

18/07/15          Saturday          ExeCalibre                   Exeter

31/07/15          Fri-Sun             ECCC                           Divonne le Bains – France

19/08/15          Wed-Sun          World Champs                         Welland – Canada

30/08/15          Sunday                        Worcester                     Worcester

06/09/15          Sunday                        Raging Dragons           Royal Albert Dock

19/09/15          Sat/Sun                       DBA National Cup       Holm Pierrepont – Nottingham


Forthcoming Events

Look out for notices for social events from our new ‘Party Girls’ Social Secretaries!


Fence/Gate – the removable fence post and gate have been repaired. Thanks to Steve Myhill and Clive Hearne respectively

The Council have cut back a lot of the overhanging ivy at the top of the drive on St Annes and put up a couple of new fence panels, for which we are grateful, but it is probably only to do with making the place look a bit better to the Magna Carta celebrations, rather than helping us with getting up and down the drive.

Mezzanine – work starts on making the mezzanine into the room that was on the original building plans and boxing in the boiler, with suitable ventilation on the week beginning Monday 4th May (yes they are working Bank Holiday Monday) and will take about 1 week to complete; it will of course be unusable during this period. We hope this will obviously benefit our current membership, but also make the Club more attractive to new members.

Hatch, Match & Despatch

The year continues with more sad news to impart.

Following the passing of Alan Brown, we now have to report the sad passing of Alan’s older brother Ralph; Ralph was a member of DSPC and a Vice President of Egham Regatta where he would have been regularly seen over many years helping with Alan before he became unable to do so because of illness. He also rowed at Staines BC with Alan.

We also have to report the sad passing of Dick Thompson from TVSC and Walton Rowing Club on Sat 18th April; Dick was a very familiar figure on the skiffing and rowing scene for longer than most can remember and many will have learnt from his organisational skills at running a regatta.

The funeral is arranged for Friday 8th May, 3.30pm at Randalls Park crematorium, Leatherhead and afterwards at the Valley.  Family flowers only please but if friends would like to make donations in Dick’s memory the family suggest the Stroke Association.

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