The Wraysbury Eye – August 2015

THE WRAYSBURY EYE – May/June/July/August 2015

First an apology, as this Eye covers months of activity at the Club… we must do better and get them out more frequently.

As it covers so much, another apology if we have missed something or haven’t thanked you for helping!

Racing at Punting Championships

Racing at Punting Championships

We are well into the season now for all the sports we cover; the Punting Championships have come and gone and the Skiff Championships will as usual be held on the August Bank Holiday weekend, with the Dragon Boat ones following in mid-September.

The dragon boaters have attended all league events, as there is no ‘not counting your worst performance’ rule this year, so you really have to go to them all; we have entered crews when we can in the skiffing and punting regattas, although it is still quiet on that front and we have not even had the punts in the water yet this year.

What we have done as lot of is host events at Wraysbury and while we have not seen a flood of new members as a result of this, all publicity is good publicity and we hope that we have shown the club off at its best and at some time we shall reap the benefit of this.

On Sunday 31st May we hosted the first British Dragon Boat Association league event to be held on the River Thames; this was a great event with 22 crews entering from around the country (still the best attended event so far this season?), so a roaring trade was done on the teas and the bar with around 500 people there and we all sat down for a well earned meal afterwards. We intend to ‘bid’ to host an event next year as well.

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant - Royal Barge Gloriana.jpg
Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant – Royal Barge Gloriana” by Tony HarrisonFlickr: Thames Diamond Jubilee PageantTHP_2371. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

Two weeks later, on Sat/Sun 13th/14th June we hosted the Magna Carta 800 Years River Pageant with the organisers using the Club House as its base; the dragon boat paddled down from the Longridge Centre in Marlow with the Queens Row Barge Gloriana on the Saturday, while skiffs and a punt from the Club joined in as well on the Sunday; it was quite a spectacle on the Sunday as the event culminated with a procession of boats coming down from Old Windsor Lock to Runnymede; the banks were packed many deep with people and nearly every house on the river had made an effort to hold a party and celebrate the occasion; it was tremendous to be a part of and the close proximity of the crowd seemed to make it even better than the Queens Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. Again, a roaring trade was done on the teas and the bar.

This was followed on Sunday 28th June by the Egham Magna Carta Regatta; for one year only, the regatta was moved to Runnymede, which was a lot of extra effort and cost, and was run on a downstream course of 800m (to match the 800 years celebration) from Pats Croft Eyot (Frenchies Boats for those who don’t know the name of that island) to the big bend. This was far less of a ‘success’ for the Club, as effectively the Club wasn’t used this year. While not to be repeated in a hurry, it does show that we can still run a regatta elsewhere on our reach, like Wraysbury & Old Windsor used to be.

Youth beats experience - Paddy O'Neill & Zac are presented with their trophy by Anna Roberts after winning the Rockin Robin Races.

Youth beats experience – Paddy O’Neill & Zac are presented with their trophy by Anna Roberts after winning the Rockin Robin Races.

Lastly, on Sat 8th August, the Club hosted Wraysbury & Old Windsor Regatta, which also encompasses the Rockin’ Robin scratch skiff races in memory of Robin Roberts; the regatta had a full programme of status races from 10.00 a.m. through to around 3.00 p.m. and then 10 crews contested the Rockin’ Robin races, after which the prizes were awarded by Anna Roberts, Robin’s daughter.

Carol Cornell has also organised a Learn To Row Course; learn to row in big letters and in traditional Thames skiffs in much smaller letters; this has been a success and our new skiffers have been integrated into the club’s normal activities as well as continuing with Tuesday nights for beginners. We hope that they will be ready to race soon and we will be running another course in mid-September, so if you know someone who you think might like to learn to ‘row’ then point them in our direction; there will be more information on this nearer the time.

The Club has also been used by a number of outside organisations for dragon boat evenings; Ottershaw Scouts, Heinz, RRG and Peldon Rose, with BP to come and Elaine Stewarts Mums Group as well.

A lot of effort went into all these events and the Committee would like to thank everyone who helped, because without the generosity of giving your time and effort, they would not have happened.

Egham Regatta – 800 Years of Magna Carta Medals – anyone who helped at the Regatta this year in an official capacity or competed should have been given a medal by Smithy; we have one put by for Gus Gaits, but if anyone else was missed, please let Dave Taylor know; if you were not around for the Regatta and would like to buy one of these one-off never to be repeated Egham Regatta 800 Years of Magna Carta medals, then there is a very limited stock available at £10 each…. a bargain for what could be a future collector’s item – look out for them on eBay!

Lowe & Davies – this year the Lowe and Davies Inter-Club Skiffing event is being hosted by DSPC; with regattas being relatively poorly supported this year, they have decided to integrate the event into the afternoon of the DSPC Club Regatta, rather than hold it separately on the Sunday, so this year it is on Sat 19th September. It is unrealistic for us to enter a Ladies team into the Chuter & Churchill competition, but we would like to enter a team into the Gents Lowe & Davies event; are you interested? Please let Dave Taylor know.

General Club Stuff

Learn To Row Course II – the next course will be run in the week beginning Mon 7th September; there will be sessions on Tue 8th, Thur 10th, Sat 12th and Sun 13th. If you know anyone who might like to go on this course, then please let Carol know on

  • Tuesday Evenings – these are now ‘beginners’ nights for a new learn to rowers, so all are welcome and of course coaching help is always appreciated to take our new members to the next stage and racing.
  • Wednesday Evenings – Summer Circuits – these continue, 19.00 for a 19.15 start… there may well be hot food served afterwards. As usual, all are welcome.
  • Thursday Evenings – the main Club evening is once again proving popular, no doubt with the lure of being fed helping, but numbers are variable. Don’t be shy in offering to cook one week and you can put your name down on the list by the serving hatch.
  • Sunday Mornings – the Club is always open on a Sunday morning and all are welcome to come down and train.

Annual Subscriptions – the response to requests to pay your annual subscriptions has been excellent, but there are still just a few who have not paid. To remind you….

Active Membership £175

Non-Active £55

If you would like to start paying by standing order, there are forms pinned to the notice board by the bar (the are part of the membership form) in the clubhouse 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 

A big thank you to those who have already responded to the initial email reminders and for those who haven’t, please pay up promptly.

Pewter Tankards – the collection has been slowly but steadily growing and we are now going to cash them in, so if you have some that you would like to donate, now is a good time to give them to the Club. There is a black plastic dustbin in the corner of the clubhouse by the serving hatch to put them

British Rowing Almanacks – there is just one left for 2015; remember these have a write up of the previous year’s skiffing season and all the results, so if you won last year, your name will be in print; they are £23.50 each; if you missed a year, we still have a number from 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013 which are going very cheap at £5 each. Please see Dave Taylor if you want one.

Trophy Cabinet – this was getting very crowded with all the success of the dragon boaters, so the contents have been rationalised with some of it being consigned to storage in the roof space; the top now contains trophies from 2014; there are also displays from Wraysbury – the early dragon boating years, through WAM and Tao…. and of course this seasons successes; there are other displays for the SRA Junior Pennants, some older memorabilia donated by Stan Timm’s widow Shirley and an old Tankard of Ian MacDougal’s from the 1950’s. There is also the TPC Pennant for the Inter-Club on display.

Insurance – As the Club insurance is up for renewal this month it is opportune to remind those members with private boats stored at the Club that insuring and licensing them is your responsibility, and they are NOT covered on the Club policy or licensing agreement.

Recycling – We are trying to do our bit for the environment, so a reminder of what the procedure is at the Club; there is a blue recycling box in the kitchen that takes all types recycling; there are multiple bins in the kitchen and these are for rubbish; please do not put rubbish in the blue recycling box, which for some reason, people are prone to doing; it is quite clearly a box, not a bin; behind the bar there are 3 open bins with bin liners in them; one is for cans and plastic bottles, one is for glass bottles and one is for rubbish; it should be pretty obvious which is which; please try not to mix them up otherwise someone has to sort it out.

Club Kit – Just a reminder that while it is not on display, we do have club kit in stock, particularly children’s; there are children’s hoodies, t-shirts and caps covering various age groups up to 16; the ones for the older children will fit our more petite adults. There are adult polo shirts, caps, racing zephyrs and there are a small number of shorts left (M and XL). Please ask Dave Taylor if you need any club kit.

Usage of Club Equipment the equipment is there to be used, after all that is the whole purpose of the Club; it is insured and accidents do happen, but they can also be avoided by careful and considerate usage; please report any damage so we can deal with it and also if you see people need help with using something properly, please help them and explain how to use it so accidents don’t occur. We have had Vic repaired a number of times this year already, most recently to get rid of some dirt that was sucked up by running it in too shallow water; so for instance, NEVER drive Vic up to our frontage as we all know it is invariably too shallow; kill the engine well before, lift the engine and paddle it in.

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.

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!! **)

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 Hermes Runners use WSPC as base 6.30am till 5pm

On the Water


On the skiff merry go round, our skiff we lent to TVSC is back with us and the skiffs SSPC were repairing in our boathouse are back with them, so all our skiffs are now out from under the club house and back on the racks.

We now have a private recreational quad stored under the club house, right at the back; it is a little longer than the width of the club house, so it sticks out in front of the container, so please be careful when moving around in that area not to bump into it, or drop things on it.

We have done some work on the skiff blades and put new rubber grips on all those that were split, but not those that were just a bit smooth and sticky; they have also been sorted again, so the doubles are in the doubles rack and the singles are in the singles rack; the G’s are back in service if they were your favourites and have been marked up again as G’s; the S12’s, which were hidden in the doubles rack are back in the singles rack and are there to be used; they are marked up as Junior blades.

Please use them in sets and put them back in the right storage rack…. singles by the doors and doubles towards the back of the boathouse.

Please let us know if there is any damage to blades so they can receive attention.

Over the winter, the much used Novice and Junior blades need cleaning, rubbing down and varnishing; we will let you know when the work party is so you can all join in.

Tuesday 25th August – there will be a dedicated skiffing technique night were you can be videoed, your stroke can be analysed and some pointers given for you to go out and improve. The session starts at 18.00.

Sat 2nd May – Tiny & Nancy Knight – we had no entries for this event.

Sun 10th May – Gordon Dear Mixed Marathon – we had no entries for this event.

Sat 16th May – Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls – a good day, with a reasonable entry, supplemented for the first time with some O1 entries from the dragon boat section saw John Dymott and Ken Ducas contest the Gents Intermediate category to put in a strong performance, while the O1 category was won by ‘Billy’ Smith, who came 4th overall. The full results are with the Eye.

Thur 28th May – Jui Dashes – This event was won by John Dymott and Mike O’Neill coxed by son Paddy O’Neill; a good entry and close racing.

Sat 6th June – SSPC 6K Head – we had no entries for this event

Sun 28th June – Egham Regatta – There was very few entries for this regatta and our Intermediate Double of John Dymott and Ken Ducas came second.

Sat 18th July – TVSC Regatta – Probably the first regatta where we put in a ‘reasonable’ entry; an early shower for everyone, but good to see Paddy O’Neill contesting the adult status’s in a single and racing with father Mike in a double, rather than the Junior ones this year and a first appearance for enthusiastic new member Peter MacDonald.

Sat 25th July – Hampton Court & Dittons Regatta – we had no entries for this event

Sat 1st Aug – Chertsey & Shepperton Regatta – Another reasonable entry sadly saw an early exit for most crews, but with young Rowan O’Neill having to contest the J16 singles final when he is J14 putting in a sterling performance.

Sat 8th Aug – Wraysbury & Old Windsor Regatta – A good day for the Club with a number of winners to get us off the mark in the Ormiston, with all Wraysbury finals after heats and a good time was had by all; Paddy O’Neill won Gents Novice Singles, John Dymott and Phil Costello won Gents Intermediate Doubles, Rowan O’Neill won J14 Singles and ‘veteran’ Gareth Bennett won Gents Senior Singles, while Paddy O’Neill and Zac from Sunbury won the Rockin’ Robin Races, which were extremely close with many 1’, 2’ or even less than 1’ verdicts given. The prizes were awarded by Anna Roberts, Robin’s daughter and Sheila Roberts also raced with Phil Footit. There were no kids or fun events this year… not a time thing, sadly there was no one to contest them.

Sat 15th Aug – Sunbury Regatta – Rowan O’Neill lost to Zac this week and Imo, perhaps buoyed by her races in the Rockin’ Robin Races did Higher Singles, but came second. 

Sun 16th Aug – Sunbury Junior Regatta – Rowan O’Neill with Zac won the doubles and Rowan won the Style Award.


Paul Barfoot has finished restoring Doug’s 2’ punt and it is now in the water as a ‘wet punt’ taking up and padlocked to the landing stage, for those that remember, as our old practice punt used to be; it is there to be used.

We have had no entries to punting at any of the regattas so far this season, although Paul Barfoot drove our dory as the umpire’s boat at the Punting Championships and Dave Taylor helped lay the course there, so at least we contributed in some form to the day.

Dragon Boating

The season has been going well and with 6 out of 8 events gone, the crew are currently placed 3rd in the Premier League and 1st in the shadow Mixed League. Both leagues are very close, but Amathus have once again moved out into a bit of a lead in the Premier League, with Typhoon, Wraysbury and Worcester contesting the next band of places before a big gap to the next crews. As the Mixed League is only a shadow league, i.e. there aren’t actually any mixed races, the positioning is similarly close at the top between Wraysbury and Worcester, both of whom are racing full mixed crews against open crews, who while they are not entirely men’s crews, certainly have far less women in them.

So… well done to our Ladies!

As can be seen from the number of races attended, a number of crews have not attended all races and this obviously affects the number of points they have.

National League 2015 Premier Division

Position Crew Races Points
1 Amathus 6 96
2 Typhoon Tigers 6 88
3 Wraysbury 6 87
4 Worcester Dragons 6 84
5 Raging Dragons 6 66
6 Thames Taniwas 6 60
7 Notts Anaconda 5 54
8 Pershore Phoenix 6 53
9 Secklow 100 5 50
10 Hurricanes 4 37
11 Crusaders 3 21
12 Exe-Calibre 3 20

Mixed League 2015

Position Crew Races Points
1 Wraysbury 6 94
2 Worcester Dragons 6 91
3 Thames Taniwas 6 67
4 Cambridgeshire Royals 6 66
5 Raging Dragons 5 60
6 Notts Anaconda 5 59
7 Bristol Empire Dragons 5 53
8 Kingston Royals 3 36
9 Powerhouse 3 34
10 Hurricanes 3 30
11 Henley 2 26
12 St Neots 3 25
13 Exe-Calibre 3 24
14 Typhoon 2 3 17
15 Windy Pandas 1 8
16  Worcester Dragonflies 1 6

Sunday 3rd May – Liverpool – A good start to the season with two 2nd places in the 500m and the 2000m including a dramatic clash with Amathus which forced us into the dock wall, but we still fought back to come 2nd.

Sunday 17th May – Nottingham – An odd day, where we managed to come 4th in the 200m, bit won the 2000m.

Sunday 31st May – Wraysbury – We came 3rd in the 200m winning the minor final and came 2nd in the 5000m in what had become a customary tussle with Amathus including our compulsory clash.

Sunday 4th June – Stockton-on-Tees – two 2nd places, particularly good as the crew was split with some attending the Magna Carta 800m Years pageant.

Sunday 28th June – Hong Kong China Town Lions event Royal Albert Dock – this is an annual event open to charity crews and also ‘professional’ crews are invited along as well; the GB Grand Dragons with their usual Wraysbury contingent entered as Wraysbury Dragons alongside the GP Premier crew and the GB Juniors and won the whole event.

Saturday 4th July – Milton Keynes – you need the luck of the draw and a good first race here to help the seeding and we had neither; 5th in the 200m winning the minor final, but 3rd in the 500m in the major final.

Saturday 18th July – Exeter – a mixed day at the office – a well taken 2nd place in the 200m, but a poor 5th in the 1300m.

Fri 31sty July to Sun 2nd Aug – ECCC – Divonne le Bains – France – Once again, the GB Grand Dragons based at Wraysbury with a good contingent of Wraysbury paddlers plus guests entered a crew under the Wraysbury Dragons name in the European Club Crew Championships that are held bi-annually, this year in France; they did extremely well winning gold in the 2000m and the 200m and a very closely fought silver in the 500m finale.

There is now a break for the World Championships in Canada, where Wraysbury Dragons are well represented in both the Over 40’s and Over 50’s categories with 5 in the Over 40’s and 7 in the Over 50’s, plus Liz taking her customary role as crew manager and Murray commentating. We wish the crews well in their endeavours to bring home some medals.

Remaining Dragon Boat dates for this season.

Date Day Club Location

19 August 2015

Wed-Sun World Champs Welland – Canada

30 August 2015

Sunday Worcester Worcester

6 September 2015

Sunday Raging Dragons Royal Albert Dock

19 September 2015

Sat/Sun DBA National Cup Holm Pierrepont – Nottingham

Henley Winter Series, where Wraysbury will try to retain their title:

  • Sunday 18th October
  • Sunday 8th November
  • Sunday 29th November
  • Sunday 13th December
  • Sunday 17th Jan 2016 – Contingency
  • Sunday 7th Feb 2016 – Contingency
  • Sunday 28th Feb 2016 – Contingency.


Forthcoming Events

A full program of social events has now been planned out by our new ‘Party Girl’ Social Secretaries starting with…..

  • Sat 26th September – Wraysbury Club Regatta – after regatta party
  • Sept/Oct – There will be a ‘do’ or ‘dos’ at the club around an England match in the Rugby World Cup; date to be decided and to some extent depends on their progress
  • Sat 11th November – Bonfire Party & Fireworks
  • Sat 5th December – Christmas Ball – DJ’s & Party Frocks – a proper posh event at the Club
  • Sun 20th December – Christmas Drinks & Nibbles
  • Sat 30th January – Crew Supper


Mezzanine – work has been completed on the mezzanine to turn it into a proper room, which now houses the gym. The gym equipment has been rationalised to just keep what we need with the excess equipment sold off to boost club funds; please keep it tidy, although there is still some work to do in there to relocate the mats, make a holder for the exercise balls to store them up off the ground out the way and buy more weight racks to store them tidily.

The cupboard round the boiler was rather bigger than envisaged, so this now has some handy shelves in it for storage.

Hatch, Match & Despatch

Some good news for a change…..

Rob and Hayley got married on the 4th July and we wish them both well for their future life together and Rob taking a Gamble on the rest of his life… pun intended for those in the know and probably mentioned a lot at the wedding!

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Categories: Wraysbury Eye

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