The Wraysbury Eye – January 2016

THE WRAYSBURY EYE – January 2016

Well, happy New Year to everyone; it doesn’t seem long since writing about the end of last season and the new season will be upon us soon (first events are in April!)…. assuming the river goes down a bit.
The Thames is completely on RED from the source to Teddington, so please look out for Carol’s update emails and check the website yourself.

REMEMBER – just be sensible!

There are alternatives – the gym on the mezzanine is there to be used whenever you want and there is organised circuit training on both Wednesday and Thursday nights at present from 19.15 p.m. onwards.

The last Eye was nearly 3 months ago and while the Thames and the weather are a bit prohibitive now, there has actually been much going on at the Club in the intervening time.

Carol’s group of Newbie’s and Oldies have continued to go out, some early on Thursday evenings and also on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well; there was a Christmas Row Ho Ho with some fine costumes with pictures posted on Facebook. As soon as the river permits, these activities will resume; our thanks go to Carol, everyone else who has participated or helped in these sessions and keeping them going in the winter.

The dragon boaters have continued to train and race in the Henley Winter Series, which has now finished, having fortuitously decided to move all the events to before Christmas this year to avoid poor weather conditions and cancellation… the right decision as it turned out; the trophy was retained by virtue of the fact that Wraysbury Dragons were the first Club crew home in each of the 4 races, although they were beaten each time by The Rafters, who are a composite crew and hence they can race for a trophy for the first crew home at each event, but not the overall trophy, which is for Clubs, not composite crews.

On the social side, we knew Evelyn would transform the Club for the Winter Wonderland ball at the end of November, and she certainly did that; everyone who wanted to attend was accommodated and we sat down just over 80 people for a meal with dancing afterwards to a DJ, with a proper dance floor squeezed in as well; our thanks go to Evelyn and Mary and everyone else who helped put on this event. If you have any photos of the evening, perhaps you could send them to Jeeves so they could be put on the website.

General Club Stuff

Lights – when you can go out in the evening again, please make sure you go out on the river with 2 lights on your boat; if any are damaged or not working, please let Phil Costello or Steve Myhill know, so they can get them repaired or get new ones.

Wednesday Evenings – Winter Circuits – these continue, but in ‘Winter’ mode from 19.00 for a 19.15 start… there will be hot food served afterwards. As usual, all are welcome.

If you can’t go out on the river try circuits.. Or if you over indulged at Christmas, make it your New Year’s resolution to attend.

While the river is shut, there will also be circuits on a Thursday evening as well – this will be a different type of circuit to Wednesdays; there will be some weights to suit all abilities, again ‘professionally’ run like Wednesdays.

Thursday Evenings – the main Club evening will continue over the Winter months and there will be hot food served afterwards. While Wednesday is predominantly, but not exclusively dragon boaters, we expect there to be skiffing on Thursday night, so numbers will be more variable; it would help if you could let Dave Taylor know if you are coming down and will be staying for food, so we can gauge numbers… it will not be as ‘grand’ as Imo’s Summer Thursday nights fare!

Saturday/Sunday Mornings – These will resume when river conditions permit, so look out for Carol’s emails; aimed at our newbie’s there are sessions at 11.00 and 8.30 respectively, so it doesn’t take all day; food is involved as well; others are always welcome to coach and to partake.

Sunday Mornings – the Club is always open on a Sunday morning, the dragon boat will go out at 10.00 and all are welcome to come down and train.

Pewter Tankards – we are still collecting; perhaps your New Year resolution was to de-clutter and those old tankards might be the place to start. There is a black plastic dustbin in the corner of the clubhouse by the serving hatch to put them in.

British Rowing Almanacks – these are now all on eBay and are selling slowly but steadily, contributing towards Club funds; we have now taken the box out the roof space, so there is quite a selection to chose from if you happen to want a particular year – 1964, 1966, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. If you would like one, please speak to Dave Taylor.

There are also some copies of T. R. Rivington’s Punts & Punting at £10 each.

Club Kit – Another reminder that we do keep Club kit in stock at the Club; please ask Dave Taylor if you need any; we have:

Adult Caps £8

Children’s Caps £5

Children’s T-shirts £7 (a few white ages 5-6 and 7-8, but mainly green ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-11 and 12-13)

Children’s Hoodies £10

Adult Polo Shirts £15 (XL & L)

Racing Zephyrs £32 (XL, L, M & S)

Racing Shorts £32 (XL & L)

Dragon Boat Racing Tops £39 (XXL, XL, L, M & S)

Beanie Hats £8

Club Ties

Club Bow Ties

AND the last remaining Club Blazer Badge

Outstanding Entry Fees – We can proudly say that for the first time to our knowledge, there are NONE, so a big thank you to Phil Costello for skiffing & punting and Liz Hearne for dragon boating for collecting them all…. it’s not an easy job!

Runnymede Runners – just thought this was worth mentioning and how we ‘interact’ with the community; the Runners use the Club from time to time, but on Sun 22nd Nov, the club was used to host a blind running course, where people were trained to act as sighted guides for blind runners with a series of practical exercises being held on Runnymede. It was amazing – an example to us all. Never mind the running, just getting them to the loo and back, all things we take for granted.

On the Water


Please let us know if there is any damage to blades so they can receive attention. You can write this on the white board on the boathouse door; similarly, if there is any damage to a skiff that you spot, or it leaks (i.e. you have to sponge a lot of water out of it after an outing), please also write this on the board so we can do something about it.

Over the winter, there will be boat cleaning sessions, which is an important part of their annual maintenance programme (John Dymott will be organising this, so please support him) and the much used Novice and Junior blades need cleaning, rubbing down and varnishing; we will let you know when these sessions are so you can all join in.

WSPC are hosting the Lowe & Davies this year, which will be held on the Sunday after the Club Regatta in September, so we host a regatta 2 days running. We really would like to enter some teams this year on our home course and we will be asking you all to help.

Carol will be running further Learn to Row courses this year in March, June and September, plus a Coxing Course in February.

We will also run a Punting fun course in the Summer.

Calendar of Events for 2016

This will be expanded as the year goes on, but here are the just the dates for the Skiffing & Punting regattas.

The first one is Sat 2nd April…. just over 2 months away!

Saturday 2 April – S Mepham Mixed Marathon
Saturday 16 April – SSPC 6K Head
Sunday 24 April – DSPC LD Singles
Saturday 30 April – Tiny & Nancy Knight
Sunday 8 May – Gordon Dear Mixed Marathon
Saturday 14 May – Wraysbury LD Sculls
Sunday 26 June – Egham
29 June-3 July – Henley Royal
Sunday 10 July – WBC Junior Marathon
Saturday 16 July – TVSC Club
Saturday 23 July – Hampton Court & Dittons
Sunday 24 July – DSPC Junior Regatta
Fri/Sat 29/30 July – Wargrave & Shiplake
Saturday 30 July – Chertsey & Shepperton
Sunday 31 July – Punting Championships
Saturday 6 August – Wraysbury & Old Windsor
Saturday 13 August – Sunbury
Sunday 14 August – Sunbury Junior Regatta
Saturday 20 August – Walton Reach
Sunday 28 August – Skiff Championships
Saturday 3 September – Skiff Club
Saturday 3 September – Great River Race
Saturday 10 September – WSPC Club
Sunday 11 September – Inter Club (WSPC)
Saturday 17 September – DSPC Club
Saturday 24 September – Wargrave Club
Saturday 8 October (pm) – Singles Marathon
Sunday 16 October (am) – Doubles Marathon

Dragon Boating

Henley Winter Series (HWS) – Sunday 8th November HWS II, Sunday 29th November HWS III and Sunday 13th December HWS IV

HWS II saw another good ‘win’, but HWS III was the day after the Winter Wonderland Ball, and while we won, was probably not our finest hour; on the other hand, HWS IV saw us determined to put in a very good performance and from the moment we left the jetty, you knew it was going to happen; we overtook Henley, our nearest Club rivals, before the halfway mark around Upper Thames Rowing Club and held off The Rafters till Henley Bridge on the return leg, from where we raced side by side for 5 minutes to the final turn, including the odd friendly clash; they had right of way on the final turn, but we finished the last 500 meters just about overlapping.

Members of the crew are now in full training for the forthcoming season and the International Events; there will be time trials soon for the GB crews for the European Championships this summer in Rome where we hope to be well represented again, plus a Wraysbury Dragons Over 50’s crew, with guests, is off on Good Friday to Adelaide to race in the World Club Crew Championships; the crew is also looking at the possibility of racing an Open crew at an International Event in Limasol, Cyprus in the middle of October.

League events for 2016

These have now been announced and Wraysbury has been granted another event this year in mid-June; please put all these dates in your diaries now.

The aim this season is to retain the Mixed League Trophy.

17th April – Bristol, Bristol Docks

1st May – Crusaders, Crosby

29th May – Powerhouse, Stockton

12th June – Wraysbury

2nd/3rd July – St Neots (exact date TBC)

17th July – Windy Pandas, Surrey Docks

14th August – Notts Anaconda, Nottingham

11th September – Worcester


Sat 7th November – Bonfire Party & Fireworks – Our thanks go to Ian Swinglehurst for organising this along with Paul Barfoot and Stuart from Davis Angling in Staines; another fantastic display, but definitely not as many people as usual.

Sat 28th November – Winter Wonderland Ball – What more is there to be said!

Sun 20th December – Christmas Drinks & Nibbles – Another popular event that gathered pace as the day went on.

Forthcoming Events

Sat 5th March – Crew Supper watch this space for announcements about this event at the club and the entertainment this year.

Other events we are looking at…

Boat Race Party – Sun 27th March

Jazz Band – July


The boiler that services the showers has been replaced along with other repairs to the system, so the showers are working again; our thanks go to Pete MacDonald for doing this

We are now working on the Disabled Shower Room to turn it into its original purpose… a shower room, rather than a general store room; this had lead to a chain of events.

The roof space area has been tidied and some items disposed of; the shelving from the disabled shower room has been put up in the roof space along with some additional flooring to make a much more usable storage area.

To get better and safer access to the roof space, a loft ladder has been fitted and proper lighting installed, but this does have to be plugged in in the bar store; this is still work in progress, as the ladder is for a loft, not effectively what is a cupboard, so there is still some work to be done to make it more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The disabled shower room has been cleared and some items have been disposed of; whatever was kept has been stored in the roof space.

We have also obtained a range cooker from Tony and Sarah Cox, which will need fitting in the kitchen, although this will need more than an element of re-design to accommodate it, but will be a welcome addition for those who cater at the Club.

Further focussed work parties will be planned over the winter months to keep the Club, its grounds and equipment in good shape.

Some of the wood on the frontage needs replacing, as does the wood on the pontoon; it is also getting to that stage where the Club needs painting outside; the outside lighting needs repairing and the smoke alarms need replacing; we are also looking at securing the area underneath the veranda by the side of the Club/ramp to provide more storage.

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