The Wraysbury Eye – August 2016

New Captain Activities
General Club Stuff
Open Day – Bring a Friend Learn-to-Row
Thursday Nights Circuits
Moan(s) of the Month
Missing Items
On the Water
Damage Resurgence
Coxing Course Lowe & Davies and Chuter & Churchill
TVSC Club – Saturday 16 July Hampton Court & Dittons – Saturday 23 July
Chertsey & Shepperton – Saturday 30 July Wraysbury & Old Windsor – Saturday 6 August
Sunbury – Saturday 13 August Walton Reach – Saturday 20 August
Skiff Championships – Sunday 28 August Remaining Events: 2016
Punting Championships
Dragon Boating
Windy Pandas, Surrey Docks: 17th July European Championships, Rome: 28th-31st July
Notts Anaconda, Nottingham: 14th August League Tables
Remaining Events Henley Winter Series
Great River Race Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana
Annual Bonfire Party: Saturday 5th November Row Ho Roast: Sun 11th December
Christmas Drinks & Nibbles: Sun 18th December
Privacy shower New Bridge
Pontoon Electrical
Carpets New cooker



Having said I would try to do these more often, this one has crept up to covering 2 months again, but what a 2 months of activity at the Club!

New Captain – The highlight is that after a number of years of people valiantly filling roles and doing bits and pieces as and when they can, we now have a Captain – Carol Cornell; she has already brought us renewed vigour, direction and a plan to conquer the world…. OK, let’s just leave it at winning the Ormiston trophy again. This is what we are doing.

People are rallying round to offer help and are helping when asked; there are organised coaching sessions, including videoing, where crews are actually practising racing against each other again, people are enjoying it, they are rapidly improving and even winning events.

This might seem a strange comment, but having acted as the starter at Nicholles Boat Yard so they can practice their starts, even a number of those living on the house boats said they are loving the renewed activity and seeing people enjoying the river, although we haven’t quite managed to encourage any of them to come and give the Club a try. It is nonetheless good to see our ‘neighbours’ enjoying us as well, which is not always the case.

We have also seen our GB representatives in the dragon boat section return from the European Championships in Rome with an assortment of medals across all classes.

With one BDA League event to go, the dragon boat crew is still top of the shadow Mixed League and by a single point, maintains second place with the same mixed crew in the Premier League against the open and other mixed crews.

We have also competed in the Great River Race, this year entering a Wraysbury Dragons crew for the first time in some years, as well as 2 skiffs with a mixture of experience and first timers.

We are now approaching the end of the skiffing and punting season as we enter the Club regattas with WSPC first hosting the Lowe & Davis as well and then on to the Marathons at the end.

In ‘preparation’ for the SRA Marathons, WSPC will be hosting the re-arranged Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls on Saturday 24th September; put this date in your diaries to enter and help.

There is one more DBA League event followed by the National Championships and then we are into the Henley Winter Series of long distance events once again.

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General Club Stuff

Open Day: Bring a Friend – We will be holding an open day in October after the Skiff Marathons, where the theme will be, bring a friend; there is no doubt that personal recommendation is probably the best form of advertising.

Please look out for notices of this event….. and bring a friend along.

Learn-to-Row – We will also be holding 2 learn-to-row courses each year going forward; we hope this will have renewed interest as British Rowing is also running specific coaching courses for ‘fixed seat’ rowing (not specifically skiffing), but is something that we should be able to piggyback on.

Thursday Nights – These continue and are a mass of activity and will continue through September in the current format with hot food provided afterwards. Thanks to those who have stepped forward to prepare food in September to give Imo a break.

Circuits – Look out for information on our switch to Winter mode as the season winds down, or for those who always do circuits all year, a less subtle change of probably just the chefs changing.

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Moan(s) of the Month

Missing items – None of our missing items has turned up… someone who is hopefully reading this knows where they are.

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On the Water



Damage – Please let us know if there is any damage to blades or boats so they can receive attention. You can write this on the white board on the boathouse door.

Resurgence – There has been a general ‘resurgence’ in skiffing this season; while I’m sure some readers will hark back to their day, most of the regattas are getting around 50 races this season, apart from Chertsey which had more, which is probably double last year’s number, and this is in some part down to WSPC and our increased level of entries.

Coxing course – Carol recently hosted a coxing course for both ‘experienced’ and new coxes; we had a real lack of coxes earlier in the season, but now we have a selection to choose from and they are playing their important part in the crew and the races.

The Lowe & Davis and Chuter & Churchill – these events will be hosted by WSPC this year as part of the WSPC Club Regatta; this new format has been adopted because of the lack of entries in recent years, and this year is no exception.

WSPC will contest the Davis Cup for Gents Doubles with Steve Myhill and Gareth Bennett, John Dymott and Dave Bowyer and Mike O’Neill and Rowan O’Neill – a first to have a father and son combo?; they will also contest the Lowe Cup for Gents Singles with Gareth Bennett, Steve Myhill and John Dymott; we decided not to enter the equivalent ladies events for the Chuter and Churchill cups.

TVSC Club – Saturday 16 July – We had no entries in the end for this regatta due to a lack of coxes.

Hampton Court & Dittons – Saturday 23 July – We had a number of entries with Mary Sherry and Myra Buckley winning Ladies Intermediate Doubles coxed by Carol Cornell; Dominique Barfoot, in her inaugural skiffing regatta, lost in the final of the Ladies Novice Doubles with Hannah Matheson.

There was a re-enactment by ex-skiff champions v skiff veterans of a race between the quad sculler and a triple skiff, with representatives from all the skiff clubs making up the crews, including Granta and Wargrave, the only occasion this season that there’s been representation of all the clubs at one event!!!

This was re-enacted by both Gents and Ladies crews; Andy Tomkins represented WSPC in the gents past champions crew, while Imo O’Neill and Carol Cornell represented WSPC in the ladies equivalent veteran crew race.

Chertsey & Shepperton – Saturday 30 July – We had a good entry for this popular regatta over it’s even more popular short course!

Rowan O’Neill won Gents Entrant Singles and also coxed the winning J16 Double of J. Palmer (SC) & Z. Beharie (SSPC).

Our other entries raced well and we had losing finalists in Spencer and Dean in the Gents Entrant Doubles, Myra Buckley and Mary Sherry in the Ladies Intermediate Doubles and Mike O’Neil and Phil Costello in the Gents Veteran Doubles.

Wraysbury & Old Windsor – Saturday 6 August – Another tremendous day hosted by WSPC encompassing the W&OW regatta proper, normally just in the morning, but going on well into the afternoon this year, followed by the Rockin’ Robin classified & drawn skiff doubles in memory of Robin Roberts and all topped off with a BBQ in the evening.

All the training and coaching was now starting to pay dividends and we had a number of wins and close losses.

Steve Myhill and Phil Costello coxed by young Sophie Bennett won Gents Higher Doubles and Steve Myhill went on to win Gents Veteran Doubles with John Dymott coxed by Carol Cornell; John also won his Gents Novice Singles. Myra Buckley and Mary Sherry coxed by Rowan O’Neill won Ladies Intermediate Doubles. We also had losing finalists in the Ladies Entrant Doubles, Gents Entrant Doubles and the Gents Novice Doubles.

The Rockin’ Robin Races were won by Dave Bowyer and Rowan O’Neill coxed by Carol Cornell.

Sunbury – Saturday 13 August – We had a reasonable entry for Sunbury Regatta which, like W&OW Regatta, has in recent years seemed to suffer from people choosing to take their holidays over these weeks.

Gareth Bennett won Senior Singles, Dominique Barfoot and Clare Cotton, having lost in the Ladies Novice Doubles final the week before went on to win Ladies Entrant Doubles this week. Steve Myhill and Gareth Bennett lost narrowly in their final of the Gents Higher Doubles.

The Dongola crew won their heat by a country mile as evidenced by the photos where there wasn’t even another crew in sight, but then lost the final to SSPC in an event with no rules and lot of ducking and diving going on…. you cannot complain, you just have to ‘cheat’ more!

Walton Reach – Saturday 20 August – We had a reasonable entry for Walton Reach Regatta. Although there were some good performances, we had no wins, with the closest being Paddy O’Neill and Will Oke losing in the final of the Gents Novice Doubles.

Skiff Championships – Sunday 28 August – For whatever reason, in recent years, this has not been one of our best regattas, and win wise, this was no exception, with just John Dymott winning Gents Novice Singles, however that does not tell the true story of the Wraysbury entry, which actually did extremely well in reaching finals, but not quite turning them into wins; we had 5 loosing finalists – Gents Entrant Doubles, Mixed Entrant Doubles, Gents Novice Doubles, Ladies Novice Doubles and Gents Higher Doubles; 2 composite crews contested the J18 doubles with WSPC members in both with Rowan O’Neill coming out on top over Will Oke. And finally, stalwart Gareth Bennett contested the final of the Gents Championships Singles, losing narrowly to Russell Groom of DSPC who won Singles, Doubles and Mixed, a fine achievement.

Remaining Events: 2016 – Below are the dates for the remaining Skiffing & Punting regattas.

  • Saturday 10 September – WSPC Club & Inter-Club Races
  • Saturday 17 September – DSPC Club
  • Saturday 24 September – rearranged WSPC Long Distance Sculls
  • Saturday 1 October – Skiff Club New DATE
  • Saturday 8 October(pm) – Singles Marathon
  • Sunday 16 October(am) – Doubles Marathon

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Punting Championships – I’m afraid there isn’t too much to say here, Paul Barfoot attended the Punting Championships, where Wraysbury supplied the umpires launch in the form of our dory, which he drove all day; unfortunately, that might be our contribution to punting for the season except Old Tone has been seen at a few regattas both officiating and even competing.

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Dragon Boating

Windy Pandas, Surrey Docks: 17th July – This was another excellent performance from the crew in the final event before the European Championships, which saw Amathus have an off day, Typhoon find their form with wins in both the 200m and 350m and Wraysbury taking second place in both events; we were thus the highest placed mixed team once again.

European Championships, Rome: 28th-31st July – What a fantastic representation from Wraysbury Dragons with 18 paddlers, 1 manager in Liz Hearne and 1 official in Murray Jones.

Perhaps to be expected, the Senior B Open crew containing Clive Hearne, Ian Bowers, Paul Atkins, Rob Crowley, Colin Smith, Fred Harris, Brad Collings, Vaughn Collings, Paul Cutmore, Phil Endecott, Mick Roche and Neal Johnson came 2nd in all 3 events winning silver in the 200m, 500m and 2000m behind Ukraine.

The Senior A Open, Ladies and Mixed crew racing for the first time in a while in the Standard Boat class (20 person) containing Dom Walker, Julia Griffin, Lucy Scott, Romy Nash and Fiona Johnson won a bronze in the 200m Mixed, in the Ladies they won Silver in the 2000m and 500m and a Bronze in the 200m, while the Open crew unfortunately did not medal; Dom and Julia also helped with the coaching.

Jack was in the U24’s, which only entered in the Small Boat class (10 person), but came 1st in the 2000m, 500m and 200m Mixed and 3rd in the Open 2000m, 500m and 200m.

Notts Anaconda, Nottingham: 14th August – This was the first event after the European Championships and saw a depleted crew because of holidays do quite well, but not as good as they had to date; this was the first event where Wraysbury were not the highest placed mixed crew, coming second in the 200m Minor Final and 4th in the 2000m race, although the time difference between 4th and 2nd was very, very small. They were placed in equal first place in the Mixed as they swapped places with Cambridgeshire Royals in the 200m and the 2000m, thus gaining the same points.

League Tables – As we go into the final League event ….

National League 2016 Premier Division
Position Crew Races Points
1 Amathus 7 110
2 Wraysbury 7 104
3 Typhoon Tigers 7 103
4 Cambridgeshire Royals 7 88
5 Raging Dragons 7 77
6 Thames Taniwas 7 75
7 Worcester Dragons 7 71
8 Secklow 100 7 64
9 Kingston Royals 5 48
10 Notts Anaconda 7 46.5
11 Hurricanes 5 46
12 Pershore Phoenix 3 22
Mixed League 2016
Position Crew Races Points
1 Wraysbury 7 112
2 Cambridgeshire Royals 7 102
3 Raging Dragons 7 92
4 Thames Taniwas 7 91
5 Worcester Dragons 7 84
6 Exe-Calibre 6 67
7 Bristol Empire Dragons 5 58
8= Hurricanes 5 57
8= Notts Anaconda 7 57
10 Typhoon Too 3 21
11 Kingston Royals 2 18
12 Worcester Dragonflies 1 6

Remaining League events for 2016

  • 11th September – Worcester
  • 24th/25th September – National Cup – Nottingham

Henley Winter Series – The dates for the Henley Winter Series for 2016 have been announced and once again they will be held before Christmas, river conditions permitting, with contingency dates in 2017.

  • 16th October
  • 6th November
  • 27th November
  • 11th December
  • Contingency dates:15th January/5th February/19th February

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Great River Race: Saturday 3 September – Firstly, a big thanks to John Dymott and Clive Hearne for respectively organising the skiffing and dragon boating entries; this is not an easy task!

There were 2 skiffs, one crewed by John Dymott, Peter Garside-Quinn and Nick and Pauline Teale, while the second was crewed by Phil Costello, Rowan O’Neill, Mary Sherry and Paul Barfoot.

This was the first time for some of our newer skiffers and the weather and river conditions were not particularly kind to them, but nonetheless, they enjoyed the experience and I’m sure will do it again.

They came respectively……

187 151 Wraysbury Wrowers Blisters Galore 3hr 5 min
247 150 Skiff O’Logist’s Skiffymacskiffface 3hr 17 min

The dragon boater numbers were swelled with 2 guests from the GB scene – Penny from the Grand Dragons drumming and Tanya, our occasional Wraysbury paddler this year when we have been short of ladies to make our mixed quota and GB Seniors member.

The crew also comprised a mix of first timers, regulars and people who have not done if for many years and swore not to again!

Time wise, the dragon boat crew came 2nd overall….

Fastest 1 02:11:57 OCUK Men Hawaiian Outrigger
Fastest 2 02:20:12 Wraysbury Dragons Dragonboat 16
Fastest 3 02:21:05 Royal Canoe Mens Team Hawaiian Outrigger

In the Paddlers section it was the same 3 crews, but different a slightly different order after handicaps…..

Fastest 1 02:11:57 OCUK Men Hawaiian Outrigger
Fastest 2 02:21:05 Royal Canoe Mens Team Hawaiian Outrigger
Fastest 3 02:20:12 Wraysbury Dragons Dragonboat 16

And overall, once everyone’s handicap is taken into account….

41 325 Wraysbury Dragons Wraysbury

It must be said, that while the Great River Race is a great event to be part of, the skiffing entry and dragon boat entry both seem to be diminishing, the dragon boat in part perhaps due to cost and that section was cancelled last year due to the conditions with no refunds given, no offer of a reduced entry for this year and the crews abandoned by the organisers at the start…. and that’s a lot of people and equipment to have to find their own way to the finish!

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Queens Row Barge Gloriana -Malcolm Knight once again gave us a late invitation to crew Gloriana as part of a row past and salute at Hampton Court & Dittons Regatta; they were commemorating a race between their quad skiff and a treble skiff in support of the Harte & Garter Home in Richmond and this was re-enacted by ex-skiff champions and veterans in aid of Help For Hero’s. All 18 places were snapped up in less than 1hr, with Dave Taylor the only person from WSPC getting a place; Malcolm has said as there was much more interest from WSPC, he will try to get us an event where it will just be crewed by WSPC members; I can report that I have crossed this off my bucket list, I have the t-shirt, and for good measure, got a terrible back problem! But don’t let that put you off next time we get a request to crew it.

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Annual Bonfire Party: Saturday 5th November – For the first time in some years, it actually falls on Bonfire Night; details of how to order your firework will be released nearer the time, but if you have wood you need to get rid of for the bonfire, please start to bring it down to the Club; you can see a pile starting to form under the horse chestnut tree.

Row Ho Roast: Sun 11th December – This will be a new event for a Christmas outing in whatever craft you want followed by a ‘Christmas/roast’ dinner; you will need to book your place at this event so the chefs know how many to cater for, BUT you have to have been out on the river first.

Christmas Drinks & Nibbles: Sun 18th December – This is our traditional bring your own favourite nibble for a pre-Christmas gathering of drinking, eating and making merry!

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Privacy shower room – Thanks to Paul Barfoot for driving the near completion of this, with help from Pete MacDonald, Mike Lawson and a bit of finishing from Clive Hearne. It is usable now, but some minor final touches still need doing, like the extractor fan, the trim and the ceiling being re-painted.

New Bridge – Thanks to Clive Hearne for building a new bridge to the pontoon…. we won’t mention who was stood on the old one when it snapped after moving the pontoon back after Wraysbury & Old Windsor Regatta! The old one has served us well, considering it was a piece of debris plucked from the river some years ago on a dragon boat outing.

Pontoon – Thanks to Steve Myhill and Phil Footitt for replacing the rotten bits of wood round the pontoon.

Electrical Inspection – Thanks to Phil Oke for arranging the electrical inspection and certificate for the Club, and various electrical works to be completed, like new smoke alarms, an electric supply for the ‘new’ cooker in the kitchen and a much needed additional plug socket in right hand front corner of the club house.

Carpets – Thanks to Imo for arranging Keith Shore to clean the carpets.

New Cooker – The electrical work in the kitchen leads us on to the next project, which is to fit the new cooker and then to revamp the units; if anyone is ripping out a kitchen, or knows of anyone who is, then we will require some additional base units for our plans to have more/changed storage space and more work surface.

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