The Wraysbury Eye – October 2016

Right – John Wakley, Keith Powell and Brian Dodds winning Gents Junior Doubles at Chertsey Regatta in 1958 (thanks to John who recently contacted the club)

Lowe & Davis and the Chuter & Churchill Inter-Club Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls
General Club Stuff
Open Day – Bring a Friend Learn-to-Row
Skiffing Regatta Entry Fees Thursday Nights
Circuits Boat Cleaning and Maintenance
Moan(s) of the Month
On the Water
Damage WSPC Club & Inter-Club Race
DSPC Club WSPC Long Distance Scullsl
Skiff Club Remaining Regattas
Dragon Boating
Worcester League Tables
National Cup – Nottingham Henley Winter Series
Annual Bonfire Party: Saturday 5th November Row Ho Roast: Sun 11th December
Christmas Drinks & Nibbles: Sun 18th December
Privacy shower Boathouse Tidied


Having said I would try to do these more often and failed miserably with the last one, now they come along like buses!

The weekend of 11th/12th September was a busy weekend for the Club; on Sat 11th, the Club hosted both the Lowe & Davis and the Chuter & Churchill Inter-Club races and the WSPC Regatta, while on Sun 12th, Wraysbury Dragons raced in Worcester at the last BDA League event of the season.

The Lowe & Davis were very exciting with everything resting in both events on the final race between the third strings of DSPC and TVSC, although WSPC did well in the Lowe Cup for Singles, which was a very closely contested affair.

Wraysbury Dragons once again were the highest placed Mixed crew at Worcester, completing a clean sweep for the season with 8 * 16 points to top the league with 128 points. Things were much tighter in the Premier League, with everything going down to the last race of the last event, with Wraysbury coming home in the 1800m time trial one place ahead of Typhoon Tigers to ensure that the two of them shared second place in the Premier League.

On Sat 24th September, WSPC hosted the re-arranged Wraysbury Long Distance Sculls, which now turned out to be a good precursor to the SRA end of season Marathons. 21 crews entered as the ‘battle’ for the Ormiston trophy looks like it will go down to the wire.

Meanwhile in Nottingham, on the same weekend, Wraysbury Dragons were at the traditional end of season British Dragon Boat Association National Cup event, where they entered 6 of the 7 eligible events – 200m and 500m Senior, 200m and 500m Mixed and 500m and 2000m Open, giving the 200m Open a miss on the opening day. Some close exciting racing resulting in 2 wins and 4 second places.

All that remains of the skiffing and punting season are the traditional SRA Marathons and dragon boating continues almost straight away into the Henley Winter Series of long distance events through to Christmas.

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General Club Stuff

Open Day – Bring a Friend – Saturday 29th October 10.00 a.m. to 14.00 p.m.

We will be holding an open day on Saturday 29th 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 nearer the time, and bring a friend along.

Skiffing Regatta Entry Fees

Phil Costello is doing an excellent job in this thankless task, but as we come to the end of the regatta season it would be fantastic if everyone had settled their account by the end of this month; Phil will have sent you an email if you have been active this season and have fees outstanding. Many thanks to those who have already settled up.


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 will continue through the winter months; through September, hot food continued to be provided and our thanks go out to Imo and her regular band of helpers for providing most of fare throughout the season; as we move into October, there will continue to be hot food after circuits on a Wed night and also after training on a Thur, but this will be when the dragon boat gets back in, which is slightly later than the planned skiffing outings.


What we might term ‘advanced’ circuits will continue on Wed nights, 19.00 for a 19.15 start; please be prompt. Everyone is welcome to these circuits and they are not just attended by the dragon boaters as Phil Costello, Ken Ducas, Mike O’Neill and Rob Jenkinson will tell you.

Based upon feedback from the survey of active members, Carol will be starting ‘beginners’ circuits on Tue nights; this will run in 5/6 WEEK batches of targeted activities. Tuesday 17th October will start with 1 hour of Stretch, Pilates, Cardio and Core. Same time – 19.00 for a 19.15 start. This will be FREE for Club members, but there will be a charge for non-members, who as always, are welcome to attend.


Boat Cleaning and Maintenance

This has started for the dragon boating section, so look out for calls for help with the skiffs, which will all need pressure washing and inspecting for damage, as well as a separate work party to service the blades.

The dragon boat trailer has been pressure washed, all the loose paint removed and it has been repainted; it has also been professionally serviced, although there is still more work to be done it. The Batchworth boat has had some varnish applied to underneath the gunnels and all nicks and bumps on the bottom repaired. Wraysbury will be buying this boat off Batchworth.

The new Champion has also had the gunnels rubbed down and 2 coats of varnish applied; all the nicks and bumps have also been repaired.

Next for the dragon boats is the old Champion, which has been sold to a breast cancer survivor crew in Waterford; this will be cleaned and generally serviced before arranging to get it to Ireland.

While there was filler available, the opportunity was taken to fill all the holes in the bottoms of the old green canoes.

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Moan(s) of the Month


A little late in the season, but it helps you find your blades if you put them away in sets and use them in sets; blades for singles by the boathouse doors, blades for doubles towards the back of the boat house, categorised by coloured electrical tape on the shaft – white for Entrant/Novice, red for Intermediate, blue for Higher and black for Senior. Remember, unlike all the other clubs, we have separate singles and doubles blades and they should NOT be mixed when training, racing or being stored.

With so many people racing, which is fantastic, always make sure you have got your blades out ready for your race and make sure you have a back-up set you are comfortable with in case the set you normally use are being used by someone else when it is your time to race; they will not hold up a regatta because your ‘favourite’ blades are not there.

And, if someone is using the bow set of a doubles set for singles, you might also find that your favourite set is only half there, which is why we have separate singles and doubles sets!

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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.

Saturday 10 September – WSPC Club & Inter-Club Races

What a fantastic day for the Club; the morning and early afternoon taken up with the Inter-Club Races and then the rest of the day to run off 42 races for the WSPC Regatta; this is the first year we have run the Inter-Club races since they introduced the concept of holding it in conjunction with the hosting Club’s regatta rather than on the next day as a separate event, which worked well at DSPC last year; however, this was not our first choice, but with people away and the dragon boaters in Worcester, it was felt that there were insufficient people around to host events two days running and all that it entails. The reason behind combining the events was that there is no longer a full quota of entries from the Clubs for the Inter-Club event and there were also dwindling entries for the end of season Club regattas, except WSPC’s.

So, in the Inter-Club event, DSPC, TVSC and WSPC contested the Lowe & Davies, while just DSPC and TVSC contested the Chuter & Churchill; The Lowe Cup for Gents singles was a very close event with all three clubs registering wins, but in the end it came down to the final race between DSPC and TVSC third strings, with TVSC coming out on top; In the Davies Cup for Gents Doubles, this also came down to the final race between DSPC and TVSC third strings, this time with DSPC coming out on top; in the Chuter & Churchill, both events were won by DSPC.

WSPC has always been a popular club regatta, perhaps because of its traditional mix of status and fun events, while other club regattas continue with purely status events…. so, after the Inter-Club had finished, there were a further 42 races to run off. There were some fantastic races over the now shortened course with a free start (no time to re-set stake boats!) and some good wins from our Wraysbury crews (the full list of winners is attached to the Eye. The regatta also saw the first of our newbie’s enter singles, where Dean Gray won his heat, but lost in the final; this is a good sign of their increasing confidence and competence.

Saturday 17 September – DSPC Club

We had a reasonable entry for this regatta and following on from the previous week, we saw 2 more of our newbie’s enter Entrant singles, with Peter Garside-Quinn winning the event after a semi final win over our own Jeff Wattley. Well done to both of them.

Saturday 24 September – WSPC Long Distance Sculls

The re-scheduled WLDS fitted in nicely towards the end of the season as a warm-up for the SRA Marathons in October and saw 21 crews contest the event.

The overall event was won by S Hassan and D Clark of TVSC. WSPC entered 4 crews with G Bennett and D Bowyer winning Gents Higher, P Costello and J Dymott coming 3rd in Gents Intermediate, P MacDonald and P Garside Quinn coming 3rd in Gents Novice, and lastly, our new Greek duo of Vangelis and Stefanos came home in a very creditable time of just over 30 mins in Gents Entrant.

Saturday 1 October – Skiff Club

We had a modest entry for this regatta as injuries have started to take their toll, but undaunted, Steve Myhill raced well in Senior Singles and Steve then partnered Phil Costello to lose in a heat to the eventual winners in the Gents Higher Doubles; Peter Garside-Quinn having won Gents Entrants Singles at DSPC regatta, went on to win Gents Novice Singles.
Calendar of Remaining Events for 2016

Remaining Skiffing & Punting regattas.

  • Saturday 8 October (p.m.) – Singles Marathon
  • Sunday 16 October (a.m.) – Doubles Marathon

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Nothing to report.

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Dragon Boating

11th September – Worcester

This was another excellent performance from the crew in the final league event of the season; it was all very exciting, well at least for Wraysbury and Typhoon Tigers, but I doubt that any of the other crews were aware of the significance of each race as the day unfolded; Amathus were un-catchable in first place in the League, but could Wraysbury beat Typhoon to take second spot, or could Typhoon beat Wraysbury to take second spot, or would it be shared? In the end, it came down to the last race of the season; the 200m went to form with an Amathus, Typhoon, Wraysbury final, with Wraysbury being the highest placed mixed crew as well; the race was won by Typhoon, with Amathus second and Wraysbury third; so it all came down to the 1800m loop round Worcester with one 180 degree turn; Typhoon just had to beat Wraysbury to take 2nd place, Wraysbury had to beat Typhoon by more than 1 place to take 2nd place, but if they only beat them by 1 place, they were tied for 2nd place. In the heat to determine who raced in the Cup final, Wraysbury beat Typhoon easily, by virtue of the fact they messed up their turn and had to stop paddling to avoid a collision with the wall, but still managed a time to make the Cup final; in the final itself, Wraysbury put everything they had into the race and were rewarded by coming second behind Amathus, by the closest margin of the season in these long distance races by only 8 sec, and with Typhoon coming in 3rd, 2nd place in the League was tied.

Being the highest placed Mixed crew meant that Wraysbury were unbeaten in Mixed all season to retain the Mixed League with maximum points, all be it we tied with Cambridgeshire Royals at the Nottingham league event.

As a result of the league positions, the Kingston Royals and Pershore Phoenix were duly relegated to the Standard League and Henley Dragons and St. Neots were promoted from the Standard League to the Premier League.

National League 2016 Premier Division
Position Crew Races Points
1 Amathus 8 126
2 Typhoon Tigers 8 118
= Wraysbury 8 118
4 Cambridgeshire Royals 8 101
5 Raging Dragons 8 89
6 Thames Taniwas 8 84
7 Worcester Dragons 8 82
8 Secklow 100 8 71
9 Notts Anaconda 8 56.5
10 Hurricanes 6 55
11 Kingston Royals 6 53
12 Pershore Phoenix 4 28
Mixed League 2016
Position Crew Races Points
1 Wraysbury 8 128
2 Cambridgeshire Royals 8 110
3 Raging Dragons 8 107
4 Thames Taniwas 8 103
5 Worcester Dragons 8 98
6 Notts Anaconda 8 70
7 Hurricanes 6 68
8 Bristol Empire Dragons 6 67
= Exe-Calibre 6 67
10 Typhoon Too 3 21
11 Kingston Royals 2 18
12 Worcester Dragonflies 2 14
13 Pershore Phoenix 1 10

24th/25th September – National Cup – Nottingham

This was a monumental effort by the crew in a very crowded race schedule with a ‘squad’ of only 21 paddlers with 3 people being rotated each race; the crew was the same mixed senior crew that had raced all season; we gave the 200m Open a miss on the Sat morning to try to focus on the Mixed events, but entered 200m and 500m Senior and Mixed, and 500m and 2000m Open; Saturday was 200m and 2000m racing and Sunday was for all the 500m events. Nottingham was its traditional dreary September venue, windy, but not wet on this occasion; to try to create a bit more atmosphere, all the crews had their event shelters up on the grass by the main building, although there was a terrible storm on the Saturday night that damaged the Wraysbury shelter.

The format of racing returned to the heats system of winners, 2nd places and fastest losers progressing, reps and then semi-finals and finals.

Saturday started with the Seniors (over 40’s for this event) and 8 entrants, which saw Wraysbury win their heat and then the final against a strong Thames Taniwas crew with a lot of guest paddlers in from Exeter and Henley. The day then moved on to the Mixed, a far more difficult proposition with Amathus fielding a crew, as well as the much improved Cambridgeshire Royals focussing on this event too. There were 12 entrants; Amathus, Wraysbury and Cambridgeshire Royals won their respective heats to go straight through to the semi-finals. The final was a very closely contested affair with Amathus coming out on top by just 0.2 sec from Wraysbury with Cambridgeshire Royals in third. Saturday finished with the 2000m; no heats, just a straight race with all 17 crews on the water at the same time; this can be a bit of a lottery, depending where you start, who gets clear water, who gets rough water, who gets held up and whose helm makes the wrong decision on positioning, and this race was no exception; Powerhouse, starting in 5th place quickly overtook the slower crews in front to make the most of the better water conditions to come home in 3rd place; meanwhile Amathus, Typhoon and Wraysbury were starting at the back and had to ‘fight’ their way through the field and the rough water. Amathus once again proved the long distance champions with a clear victory over Wraysbury in second place, who certainly profited by some poor decision taking by the Cambridgeshire Royals helm in over taking Thames Taniwas on the final turn as both of them went really wide and let Wraysbury overtake them both in one fell swoop on the inside of the bend.

Sunday saw Wraysbury destined for a lot of races for fundamentally the same crew – 8 x 500m races, more than any other crew. Not something we have done before, but some ‘tactical’ racing was done, after all, you only had to be in the final to win it as the lanes are fairly immaterial at Nottingham.

Sunday started with the Mixed and 13 entrants; not surprisingly, Amathus, Wraysbury and Cambridgeshire royals won their heats to go through to the semi-finals; in the semi-finals Cambridgeshire Royals put their all into beating Wraysbury by a slim margin, but in the Final, Amathus and Wraysbury showed another gear to pull well clear of them with Amathus beating Wraysbury by about 0.4 sec; another close race. This was followed by the Senior 500m with 8 entrants, where Wraysbury won their heat and the final.

The final event is the blue ribbon 500m Open with 13 entrants; Henley Dragons had been saving themselves all day to focus on this event, with aspirations of winning it after showing considerable improvement over the season, and they were in fact awarded the Most Improved Crew of the season, by last year’s winners Typhoon. Henley had done no races, while Amathus and Wraysbury had already done 5 each. Wraysbury won their heat to progress to a semi-final against Henley, which similar to the Mixed semi-final, they narrowly lost to Henley to go through to the final; in the final it was an Amathus, Wraysbury, Henley race, with Amathus coming out on top by a clear 3 sec, but Wraysbury had enough left to pull away from Henley to take a comfortable second place.

Henley Winter Series for 2016

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 2017
  • 5th February 2017
  • 19th February 2017

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There are a number of social events being planned; some are our traditional ones and some are special one off’s.

Other events are in the planning stage and we will let you know about these in good time; they are also to be held before the end of the year.
Saturday 5th November – Annual Bonfire Party

For the first time in some years, it actually falls on Bonfire Night; details of how to order your firework were emailed to everyone last week, so please phone Stuart and Davies Angling to order your big bang!

The pile of wood is slowly growing, but if you have wood you need to get rid of for the bonfire, please bring it down to the Club; you can see a pile forming under the horse chestnut tree.

Anyone with children, or a big childish adult want to make a guy?

Format for the evening is:

  • Bar Open for business @ 19:00hrs
  • Bonfire Lighting @19:30hrs
  • Launch Sequence Commencement @ 20:00hrs
  • Sparklers @ 20:30hrs
  • Then Beer, Babycham and gentle gaiety until late – Hot food available throughout!

There will be the customary bonfire building ‘party’ during the day on Sat 5th Nov; details of time to be announced neared the day. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

NOTE: we have not ordered any wood from external sources and last year we were fly tipped, one might say luckily with largely wood, so if you are around during the day over the next month, please look out for any suspicions of possible fly tipping and report them.

Sometimes, one is surprised heartened by public spiritedness; a member of the public went to the trouble of taking down Pete MacDonald’s van details when he was depositing some wood at the club and left a note for us, unaware that he was a club member.

Sun 11th December – Row Ho Roast

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.

Sun 18th December – Christmas Drinks & Nibbles

This is our traditional bring your own favourite nibble for a pre-Christmas gathering of drinking, eating and making merry!
Forthcoming Events

Look out for announcements for the next social event at Wraysbury as there will be a full programme into the new year and beyond.

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A number of jobs have been completed:

1. The trim has been done in the Modesty Shower.
2. A large part of the boathouse has been tidied and sorted, just leaving the area at the rear of the container to do. Very little has actually been thrown out, so this is largely tidying and putting things back were they belong, so if you need to use something, not a problem, but please put it back where you found it. If you can’t find something, ask Dave Taylor where he tidied it to!

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Categories: Wraysbury Eye

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