A Grand Day Out in London

On 29 November, Julian Scrivener won the Masters D division of the Scullers Head on the Tideway in London. This is the biggest sculling event of the year, with around 550 entries, and is held over the Boat Race course (in reverse – running from Mortlake to Putney). As well as beating the 30-odd others in his age-group, Julian’s time of 22minutes 10 seconds was only just over a minute behind the overall winner of the event, who is over 30 years younger than him and who won a silver medal this year in the World under-23 Rowing Championships. Here’s his story of how he did it …

Early start on Saturday, leave Cheltenham at 5.00 am to get down to Barn Elms for a 9.30 race.

After a really calm 10k paddle Friday morning I felt in great shape for a good race. On arrival the conditions looked good, boated at 8.30. The paddle up to the start was incredibly bouncy, mainly due to all the safety launches buzzing around. 9.15 and in position at the start, off load my kit to Tabs (ground crew for the day!). With time to spare the usual eyeballing could commence. One of … Continue reading

Upton RC Mini-Head Nov 2014

Dear Rowers

Quite an impressive mini-head race yesterday. Excellent conditions, with just a hint of stream to push people along. Possibly a record turnout with 11 boats, 34 rowers + 2 coxes. Almost certainly a record winning time of 16.44 by Julian and Tabitha in their old wooden double. Lots of tight racing through the fleet – Jack refusing to let Julian and Tabitha pass; a similar battle between Matt and the double of Andrew and Jeremy. The men’s quad couldn’t hold back the ladies quad, and there was a close contest between the men’s 4- and ladies 4+.

The final actual race times and positions are below and in the spreadsheet, along with the corrections using George Strang’s infamous factors which adjust for boat type, age and gender to reveal the competitiveness of crews.

Crew Boat Time Basic Ranking Adjusted time Adjusted ranking Dee Trish WC2x 00:22:15 10 00:17:46 10 Peter + mxE8+ 00:21:12 9 00:19:02 11 Debbie + WE4+ 00:20:43 8 00:16:36 6 Helen & Wendy wE2x- 00:22:23 11 00:17:17 7 Ian Mackie G4- 00:20:10 7 00:17:20 8 Matt c1x 00:19:37 6 00:15:48 4 Andrew & Jeremy f2x 00:19:33 5 00:16:15 5 Duncan D4x 00:19:11 4 00:17:41 9 … Continue reading

Bewdley and Beyond……..Maggie, Jo, Linda and Liz

Having lost by two feet at Llandaff International and achieving our first quad win at Bewdley we continued the campaign at the bank holiday regattas at Gloucester and Ross.

Disappointed by the lack of a quad entry at Gloucester Vets and Juniors we split into the pair (Maggie and Liz) and the double (Jo and Linda).   Pre- regatta nerves weren’t helped by Matt’s input “Gloucester! – have you ever steered there?  It’s about as wide as someone’s drive….”  No pressure then!

Ladies Quad 2014

Both crews got through to the final with the pair narrowly beating Leicester.  Lining up the old Burgashell on trestles next to their smart Fillipi pair was a bit embarrassing but it made the win all the more special.  Celebrations ensued largely because this had been the pair’s first win since 2002 – which was longer than most of the juniors at the regatta had been on the planet.

The double were narrowly beaten by Leicester in the final but Leicester certainly knew they’d had a race.

The next day the crew went … Continue reading

Upton RC Henley Success – Julian/Tabitha Scrivener

Having made some changes to our gearing and practised our racing starts (following a pathetic attempt at the National Masters in May), Jules and I felt confident enough to consider entering the Henley Masters Regatta as a Mixed Masters D Double.

There were 8 entries in total including the bronze and silver medalists from the Nationals and an unknown American crew.  That meant Quarter Finals on Friday  followed by Semi’s and the Final on Saturday.

We drew Walton, the silver medalists, in our first round.  Consequently our tactic was to go out hard from the start and keep going! We duly did so, taking Walton by surprise off the start – I think they were expecting us to be slow in our heavy wooden boat – and won the race by 3 lengths.

BIGBLADE HMR_14_06804_over_1800x1200Back on Saturday morning to face Bewl Bridge, bronze medalists from the Nationals.  Having beaten Walton so easily confidence was high! It was very hot and we had a long wait at the start.  It was also bouncy from passing … Continue reading

21st British Rowing Tour 29th to 31st August 2014

After months of planning by the Upton RC recreational rowing committee, on Thursday afternoon boat trailers from all over the country began arriving at Worcester Race Course for the 21st British Rowing Tour. Solent galleys, a wherry, touring boats of various designs, and fine boats were unloaded and re-rigged ready for the following morning. Meanwhile crews were being welcomed to their base at the Puckrup Hall Hotel by Upton “Tour Makers” in their distinctive lavender polo shirts. During the evening buffet Andrew and I were surprised to learn that we would be rowing in the morning to substitute for an injured rower and so would become honorary Weybridge Ladies for a day.

On Friday morning two large coach loads of rowers were bussed to Worcester. With many extra hands for the heavy boats, 21 boats were launched from Worcester Rowing Club’s landing under the interested gaze the media. They were particularly impressed by the wide age range (up to octogenarians) and the large number of women participating. Participating rower Ruth Marr, a rowing tour organiser from Winnipeg, Canada, was also a centre of media attention. Maurice joined a ladies crew from Henley RC in Peter Barker, and … Continue reading