Following on from the successful Upton rowing regatta held on Sunday 7 September, one of our Upton ‘Learn to Row’ crews attended the Birmingham regatta for a return match and succeeded in settling the score by coming first.

The Upton crew comprising, Janine Longbotham (stroke), Steve Blakeway (3), Chris Williams (2) and Mandy Smith (Bow) beat, Bewdley, Birmingham, Stratford and finally another Bewdley team to take the winning position. In fact, the first team to be overtaken by the Upton crew were the winners from the Upton regatta. The race was run on the Edgebaston reservoir in the heart of Birmingham and hosted by the Birmingham rowing club who were very hospitable and laid on refreshments for the day.learn2row

Eight crews entered the Explorer Series competition organised by British Rowing.

All eight crews were novice rowers having only been rowing for up to a year.  In the case of the the Upton crew, they started rowing with Upton rowing club’s ‘Lean to Row’ program, which runs every year from April to September.

Rowing is a very enjoyable way of keeping fit and having fun whilst enjoying the company of others.  It is suitable for all ages and because of its often technical nature exercises both the mind and body whilst providing some spectacular views of our waterways only able to be appreciated when water borne.

The final round of the Explorer Series of regattas for 2016 will be hosted by the Stratford club on Sunday 30thOctober.

Over the past few years the Upton Recreation Rowing group have been rowing along the River Thames. On the 23rd September 15 rowers from Upton RC headed to London to complete this year’s stage of the Thames Tour, rowing from Marlow to Weybridge over two days.

This years tour was blessed with fine weather. Saturdays row started at Marlow and headed downstream for 31km taking in sights such as Windsor Castle before finishing for the night at Wraysbury. Sunday morning saw a leisurely 11km row from Wraysbury to Weybridge followed by a pub lunch before heading back to Upton.p1010190 p1010193 p1010196 p1010198

Upton Rowing Club ran its annual regatta on the Severn on Sunday [11 September] in glorious sunshine. This is designed as a fun event for men and women who have only recently taken up rowing to give them their first taste of racing, and it attracted 12 crews from various clubs as well as from the Upton hosts.

The regatta is contested in coxed fours and runs on a knock-out basis, although crews who are eliminated early on get a second chance in a Plate event. After four hotly contested rounds, the overall winners this year were a crew from Bewdley, who beat Worcester in the final. Meanwhile, in the Plate event, Stratford took the final prize with a victory over one of the Upton crews.

Rowing is sometimes thought of as a relatively inaccessible sport, mainly available to schools and universities, but this is far from the truth. All the clubs competing here run regular ‘Learn to Row’ courses for adults as well as for juniors. Some go on to race competitively thereafter (and Upton’s regatta provides the first stepping stone towards this), while others prefer to continue rowing recreationally. Either way, it is a great way of keeping fit and having fun in the process.

Photos from this years regatta are now online.

Upton Regatta 2016 Photos

Four more excellent wins today, this time at Worcester:

  • Linda and Jo added to their large collection of WMasE 2x wins, this time against a double from Warwick
  • Stuart and Jon won MasC 2x by a margin that was increased when their Worcester opponents obligingly hit the bank. (This was poetic justice because Worcester had got the final by beating James and Andy, who had similarly hit the bank in the semi-final.)
  • Linda, Liz, Helen and Jo won WMasE 4x by some distance over Hereford
  • James finished the day by winning MasNovice 1x by 2 1/2 lengths over a sculler from Bridgnorth.

Honourable mention also goes to Chris and Lance who rowed well but unsuccessfully in MasD2x, and to Jemima in J15 1x and Archie and Daisy in J15 2x, the latter racing in their first ever regatta.

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Following the approval of outline planning permission for houses on the Upton marina, the committee would like to be clear that the rowing club continues to thrive and grow, having just finished one of the most successful racing seasons in the club’s history. We expect to be able to continue at our current site with the support of Ting Dene marina and look forward to working with Ting Dene as detailed plans are prepared to ensure both the housing development and the club can happily coexist.

We have some concerns about this development, specifically on how it might impact on the rowing club’s ability to operate and grow, both during the development phase and once the houses are occupied. Our concerns were outlined in our letter to the planners and haven’t changed.

  1. URC have heard that the marina development plans have been approved with conditions applied. We have not yet been able to review the conditions to see how this development might impact on the club in the near and long term.
  2. Depending on the eventual details of the development, the club might have to explore possible relocation sites in order for the club to continue to thrive and grow. However obtaining planning approval and relocating the club boat house would have a cost which is significantly beyond the club’s resources.
  3. It was noted that the town council have made recommendations for the open space contribution funds from this development which includes improvements to local sports facilities. Unfortunately it does not include the rowing club, despite the rowing club potentially experiencing significant impact from this development.