24th August 2015
Warwick Regatta, 22nd August
11th August 2015
Stourport Regatta, Sunday 9th August
Thirteen Upton crews raced at Stourport on Sunday, which must be a new club record, and two more would have done so but for the lack of opposition – the women’s Mas E quad and coxless pair. In their absence, Jo and Linda raced only in the WMas C/D double scull. They had a straight final against Trentham, where they rowed strongly and held off the younger crew all the way down the course to notch up another excellent win.
Sally and Debbie had a busier day, contesting two events. In WMas A/B double sculls they were drawn against Liverpool Victoria, and this proved to be a close race in every sense of the word. The Upton boat led for most of the way, but Liverpool put in a late surge and we had to wait for the finishing judge’s decision – Upton, by two feet! In the final they raced a crew from Bewdley whom they had beaten two weeks earlier, but this developed into another ding-dong battle and the crews came to the finishing line almost level. As before, the finishing judge had to separate the crews and announced a margin of only two feet, but this time to Bewdley. In the IM3 event, however, Sally and Debbie had a convincing victory over a Welsh crew from Cardiff Vale, winning by a clear margin.
Jules and Tabs started out with two very impressive wins in the Mixed MasD double sculls, first against Bridgnorth and then against Stourport. In the final, though, they met a very impressive double from Bradford on Avon and were unable to get ahead of them, eventually losing after a very hard-fought race by just over a length. This was not the best preparation for Jules’s singles final, where he once again met the National champion in MasE single sculls, Duncan Gwilliam from Stourport, whom he had beaten at Henley last month. Gwilliam had the early lead this time, but Jules put in a great charge to the line and just missed out on the victory by a mere four feet.
In the men’s events, the quad of Maurice, Stuart, Keith and Jon which had won at Llandaff and Bewdley found themselves in a MasC/E event against a local Stourport crew. However, they had to give their opponents a handicap start of 7 seconds, and never really managed to get into the race. Upton also contested the MasC coxed fours event with a crew of Matt, Adam, Steven and Jon, with a substitute cox of Keith (who was undoubtedly by far the biggest cox of the regatta!). This was a close race, with the crews overlapping for the whole distance, but their opponents from Derwent held on to win by half a length .
Upton also entered four men’s double scull crews. In Masters F, Andrew and Jeremy raced against a Derby/Derwent composite crew, but although they remained in contact throughout the race they eventually lost by two lengths. Andrew had a similar result in the Masters F single sculls event against the Derwent member of the same crew. In Masters D/E double sculls, Keith and Matt had to concede a handicap to the older crew from Loughborough and never managed to close the gap. Two Upton crews raced in Masters C double sculls, and both produced very close races. Maurice and Stuart raced another crew from Loughborough, and the two were neck and neck for much of the race; Upton took a narrow lead as they approached the finish but then faltered in the last few strokes and lost by a narrow margin. In their heat, Steve and Adam initially fell behind against Worcester but closed on them rapidly as they approached the finish. However in the final surge for the line they lost control of their steering and crossed into their opponents’ water, resulting in a collision and disqualification for the Upton crew .
So another day of mixed fortunes but with plenty of good racing experience for all the crews, and now it’s on to Gloucester and Ross regattas at the end of the month.
3rd August 2015
Bewdley Regatta (Sunday 26th July)
As they had at Llandaff two weeks earlier, Upton crews battled dreadful weather conditions on Sunday at Bewdley regatta, but managed to win four of the events they had entered. Ironically, although the rain fell incessantly from the sky there wasn’t much water in the river, which was extremely shallow and affected the outcome of several races.
The men’s quad of Maurice, Stuart, Keith and Jon were seeking to repeat their victory from Llandaff in the Masters B/C event. In their first race against Trafford (from Sale) they established a healthy lead early on but ran into difficulties in the shallow water, which allowed their opponents to close on them. However, once they got going again they reassumed control of the race and held on to win by over a length . In the final they put on a fine display of powerful rowing to move smoothly away and record a decisive win over Stourport .
The women’s quad of Linda, Jo, Liz and Maggie were in the equivalent women’s Masters B/C event, where they met another crew from Trafford in a straight final. This looked like a tall order, because our crew is in fact Masters E but the organisers were prepared to give them only the handicap appropriate for a Masters C crew against the Masters B crew from Trafford – who were more than 20 years younger. But Upton rowed powerfully and held them off all the way down the course, winning the event by over a length.
This crew also raced in a pair and a double, and each of them met a crew from Loughborough in a straight final. In the pairs event, Liz and Maggie were again given less of a handicap than their age-group deserved, but lost by only a length or so. With the proper handicap they would have been very close to winning the event.
Debbie and Sally, fresh from their novice win at Llandaff, had entered both the IM3 and Masters B double sculls events. In the first of these they were drawn against a crew from Abingdon and took control of the race early on but then hit a submerged rock with one of their blades which brought them to a halt. Although they got going again they couldn’t quite close the gap and lost by half a length.
Andrew entered the Masters F single sculls event and started with a good win over a Stourport sculler who had beaten him at Evesham on their only previous encounter.
He then met a Ross sculler who had beaten him at Llandaff by two lengths. This time it was much closer, but the Ross sculler held on to win by half a length. He also raced in a Masters F double with Jeremy in near-monsoon conditions but they lost to a crew from Bewdley.
We had two crews making their debut in novice double sculls events. In the men’s event, Adam and Nick struggled with the conditions and lost to a crew from City of Oxford. In the women’s event, Katie and Becky took the lead early on against Avon County but lost it when they again ran into difficulties in shallow water and ended up losing by about two lengths. But both crews will have benefited from the racing experience and will achieve success in the future.
Finally, Upton entered the Masters C eights event, with Stuart, Nick, Chris, Adam, Maurice, Keith, Steve and Jon, with Debbie in the cox’s seat. This was the club’s first regatta appearance in an eight for some years, and the complete crew had its first outing only the previous day, so expectations were not high! The crew was left off the start by a powerful and experienced Bewdley eight, and lost by 2 1/2 lengths, but they had a good row and may return to this boat category more seriously in the future.
So a successful day overall, with some near misses and frustrations to go with four excellent victories. The next regatta targeted is Stourport on 9 August. It surely can’t pour with rain all day again, can it?
17th July 2015
Upton RC Article in the Malvern Gazette
Follow this link to read the article in the Malvern Gazette regarding our recent competition successes.
Recreational Rowing – Update from Ian Mackie
Evesham to Upton row via Tewkesbury – 4/5th July 2015.
Participants: Peter Barker, Sandy Barker, Terry Mason, Pauline Mason, Patrick Adams, Duncan Jardine, Sheila Adamson, Sandra Bristow, Paula Corlett, Andrew Spencer, Sarah Spencer.
This proved to be a successful event and we were fortunate that the weather was very good. Two recreational boats, one sweep and one sculling, (including two of URC’s affiliate American rowers Andrew and Sarah Spencer from Hereford RC), set off from Evesham at 10.00 am on Saturday.
In the afternoon we rowed to Eckington, arriving at about 18.00 where we moored and stored the boats in a field (15.5 km and 3 locks). The crews walked into Eckington village where we enjoyed a good meal at the Bell. We all drove home afterwards.
On Sunday, Terry and Sheila swapped roles. We reassembled at Upton and drove back to Eckington, where the boats set off at 9.45, reaching Tewkesbury lock by 11.30 (9 km and 1 lock). From Tewkesbury we joined the Severn, and, after a brief stop at AB Severn at the Mythe, we carried on to Upton arriving about 1.30 pm (10 km no locks). This was a 50 km row approximately.
We left for Scotland on 22nd May. I crewed for John Westoby (the boat owner) with Nick Meyer in a Swallow Bay Raider 20. We entered a series of 10 races sailing and rowing over 7 days.
We visited Loch Linnie at Fort William, Loch Lochy, Loch Oick and Loch Ness, linked by the Caledonian canal to the last day on the Moray Firth at Inverness. Rowing races were held on the canal stretches. There was snow still on the mountain tops and the wind at the east end of Loch Ness was Force 5 to gusting 6.
The even was attended by crews from throughout UK, Italy, France, Holland and Sweden all entered. In our class of 5 boats we were second.
14th July 2015
Llandaff Regatta (Sprint 500m)
Debbie & Sally had good rows in their novice 2x, winning early rounds by 2-3 lengths. The finals competition looked very good as well but not good enough, and Upton won by 3 lengths. Unfortunately their MasB crew scratched on the day. Toby also looked good in novice 1x and won the early rounds by similar or better distances. His final was quite tight, just losing out in the latter stages and crossed the line just over 1 length behind a very capable sculler.
John & Keith in MasC2x had a great start but then had a steering issue/nightmare. Checking the vegetation is one thing, but it is normally done on your own side of the river. DSQ.
Stuart and Maurice novice 2x got off to a bad start when we met the competition – both well over 6′ and younger than us. It got worse after we boated and found we (ok I) had put the wrong seats in Montel and the seats would not go past the ribs so could not get anywhere close to front stops. We moved our foot plates as far as they could which allowed us to get full strokes in, but no time to practice a start. We had a solid start and they seemed to head towards the far bank so from early on we got a 1/2 length lead. We tried to get the boat running and slowly edged away. I took Ron’s recommended racing line, rowing along the buoys at the pontoons, fortunately no collisions. Upton win by ~ 3 lengths.
The Mas C quad (Jon, Keith, Stuart and Maurice) opposition was a pain as they had a v busy crew member umpiring, racing etc so would not commit to a time to race. In the end Jon talked to his Bewdley doubles opposition in the bar and one volunteered to sit in the Swansea boat. Swansea were happy but put him in bow (steering the quad). We boated early and had chance for a practice start. In the race, again we had a solid start and transition into stride, not the tidiest but OK and starting to take a lead. I could see Bewdley heading for the boats coming up so just concentrated on staying in the middle and trying to keep the boat running. Upton win by ~ 3.5 lengths.
Andrew had a good row in his Mas F single but had a couple of duff strokes at the start and so was never in a position to challenge the Ross guy, but stayed pretty close through to the finish, losing by ~ 2 lengths.
Jo & Linda’s early round WIM3 doubles opposition scratched so they had a late straight final. They seemed to have a good row despite the age difference – opposition were Avon county J18s who had been at Henley trials recently. Unfortunately Upton were out–powered and lost by 1.5 lengths but a very creditable performance.
Horrible weather, alternating between heavy drizzle and rain all day. Fortunately wind was not too bad.
Henley Masters July 2015 (1000m upstream)
A win for Julian in Masters E 1x, beating the Stourport rower who won MasE 1x at Nottingham, Hollowell and Molesey in the final, the winning by several lengths. Upton’s second Henley Gold Medal!
Julian was also in a composite Upton/London Boat Club MasD 8+ which beat Maidenhead and Nottingham but lost the final to Molesey by ¾ length.
15th June 2015
British Masters – Nottingham 2015
We had eight people racing at the British Masters Championships in Nottingham this weekend (horrible weather again – the BBC apparently reported that Nottingham was the wettest place in the country on Saturday) but our team all did very well – here are the highlights.
Debbie and Sally were drawn in an outside lane a six boat final in the Masters B Novice 2x final. At the halfway mark, a crew from Falcon RC (from Oxford) had the lead but our crew were well up in second place, with the remaining four crews dropping back. As the race progressed, the leader’s gap got smaller and smaller and the crews were almost level with ten strokes to go (left). In the end, Falcon’s closing burst proved enough to give them the verdict by just 0.25 of a second, but Upton came away with a very well-earned silver medal (right).
Our women’s quad was also on the wrong end of a 0.25 second verdict, in failing to make the final by that margin in an ‘Elimination race’ (left), which shows a blanket finish for the contending crews.
Jo and Linda also raced in Mas E 2x, in both the Championship and Intermediate events. In the first of these, they had a very tough semi final, being drawn with last year’s gold and bronze medallists as well as two doubles from Tideway Scullers, and with only three to qualify for the final. But they really rose to the occasion and qualified in third place, eliminating one of the Tideway Scullers crews and the 2014 bronze medalists from Christchurch (right). In the final they rowed to a very creditable fourth place, beating the second and third placed crews from the other semi, but missing out on the bronze medal. In the Intermediate event they had a straight final of six crews and again finished fourth – frustratingly just out of the medals once again. But this was nonetheless a big step on from last year, and they are clearly on an upward trend.
Maggie and Liz raced in a handicap Mas D/E 2- event in a field of just four crews. As the only Mas E crew, they were given the handicap start and held the lead until the closing stages but were unable to hold off two of the younger crews and finished third (left). And under the rules of the event, because there were less than six crews no bronze medal was awarded in this case. However they also rowed in a composite women’s eight (Upton/Grosvenor/Norwich/Northwich) which did win a bronze medal (right, Liz at bow, Maggie at six), and Maggie also won a silver medal rowing for Birmingham in MasF 2x.
Jules and Tabs raced in Mixed Mas D 2x, the event which they had won at Nottingham a month ago. However, this time they found the opposition a bit fiercer. Their main competition was City of Oxford, whom they had beaten into second place the last time, but on this occasion the Oxford crew won by about a length, and Upton were also pipped on the line for silver by a fast-finishing crew from Abingdon (left) and were left with the bronze medal (right). But Jules finished off his regatta with a gold medal in Mas D eights, rowing for London Rowing Club in the very quick time of 3.03 for the 1000 metre course. (left.)
So although there were some disappointments, we had a lot to celebrate in Nottingham: all but one of our crews achieved a top four placing in their various events. We should build on that for the future, and we’ll aim to take a bigger team to Nottingham next year with that in mind.
26th May 2015
Reports from Ron on the URC entries at Nottingham Masters and Monmouth Regattas:
The crews who raced at Nottingham had to cope with very challenging conditions. There was a strong and blustery cross/headwind which also made the water very lumpy, particularly in the lower-numbered lanes which was usually where our crews were drawn. These conditions eventually caused the organisers to cancel racing altogether for some of the junior crews.
Upton recorded one victory – Jules and Tabs won the Mixed Mas D 2x. A strong City of Oxford crew led the field from the start, but Jules and Tabs caught them by the half way mark then pulled gradually away for the remainder of the race to win by a length (Photo Left). Jules also came close in the Mas E 1x, where his main rival was Gwilliam of Stourport, who is the reigning British champion in this category. With Gwilliam in lane 6 and Jules in lane 2 this was always going to be a tall order. In the end, Gwilliam held on by about a length (Photo Right), with all the other scullers trailing at least 100 metres behind.
The women’s Mas E 4x of Linda, Liz, Jo and Maggie also found themselves in lane 2 but battled well into the wind and maintained contact throughout the race (Photo Right) – they lost out in the closing stages but still finished ahead of a Norwich crew in lane 5.
Andrew and Jeremy (lane 2 – need you ask?) had a similar fate in Mas F 2x (Photo Below Right)
Debbie and Sally were one of the few Upton crews not to be in lane 2 (hooray!). Unfortunately they were in lane 1 (even worse – boo!), but they still managed to finish second in a field of three (Photo Below Left).
So a tough day for everyone, and I only spotted one group who didn’t seem bothered by the weather (Photo Below Right). But it was a good rehearsal for the British Masters Championships on the same course next month, and let’s hope the wind has died down by then.
We had an excellent day today by nipping over the border to Monmouth. Here are the highlights:
Andrew had entered for Masters F/G single sculls. He was drawn against a Masters G sculler from Bewdley who had a six second start to take account of the age differential. This produced one of the tightest races of the regatta, but Andrew hunted him down all the way down the course and came through in the last few strokes to win by 1/3 of a length. This took him to the semifinal where he met a sculler from Staines, but before the race started his opponent apparently sustained a muscle injury and withdrew from the race. In the final he raced against a very classy sculler from Molesey who had won the equivalent event the previous day, and Andrew was unable to match the Molesey sculler’s pace. But overall this was a very good performance in what was only his second ever regatta in a single scull.
Our women’s quad of Linda, Liz, Jo and Maggie was drawn against a composite Welsh crew from Llandaff and City of Swansea in a straight final of the Masters D/E 4x event. As the older crew this time Upton had a 5 second start, but the younger Welsh composite were unable to make any inroads into this margin and our quad rowed away to a decisive victory. The only threat to their win was a malfunctioning rudder which meant they had to steer with their oars, but they still managed to extend their lead in the closing stages while exerting minimal pressure with their right hand blades in order to stay on line for the finish.
Our third entry was in Masters E 2x where Jo and Linda again had a straight final, this time against a different Llandaff crew. As they had done in the quad, they took control of the race from the start and drew steadily away all down the course to a clear victory.
3rd May 2015
A report from Ron on the URC entries at Evesham Regatta:
We had six Upton entries at Evesham Regatta today. Our only winner was Jack Gibson, who won the Junior 18 single sculls . Jack was also the runner up in the same event on Saturday over a longer course. In addition:
• Jo and Linda were unable to find any Masters opposition so had to enter the Intermediate 3 2x event. They lost by about two lengths to the eventual winners from City of Oxford, who were at least 35 years younger than them!
• Sally and Debbie had the same problem (no Masters opposition) and also lost to the same City of Oxford crew.
A useful pipe-opener to the season even if we didn’t come away with much in the way of victories this time.
5th Dec 2014
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 …
A Grand Day Out in London
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 my two chief rivals, Frank Raschke, was starting three ahead, so a cursory nod of the head to Frank then back to focusing on what was going to have to happen in the next 25 minutes for me to realize my intentions of winning. At this point I must thank Ron for the message he sent out on Friday detailing the areas where the head wind would be at its worse and laying out a great race plan to follow.
My race starts well pushing hard at 32’s for a minute then settling at 30’s for the next 3 minutes. Approaching Barnes Bridge I’m caught by no 37 (young whippersnapper from Westminster), have to give way and get pushed wide on the bend, tuck back in behind him but go too far over to the opposite side. Get it together by the Bandstand then start to think about just sculling clean, relaxing and letting the boat run out (first, second and third rule of the Ron!)
By St Pauls I’m level with no34 and no35 and push on hard to break away and clear Hammersmith Bridge ahead then squeeze away from them towards the mile post. Steering at this point is bang on (compared to previous attempts). I ask for more of myself – win it here, last 4 minutes, there’ll be seconds in it, trust the legs, breathe and sit tall -stay clean and sharp. Barn Elms approaching fast, take a look- yes straight for the Black buoy and then the finish, 2 minutes left. Now time to let rip, I start to jack the rate up over five strokes to 34 passing Vesta , no mistakes, keep it clean but push again, must find more. London RC is coming soon, look & sense finish line, go ape for ten and finish.
First thought always is “was that enough”, see Tabs and get the thumbs up. Find out later on, from the Provisional set of results, that it wasn’t enough missing out by 3.5 seconds. I felt great disappointment to have missed out, left with the feeling of being “owned” for another year. Later on I began to analyse my time comparing it with those of no’s 34, 35 and 38 and I felt something wasn’t quite right. Having overtaken them both and finishing well ahead I was only attributed 7 seconds over no35, my thoughts were it should have been at least 15 seconds.
Then, Monday morning 8.30, receive a text from my great mate Mark who won Masters E saying “you really ¬¬need to see the results”. Tabs opened up the web page to see a revised set of times, and there it was, Upton RC winner Mas D, YYYYEEESSSSSSS!
I have, however, still spent these last days in a state of flux waiting for the various updated versions to come and go, so I am relieved to be able to send this report now as the final times have been published. I would again like to thank Ron for the coaching and video clips, those two outings together helped me greatly, making the slight tweaks to my set up, and your 3 step mantra helped cut a clear hole through my fog. In previous years I have won this event, but not when I was a member of any club. I was boating from a school boat house in Tewkesbury and training completely on my own. Being a part of Upton RC has helped me immeasurably over this year. This was by far and away my best performance to date, finishing just over 1 minute behind the overall winner is something rather special to me. I put a lot of that down to being in a “happy space”.
Thank you all for your support and interest. Next challenge will be to find a suitable outfit for the big one – Upton Xmas Head!
24th Nov 2014
|Crew||Boat||Time||Basic Ranking||Adjusted time||Adjusted ranking|
|Helen & Wendy||wE2x-||00:22:23||11||00:17:17||7|
|Andrew & Jeremy||f2x||00:19:33||5||00:16:15||5|
|Julian & Tabitha||Mx D2x||00:16:44||1||00:13:45||1|
Many thanks to Misar and the timekeepers.
19th Sept 2014
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!
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 to Ross Vets and Juniors with events for both the quad and the double.
First on was the quad. Ron’s coaching focus since Llandaff had been on the crew achieving one catch – rather than eight. Progress must have been made as the Evesham Vet D quad was beaten by a number of lengths before the Evesham Vet C youngsters were taken on in the final. The stagger at Ross always comes as a surprise and it required a good build (by bow, two and three – eventually followed by Stroke) to get over the finish line to win by half a length.
The pair got through to the final but missed out on their normal cracking racing start and trailed after the first half minute. Having gained on the opposition throughout the race, and with around twenty strokes to go, they made a final desperate push for the finish, crossing the line half a length behind their opposition. For those who believe that bad luck comes in threes, seconds after crossing the finish line their boat was struck by the blade of a single scull which was being rowed back towards the embarkation point. Although shaken it was fortunate that no one sustained any injury but the boat was damaged and is now awaiting repair.
It has been an eventful season with so much learned from one another and from Ron. We have felt encouraged and supported by everyone at the club – so a big thank you to all.
For any “Learn to Row” graduates you may like to know that Linda and Jo were complete beginners not so long ago and only took up sculling in 2012 – so keep training!!
15th Sept 2014
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.
Back 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 motor launches and we had drawn the middle of the river. Three strokes in Jules missed the water on bow side due to a large wave, the boat tipped to stroke side and I crabbed my next stroke. We came to a halt and Bewl Bridge took full advantage pulling at least a length ahead. We got going again and by The Barn we had come through them taking a length, thinking “job done”! However, they did not give up and came back at us in the second half stroke by stroke. It was a nail-biting finish with neither crew knowing who had won, but the result was Upton by a canvas.
There was then a long 5 hour wait to the final. It was very hot and we spent much of the time seeking shade and drinking water. Due to the heat and nervous tension, we decided not to do our usual warm up routine in the boat but then had to wait on the start for at least 15 minutes for an Umpires launch. On the first stroke I felt a muscle pull in my lower back down my left side. I tried to ignore it but my next few strokes were painful and difficult. I lightened off and focused on my technique. It was even bumpier than earlier and the last thing I wanted was to crab and stop the boat as I knew we would not come back from that again. We had about a length on our opponents, a composite crew from Tideways Scullers School. I did as much as I could, and no more, to keep that distance. Jules, meanwhile, was pulling his heart out unable to understand why we were not demolishing the other crew (on paper we had 12 seconds advantage over them comparing our semi-final times). We maintained our lead comfortably and crossed the line ahead – verdict a win to Upton by one length!
Jules rowed us to the landing stage by Upper Thames RC where we received our medals, sportingly applauded by our opponents. I crawled from the boat, drank lots of tea and took a moment to reflect on a dream result – my first major win ever and also a first win for Jules in a double at Henley on his 4th attempt!
We would like to thank everyone at Upton for supporting us. It is great to be part of a club set-up again and it definitely inspired us at Henley as we did not want to let the club down.
5th Sept 2014
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 with some trepidation Sheila and Judi joined the crew of one of the Solent galleys.
Under brooding skies I set off in the last boat with three Weybridge Ladies and Ruth. While waiting to enter Diglis Lock they were excited to see our first non-cygnine wildlife, a young cormorant, soon followed by a kingfisher. After locking down we set off on the day’s main stretch to Upton into a gusty headwind. As the Severn meandered southwards the conditions alternated between rippled and choppy waters but our scratch crew coped well in our fine quad. A quick burst of light rain added to the sense of endeavour. The rain didn’t return and we set a steady pace with short bursts of firm pressure to keep warm and almost caught the group of slower boats ahead who had locked down well before us.
At Upton Marina everyone moored or hauled their boats out to be welcomed by the Mayor of Upton, Cllr Pete Webb, and Upton RC Captain, Steve Cox. They then enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Wheelhouse. The Solent galley crews were relieved to find that beer was available after the lack of riverside pubs since Worcester. It wasn’t long before the crews were keen to get back on the water, including Sheila and Judi who had decided that fixed seat rowing was easier than they had expected, though hard on the arms, and Solent galleys were great boats. After lunch I handed my seat over to Andrew and re-joined the Tour Makers.
After about an hour of rowing, the tourers reached Mythe Bridge where they were treated to tea and a mountain of cakes by AB Severn RC. Another short row took them to Upper Lode lock where they were able to lock down in three groups. A wider more exposed stretch of choppy water greeted them as they approached the end of the leg at Lower Lode, Tewkesbury. The boats were hauled out for the night at Cheltenham College BC and the coaches returned them to Puckrup for dinner with the mayor of Tewkesbury, Mike Dean, and his wife.
On a cloudy but dry Saturday morning the tourers returned to Lower Lode. The wide concrete ramp at Cheltenham College BC made launching straightforward and a steady stream of boats headed off around the bend to Deerhurst, Apperley and Wainlode.
The Tour Makers headed to the East Channel outside Gloucester Lock to rig ropes for holding boats in the strong tidal stream expected around high tide. After a long delay from the MV Edward Elgar monopolising the East Channel and causing northbound narrow boats and cruisers to queue for Gloucester Lock, the tour was finally given clearance to row down to the lock. As they arrived and grabbed onto the throw ropes, there were some concerned conversations. “Was that a plastic bag we just passed or a body floating in the river?” “I thought it was a body.” The message was passed to the leading MISAR safety launch and they took off to investigate. They soon returned with a confused soul who had decided it was a good idea to go for a swim in the river. MISAR handed her over to the police and the care of the ambulance service.
The second batch of boats was shepherded through the lock and into Gloucester Docks where there was a scramble for the last remaining moorings and a rush for the toilets after the long delay. At the lunch provided by the Waterways Museum, the mayor of Gloucester, Deb Llewellyn, welcomed the tour to her city alongside her rower daughter and the captain of Gloucester RC, Jon Garner.
The tourers made a whistle-stop sightseeing tour of Gloucester Docks before returning to their boats. After little more than a mile of rowing the tourers reached Hempstead Meadows, where ground has just been broken on the site of Gloucester RC’s new clubhouse, and hauled their boats out for the night.
On returning to Puckrup, the tourers swapped their Lycra and sun hats for blazers and dresses ready for drinks before the gala dinner in the ballroom. After dinner a series of speakers talked about touring past and present and speculated about the future.
Sunday morning started with broken cloud and blue skies but instead of clouding over like most days for the last month it cleared to a glorious warm sunny day. The touring rowers were bussed to Hempstead Meadows to start the final leg down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. There they were joined by day rowers from Bewdley, Ross and their hosts Gloucester.
Earlier in the week the Tour Makers had been to the tour finish at Purton to trim back the brambles from the canal edge and extend the small landing stage with a floating pontoon. On Sunday a large working party returned to Purton to direct trailer parking and to pitch two borrowed scout tents to shelter (or as it turned out to shade) the lunch. The non-rowing tourers arrived having walked the towpath from Slimbridge and lunch arrived on schedule so everything was set for the arrival of the rowers.
The shore party stood by Purton Bridge staring up the reach eager for the first sight of oars. After a few false alarms from narrow boats the first rower appeared around the last corner, a single sculler from Gloucester RC who had been determined to keep a Bewdley women’s eight behind him all the way. It wasn’t long before more boats arrived. They had helpfully become strung out due to stops along the way, meaning that there was very little queuing for the short landing stage. All the larger boats were hauled out bow first, due to an awkward 90 degree turn into the car park, and carried to the trailer field opposite. Many locals and day trippers looked on in fascination as the assortment of 28 boats were recovered from the water.
The tourers de-rigged and loaded their boats before tucking into a classy picnic lunch served from an old fashioned canvas and wood tent that seemed to be in character for such an event. Circles of rowers sat cross-legged in the sunshine reflecting on the tour. The consensus appeared to be that this was the biggest and best organised tour yet. There were many happy waves from departing crews. The Tour Makers struck the tents and tidied the field before enjoying a well-earned cup of tea from Purton Church. They returned home weary but glowing with the satisfaction of a job well done.
The tour was featured in the Worcester Evening News – a link to their article can be found here.
Upton RC Tour to Wirral 30th May – 1st June
Seven club members got off to a wretched start thanks to heavy traffic on both M5 and M6 and it was nearly 7.00 pm before we arrived at our hotel in Greasby. Treasurer of Liverpool Victoria RC had kindly asked us to a meal on Friday night. Outside their house Pauline stumbled on uneven pavement and fractured her femur close to the hip. Full ceramic hip replacement operation on Monday morning with Terry on bedside duty. Amazingly they were both back home on Wednesday.
Saturday morning was “free time”. Found we were on a convenient bus route so being such a vibrant young club bus passes to the fore. Joined the tourists and crossed the ”Ferry to the Mersey” though none of us could remember the words. Walked round the rejuvenated docks and admired the Liver Birds before taking the bus back through the tunnel and enjoy a chat with the very friendly locals.
Off to Grosvenor RC in the afternoon using park and ride in Chester. 1800s black and white Boat House on banks of Welsh Dee. As we were down two rowers, LV produced three sit-ins to make up an 8 with our club contact Heather Parry coxing. Rowing upstream was like rowing on the Thames at Marlow with very expensive real estate lining the banks.
On Sunday morning we were off to Liverpool Victoria RC in dockland at Wallasey. We were all envious of their boathouse on two floors with gym, showers and bar, all above a spacious boat store stuffed with boats.
The club is restricted to rowing on about a mile of dock with moored freighters and warships alongside. Our 8, again crewed by pressed volunteers from LV, was coxed by Greer who with her renowned vocal cords declined the use of a cox box. Peter at stroke has been suffering with ear drum problems ever since! Structured row with a very vibrant Club. With one less car we were very grateful to Sheila for whisking us home in her well packed Jag.
29th May 2014
Crocodile Spotted in the River Severn
On Wednesday night Matt and Maurice in their 2x became beached on the only bit of debris in the river. The huge tree-trunk was drifting downstream, barely visible and at 90 degrees to their direction of travel. The bow section of their boat went over the trunk and lodged.
They were discovered by an Upton 4+ on a club row, drifting sedately down the river with the tree trunk, unable to re-float. After great efforts the 4+ cox Ian Mackie was able to push the bow clear and both crews went on their way – the 2x being undamaged. The picture shows Maurice helping Ian move the tree just prior to release.
20th May 2014
British Masters Report
At least two records were broken at the British Masters Championships at Nottingham on Sunday 18 May. With around 750 crews taking part, the organisers believe that this was the biggest one-day regatta ever held in this country. And seven of these crews came from Upton, which must surely be a record for our club as well.
The steady increase in the popularity of this event in recent years has been matched by a rise in the quality of the crews taking part, and medals are harder than ever to come by. Veteran rowing in Britain has become highly competitive, and all of our crews found the pace pretty hot. But even though we didn’t bring home any prizes, it was a very enjoyable day out for all the Upton rowers who took part, and an excellent way to kick off the season before we turn to local regattas.
All of our women’s crews ended up having to row in Championship (i.e. elite) events, in which the pace was even hotter. First up were Debbie and Sally in Mas A coxless pairs; since Mas A starts at the tender age of 27, this is really an elite event and the crews at the front soon opened up a big gap. The main consolation is that next year our crew will be in Mas B!
The women’s quad of Liz, Linda, Jo and Maggie came next. Having only six sculling points between them they had entered the IM3 event, but a rule change made by the organisers this year made them ineligible; this was because Maggie held four of these six points and was thereby not entitled to race in IM3 in this regatta. So up to the Championship Mas E/F event they had to go, where their opposition included the gold medallists from last year, from Tyne United. And to add insult to injury, Tyne United were to be given a 10 second start by virtue of being Mas F compared to our crew’s Mas E! After an interminable delay at the start caused by a very strong cross-headwind, the race got under way. The Upton crew rowed extremely well but couldn’t quite match the pace of the winners – with 200 metres to go they were holding on to third place, but lost it by under a second to Mortlake Anglian and they finished only 7 seconds behind Tyne United, who had defended their 10 second start by just enough to take the gold medal again.
Our quad then split up and rowed in two other events – Mas E double sculls and Mas E coxless pairs, and again these were both Championship events; this time Jo and Linda had legitimately entered the IM3 event, only to find that the organisers then elected to combine the two events so that they had to race against the top crews anyway. They didn’t help their cause by a disastrous start in which they stopped for several seconds under the mistaken belief that the starter had called them back, by which time all the other crews were heading over the horizon. After they finally got going they managed to row very well, but found themselves chasing a lost cause. Liz and Maggie also had a good row, but were outgunned by two much bigger crews.
Julian and Tabitha made their debut in Upton colours in Mixed Mas D double sculls – another Championship event. This again proved to have attracted a highly competitive field in which they finished fifth, although only a length or so away from the bronze medal.
Our remaining two crews had Andrew and Jeremy in a MasE IM3 double scull and Maurice, Duncan, Dan and Matt in a MasC Novice quad, and both performed creditably. In the double sculls event, Derby showed a turn of speed that belied their status and left the remaining three crews well behind. In the end, Andrew and Jeremy had to settle for fourth place, but they were in close contention with these other two crews throughout the race. This was their first competitive appearance in a double, and they should be able to achieve better results in the future. The quad managed to come second in a three-boat race, ahead of Newark but behind Norwich, who took first place. Since they had had their first outing together for several weeks only the night before the race (after suffering from various work-related absences in the last month), this was quite encouraging, and with more time together this crew should have much more potential.
We clearly have some way to go to match the standard of the top crews at this event. However, it’s still a great event to go to and be part of, and we can only benefit from the competitive experience of testing ourselves against the best Masters crews from all over the country. Let’s see if we can break our new seven-crew entry record again when we go next year!
Jazz Festival Volunteers
Deirde Thompson is looking for volunteers to sell tickets during this years Upton Jazz Festival. Ticket selling is done in three hour shifts throughout the festival weekend, starting on Thursday 26th June, through to Sunday 29th June. Some slots have been filled but a few more volunteers are needed. Ticket sellers get a free weekend ticket and the slots are usually filled by a pair of people. If anyone can help would they please contact Deirde at email@example.com
8th May 2014
Learn2Row – 2014
L2R sessions are now being run by Lynne Stirling on Wednesdays at 18:30, with additional outings on both Monday and Tuesday evenings (also at 18:30). Lynne would appreciate any help from club members who could be available at these times and sit in with beginners to make up crews. Please get in touch with Lynne (or just turn up) if you can help.
7th May 2014
Club Rowing – Wednesday
With effect from May 7th, Club Rowing will now start at 6:30pm.
Debbie Thompson – Sponsored Trek
A message from Debbie:
I and two colleagues are trekking 50 miles across the Pennines in under 24 hours in June. We are doing it for a charity called MedEquip4Kid. The JustGiving link is: http://www.justgiving.com/MCCTrek50
Here is a little bit about them: http://www.medequip4kids.org.uk/
MedEquip4Kids works with medical staff, community nurses and other registered charities to provide equipment and improve facilities in hospitals. Our policy is to fund items known to improve the care provided to children, but not readily available within the NHS’ limited budgets.
Increasingly, the larger hospitals employ fundraisers to secure extra funds the NHS cannot provide, but smaller hospitals and community teams do not have access to a fundraising officer. It is common to find nurses and paramedics fundraising in their spare time and during their working day.
MedEquip4Kids believe these staff should be focusing on caring for children and the charity’s aim is to fundraise on their behalf. The money raised is spent directly on the items they request and no money is passed on to any third party.
Patrick and Ros Adams – Bicycle Tour
Since Patrick retired in March, he and Ros and their two dogs have been touring europe on their tandem bicycle (with trailer for the dogs!). Ros has posted a blog entry now they have arrived in Greece.
Evesham Regatta Report – Ron Paterson
Jo and Linda made their first appearance of the season in a Masters double sculls event at Evesham Sprint regatta on Sunday 4 May. They were drawn against a much younger crew who had come all the way from Carlow RC in Ireland, and were given a handicap start to reflect the difference in the age groups. Unfortunately, they had a rather sluggish first half of the race – this allowed the Irish crew to catch them very rapidly and take the lead before the halfway mark – but after that they found a good rhythm and pushed Carlow all the way to the line, losing in the end by just half a length. Carlow were actually a pretty impressive crew and went on to win the event easily, beating an Evesham crew by some distance in the final. So Jo and Linda were left pondering what might have been if they had managed to get into the race more effectively from the beginning. All good experience for the future, however!
British Rowing Tour 2014 – River Severn
In 2014 Upton RC are delighted to be hosting the 21st British Rowing Tour. The tour will pass through to Upton on it’s journey along the River Severn, starting at Worcester and completing at the southern end of the Sharpness Canal near Gloucester, a distance of 70.5 km. The tour takes place from 28th to 31st August 2014.
Learn2Row – 2014
The club is looking for volunteers to assist the coaches with this years’ Learn2Row programme. The sessions will start in April and will be run alongside Club Rowing sessions on Wednesday evening and Saturday and Sunday mornings. Will those willing to help please contact Steve Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder – URC Supper and Quiz Night
Supper and Quiz Night on 29th March. The closing date for replies is Friday, 21st March. If you would like to attend, please let Pauline me know at: email@example.com.
Saturday 29th March 2014
Supper and Quiz Night
Ye Olde Anchor Inn, Upton-upon-Severn
Please choose one of the following
Homemade 100% beef Lasagne
Mascarpone & Pancetta Bacon Penne Pasta
Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagne
Breaded Chicken Fillets with Chips
Steak & Kidney Shortcrust Pie
Wholetail Scampi, Chips & Peas
Supper followed by a fun quiz !
Teams of up to 4 players
(You can pick your team before or on the evening!)
March 16th 2014
The last mini-head of the winter was held on 16th March Dec with 6 boats participating. The conditions were pretty much perfect, the sun shone and it hit about 17deg C. Whichever method of timekeeping we use, it seems our new friends in the double blitzed us all.
|Crew||Boat||Time||Basic Ranking||Boat||Sex||Age||Adjusted Time||Adjusted Ranking|
January 13th 2014
Upton RC Mini-Head Sun Jan 12th
Due to the continuing poor river conditions the mini-head scheduled for January was cancelled. Instead a 12,500m ergo challenge was held in the boatshed with the following results:
- Sally, Judi, John, Maurice, Wendy 49.53 secs
- Trish, Deirdre, Dan, Ian, Matt 51.14 secs
- Jo, Debbie, Linda, Helen, Duncan 52.32 secs
…..and Keith the Seal decided to put in an appearance at Upton Marina this weekend !
December 16th 2013
Upton RC Mini-Head Sun Dec 15th
A mini-head was held on 15th Dec with 11 boats participating (surely a record ?). It was an eventful morning with some sections of the river resembling the Bay of Biscay and some interesting steering challenges !
The results are as follows, with Johnny Birks’ quad being the fastest boat on the day, but with Sally and Debbie in the pair winning overall using the handicap adjusted times.
|Crew||Boat||Time||Basic Ranking||Boat||Sex||Age||Adjusted Time||Adjusted Ranking|
Committee Meeting Minutes Nov 2013
The minutes of the November URC Committee Meeting can be found here
Reminder – Facebook & Twitter
There are now both Facebook and Twitter accounts for Upton RC and I would encourage as many people as possible to use these as it will help with our club communications. Just click on the logos at the top of this page and it will take you to each site where you can either join the Facebook group or follow Upton RC on Twitter.
If you don’t yet use Facebook or Twitter, then now is your chance !
November 25th 2013
*Now Live* – New URC website, Facebook and Twitter Pages
In our ongoing efforts to drag UptonRC into the 21st century, today we launch the new website that now includes the vast majority of information available about Upton RC for both members and non-members. Highlights include:
- Links (in the header for each page) to our new Facebook and Twitter pages. Please become members/follow and we will monitor how successful they are. These should both help with our club communications and allow dissemination of news (such as no-rowing notices) quickly.
- A members only area (this requires a password and allows club documents to be downloaded, along with details regarding subscriptions, the club officials, club kit etc) and is the new location for the “Cool Heads” newsletter.
- A link to the Environment Agency web page for Saxons Lode to check on the current river level (Follow: About>River Severn and then click on the EA logo)
- A section about the history of of Upton RC and information on the town, the river etc
- A google map link to the marina/boathouse
- Links to British Rowing etc
- A contact form for enquiries to the club
“Cool Heads” is included in the members area, which requires the password urc4members. When you have entered this the first time, typically your browser will remember it. This password should not be given to anyone other than club members.
There are some areas that still need content and will be added in due course, so please browse around and if anyone has any questions, feedback, spots any errors or would like anything else included then please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Upton RC Annual Dinner
The Club held its annual end of season dinner at The Olde Anchor Inn, Upton-upon-Severn on Friday 15 November 2013. 40 members attended and were fed and watered extremely well by Claire and Graham Bunn. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves – particularly if the noise and general merriment was anything to go by!
Following the customary speeches by our Chairman, Dave Semple and the Club’s Captain, Steve Cox, the presentation of the cups took place by the President of the Club, Peter Barker, marking the end of a very successful year for the Club. These were awarded to the following:-
The Committee Cup (for best off-water contribution to the Club) went to Maurice Stanley for all his hard work behind the scenes and for building, single-handed, our fabulous new catamaran coaching launch which, in the absence of a proper name, has affectionately has been christened either the “Pope mobile” or “The Floating Patio”!
The Captain’s Cup (for best on-water contribution to the Club) was presented to Ron Paterson for his coaching and advisory skills which resulted in our racing crews having such a successful year this year.
The Chairman’s Cup (for best men’s crew) went to Matt Chalmers for his achievements in making it to several finals both in single and double sculls.
The President’s Cup is normally presented to the most successful women’s crew, but as it had been such a positive year for the woman of the Club, it was decided that this should be awarded to three of our ladies – Jo Hammett and Linda Scott for their great success and triumphs in their double scull and also to Anne Stevens for her brilliant achievements in her single scull.
The Secretary’s Cup (cox of the year) was presented to Peter Barker by his “Girls”. Peter has been coxing his crew of girls who only completed their Learn to Row earlier this year but have now gone across to sculling under Peter’s guidance and are doing very well.
And finally, Ian Mackie was very pleased to surrender the Calamity Cup so that it could be awarded to Dan Herbert for his altercation with a narrow boat!
Here’s to another successful year!