A view from the balcony...
As I write, crews are competing in the Great Ouse Marathon, a challenging 22 kilometer row from Denver Sluice almost to the shadows of Ely Cathedral. Our contingent includes the women’s novice eight, still in their first year as a crew.
It has been a busy summer with some excellent results, particularly by the masters’ crews who came home with a cache of gold medals from the Masters’ Championships. At Henley Royal Regatta, our young Junior Men’s Quad finished as the 4th fastest non-qualifier out of a field of 40 plus. The same crew will be eligible to race again next year. Thanks to the generosity of the Club’s principal sponsor, Ceetak Ltd, our crews have enjoyed competing in several new boats and there is more to come. In October, we will take delivery of an Explorer Coxed 4 that will be aimed particularly at our novices to enable them to master more quickly the technical aspects of rowing. At the same time other members may wish to use it, perhaps to partake in the various ‘Explore Rowing’ activities around the region.
In July, the Club elected a new Captain, David Sogan. David is a member of the Masters Men’s Squad and has a clear vision for rowing at the Club. One of his priorities will be to concentrate on strategies to reinvigorate the Senior Men’s and Women’s squads with a view to producing crews capable of competing at Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s Regatta. Likewise he wishes to enhance the competitive edge of the Men’s and Women’s Masters Squads to produce competitive crews at national championship level. At the same time, Masters Squad members who wish to compete at a more local or regional level will have that opportunity. At the novice level, David is formulating a strategy for the induction of new members and the establishment of routes into the Club’s various squads. Some new members may wish to row non-competitively and the Recreational Squad will cater for them with access to existing boats and the acquisition of the Explorer 4 due in October. David’s plans are exciting and will generate a heavy workload. Please support him in his endeavors.
It is sad to report that our Junior Coach, Ally Satchwill, joined the coaching team at Bedford Modern School on 1st September. He is the fourth such coach to join the Harpur Trust and leaves with our best wishes and thanks for all the work that he has done for the Club, often outside his actual remit. Plans to recruit a successor are in hand.
James Traynor relinquished his bar manager’s role over the summer after to moving with Jacqui to Kent. Again he went with our best wishes and regret that he would no longer be in charge of our social facilities. Andy Taylor who we hope will be able to combine bar duties’ with Senior Men Squad training has replaced him.
As ever the Club cannot function without its army of volunteers in all sectors of its operations. Currently there is a particular need for coaches, coxes and weekend kitchen cooks and servers. Please consider how you might help in these and other areas. Before I write again, we will have staged two heads and as ever will rely on volunteers to make these events happen. Please do your bit.
Enjoy the autumn and winter seasons.