President’s Blog – Spring 2017

I am writing on a beautiful spring morningwith temperatures forecast to rise into the early 20’s before the end of the day. Truly a harbinger of the regatta season.

It would be inappropriate, however, to turn to the future, before recalling the successful autumn and winter enjoyed by the multitude of crews boating under Star’s banner.

The Recreational Squad is now around 15 strong and boats regularly in eights, doubles and singles. Along with members of other squads, great use is being made of the new Explorer boat, enabling crews to achieve balance and stability more easily than in shell racing boats. Mention should also be made of the Wednesday morning outings by some of the Club’s oldest members. A venerable crew competed at the New Year Head.

The Junior Squad under newly appointed Coach, Sharon Noble-Layng is thriving with very healthy numbers, good contacts with Lincroft School and Goldington Academy and some impressive results at the Schools’ Head.   Next week the Squad heads to Banyoles in Spain for the Easter Training Camp. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous sponsor the Squad is taking delivery of a new coxless four.

The Masters Women’s Squad is very active with two streams; a group that aims to compete nationally and another that looks to compete at a more local level. The former competed at the Vets Head and finished well within touching distance of leading crews of the Masters E 8+ pack. Also, Anne Marie King was a member of the composite crew that won this category.

The Masters Men’s Squad is the largest in the Club. It comprises both a sculling and sweep oar section and has had a distinguished winter, winning Masters E 8+ at Peterborough, Bedford and Trent Heads.

I am really pleased to report that our Senior Squads are beginning to blossom. The Senior Women comprise around 8 athletes of varying experience and are concentrating on sculling, which gives more flexibility with regard to boating options. A Senior Men’s 8+ trained for the Head of the River Race, only to be thwarted by the cancellation of the event due to adverse weather. Options for regatta crews are now being considered.

Off the water, the pace seems to be as frantic as on it. The Annual Awards Dinner was held in November 2016 and we were thrilled to receive Rio Olympic Gold Medalist, Phelan Hill as our Guest of Honour.

On the administrative and legal front, the Management Board has :

  • issued a Members’ Handbook (available on the Website)
  • updated the Club’s Constitution for future approval by members
  • entered final negotiations for a new 99 year lease of the premises and guaranteed access rights for towing vehicles and trailers
  • continued to pursue renovations of the physical infrastructure – next up balcony doors.

As ever, I should like to thank all those who volunteer to assist the Club in its numerous functions, with special thanks at this time of the year to all coaches for devoting so much time and braving the elements during the cold, wet and windy winter months.

David

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