Sunday Rowing League 2016 – Staines Leg


Posted October 30, 2016 by Tom Werner

The second round of the Sunday Rowing League was another hugely entertaining and successful event, hosted by Staines Boat Club on Saturday (yes, we know it’s the Sunday rowing league!) 22nd November.

Once again, Hillingdon put in a great effort on the day, coming joint second, equal with a Marlow team and just behind Goring, who are setting themselves up to be very strong competition indeed.

Well done to all those who took part, Tom, Laura, Ed, Colette, Joely, Paul, Lynda and Peter. Although the schedule showed us doing eight races, unfortunately all teams only managed to complete six of those due to dusk creeping up on us, but we ended up winning five out of the six. Undoubtedly the best race was the all ladies crew we sent out, which won an exciting race by no more than about six inches!

Staines Boat Club put on a great event with hot food and a bar after we had finished racing. Paul Lorenzato was there to officiate, unfortunately for the last time, as he has taken on a new role within British Rowing.

The next event is our own, at Hillingdon Rowing Club on the 20th November. It would be good to get two teams for this one, which will be a skills event, and we have been given the go-ahead to use the HOAC quads. We are already organising this event and will be looking for volunteers to help on the day, as well as participants.

Staines Regatta, Sat 23rd July


Posted July 25, 2016 by Hillingdon Rowing

This was our third regatta in as many weeks which, like the preceding two, involved spending a day out in very un-Britishesque blazing sunshine (who needs the Med when you can get weather like this in the Thames Valley). Thanks to the frenetic efforts of Matthias Koepp (whose policy of entering us all to regattas and telling us afterwards seems to be successfully getting the club racing) we had 11 crews competing! This involved lots of doubling up and at one point running out of blades as they were all out in the water so preventing a crew from boating.

Our crews were:


Open J13 – Thomas Lorenzato
Women’s IM3 – Aoife Luscombe
Open novice – Alex Burton
Open masters D – Matthias Koepp


Women’s J15 – Joanne Charlton, Sonia Saraf
Mixed IM3 – Aoife Luscombe, David Potter
Open novice – Ed Marshall, Rob Young
Open novice – Emanuel Rognoni, Jon Neale
Open masters D – Matthias Koepp, Jon Neale


Mixed IM3 – Matthias Koepp, Larissa Butschek, Jon Neale, April Thomas

Coxed sweep fours

Open novice – Ed Marshall, Rob Young, Emanuel Rognoni, Alex Burton, Larissa Butschek (cox)

All this manic effort produced three wins, for Thomas Lorenzato in the J13 sculls, Alex Burton in the novice sculls and Emanuel Rognoni & Jon Neale in the novice doubles (with the last three consequently losing their novice sculling status). Every one of our crews put in fantastic performances, even if there was a fair amount of bouncing off moored boats and temporarily disappearing into trees and other foliage (did any of us manage to complete a race without doing this at least once? Surely that in itself should have got us some sort of prize).

With everyone rowing in at least two events (I managed to be in three!) never was the end of regatta beer more well earned. Ultra special kudos to Matthias for badgering, cajoling and threatening everyone to take part, doing the entries, towing the trailer there and back (which included some vicious right angle turns in narrow streets, with at least two in front of boozed up leery locals outside a pub) and organising everyone on the day.

Goring & Streatley Regatta, Sat 16th July


Posted July 18, 2016 by Hillingdon Rowing

10 HRC rowers, plus assorted friends and family members, spent Saturday 16th July being frazzled in the Oxfordshire high summer sun at the Goring & Streatley regatta, where the club won a quite impressive trophy last year. We had 5 crews rowing, Alex Burton in the men’s novice sculls, Alex Strutt and Grace Braiden in the junior sculls, and two senior coxed sweep fours in the two invitation events, being Lynda Rapp, Colette Dowdall, Laura Bowley and Grace Braiden in the women’s boat and Paul Braiden, Jon Neale, Tom Werner and Peter Strutt in the men’s boat. Not only did we put in some pretty impressive performances on the dodgems in the fairground but we managed to win both the invitation fours events and so now have two impressive trophies to worry ourselves silly about losing before we’re asked to hand them back next year. If anyone can fix some sort of lock on the trophy cabinet I would feel a lot happier…..

Huge kudos to Peter Strutt for organising the whole event for us.

Kingston Regatta & Kingston Borough Regatta, Sat 9th & Sun 10th July

Posted July 11, 2016 by Hillingdon Rowing

We managed to get one entry in each of these regattas, held on consecutive blazing hot days with the Kingston Regatta on Saturday being for seniors and the Kingston Borough Regatta on Sunday for juniors. The senior crew was a men’s masters D coxless quad consisting of Matthias Koepp, Peter Strutt, Jon Neale and Brad Smith. This was in a three lane race against Maidstone Invicta and Team Keane, over 1,000 metres. The crew got to the stake boats to find the other two were both masters E, and so older which entitled them to a 7 second head start. Despite a game attempt our crew was unable to make up this huge disadvantage and consequently had no option after the race but to console themselves by going to the refreshment tent and eating squirty cream covered strawberries washed down with beer. As no other HRC people were present no pictures were taken of these two events, the race or the subsequent feasting. Which was probably for the best in both instances.

Grace Braiden and Eleanor Frator put in a better showing in their women’s J15 double race against Bewl Bridge and Surbiton High School in the Kingston Borough Regatta on the Sunday. This was their first ever regatta and they held their own throughout the whole race. And, unlike the men’s crew the day before, they managed to keep well away from weird food combinations in the beer tent afterwards. A great start to Grace’s and Eleanor’s rowing careers.

Well done!

St Ives Regatta, Cambridgeshire – 18th June


Posted June 19, 2016 by Club Management

St Ives was held on a quiet stretch of river which was very pretty with yellow irises and bullrushes lining the banks. The course was 550m downstream with a fairly tight bend at the start with stake boats. There had been heavy rain the previous day and night so organisers had been concerned the river was flowing too fast. Pontoons had to be raised but the regatta went ahead.

Hillingdon had our most event entries ever with everyone in more than one race. Almost every race was a final. It was our first time racing downstream and using predominately mixed (male and female) rowing and sculling crews. We had a great picnic as well as entertaining our 6 month old baby, in mascot mode wearing a club babygro.

Our day started off brilliantly with a win in the women’s single scull event by Aoife. Our men’s single performed well as did our men’s double. Our first mixed double was a scratch crew (a crew specially formed for the event, having not practised before) and did well. Our second mixed double had trouble coping with the stream but did well on their first ever regatta. Our Womens’ double regretted locking the steering as they struggled with both the stream and wind and got tangled in the bullrushes.

Our mixed four sweep coxed boat had a good start and held onto their lead to win the event. The crew was Paul, Andrew, Nishma, Aoife and Larissa (cox). The men’s sculling crew acquitted themselves well against a very strong competitive crew coming off a number of prestigious regatta wins. We had so many people at the regatta that an extra semi-final race was added as we formed two mixed scratch sculling crews. The winner of this race went on to the final. A poor start, bad corner and decent opposition lost the hat trick.

There was a winners presentation where everyone received a really lovely engraved glass tankard. Hillingdon got a special mention as being the youngest club to both attend and win – St Ives RC is over 175 years old! And there was the usual interest in how and where and why we formed a club. All in all it was a very friendly and relaxed regatta, an excellent first regatta for many, and a great day out. In all the excitement we forgot to drink the bubbly.

Well done to all competitors, picnic providers and baby sitters. Huge hurray to Matthias for organising the entry and towing the boats. Big hugs to Jon (Chair) and Tom (Secretary) for doing stuff so we didn’t have to.

Nishma Shah
Women’s Squad

Marlow Town Regatta – 12th June 2016


Posted June 12, 2016 by Club Management

This year we only managed to organise one entry to the Marlow Town Regatta, being a men’s masters C 4x- (Coxless Quad), consisting of Ed Marshall, Brad Smith, Jon Neale and Rob Hale. Our team had a straight final with Marlow and Henley in a three lane race. This was the crew’s first race of the season and they came second behind Henley (Marlow managed to get themselves disqualified – oops).

The team were very pleased with the day as they had a good row technique wise and the results show they lost to Henley by only three lengths. Marlow Town is a premier regatta with a very high standard of rowing so this was a very creditable performance indeed. Well done guys!

Denham Fayre 2016 (including Erg Times)

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Posted by Tom Werner

On Bank Holiday Monday, 30th May, Hillingdon RC had a stall in the Denham Village Fayre, following the success stall we had at last year’s event. The Fayre is a charter fair, dating from the 15th century and the whole village is closed to traffic for the day allowing the crowds to mingled freely around the various stalls. This year we had a working ergo and encouraged the fayre goers to have a try at a timed 200 metre row. Over 50 of them did! The best time was 33 seconds, an impressive time made even more so by the fact the guy did it whilst using only a quarter or so slide.

It was an excellent day, although rather windy which made putting the stall together somewhat trying, and we increased awareness of our club and the sport of rowing. Huge thanks to all HRC members who helped out, being Kathy, Tom, Rob Hale, Rob Young, Laura, Sanj and Jon.

And the results….

Quick key –
WJx Female Junior + Age
Jx Male Junior + Age

Name Time Class
Alice F 01:06.0 WJ9
Thea C 01:07.0 WJ9
Grace C 01:07.9 WJ9
Morgan 00:56.4 WJ15
Joanna S 00:52.4 WJ12
Lucy O 00:51.0 WJ11
Maisie C 00:57.4 WJ11
Kelly C 00:44.7 Senior – W
Laura B 00:44.8 Senior – W
Karen L 00:54.8 Senior – W
Tally G 00:55.0 Senior – W
Adam 00:33.5 Senior – M
Joe A 00:34.5 Senior – M
Alan M 00:34.7 Senior – M
Rob H 00:35.3 Senior – M
Jamie R 00:35.6 Senior – M
Hillingdon Rowing 00:36.5 Senior – M
Alex C 00:36.9 Senior – M
James C 00:37.2 Senior – M
Glenn T 00:37.6 Senior – M
Jamie G 00:38.0 Senior – M
Sam Liu 00:38.7 Senior – M
Roy L 00:39.0 Senior – M
Lee C 00:40.2 Senior – M
Mark W 00:40.3 Senior – M
Martin C 00:40.4 Senior – M
David T 00:41.0 Senior – M
George W 00:44.5 Senior – M
Ed P 00:46.0 Senior – M
Mark A 01:13.0 Senior – M
Jonnie 01:08.0 J9
Freddie 01:12.0 J9
Ollie F 01:21.8 J9
Jake P 01:48.0 J7
Jamie W 00:39.2 J15
Tom W 00:40.4 J15
Max A 00:43.2 J15
Ellis S 00:46.2 J15
Bradley C 00:46.4 J15
Miles C 01:37.4 J14
Tom S 00:51.9 J12
Harry B 01:00.0 J12
Freddy C 00:58.4 J11
Teddy F 01:07.0 J11
George S 01:24.0 J11
Tyler W 01:03.0 J10

Batchworth Sea Scout May Fair (and Erg Results)

Posted May 16, 2016 by jon.neale

Saturday 14th May saw this year’s first HRC stall at a summer fete, in this case the Batchworth Sea Scout May Fair held at The Bury in Rickmansworth. The event organiser was none other than Bernie Coleman, member of our senior women’s section and winner of a tankard in the mixed Masters C doubles at Lea Regatta on 24th April.

The nice sunny weather brought out the crowds and quite a few interested locals, both new to the sport and those who rowed before but ages ago, stopped to have a chat with Jon Neale, who manned the stall. The usual “Oo, I never knew there was a rowing club around here” conversation was had over and over again and quite a few people had a go on the Concept 2 ergo, kindly supplied by Matthias Koepp for the afternoon. Some even had a bash at a timed 200 metre sprint, with the following results:

Rob Payne – 37.2s
Owen Hughes – 40.6s
Paul Mander – 46.0s
Harriet – 46.4s
Aaron – 53.0s
Matt Coleman – 54.6s

The next such event HRC will be attending is the Denham Village Fayre on bank holiday Monday (30th May). This was a fantastic success last year and if the weather’s good it should be again this year so please pop along to see us if you’re not an HRC member, and have a go at the the 200m Erg Challenge! (if you are a member please put your name down to man the stall for at least an hour in the day).

The Member’s Handbook is out!

Posted May 4, 2016 by Club Management

Our club has been in existence now for getting on for four years which has given the Management Team time and experience to tease out how the more successful rowers approach the sport and put this into a Members Handbook to help all HRC members make the most of their rowing careers and our club.

It is brief and to the point, but to summarise, it stresses the importance for each member to take active ownership of their rowing career in all its aspects, from deciding what type of rower the member wants to be to organising themselves and their crewmates. It also stresses the fundamental basis of the club, that it is a mutual society which relies on each member to always take an active part in its running and not assuming this is the job of others.

The handbook will be sent out in electronic format to all HRC members and will also be available in hardcopy. It is also available here to read now.

Lea Regatta – First win of the season!

Lea Spring 2016 1

Posted May 3, 2016 by Hillingdon Rowing

Our first regatta entries of the season were two HRC crews, a men’s masters C quad and a mixed masters C double, rowing at the Lea Spring Regatta on Sunday 24th April. Matthias Koepp excelled himself at not only towing the boats there and back but also by rowing in both events and winning one of them. To be fair, he did try to screw things up by almost running out of petrol, leaving the regatta at the end with only 5 miles worth of fuel left in the tank but the Gods looked favourably upon him by putting a filling station within a 2 mile radius of Lea Rowing Club. Matthias repaid this kindness by doing his best to demolish the place with the trailer when driving in but luckily was not successful.

The first HRC victory of the season was in the mixed masters C double, rowed by Matthias and Bernie Coleman. The men’s masters C quad was beaten by a Lea crew but had a very good row. A fantastic day was had by all 5 HRC rowers taking part (in addition to Matthias and Bernie there was Peter Strutt, Emanuel Rognoni and Jon Neale) plus supporting entourage of 3 various HRC rowers’ family members. The next event at Lea will be on 4th September – we’ll definitely be taking part in that as not only is it a nice 600 metre straight course, but they also do cracking bacon sarnies (almost as good as ours!). Hats off to Mattihas and Bernie for bringing another bit of silverware back to the club!