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LRC new gym - Update May 2017




To build a first class strength and conditioning land training facility befitting LRC to assist in attracting high calibre club oarsmen and oarswomen to represent LRC racing at the highest competitive level.

To offer members and athletes of all ages an environment with the best opportunities for improving their physical abilities.

To use the new gym and released function space upstairs to create a revenue stream to assist and support LRC’s financial position and future.




Selection and appointment of Gym Build Sub Committee (detailed at end).

Secured and raised c£280,000 - sufficient to build the new gym, men’s changing room and showers but not sufficient to cover cost of fitting out with new equipment. Until additional funds are raised existing gym equipment, including ergos, watt bikes and weights, and existing lockers and benches for men’s changing, will need to be reused.

Planning permission obtained, structural design and external and internal architectural design completed.

Build tendered to three contractors, shortlisted to two.

Aim to complete the tender process and start works in July post Henley to ensure squad focus remains on racing with completion September/October 2017.

Arrangements for changing during the summer currently being made with local clubs.



Your Gym Build subcommittee was appointed and has been working hard on the project and can report the following progress:

Layout of the New Space

Complete redevelopment of the whole area behind the entrance to the men's changing room (i.e. the whole of the area occupied currently by the existing men’s changing room, tank and gym).

The full ground level will be used for the new gym facilities.

The existing rowing tank will be left in situ and covered with a false floor.

A new first floor level will be added for new men’s changing facilities.

Access to the men’s changing rooms will be via the internal stairs which lead currently to the women’s changing room.

The new gym will have a separate access and will be well insulated, heated and dry.

With the basics in place we will be able to invest in high quality training equipment without fear it will deteriorate because of the conditions.

The Past Six Months.…Planning and Preparation

Since July 2016, your Gym Subcommittee has worked hard to plan and prepare for the project with the key aims of ensuring we have a tight specification and the right contract with the right builder at the right price. To achieve this we have:

1) Questioned, clarified, developed and refined the architect’s drawings

2) Worked with our structural engineers Fothergill and Co. to develop and finalise the structural drawings

3) Prepared detailed specifications

4) Engaged with three contractors

5) Prepared a request for best and final offers from two shortlisted contractors.

Progress has been steady and has enabled us to ensure that the Club spends its members’ money to best effect. We now believe we are in a position to move forward with the first phase of work.Schedule / Timing

We are currently in the process of going back to two preferred contractors to secure their best and final offers for the works based on updated architectural and engineering drawings as well as a detailed specification. We expect to be in a position to award a contract by the end of May.

The exact start date on site will be agreed with the successful tenderer during our final contract negotiations. We are hoping for a start date following Henley and we are aiming for completion ready for the start of the next season. We will keep everyone updated.

The major disruption during the build period has been planned to coincide with the summer months when the requirement for land based strength and conditioning work is less and when the level of rowing activity at the club is at its lowest. For efficiency in both time and money we will hand the site over to the contractor giving the contractor free access to get on with the work. This will leave us without a gym, men’s changing room and men’s showers. Nonetheless our rowing programme will continue.

We are currently making arrangements to be able to use changing facilities at adjacent clubs and will find space in LRC to house ergometers and some weights. Further details will be provided nearer to the time.

Those with lockers will be offered a refund for the duration of limited availability – there will of course be the option to maintain your subscription donating to gym funds.

Funding Position

This is important. We have raised a significant amount but still have more to do.

To date, we have raised c£280,000.

This includes a very generous bequest from our former President Peter Coni OBE of £90,000, and a very generous grant from the Fairbairn Trust of £75,000, secured thanks to our President, Mike Baldwin, to whom we are very grateful.

The balance has been raised through generous member donations for which the club is very grateful indeed, and from fundraising events including LRC's Olympians Dinner and Auction, Great London Row 2016 and Quiz Nights.

The funds raised to date are sufficient to build the new gym, men’s changing room and showers but until additional funds are raised we would need to use the existing gym equipment including ergos, watt bikes and weights and the existing lockers and benches.

Our ability to complete the project with the standard of fit out and new equipment that we would like to deliver to our current and future members remains dependant on our topping up funding.

We are able to start the structural works and basic fit out with our current secured funds. We will not yet, however, be able to complete the fit out to the level we would wish and equip the gym with the best in class equipment identified.

By raising funds for the capital works and controlling our costs we are seeking to avoid taking out any loans which would require interest payments to be met for years to come.

The VAT position has been investigated and VAT will be payable on the works.What Can I Do To Help?

Thank you for asking...there is still plenty to do and we can all support the project in various ways. Here are a few suggestions. Please do whatever you can.

1) Give generously to the Appeal Fund

2) Support the range of activities being run by the Fund Raising

3) Support the Working Groups which will be required to clear out the changing rooms, gym and tank room ahead of the contract works

4) Encourage your crewmates past and present to support the Club to deliver this transformational development.

A Gym Build Sub Committee has been formed and we are hugely grateful to the following for stepping forward and for their hard work on the project. The subcommittee has a range of relevant professional expertise:

Tim Grant

(House Steward and member of executive committee)

Simon Harris

(Former Captain)

Eddie Markes

(Irregulars and member of main committee)

Phillip Carre


Paul Wilcox

(involved in original LRC gym fit out)

Matt Cummings

(Present Captain and member of executive committee)

Luis Orozco

(Current squad)

Jason Gray

(Club Treasurer and member of executive committee)

Please feel free to contact any members of your gym subcommittee should you wish to learn more about the plans for our new gym.

The Best Use of Our Space Going Forward

We will move all ergometers, watt bikes and other training paraphernalia from the upstairs Crew room into the new gym and return the Crew room to its original purpose, for which it has hardly been used. The original purpose of the Crew room was to offer additional social facilities and the ability to hire out this area (as we do successfully with the Long Room, Fairbairn Room and Members' Room) to help generate revenue. Those who generously contributed to that build will be pleased to see it re-instated for that use.

Our new gym space will lend itself to additional revenue opportunities. It will be appealing for occasional, non conflicting rental to specially selected partners or schools, thereby contributing to its running costs in future years.



Great London Row 2017 on 6-7 May 

After the Great London Row last year, a number of those who took part told us how much they enjoyed it, and they wanted to do it again, particularly on the reaches further up the Thames which they would never otherwise row on. So now we have the Great London Row 2017, a chance for all section of the Club, active and less so, to get out on the water together, and all join in a barbeque on Sunday.

With a gym to build, last year's event was a fund-raiser, and very successful at that. This year's is more of a "fun-raiser" - but we still have to put a gloss on the gym-building fund, so we still are asking a smaller contribution to take part. Do just that, and enjoy!"

Best Wishes,

Mike Baldwin



The Great London Row 2017 

This second annual Club wide row will take place on Saturday 6th May and Sunday 7th May  in your choice of three courses, all culminating in a Club barbecue for participants, family and friends on the Sunday afternoon from 3pm.

This row is for the whole of LRC past and present.

For those who row regularly - for those who once did - as well as former LRC members  - especially those who left some sweat in our soon to be replaced gym - this is everyone's opportunity  to row with your friends alongside other members of our Club.

We are asking a small contribution which will go to the gym rebuild - minimum £25 per seat.  Another chance for you to help to secure LRC's future achievements on the water and to have some good fun.

Please print, complete and return the form below showing:

  • Ø  Your choice of the three courses
  • Ø  Your requested boat type
  • Ø  The names of your crew
  • Ø  The name of the Captain of your boat

You may return the form to or post to the Club to the attention of Kathleen by Monday 1st May please.

Whatever your rowing  level or fitness there is a course for you. We are happy to help put boats together, please indicate your need on the form.

Whichever boat you chose will be delivered to your starting point;  you just need to arrive in time to rig and be off with the others boats.

The three courses to choose from are:

Course One

Dorney to LRC - 34 miles over Saturday 6th May and Sunday 7th May.

            Saturday 6th May - Boating from Dorney at an early but civilised time.  Through Windsor, Runnymeade, Staines onto Hampton Court.  Boats left overnight Saturday in Thames Ditton area.


            Sunday 7th May - Depart from Thames Ditton area midday, though you may wish to depart earlier and stop for lunch along the way. Row through Kingston, Teddington, Twickenham and Richmond, then onto our own stretch of water to LRC for 3pm ish arrival for the barbeque.


Course Two

Hampton Court to LRC - 16 miles . Depart Hampton Court on midday  Sunday 7th May, though you may wish to depart earlier and stop for lunch.  Land at LRC by Sunday 3pm-ish to shower and change for the Barbeque.

Course Three


Boat Race Course Reversed - Chiswick departure, suggested boating at 1:30pm. Finish at LRC before 3pm to shower and change for the Barbeque.


Can't Row, Can Help...

There is a box on the form for you to tick too, we do need your help, particularly drivers.

Next Steps for Rowers

1.)      Get your crew together and assign a Captain of the boat and all members submit their forms.

2.)      OR Let the organisers know (by submitting your form) that you are looking for a place in a boat.

3.)      Review your course and think about stops you would like to make for a pint and/or lunch.

4.)      Think about your own transport to boating locations, we will have your boats delivered.

5.)      Submit the attached form to by Monday 1st May


Every rower needs to complete the form individually please.

Every crew needs a boat captain who will help with communications and collecting the £25 seat fees.

We will ask you to drop £5 into a bucket at the barbeque to help with the costs.

            See You on the Water and on the Balcony for the Barbeque!


The Great London Row 2017


Name: __________________________  Email Address: _____________________________

Helpers :    I will not row or scull but am available to help [   ]

Name  of Your Boat Captain:  __________________________________________________

The Names of Your Crew:  _____________________________________________________



Boat Request:

  • ·         Single  [  ]
  • ·         Double [  ]
  • ·         Quad [  ]
  • ·         Octuple [  ]
  • ·         Four [  ]
  • ·         Eight [  ]
  • ·         My own boat - LRC number =

I need a seat in a boat - tick as many boxes as applicable.

  • Ø  Scull  [   ]
  • Ø  Stroke side [  ]
  • Ø  Bow side [  ]
  • Ø  Either side [  ]
  • Ø  Bow Steer [   ]
  • Ø  Cox [  ]

I wish to enter for:

  • ·         Course 1: The Dorney to  LRC course [  ]
  • ·         Course 2: The Hampton Court to LRC course [  ]
  • ·         Course 3: Boat Race Course Reversed - Chiswick to LRC course[  ]

I will commit:

  • Ø  £25 for my seat
  • Ø  an additional donation of _____

How I will get my donated funds to the Club:

Bank Transfer [  ]   NatWest - Sort Code 60 - 00 - 01 Account Number - 39188639

Cheque [  ]

Please have your donated funds to the Club by 15th May, Thank you.


Two pennants for LRC at Vesta Veterans' Head

At the Vesta Veterans' Head on Sunday 26 March 2017 London claimed 4th and 5th place overall, in a field of 231 crews. 

The Masters E crew, containing three former LRC captains, finished fourth with a seven second gap over their nearest rivals and just under half a second in hand over LRC's much younger Masters B crew, who also won their division.  London's Mixed Masters A eight finished 63rd overall and second in their category. We congratulate all crews on these superb results!


London's Masters E eight




Remenham Challenge raced in thick fog

The 2016 Remenham Challenge race took place on Saturday 17 December. Race day was misty, but calm. Visibility was poor in the morning and there was some doubt as to whether the race would go ahead.   Luckily the fog lifted to a degree and racing was able to start in the calmest conditions for racing many have had for a long time.

LRC's first boat (elite category) came 4th overall, not what we hoped for but it gives us a lot to work on leading up to the Boustead Cup.  The 2nd and 3rd boats came 9th and 14th overall finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Intermediate category.  The Vets put in their standard dominant performance and finished 1st and 2nd in the Masters category.

The top half finished as follows (placings based on handicap):

1  Thames (Thomas) Open Elite 10:36.88

2  Molesey (Douglass) Open Elite 10:39.60

3  Kingston (Fellows) Open Elite 10:55.20

4  London (Cummings) Open Elite 10:59.86

5  Thames (McDonald) Open Intermediate 11:04.61

6  Molesey (Wilkins) Open Elite 11:07.13

7  London (Harries) Open Masters D 11:46.63

8  Thames (Curry) Open Elite 11:16.79

9  London (Parnell) Open Intermediate 11:17.90

10 Thames (Hardy) Open Elite 11:20.00

11 London (Halford) Open Masters C 11:40.46

12  Molesey (Hardy) Open Novice 11:25.61

13  Thames (Ippolito) Open Masters C 11:48.63

14  London (Freeman) Open Intermediate 11:32.81

15  Twickenham (Schmitz) Open Masters F 12:49.49

16  Vesta (Radcke) Open Intermediate 11:41.83

17  Twickenham (Lackner) Open Elite 11:46.88

18  Kingston (Wales) Open Intermediate 11:49.28

19  Thames (Panter) Open Masters E 12:41.85

20  Molesey (Boyer) Open Masters C 12:11.01

21  Thames (Blake) Open Masters A 11:59.57

22  London (Christie) Open Masters F 13:11.75

23  Vesta (Anstis) Open Masters B 12:07.99

24  Thames (Perry) Women Elite 12:08.10

25  Vesta (Hookway) Open Intermediate 12:09.44

26  Vesta (McKerrell) Open Masters E 12:59.80 


LRC Masters win medal at Head of the Charles

Alex Fothergill writes:

Towards the end of October 2016, a crew of London Masters crossed the pond to Boston Massachusetts, to take part in the 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta, competing in the Men's Senior Master Eights division. For many of the crew, this has been an annual campaign for several years. For others, it was a first time racing in the largest rowing event in the world. Unfortunately the training proved too much for 7-man Bill Baker's back and he had to withdraw with barely a week before the race.

And so it was only 7 men and Vicky Rees, our lady cox, who met up at Riverside RC on the Charles River on the Thursday morning before the race. The following days brought heatwaves, icy showers, a parade of substitute bow-siders, and a lot of practising with our boat's "Fudder". (A fudder is the name I've given to when the whole fin swivels to act as the rudder. Anyone who's been unlucky or careless enough to lose their fin will know that this can give the boat a supermarket trolley feel, with a mind of its own.)

Saturday, Race Day, arrived, and we'd found someone old enough and brave enough to sit in for our race - many thanks to Tim Bond of Riverside RC for taking the bow seat. With Tom Killick at 2, Ralph Humphrey at 3, Adrian Theed at 4, Alex Fothergill at 5, Julian Scrivener at 6, Stewart Harries at 7, and Simon Harris in the stroke seat, we paddled up to the start in the mild drizzle.

We set off at a punchy 37 strokes per minute, settling to an aggressive 34. The boat was flying along the Powerhouse Straight section of the course, and before long we were gaining on last year's second placers, Marin Rowing Association, in front of us. We could feel their wake as Vicky urged us onwards towards the tight bend at Weeks Footbridge. The fudder meant we could not risk taking as tight a line as we'd have liked; the stewards are famously strict with their penalties. And as tiredness began to set in, we could feel our opportunity to overtake had passed. The remainder of the race went by in a haze of bridges and ever tightening curves. Vicky called us home and we raised our rate back up to 38 across the finish line. The results came out, we had come 4th in our category of 62 crews, which was enough for a top-5 medal.

The regatta went on for the rest of the weekend. We spent the weekend cheering on friends, old and new, and soaking up the atmosphere. We'll be back next year, and hopefully, back to win.

Many thanks to Riverside RC for the boat and hospitality. To Tim Bond for subbing in. And to Stewart Harries for organising.