Social News


Pre-Henley Supper and Boat-naming 25 June

London Rowing Club has recently made some important additions to its fleet of hulls, and this achievement was duly celebrated on the evening of Wednesday 25 June with a boat-naming ceremony at the Clubhouse.

Four boats were named, each by a very distinguished member of LRC.  The Club's two new Wintech eights were named for Sir David Wootton and Sir David Tanner CBE respectively.  Sir David Wootton was Lord Mayor of London during the 2012 London Olympics.  Sir David Tanner is, of course, GB Rowing's Performance Director.

Our new Filippi coxless four was named for Paul Reedy, our former Chief Coach and now coaching the GB Women and Lightweights.  The last hull to be 'christened', an Empacher coxless four, was named for Robbie Williams, World Champion in 2010 and Olympic Silver medallist in 2012.

We are grateful to them for doing the honours, and we look forward to seeing their names competing on the water at Henley Royal Regatta and elsewhere in the coming weeks and months.  The ceremony was followed by an excellent pre-Henley supper, which nearly 60 members and guests attended.

(Thanks to Mark Ruscoe for his fine photos.)


Residential accommodation offered at LRC

London Rowing Club is currently accepting applications for accommodation in Resis’ for the Summer and the 2014/2015 season.

Resis’ as we call it is a unique offer for our rowers. We have two floors of accommodation overlooking the Thames available for those that are serious about their success, be it at Henley or internationally.  We count several Olympians, World Champions and Henley winners amongst our former Resis.

It’s a great resource for members that find themselves stuck, either in need of a short term place to stay or that may not be able to afford west London rents. The Captain considers requests from any of our members for any reason. It is the shortest commute to the boathouse you will find!

If you’re interested in joining LRC in the near future; either for pre-season training, a gap year before starting university or you intend on making a more serious commitment to your rowing and would like to take advantage of the benefits that living above the boathouse can offer - please get in touch with the Captain:


Please read below a testimonial from recent European Bronze medallist Imogen Walsh about how Resis’ helped her achieve her goals.

“In summer 2010 I made the (slightly risky) decision to up sticks and leave my job and home in Glasgow, to pursue a possible future as an international rower. I had trialled for the first time that year, and surprised myself by how far I had got – being seat raced (but losing) for a seat in the New Zealand World Champs team. I decided though to give rowing a proper go, and it was clear that being in the Thames valley, or at least near some sort of rowing hub was what was necessary. I was on the fringes of the GB Team, but the question was, how to make the next step up.

The answer came in the form of London Rowing Club. It had a history of producing lightweight women (as well as having other classes of internationals on the books), and so knew what it took to get someone through the trialling system, to hone the skills needed to succeed at the highest level. Between the coaching and the land facilities, this place seemed like the place best suited to helping me achieve my goals.

The other benefit of the club was the cheap accommodation offered in “Resis”. Having a cheap room, right above the Club, was ideal for someone like me who had just given up their job to work part-time around training, which was now my focus.

What was meant to be a short stay of perhaps 8 months, actually turned into about 2 years. In this time I went from “hoping for a seat” in the LW4x to winning singles trials in 2013, and gaining selection for the LW2x (the only Olympic LW boat) for the World Championships. Certainly, this didn’t happen by some sort of osmosis! There was of course a lot of hard work on my part, but I have no doubt that the LRC environment was a huge factor. Living on site was invaluable, and the guidance and coaching second to none.

A year ago I moved out of Resis, as for one thing, I am now training at Caversham six days a week. However, I still enjoy the odd training session I get to do out of LRC; these sessions are taken at every opportunity by myself and coach Paul Reedy, such is the value we see in training on the river and the in the environment the Club fosters.”

Imogen Walsh, 2011 LW4x World Champion, reigning Wingfield Sculls Champion, 2014 European LW2x Bronze medallist




LRC Annual Dinner

The Wingfields Sculls, the Doggett's Coat and Badge Wager and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames were the main themes at a successful, sell-out Annual Dinner on Friday 17 January 2014 at the Clubhouse.

With Sophie Hosking’s and Imogen Walsh’s wins in the Women’s Wingfields Race in three of the last six years, a new, second board was needed. Sophie gracefully obliged by unveiling one at the beginning of the dinner.  She represented Imogen who is currently on training camp.

Members and their guests enjoyed an excellent meal of smoked trout mousse with cucumber ribbons, rack of lamb with coriander mint and honey, and sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce.  Our thanks go to Olivia Malcolm Berry and Jason Gray for their hard work making the dinner such a success.

There were two main speakers, who both spoke well. Bob Prentice, current Master of the Company, proposed the health of the Club.  He was a member of the LRC double that won the Double Sculls at Henley in 1976 with Martin Spencer on board, coached by Doug Melvin.  Happily all three were at the dinner, and to make them feel at home the challenge trophy was borrowed from HRR HQ for the evening on the top table, to join the Boustead Cup.

The other guest speaker was our good Embankment friend, Chas Newens (a past master of the Watermen’s), replying to the toast to the guests made by the Captain, Ali Main.  Chas taught those present the ‘Phelps whistle’, which our waterman, Tom, and his family members used to pass messages down the Embankment when help was needed to get boats off racks, turn them over etc.

A highlight of the evening was the attendance of five Doggett's Coat and Badge Wager winners who are or have been LRC members – Prentice and Spencer, plus George Saunders, Chris Drury and Paul Wilson.  The Master unveiled a new board listing 15 names, stretching from Tom Phelps in the 1920s to Merlin Dwan in 2012, reflecting the Club’s strong association with the race.

It was a special privilege to have our Watermen’s Company visitors as this year it celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Act passed in 1514 to first regulate watermen; furthermore, next year will see the 300th anniversary of the Doggett's race, the oldest continually competed for sporting event in the world.

A happy and entertaining evening was had by all. 

(photos: courtesy of Iain Weir)




Iain Laurenson – Irregulars' Commodore – celebrates birthday at LRC

On 2 November 2013 Iain Laurenson celebrated his 80th birthday at the Clubhouse with Meike, family and friends, including a sizeable turn-out of LRC Veterans and Irregulars. Towards the end of a fine meal and before the musical entertainment provided by the Laurenson family Stephen Wright spoke of Iain’s tireless capacity for sustaining rowing amongst both the more senior “Irregular” members and the recent intake of enthusiasts new to the sport. With the benefit of years of diplomacy at the highest level he conveyed the gratitude of the Irregulars in particular for Iain’s commitment to keeping everyone boated no matter how extreme their irregularity and avoiding the need for anyone else to think. Stephen then presented a substantial cheque as a gift from Iain’s many friends and admirers in the Club.

Word has it that Iain and Meike will be leaving the Irregulars to sort themselves out for a while, as they enjoy a well-earned holiday.


David and Daniel depart LRC

As many members will by now be aware, David and Daniel Hillman-McDonald resigned from their position as the Club’s joint Venue Managers in early August, and ceased working at the Club with immediate effect.  Jason Gray, our newly-elected Honorary House Steward in charge of catering, assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers from our membership, has worked tirelessly to serve the Club’s and our clients’ needs pending the appointment of a new Manager, and we are extremely grateful to all of them for their efforts.

We have made very good progress towards the appointment of a new Manager, and expect to make an announcement about this very soon.  In the meantime any concerns, queries and offers of help should be directed to Jason Gray at