Social News


Fund-raising evening with the Laurensons

A fund-raising dinner, in aid of the Explore Rowing Boat Fund, will take place at London Rowing Club on Wednesday 13 February, 7.30 for 8 pm.  Dinner will be cooked by Iain Laurenson, and a selection of puddings will be provided by friends.  The price is £15 per head.  Please book direct with Iain Laurenson, tel. 01737 248909, or email  After diner Meike Laurenson will give a talk entitled "Growing up in wartime Germany"



More Umpires needed

The Thames Region has more competitors, regattas and head races than any other part of the UK. To ensure every event has sufficient licensed Officials there needs to be at least 120 active people on the Umpires’ list. There is a great variety of events and opportunities for Umpiring in the Thames Region.  Every year the TRUC needs to recruit and train new Umpires to replace those who are retiring or moving out of the Region.

Umpires come from a variety of backgrounds within the sport. It is helpful if you have competed yourself, although many successful Umpires have come into the sport via administration or through their involvement with a head race or regatta. Several members of London Rowing Club are licensed Umpires, including four current members of the Committee: Mike Williams and Ben Helm (both FISA Umpires), and Richard Philips and Jeremy Hudson (both Multi-lane endorsed).

There are no formal criteria for what constitutes a suitable candidate. Candidates have almost always been actively involved in the sport as a competitor, coach, club officer or event organiser. It is not necessary to have rowed or coxed personally.

The age range of the current Umpires in the region is 25 – 69. Many people train as Umpires when they cease to compete in open events. Some Umpires continue to compete, usually as Veterans. Candidates must be nominated by a Club, Regatta etc.  Importantly, an umpire needs to be able to deal firmly but fairly with competitors. British Rowing requires that licensed umpires are registered members of British Rowing.

Umpires' duties at events vary enormously. For example, Starters, Aligners, Race Umpires, the Chief Judge and the Head of the Control Commission must be licensed Umpires (or a supervised trainee). A Regatta must have a Race Committee whose Chair and at least two other members must be licensed. At a Head Race the Chief Umpire must be licensed.

Training for 2013 starts in late January and finishes in the Autumn. After an introduction evening candidates take a written exam on the Rules of Racing a few weeks later. In April they attend an Umpires’ Seminar. These Seminars are held each Spring and every Umpire must attend a Seminar at least every three years. Candidates attend a minimum of two heads (including one of the major Tideway heads) and five regattas during the season. Here they are given an opportunity to experience the work of Umpires and to practise their own skills. At the end of the Summer candidates are tested on the practical application of the Rules by umpiring simulated races on a table top.

Once you qualify and receive your licence, you can umpire any race in Britain. There is an optional Multi Lane endorsement, which indicates that you have passed a multi-lane examination. Typically the people who are nominated for multi-lane training have at least three years’ experience and umpire regularly to a high standard.  The final qualification available is the FISA qualification. This permits the umpire to officiate at events held under FISA rules. Only umpires with a multi-lane endorsement are considered and FISA requires that candidates must be under the age of 50.

The Thames Region believes it has the best Umpires and the best training programme. The standards demanded are high and exacting. Only this way can we provide our competitors with the fair and safe racing they deserve.

If you would like to be considered for this year’s training programme please contact Jeremy Hudson (on our representative on the Thames Regional Umpires’ Commission.



LRC Annual Dinner 

The Club's Annual Dinner took place at the Clubhouse on Friday 18 January.  In spite of the snow and ice, over 100 Club members and their guests packed into the Long Room for this event.  The meal began with celeriac remoulade with smoked ham and capers, followed by slow cooked sirloin of beef, a dessert of French apple tart, and finally an excellent array of cheeses.


Breaking with tradition, the Captain Marco Espin made his speech before the main course, as he had to depart straight after this in order to attend his brother's 'stag night'!  Our principal speaker was Andrew Crawford, Deputy Chairman of British Rowing's newly-established Sport Committee and recently elected Steward of Henley Royal Regatta.  Harry Bond proposed the health of our President Mike Williams. to which the President replied.

Our thanks are due to Alan Foster, Hon House Steward, for his organisation of the event and to our Catering Managers David and Daniel for a fine meal.




LRC Olympic Reception

Over 90 members and their guests crowded into the Clubhouse on the evening of Wednesday 24 October for the Club's Olympic Reception.  This was a special event, to recognise the achievements of our 2012 Olympic athletes as well as the many Club members who made the Olympic Regatta so successful.

Our principal guests included Mrs Di Ellis CBE the Chairman of British Rowing, David Tanner British Rowing's Performance Director and International Manager, and international coaches Robin Williams and Nick Strange.  We were delighted to welcome Richard Tracey, our local London Assembly Member (and President of Kingston Regatta) and also the Deputy Mayoress of Wandsworth.

Highlights of the evening were brief presentations given by our principal Olympic representatives, introduced by our own President and FISA Treasurer Mike Williams.  Paul Reedy, coach of the gold-winning Women's Lightweight Double Scull of Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland, led the way.  Accompanied by film clips of their races which they talked us through, he was followed by Bill Lucas (5th in the Men's Double Scull final with Sam Townsend), Phelan Hill (cox of the Men's Eight which won bronze), and Rob Williams (silver medallist in the Lightweight Men's Four).  All spoke of their strong affection for LRC and the part the Club had played bringing them towards their international success.

To her surprise, our gold-medallist Sophie Hosking was 'introduced' by her father.  David Hosking has been a member of LRC for over 30 years and won a gold medal in the Lightweight Eight at the World Championships in 1980.  Evidently, her father's achievement had inspired Sophie to seek to emulate it, which she did in style at this year's Olympics.  Sophie spoke movingly about her regatta, about how when it started she had never felt in better shape, and about how her and her partner's meticulous race plans had fallen into place.  For once in her life, with 200 metres to go in her Olympic Final, Sophie did not want the race to end, but wanted instead to be able to savour the experience!

There was talk in the bar at the end of the evening, amongst some of our older members, about the possibility of hanging the Women's Olympic Double sculling boat from the Long Room ceiling once it is retired from the British Rowing fleet, as a suitable partner to Casamajor's sculling boat and the Berlin four.

A thoroughly enjoyable and memorable celebration of the Club's Olympic success.


Lord Mayor of London visits LRC

London Rowing Club member and Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Wootton, together with the Lady Mayoress, Liz Wootton, visited the Club last Saturday, 8th September. Together with the Club's Olympic Medallists, Sophie Hosking and Rob Williams, and Chief Coach and coach of Sophie's Double, Paul Reedy, they were entertained to a relaxed and informal lunch in the Members' Room  by current and former Committee Members and other Club Members.

In the absence of the President and Chairman abroad on official umpiring duties the event was hosted by Vice-President Mike Baldwin. Welcoming the Lord Mayor, Mike said how pleased he was that Lord Mayor was able to visit the Club during his packed year in office which, with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympic and Paralympic Games was even busier than normal. The Lord Mayor noted the Club's links to the City and complimented it on its long and successful history, its good governance and the breadth of rowing activities that took place there - including, now, the Explore Rowing programme. He congratulated Sophie on the style with which she had won her Gold Medal and Rob on the grace with which he had accepted Silver - having lost by the smallest of margins. He also commented on the various boat clubs he had visited around the world whilst representing the country in the Lord Mayor's role as unpaid ambassador for its Financial Services Industry. The Lord Mayor concluded by toasting the Club, Sophie, Rob and Paul.

In reply Paul spoke briefly about the involvement of internationals in the life of the Club and how this contributed to its 'family atmosphere'. Before the Lord Mayor left to present medals to Paralympians competing at Brands Hatch, Mike presented him with a copy of the Club's history signed by Sophie and Rob. Appropriately, given her father's comments, latest addition to the 'LRC family', Olivia Reedy, made an appearance with her mother Lucy just after the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress had departed.