The London Roar

On behalf of the entire Committee, together with the Coaching and Events teams, let me begin by wishing you a very Happy New Year.  Before addressing the challenges and opportunities that 2018 brings the Club, I would like to provide a brief update on what has been achieved since being elected Captain in July.
As most of you will now be aware, following a rigorous recruitment process the Club has appointed Rob Dauncey, the former GB High Performance coach, as Director of Rowing.  Rob is responsible for the development and delivery of the Club’s High Performance programme, with a particular focus on success at Henley Royal Regatta.
Not only does Rob bring with him an outstanding track record of success, his time as a London oarsman and Resi ensures his personal values of Discipline, Intent and Commitment by which he will measure the squad are very much aligned with the Club’s recently refined core values of Excellence, Teamwork, Discipline, Integrity and Loyalty.
In September your Committee agreed and approved a formal 5 year strategic plan.  Central to the Club’s strategy is our mission to return as the club of choice for High Performance athletes seeking to win at Henley Royal Regatta or gain entry to the national team.
With renewed focus on this mission, your Committee has set as a measure of success, a 2020 win in the Thames Challenge Cup.  Key to driving the Club on to this win are:

  • the successful redevelopment of the Peter Coni Gym into a world class facility;

  • maintaining a world class fleet;

  • the identification and recruitment of talent; and

  • the ongoing support and growth of the Club’s social rowing and non-rowing membership base.

Over the last six months we have been laying the foundations to achieve these milestones and stage gates, particularly in relation to the gym redevelopment (more details below) and the recent ordering of a new Empacher VIII thanks to the generous bequest from Ron Needs.
The first half of 2018 is expected to be every bit as busy, with the continued focus on revenue generation by the Club to further support the efforts in fleet management, recruitment, and fundraising ahead of the anticipated ground breaking on the gym in April. 
An important event for your calendars is the new monthly Club afternoon, the first of which will be held on 21st January at 1:00pm. The aim is to reinforce the Club’s values and sense of belonging to all members and their families.  We encourage all members, new and long standing, who might not have been down at the Club in a while to come along, boat and then enjoy a drink in the bar afterwards to watch the start of the OUBC Trial VIIIs.

Tim Grant
LRC Captain




21 January   Club Social Rowing
26 January   Annual Dinner
27 January     Quintin Head
13 February    Boustead Cup
25 February   Hammersmith Head



To enable the Club to deliver a world class training facility, the Committee took the decision in October to delay the redevelopment of the gym for a short period, while we sought to negotiate with the planners on a number of design amendments to improve ventilation and natural light. The Club submitted its planning application for minor material variations on 21st November 2017 and we expect a response in early February 2018.

On the basis that our variations are approved by planning, the Club’s preferred contractor has proposed commencing construction in April immediately following the Boat Races. The Committee agrees with this approach as it will minimise disruption to the Club during the busy head season and allow the Club to continue to host CUBC in the lead up to the Boat Races.

In terms of cost, the variations submitted have increased the cost of construction by approximately £50,000 to an estimate of £350,000 from the original plan of £300,000.  We anticipate the cost of fit out to remain unchanged at approximately £80,000 bringing the total cost of the redevelopment of £430,000.

The Club has committed funding of £340,000 available for the gym redevelopment, thanks to the generosity of those members who have contributed to the fundraising efforts to date. Whilst we have secured enough to deliver the basic structure, there is however still a gap to be bridged in order that we can deliver the legacy building we want, the training facilities that our athletes deserve and an asset which will provide a steady income to the Club from other users. We will continue to seek further support and donations from members through a series of initiatives over the coming months.

Sophie Hosking MBE elected a Steward


The Club’s past captain and 2012 Olympic Champion, Sophie Hosking MBE, was elected a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta at the Stewards’ December meeting.
In addition to being the Club’s first female captain, Sophie was a regular medallist in the GB lightweight team; winning medals consistently over a six-year period, culminating in an Olympic win at London 2012.  For the last two years Sophie has been a member of the F.I.S.A. Athletes' Commission.



In October, the royal barge, Gloriana, moored at Putney Pier for an exclusive set of outings for Tideway-based clubs inspired and organised by members of London as part of the Thames Tidefest.

The event was a huge success with Lord Sterling, who financed the construction of the Gloriana, joining members and guests on board over the weekend. A full London crew dressed in Club kit rowed the Gloriana to Hammersmith Bridge and back with raised oar salute by the London flagpole.

Over £1,000 was raised from the auction of seats for both crew and guests, which has been added to the gym fundraising efforts.

Casamajor Club - Relaunch 

The long running Casamajor Club will be relaunched in March this year, offering a maximum of 250 members the chance to participate in the following prize draws for a monthly subscription of £5.00: 

  • Monthly draw of three prizes of £75.00 each; and

  • Semi-annual prize draws in June and December of £1,000.00 each.

In addition to the opportunity to win a monthly cash prize and being able to wear the coveted Casamajor tie, you will be making a vital contribution to the Club’s purchase of boats and equipment, with all Casamajor Club profits being transferred to the Boat Fund.

Existing members of the Casamajor Club will be contacted by the Treasurer in January.  Any member interested in joining the Casamajor Club should contact the Treasurer via email – – for an application form.

Club Social Rowing - 21st January 2018

The Club will host the first of its monthly social rowing afternoons on 21stJanuary 2018, open to both new and existing members who are looking to row socially without committing to a training program or the structure of our existing groups.  All are encouraged to meet at the Club at 1:00pm for an outing shortly thereafter, followed by drinks and food in the bar.  On this occasion we will boat quickly and be off the water by 2:15pm, to watch the start of the OUBC Trial VIIIs.

Annual Dinner - 26th January 2018

Members are reminded that the Club’s Annual Dinner will take place on Friday 26th January 2018, commencing with a reception at 7:00pm and seats for dinner at 8:00pm.  This year’s guest speaker will be the President of Leander, Mr Jeremy Randall.  Tickets are £55.00 per person and can be ordered from the Club’s Events Manager, Rachel Collum, via email Monday 15th January 2017.

Club Blazers


We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rowing Blazers Limited as the official supplier of the Club’s blazer, following the closure of AE Clothier.  Rowing Blazers Limited – founded by Jack Carlson, author of the acclaimed Rowing Blazers book - produces handcrafted blazers to a very high standard of finish, using the highest quality materials and the most traditional techniques. Rowing Blazers offers two grades of fabric for the Club’s blazer: cotton twill and full wool, which can be tailored for both men and women.
For those London based members, Rowing Blazers will be taking measurements at the Club on the following dates – Thursday 8th February from 7:00pm and Saturday 10th February from 12:00noon.
For those members not based in London, please contact Joe Guppy via email who will personally handle your enquiry.


All members are reminded that if you are involved in or witness a water safety incident, you are required to report it using the following email address: The Club will file any necessary reports on your behalf with British Rowing and the PLA, members should not submit reports directly to either body.


My thanks to everyone who has contributed to this edition of the London Roar. If you have an idea for an article or would be interested in submitting a piece for inclusion in a future edition, please email me on

Please do not submit an article without first liaising with me.

Miles Preston
Editor of The London Roar