The London Roar

With the first race of 2018 already behind us and 150 days until racing commences at Henley lying before us, I’m reminded how busy this past month has been and just how busy we’re about to be.
 
The first major event for the year was the Annual Dinner. Thank you to all who attended what was a brilliant evening with great food, wine and company. Jeremy Randall once again provided an unrivalled after-dinner speech, mine went on a bit long and so I promise that next time I’ll stick to just three points!
 
Quintin Head was the morning after the Annual Dinner, with the results showing an improvement from last year, but the need to find more speed remains.  Congratulations to the Vets on winning the Masters BCD pennant.
 
January also saw the first of a number of LRC weddings for 2018. Please join me in congratulating Ash Maitland and Claire White, a fantastic couple and long standing members of the Club.
 
We also welcomed some new and returning members to the Squad. Alex Holmes joins us from South Africa whilst on a gap year and Meghann Jackson returns after a short stay 500m down the Embankment. Ollie Arter, also on a gap year, will shortly be arriving from Australia. Please do look out for them and say hello.
 
Looking ahead, we are expecting the results from our planning application for the gym redevelopment towards the end of February. The gym redevelopment subcommittee are planning for a favourable outcome, and are currently finalising the arrangements for the men’s changing room and land based training during construction.  We will communicate these arrangements to the entire membership in early March.
 
From 11th February, breakfast is starting at the Club! The Events Team will initially provide a breakfast offering for the Squad and as soon as they are stable, we’ll extend this to whole membership. We expect that within a couple of weeks we will see a slick operation where you can get hot food, cereals, juice, tea and coffee at a fantastic rate of £6 for members and £7 for guests. Great for coming off the water to, or if you’re just passing by and want to get away from the cafes of Lower Richmond Road. As ever we see this as part of the membership offering and value feedback and suggestions for improvements.
 
Finally the January Club Day was a great success, with a great mix of members, their families and friends passing through the Club. Planning is now well under way for the next Club Day which will be held on Sunday 18thFebruary, with a better set up for the kids, as well as the bar being open from midday and a live band from 2:00pm for the parents.  I again encourage everyone to come along for what promises to be another great afternoon.
 

Tim Grant
LRC Captain

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DATES FOR YOUR 2018 DIARY

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10 February   Boustead Cup
25 February   Hammersmith Head
8 March     Pre-HoRR Dinner
10 March    WeHoRR
11 March    HoRR
18 March    Social Rowing Afternoon
24 March    The Boat Races
25 March    Vets Head
29 March    Church of Reedy Circuits


ANNUAL DINNER

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The Club’s Annual Dinner was held on Friday 26th January 2018, with over 100 members and guests attending.  Following Tim Grant’s detailed update on the Club’s activities since his election as Captain, the President of Leander, Jeremy Randall once again demonstrated his unmatched after-dinner oratory skills, delivering an entertaining speech and well received toast to the health of the Club.
 
In addition to the usual speeches, Imogen Walsh presented her 2016 World Championship oar to the Club and Mike Baldwin announced the unveiling of the Club’s newly commissioned World U23 Championships honours board.

Following a superb reading of the official race report from the final of the 1935 Thames Challenge Cup by the Club’s Archivist, Julian Ebsworth; the Club was presented with the rudder and traditional LRC cap belonging to the late Squadron Leader Guy Harris – the cox of the Club’s 1935 Thames Cup winning crew – by his son Chris Harris.
 
The Club extends its thanks once again to all of our guests – Jeremy Randall, Sir David Tanner, Chris Harris, Ellie Fielding (Captain – Thames) and Harry Bond (Captain – Vesta) – together with the Events team, Rachel, Tommy and Shona who delivered a flawless evening.  Special thanks must be given to Julian Ebsworth, for ensuring the oar, rudder and honours board were ready for the evening.

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BOUSTEAD CUP 2018

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The Committee has recently agreed that a Sub Committee should be set up to plan how the Club might mark the anniversary of the Armistice at the end of the First World War.  Members will be aware of the Roll of Honour hanging in the lobby of the Fairbairn Room, alongside which is an illuminated list of the 50 members who were killed in action or died in World War I as a result of wounds received in hostilities.  Virtually all were officers, the youngest 18, and the oldest 46. 37 of the 50 lost their lives in France and Flanders, with the remainder in Gallipoli, the Middle East and Kenya.  One name is on a memorial in Chatham. About a dozen received gallantry awards.

The first main project agreed by the Sub Committee has been to plan a booklet listing the 50, assembling information from LRC, Henley Royal Regatta, military, academic, genealogical and other sources.  We are fortunate to have in the archives a beautifully produced contemporary memorial book which has photographs of many of our fallen.

A second project may be an event planned for November 2018.

The Sub Committee comprises Chris Sprague in the chair (he is a past Chairman of the Club Committee); Peter Fraser and Robin Cameron Cooper (who have both had military careers); Jeremy Hudson (Club Hon Sec; two of his great uncles lost their lives in the War);  Ciarán Hayes (Captain 2008-09); and Miles Preston (Committee member).  The Hon Sec is Julian Ebsworth (current Archivist and Librarian).

If any other member would like to join the Sub Committee to help share in the research work, or could help later on in the year in other ways, e.g. with the design or production of the booklet, or with the planning of the event in November, they are very welcome to do so.  Please contact Julian via email - julianebsworth@hotmail.com


MEMBER IN FOCUS… IMOGEN WALSH

In the first of our bi-monthly “member in focus”, the Roar’s roving reporter caught up with Imogen Walsh at this year's Annual Dinner…

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LR:  Imo, tonight you are presenting the Club with your second World Championships oar after winning gold in the 2016 Women’s Ltw 4x in Rotterdam – one of the many wins you’ve had throughout your career, but if you had to pick one race as your favourite/most memorable, which would it be and why?

IW: There are two that stand out for me; one is the Wingfield Sculls because it was against such a high caliber field that year and so I definitely wouldn’t have been predicted as one of the likely winners. I was last off the start but just did push after push and picked off the others one by one; I remember feeling really strong and in control even when I was behind.
 
The other, was more my series of races in 2015, when I raced my single. That season had been really hard, I’d been pulled out of training in October, having been over-trained, and tests showed my body was in a bit of a mess. I have been told since that some people never recover properly from the sort of state I was in. It was February/March time before I was back training with the squad again, and don’t think anyone expected anything from me that year. But although I had lost a lot of fitness, I managed to get my single going well again; I won trials, I won Europeans and I came second at Worlds. It was all bittersweet, because I wasn’t in the double anymore, and that was utterly devastating. But at the same time it was such a turnaround from where I was that winter. It was probably the best and worst season I have had. I learnt so much, I absolutely LOVED being in my single, and the same time I was devastated at not being in the double.
 
LR: Following your 2016 win, you’ve been taking some time out which has seen you travel to the Maldives and Tunisia to deliver coaching to burgeoning development squads.  Admittedly both idyllic locations and a far cry from the Tideway, but apart from the weather (and better water) what was the draw to undertake this challenge and how did it come about?
 
IW: The role in the Maldives was suggested to me in the summer of 2016, through Rosie Mayglothling (and British Rowing) and FISA (who run the project along with Olympic Solidarity, part of the IOC). I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to carry straight on with rowing after Rotterdam, but this seemed like a perfect chance to step out for a while and decide whether I wanted to go back to rowing (and be improved by the break) or start the process of moving away from full-time rowing. What interested me about it was both the development of a rowing project, and living in a strictly Muslim society. I’ve always loved travelling and been intrigued by different cultures, the foods, the customs, so to live in work in a completely different community really appealed.  
 
LR: Now for some quick fire questions.  Favourite place to train – the Tideway, Caversham or Henley?
 
IW: Ah I love the Tideway! Can’t beat the long rows, and it always feels a privilege to be on the river, something few Londoners get the chance to experience. But also Caversham is a fantastic training location, and still water is a pleasure. Of course Henley has its perks too! Nice to be somewhere relatively more rural and on considerably cleaner water than the Tideway!
 
LR: Favourite 2Km soundtrack?
 
IW: Ah I have such an eclectic mix on my iPod! From traditional Scottish tunes, to The Streets, to Linkin Park, and a cheeky bit of NSync too! 
 
LR: Other than a can of Irn-Bru, favourite post-race treat?
 
IW: Curry - although that is a favourite any-time treat!
 
LR: Best piece of pre-race advice from Paul Reedy?
 
IW: I had never raced my single internationally before Europeans 2015, so I really didn’t know how I would compare in this field. Reedy said before the race, ultimately whether you are winning or losing, you will still go about it pretty much the same way, you know what makes you go your fastest, so long as you stick to that, whether you are at the front or the back of the field we just need to wait and see. I found it really useful to think of it that way, execute the process to the best of my ability and the outcome will be what it will be.
 
LRFinally, is there any truth in the rumour that with Meghann Jackson’s return to LRC, you’re entering the newly named “Stonor Challenge Trophy” for the women’s double sculls at this year’s HRR?
 
IW: Haha! Well that’s the first I’ve heard but never say never!
 
Imogen joined LRC in 2010, having started out her rowing career as a coxswain with Inverness Rowing Club, and was a Resi from 2011 to 2013.  In 2011, Imogen wore the “GB Hoops” for the first time and together with fellow LRC lightweight Steph Cullen, won gold in the Women’s Ltw 4x at the World Championships in Bled.
 
Following her 2011 gold medal winning international debut, Imogen has gone on to four European Championships winning 2 bronze and 1 gold medal; nine World Cups winning 1 bronze, 2 silver and 2 gold medals; and four World Championships winning a further silver and gold medal to add to her 2011 gold.
 
In addition Imogen’s GB successes, in 2013, Imogen won the Wingfield Sculls, making her one of the Club’s most successful lightweight scullers.  It is not surprising therefore, that hearing the Remenham Club uniting behind Imogen with a deafening “Immm-O” roar as she took on the heavy weight K. Pajusalu from Estonia, in a howling headwind at HRR in 2012, is one of this roving reporter’s favourite Henley memories.

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LRC REMEMBERS — THE GREAT WAR

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The Committee has recently agreed that a Sub Committee should be set up to plan how the Club might mark the anniversary of the Armistice at the end of the First World War.  Members will be aware of the Roll of Honour hanging in the lobby of the Fairbairn Room, alongside which is an illuminated list of the 50 members who were killed in action or died in World War I as a result of wounds received in hostilities.  Virtually all were officers, the youngest 18, and the oldest 46. 37 of the 50 lost their lives in France and Flanders, with the remainder in Gallipoli, the Middle East and Kenya.  One name is on a memorial in Chatham. About a dozen received gallantry awards.

The first main project agreed by the Sub Committee has been to plan a booklet listing the 50, assembling information from LRC, Henley Royal Regatta, military, academic, genealogical and other sources.  We are fortunate to have in the archives a beautifully produced contemporary memorial book which has photographs of many of our fallen.

A second project may be an event planned for November 2018.

The Sub Committee comprises Chris Sprague in the chair (he is a past Chairman of the Club Committee); Peter Fraser and Robin Cameron Cooper (who have both had military careers); Jeremy Hudson (Club Hon Sec; two of his great uncles lost their lives in the War);  Ciarán Hayes (Captain 2008-09); and Miles Preston (Committee member).  The Hon Sec is Julian Ebsworth (current Archivist and Librarian).

If any other member would like to join the Sub Committee to help share in the research work, or could help later on in the year in other ways, e.g. with the design or production of the booklet, or with the planning of the event in November, they are very welcome to do so.  Please contact Julian via email - julianebsworth@hotmail.com


Club Social Rowing - 18th February 2018

Following the success of the Club's first social rowing afternoon in January, the next one will be held on Sunday 18th February 2018.  We’ve taken on board the feedback from last month and will be offering a child friendly menu, putting out mats for the little ones and we’ll work out the doors so they’re a bit more secure for ease of mind.   The adults will also be well taken care of, with the bar open from midday, and a live band – Soul Street https://youtu.be/B7tq_SDMa5Y – from 2:00pm.
 
Those members wishing to row, are encouraged to meet at the Club at 1:00pm for an outing shortly thereafter.


RACING RESULTS

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Quintin Head was the Club's first race for 2018, with three crews entered:

LRC A - Golding, Reeder, O'Flaherty, Breuer, Linn, Adams, Piechowicz, Williams and Sani (Cox) – 24th 10:45.3

LRC B - Dalton, Fox, Anderson, Dickens, Blessley, Meredith, Sexton-Barrow, Plantenga, Ramambason (Cox) – 54th 11:04.7
 
Masters – Halford, Harris, Martin, Theed, Williamson, Brown, van Tiel and Neville (Cox) – 51st 11:04.3
 
The results show an improvement from last year, but still some work to be done. The Squad crews had a reasonable row, however trained through the race with a morning session beforehand and a full week of training in the lead up. The power is continuing to build in the Squad, although we have 14 seconds on average crew ergs to bring down to meet our targets.  
 
Congratulations to the Masters on winning the Masters BCD pennant.  No doubt a strong start to their 2018 Head of the Charles campaign.  Congratulations also to the “Chiswick Bridge + London” Composite on winning the Women’s Masters BC pennant – this crew is made up of women from Scullers, Mortlake and Quintin, with LRC’s Treasurer steering and providing resistance training.


REPORTING SAFETY INCIDENTS

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: safety@londonrc.org.uk. 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.


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

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 miles.preston@londonrc.org.uk

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

Miles Preston
Editor of The London Roar