GYM REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE
The construction of our wonderful new gym is now more or less complete and snagging will take place over the next couple of months. We have now moved on to the fitting-out phase and the first tranche of gym equipment should arrive in June. The equipment is of the best quality and will be branded in our colours. A second tranche of equipment will be ordered this week and the ergos and watt bikes will be moved into the large gym. Over the coming weeks, and in time for the formal opening on the 6th June, some very exciting branding will be introduced in line with the images contained in the fundraising brochure. There will also be some very smart external signage.
It is hoped that gentlemen members are now using the new changing room and enjoying the showers. The gym-sub committee is very grateful to everyone who has uncomplainingly put up without showers over the winter months. Thank you.
The old benches have been refurbished and look very good indeed. A locker design is being finalised and it is hoped the lockers might be constructed over the summer months. There were approximately 60 lockers in the old changing room and there will be 20 more in the new changing room, including a number of slightly smaller ones that will be perfect for bike helmets and a small rucksack.
To the rear and side of the gyms, guard rails have been constructed which are designed both to protect the ventilation louvres and for locking bicycles to. With this provision, bicycles should no longer be brought inside the club. A Code of Conduct for the gym is being drawn up which includes simple rules to ensure we look after the gym and maximise our enjoyment of it.
The response to the fundraising has been absolutely tremendous and a huge thank you to all who have donated. But additional donations are still very welcome and these will allow us to take the fitting-out work further and would enable us to carry out associated work that we would very much like to undertake. So please don’t hold back!
For more information, please contact Peter Halford, Eddie Markes or Simon Harris.
Here are a few images before and after:
To follow the story of our new gym, visit our LRC Gym Redevelopment…
LOOKING BACK DOWN THE COURSE
It was with some satisfaction that I strolled into our new gym two weeks ago and worked through my post outing stretches and core session, even though I felt quite small in the cavernous expanse.
The ergos made the trip downstairs last week and the new branded weights equipment is due to be delivered in the next few weeks. Within a very short time, the gym will be fully operational. After the long, hard journey/campaign/race, however one chooses to view it, our pride should be substantial. We, as a club, have succeeded in being bold to proceed, plan and raise the money to build and deliver to the future generations of the Club a land training facility that will endure for decades.
The generosity in time and money of members to ensure that this has succeeded is humbling. Many, who will not use this facility, have such fond memories of rowing at the Club that they have donated to ensure that others will have similar memories in years to come.
The feeling now at the Club is one of having competed in a hard race and crossed the line in front, elation just overriding exhaustion and the knowledge that the end result was worth every ounce of effort from everyone in the crew.
Some members I have spoken to are still sorting out their donations. These donations will not simply go into the general coffers but will be used to pay for an extended list of more equipment for the gym and a to do list to tidy up areas of the Club that have seen some wear and tear while the building work has been going on. If you are one of these members, please press on with making your donation. Your money will be put to good use.
We have the Official Opening on the 6th June when the Club will, metaphorically speaking, receive our pots. I hope that as many members as possible will attend to mark this significant moment in the Club’s history and enjoy celebrating it together.
Vice President, London Rowing Club
PETER CONI GYM
Thursday, 6th June, 7:00pm- 9:00pm
Please join us to celebrate the Formal Opening of the Peter Coni Gym by the Club's President Michael Baldwin and immediate Past President Michael Williams.
Canapes and Prosecco will be served in the Long and Fairbairn Rooms from 7:00pm. We will begin to move down to the gym from 7:30pm for the Opening Ceremony and return upstairs from 8:15pm or so for more Canapes and Prosecco... and to plan our next training session in the gym!
Requested attire is Cocktail Dress, Lounge Suit or Blazer.
Please register yourself to allow us to plan properly for the total number attending – very important! Just click on the link at the end of this piece to secure your place.
The ceremony is an opportunity for us all to mark this astonishing achievement and to recognise both the generosity of our members and the skills, discipline and commitment of our Gym Build Sub-Committee.
A reminder of a few quotes back when we started this project...
"Help create the best gym on the Tideway for the best rowing club on the Tideway" - Peter Halford, Project Director
"The new gym and men's changing rooms will be a great source of pride to all sections of the Club" - Eddie Markes, Gym Build Sub-Committee member
"My goal is to restore the Club to its historic place amongst the UK's elite rowing establishments and create an atmosphere where anyone, no matter what their standard or background, can enjoy this great club and our amazing sport" - Rob Dauncey, Director of Rowing
"A world class facility, allowing optimum development of our athletes, as well as increasing the value for all of our members" - Tim Grant, Captain
"Ensuring the gym is redeveloped to the highest possible specification, leaving the Club with the facilities to develop Henley winners for generations to come. This goes to the very core of the Club's existence, and therefore a fitting legacy to all our members who contribute" - Jason Gray, Honorary Treasurer
"These top class facilities will help us to attract and train the finest athletes, helping us to ensure a very bright future for London Rowing Club" - Simon Harris, Chairman of Gym Build Sub-Committee
For further information or any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please register your intention to attend by clicking on this link:
Honorary House Steward, Events
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
18 May: Putney Town Regatta
24/26 May: National Schools’ Regatta (Dorney)
28 May: Annie Vernon ‘Mind Games’ book talk (LRC)
29 May/01 June: Oxford Summer Eights
30 May: Wine Tasting (LRC)
30 May: Supper Club, 'Regions of Italy' (LRC)
01-02 June: Metropolitan Regatta (Dorney)
05 June: Irregulars’ Dinner
06 June: Official Opening of the new Gym
09 June: Vogalonga (Venice)
12-15 June: Cambridge University May Bumps
15-16 June: Reading Amateur Regatta
22 June: Marlow Regatta (Dorney)
03-07 July: Henley Royal Regatta
10 July: Irregulars’ Dinner (provisional)
12-13 July: Henley Masters
13-14 July: Kingston Regatta
14 July: England Trials for Home International
19-21 July: British Rowing Junior Championships (Nottingham)
20-21 July: Molesey Regatta
27 July: Home International (Strathclyde Park)
03 August: Henley Town and Veterans Regatta
10 August: Maidenhead Regatta
See more detail for these events, visit our Calendar of Events…
CAPTAIN’S ROWING REPORT
The summer season is upon us and the Squad have just competed in their first multi-lane regatta of the season, Wallingford.
They have had a solid winter of work during which we have seen undulating results as combinations have been trialled, pulled apart and retested, all with a significant burden of work being placed both on water and land training. They have remained very focussed despite challenges with no in-house gym or changing rooms (as has been the case for the rest of membership but, for them, it has been twice a day!), work demands and, of course, the dark, the wind and the rain! They made it through and are now all the stronger for it. The days are getting lighter, the weather is improving and getting (a bit) warmer and the adrenaline is kicking in as we start racing in the main regattas.
A blustery day at Dorney saw the first regatta, Wallingford, on the 5th May. The Squad were entered for seven events and the Club was also represented by the Masters’ crew. The aim was for all squad members to race at least twice, with a view to getting as much race experience/fitness as possible early in the regatta season. The Club Eight made good progress, coming second in their heat and also putting in a solid performance in their final - fighting for the line with Kingston. While unsuccessful in this, their result was testament to their improvement over the winter months, as they had ended up somewhat further behind the same Kingston crew at Quintin. Half of the same crew had also rowed in the final of the Club coxed fours earlier in the day. The squad Challenge Eight just missed out on a place in the final but gained some valuable side by side racing experience. The crew broke down into a coxed and coxless four for racing in the afternoon.
Playing with the gas pedal, the Challenge coxless four won their heat, posting one of the fastest times across the heats. As a result, they progressed straight to the final where they faced stiff opposition against crews preparing for the Visitors Cup at Henley. While they were disappointed with the final result of 5th, they should take some consolation from the fact that positions two to five were only separated by a canvas. The frustration for them was that they would have come a comfortable second had they been able to repeat their earlier time... but this was precisely why Rob had them competing in multiple events (learning by taking part in each of them), knowing when to punch, what the optimal ratings are and so on. The long and the short of it is that the crews are looking forward to building on what they have learnt at the Met and Marlow!
Vice-Captain, Meg Jackson, raced in three events, in the single and composites with Vesta, winning in the coxed fours and coming second in the coxless fours.
The Masters have had some great racing over the last month or so. After punishing the ‘Millennials’ upstarts in HORR, you will have read in last month’s London Roar they went on to victory in the crew classic in San Diego. They raced at Wallingford where the crew raced well in their heat but unfortunately missing out on a spot in the final. There is high potential for this boat to keep gathering speed as the season continues into the warmer months. Looking forward to seeing more of their success!
You can find streamed footage of the day here https://youtu.be/q1mvc0czGb4
On the first of May, the Filippi eight named the ‘Richard Philips’ was christened by Richard using a little Chateau Tooting sparkling wine. All members know Richard. Anyone younger than fifty-six has probably been coached by him and that includes the present squad. He has participated in so many successful Henley campaigns that I will just direct the membership to the Honours boards from 1992 onwards.
Richard thanked three London members in particular for helping him start and then continue his rowing and coaching career. His arrival at the Club in the mid-seventies was due to John Marsden, who was a friend of Richard’s father; we almost lost out to Vesta but John suggested Richard would enjoy London. Maurice Rayner, who coached Richard, ensured that he stayed in the sport by directing him to take up sculling during his further education in the north. Lastly, thanks were due to Mike Fothergill for employing him and for being understanding when he occasionally arrives a little late in the morning straight from the river.
In case you haven’t already noticed, big things are happening at London. We have a lot of events and gatherings at the Club this month. Shane Dorsett, the General Manager, is having a really positive impact on the Club. He brings a breath of fresh air to the place, organising multiple events for members to enjoy, the first of which has been the Sunday Roasts. No longer do you have to wing a booking and sit cramped in the corner worrying about the kids making too much noise. You can enjoy being at the Club; the kids can eat first and then watch a movie in the Fairbairn room while the adults relax over two or three delicious courses in the Long Room. The next lunch is on the 19th May. Do come if you can. The food is terrific and very reasonably priced.
On Tuesday 28th May, we have Olympic silver medallist and former LRC member, Annie Vernon, sitting down with Rob Dauncey for a fireside chat about the psychology of elite sport and then on the 30th May, we have a fantastic wine tasting and supper to sample the new wine list created by long standing member of the Club and Master of Wine, Tim Jackson.
Full details of these events are in Shane Dorsett’s article later in this edition – be sure to read it.
I hope we will see you at the Club over the coming weeks. If you can also find the time to go to any of the regattas leading up to Henley – as well, of course, as going to Henley – please do so. The crews hugely appreciate your support and you will have a great time watching them as they improve and do us proud. If you want to understand the effect a crowd of supporters can have on their team, just look at Liverpool’s performance against Barcelona last week!
As a final note please join me in congratulating two of our own who are getting married whilst you read this issue! Paul Bachler (Irregulars) and Rachel Healy (Young Irregulars) are tying the knot in Portugal. Look forward to seeing them both at the club.
Bang the Drum
Now that summer is approaching, as well as good attendance at the Club on Sunday mornings, a lot of activity is going on within the group for various summer excursions/tours.
Primary amongst these is our annual trip to the Vogalonga in Venice on the 9th June. This year, there will be four crews rowing under LRC colours, of which three will be from our Irregulars group. We are transporting three boats to and from Venice and the normal activity of checking the boats, booking the Eurotunnel and arranging dinners is taking place under the excellent direction of Miles Preston. Outings are taking place over several Sundays so that participants can get a feel for the boats and each other!
Other trips in the pipeline are the Traverse de Paris (13-15th September) and a rowing tour on the Douro River in Portugal (16- 22nd September) - numbers are currently being finalised. If you are interested in going on either or both of these trips, please get in touch with the co-ordinator of these events, Kate Pearson on email@example.com as soon as possible.
The morning of Sunday the 28th April turned out to be a ‘cleaning’ session for most members rather than rowing and then cleaning - a lack of bowsteerers (a very rare occurrence) meant that quite a lot of members didn’t get an outing but were instead set to work cleaning the new gym and common parts. This was carried out with great spirit and enthusiasm - the whip was not wielded on too many occasions. I hope the difference was noted!
Our monthly dinner on Wednesday, 1st May was shared with the Richard Philips boat naming party - a very jolly affair at which we also celebrated the 80th birthday of Tony Lynn, a very active and popular member of our group.
CLUB INFORMATION & EVENTS
The Roasts continue every Sunday between midday and 3:00pm up to and including the 13th June. We are hoping the chefs will continue their residency into the summer, so any support over these last few weeks will be much appreciated.
Please book on eventbrite:
Mind Games with Annie Vernon
On Tuesday 28 May, Annie Vernon, Olympic Silver medallist and double World Champion rower, will be sitting down with Rob Dauncey to discuss the psychology of elite sport and her recently published book. A networking event at LRC, drinks and canapes from 6:30pm; please book in advance.
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Launch of the Spring/Summer Wine List!
Our own Master of Wine, Tim Jackson, has helped curate the Club’s new wine list which will be unveiled during two events on Thursday 30th May, commencing with a reception featuring the new fizz at 7:00pm. The Wine List will be introduced by Tim, then guests can attend an event of their choosing (subject to availability). Guests are welcome.
Long Room - Wine Tasting
A more traditional tasting event with canapes matched to each wine. £15/per person - book at firstname.lastname@example.org
Members Room - Supper Club, 'Regions of Italy'
The Sour Angell presents ‘Regions of Italy’ - a journey into the wonderful world of 'la cucina Italiana'. The Regions of Italy menu, each dish is paired with wines from new wine list, £65 per person - book at email@example.com Note: This event is limited to 20 people.
Piedmont - panna cotta, watercress, hazelnut pesto
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Sardinia - fregula, lobster, bottarga
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Emilia-Romano - tongue n’ cheek lasagne
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Naples - brioche, ice cream, rosemary
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Though subject to change, this is a set menu event and as such we cannot guarantee we will be able to cater for all dietary requirements, so please ensure that any requirements are approved prior to purchasing a ticket to avoid disappointment.
Chef Leyton Angell created ‘The Sour Angell’ as a nod to his passion for all things a little different, a little pickled and a little sour. With inspiration from his travels around Italy, ‘Regions of Italy’ will highlight classic Italian dishes with some trademark ‘Sour Angell’ touches. With over ten years' working in the catering industry and a career spanning private and corporate functions for weddings and events, Leyton's extensive experience and skills cover a broad culinary spectrum. He is now focusing his passion and creative talents on what he loves most, creating unique taste-tingling, seasonal dishes.
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Playball Schedule for the summer term
Mondays: 9:30 – 11:45*, 15:15-16:45*
Wednesdays: 9:30 - 11:00
Thursdays: 9:30 – 11:45*
*2x classes running at once
General Manager, London Rowing Club
RIVER INSPECTION OF THE PUTNEY AND FULHAM REACHES
Iain Reid, long time member of the Club and current Master of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, held a River Inspection of the Putney and Fulham reaches on Monday, 29th April, with members of his Court and other livery company guests. They finished up at the clubhouse for lunch in the Members' Room.
The photo above includes: 2nd left, Ken Dwan who sculled for GB in the Mexico City and Munich Olympic Games and won the Doggetts in 1971 and numerous other sculling events in the UK; 5th left, Dr Tim Cutler, Master of the Barbers' Company; 6th left, Iain Reid; 7th left, John McGregor, Master of the Spectacle Makers' Company; and 10th left, Jeremy Randall, Past President of Leander Club and guest speaker at a recent LRC annual dinner.
London Rowing Club Archivist
CHRISTOPHER BEVIS SANFORD (1918-2019)
Members may have spotted in The Times (April 13th) an obituary for Bevis Sanford who passed away on April 4th at the ripe old age of 101. He was probably one of the most successful oarsmen of his generation and was also a member of London from 1937 to 1972. So far as we know, though, he did not compete for the Club. His rowing was at Eton, Trinity Hall and CUBC, a career that was cut short by World War II. He won nearly every small boat event at Cambridge.
He was in his element at Henley where he won the Visitors’ twice for the Hall (in 1937 with a four that only had one outing before the regatta, winning the final in a time 16 seconds’ faster than the Stewards’) and the Goblets in 1939. The final was quite a London affair in what was a fine race. Bevis’ partner was Hugh Parker, whose elder brother, R Parker, was in a London pair with Farn Carpmael. Both pairs were level pegging until the mile and the eighth but then Sanford and Hugh Parker went ahead fast and won by 2 ½ lengths.
Bevis was a much respected coach, and a strong advocate of improvements, as he saw them, at CUBC and Henley. He lived for many years across the river at Hurlingham. The funeral took place at All Saints’, Fulham, on 30th April and the wake was held at the clubhouse.
London Rowing Club Archivist
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 to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Please do not submit an article without first liaising with me.
Editor of The London Roar