Over the past two weekends it has been pleasing to see an increase in activity on the water as we move into the new season. Our new squad is forming and starting the hard miles; it is good to see so many familiar faces and a few new ones enjoying what our Club has to offer. And looking to the future, the news that we have reached agreement with Westminster School to use our new gym on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons is fantastic. We will see the new gym generating income for the Club as well as a steady stream of potential new members.
Equally satisfying has been the amount of activity on Wednesday evenings with battle paddling followed by light refreshments at the bar. Great credit is due to Mark Lucani for co-ordinating the crews and encouraging so many onto the water. I regret that I have not yet been able to join in the fun.
In parallel with the activity on the water, the new committee has been working hard to address the issues raised at the AGM. We have established a number of working groups to address matters as wide ranging as finance, revenue generation, buildings, governance, strategy, communications and, of course, rowing. In order to address the concerns raised at the AGM with the wider Club membership we will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting in mid-October. It will also give us all an opportunity to discuss the various initiatives which are underway. Full details will be circulated by Jeremy Hudson in due course.
Chairman, London Rowing Club
REVENUE GENERATION GROUP
We all appreciate how important it is for LRC to be generating revenues. To this end, our Chairman has worked into our structure a Revenue Generation Group (RGG).
The group is comprised of members across the Club - Mike Baldwin, Peter Halford, Whit Mason, Frank O'Mahony, Chris Goodfellow, Abby Leek, Tim Grant, Jacquie Grosch, Shane Dorsett, JP van Tiel (Comm's) and myself.
Each of us would be delighted to hear thoughts from our peers. Email messages for the attention of the RGG may also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are seeking expertise in corporate sponsorship; if you have experience in this area or have a friend or family member who could assist, please do let me know.
Many potential streams of revenue have been identified by the group - The Gym & Physio Room, Club Membership, Events, Corporate Rowing, Merchandise and others. A number of actions are already underway on the high priority streams.
A new category of membership became available at the start of this season, Club Membership; use of the gym being the most prominent benefit for this membership type. For those not familiar with the concept of Club Membership, it is most easily described as ‘all benefits off the water’.
If you have any friends or members of your family for whom this membership type would be of interest, please encourage them to contact the Club to enquire about becoming a member.
Chairman, Revenue Generation Group
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
11/15 September: World Rowing Masters’ Regatta
14 September: Great River Race
15 September: Traversee de Paris
29 September: Regatta London Row
03 October: Wingfield Sculls
06 October: Pairs Head
09 October: Irregulars’ Dinner
27 October: Upper Thames Autumn Head
06 November: Irregulars’ Dinner (provisional)
09 November: Henley Sculls
23 November: Fours’ Head
24 November: Veterans’ Fours’ Head
01 December: Wallingford Fours and Eights Head
04 December: Irregulars’ Dinner (provisional)
07 December: Vesta Scullers Head
07 December: British Rowing Indoor Championships
08 December: Remenham Challenge
See more detail for these events, visit our Calendar of Events…
The Irregulars enjoyed a good but quiet August - no dinners and a well-deserved rest for our social organising team.
Rowing numbers have been good on Sunday mornings and attendance at the Wednesday evenings outings is up on last year. However, with evenings now drawing in there is only 6 weeks’ worth of these evening outings to go before we cease them for the winter.
Some of the holiday period has been spent drumming up support for the Regatta London event on the 29th September. This has been very successful and we are hoping to put out a mixed eight, a men’s eight and, with luck, a coxed quad. Entries closed on 6th September.
We also have a men’s quad in training for the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston over the weekend of the 19th and 20th October and a mixed quad for the Vets’ Fours Head on Sunday, the 24th November. The Irregulars are racing!
Well done to all.
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR BATTLE PADDLING!
Over the summer off-season break, one of my fellow Vice-Captains, Matt Reeder, conceived of a plan to bring a number of the rowing groups closer together, both on and off the water. From this concept, Wednesday evening Battle Paddles sprang into being!
We went to work combining members from groups across LRC, including LRC Ladies past and present, the Racing Masters, the Millennials as well as current and future squad members to form a comprehensive crew list.
Somehow, with the help of our full-time coaches, we managed to squeeze almost the entire list into matched crews on a weekly basis, using almost every boat and blade available. At its peak, we managed to boat sixty people in ten boats in a huge show of force signposting LRC’s return to strength.
I must admit that I took particular delight in devising the crew names - from Boy Bands to characters in Alexandre Dumas novels. Matching names to the characters of the crews was...well…very pleasing.
As is often the way, the formula took a bit of refining, however, with matched crews setting off from the band stand at a very ‘strict’ rate 20 (in later battles, rate 22) and hostilities ceasing at the LRC flagpole. There was more than enough action to stir up some healthy intra-club rivalries.
When we got it right, verdicts remained in the balance right until the flagpole. In fact, on one occasion I happened to be in a 4- which Steve Salter declared to have beaten the other 4- by “the narrowest of margins”. There is a pleasing symmetry in that Louron has now been on both sides of that verdict.
Friendly rivalries put to rest (or further fuelled) and a quick visit to the “best showers in Putney”, Shane, Tommy and the team were always on hand to welcome us into to the Long Room to swap war stories, dispute verdicts and test rate meters. We even had a cameo appearance from Bob Silver’s son Max pulling pints behind the bar.
The camaraderie and spirit generated from these evenings has truly been inspiring and a breath (and at times a hurricane) of fresh air into the Club. There is a very special buzz in the air at the moment. If you haven’t been down to the Club lately I heartily suggest that you do - the ‘Club’ part of London Rowing Club is burning with a renewed brightness that speaks to some very special things on the horizon.
CLUB EVENTS UPDATE
The Dinner Ladies (dinnerladiesltd.com) have taken residence in our kitchen from Monday to Friday during the day. They have hired the kitchen as prep space but we hope that, in time, they will wholly integrate into the LRC clubhouse environment.
LRC End of Summer Crawfish Boil
Thursday 26th Sept 2019. From 7pm. £25pp.
There are still seats available for Dinner Ladies' Big Easy Supper Club. Feast on Cajun, Creole, French, Spanish and native American influenced food and enjoy LRC's new roster of beers.
Please pre-book by emailing email@example.com
General Manager, London Rowing Club
SITTING AT BACKSTOPS – THE BREXIT ROWING TOUR…?
Caroline Tu (of Weyfarers) tells me that our Irish friends are so reluctant to lose us that they are organising a special rowing tour to mark Brexit! This will take place along the navigable section of the river Erne, which is on the border between Northern Ireland and Eire, over the last weekend in October (Friday, 25th to Monday, 28th inclusive).
The tour will begin in Belturbet in the Republic of Ireland, row through Northern Ireland and finish right on the border at Belleek (the most westerly settlement in Northern Ireland and thus the most westerly settlement in the United Kingdom).
It will cater for forty rowers and the intention is to have twenty from the United Kingdom and twenty from the Republic of Ireland. The boats will be coxed touring quads and the total distance (weather permitting) will be 84 km. Accommodation will be based in Enniskillen with three nights Bed and Breakfast in a hotel. Lunch and dinner each day and bus transfers to and from the start and finish locations will also be included. This tour is being run purely on a self-financing basis so the costs will be divided equally between all the participants. These costs (which will be in £) will also include boat hire and boat transportation. The ballpark expected cost per participant is expected to be between £320 and £350 (€350 to €385).
THE OPEN ROAD
Last month I wrote a short piece about cars owned by LRC members.
I asked if any other members had more cars, motor bikes or boats of interest. I am pleased to report that several members responded and, as a result, we now have three more cars, three boats and a motor bike to show you.
Thank you very much to those of you who let me have the photos of their cherished possessions.
Although it doesn't belong to an LRC member (as far as I know), I thought you might also like to see picture of a combined motor bike and Canadian canoe I came across recently.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not submit an article without first liaising with me.
Editor of The London Roar