Captain’s Update


Spring is officially her although it seems well disguised as winter. We are though turning our thoughts from winter training towards warmer days and lighter evenings. This update looks ahead to the next few months and reflects on some of our achievements of the last few months.

Please read it as some will apply to you as a member of the club.

Easter Opening

This is a reminder that good Friday is traditionally when we mark the opening of the Rowing Season. The racing is open to all members with the traditional Easter Egg prize for the winning team. If you would like to row on the day can you please let your Vice Captain know before Wednesday 27 March to ease organisation. The plan is as follows:

  • 8.00 Arrive and ready to boat
  • 08.15 Team Selection
  • 09:00 – 10:30 Racing
  • 10:45 Refreshments
  • 11:30 Opening Ceremony with the Mayor of Sudbury

Please invite relations and friends to join us. There will be the usual beer and hot cross buns as well as other refreshments and this year Sainsbury’s is sponsoring the refreshments and prizes. Please note that the Sudbury Fun Run will mean that roads through and around Sudbury will be closed between 9-10 am.

Learn to Row

Pippa has been working hard to introduce potential new members to the club with some taster sessions. These will now be followed by our next Learn to Row Course which will be starting on Saturday 6th April at 12.30 and will run for 6 weeks. These courses are a key means by which we can bring new members into the club and are also a source of income. For them to run smoothly requires at least 4 members to be present and volunteers are needed for each session. Don’t worry if you are not sure about your coaching skills – you know more than you think you do and your help is invaluable.

Can you please contact Pippa to let her know that you can assist her with your vital support –

Head of the River Races

This year we had the potential for five crews at the HORR and we started off well with our first ever entry into the Schools Head. Our juniors boated 10th in the event and were surrounded by other more experienced and mainly older crews and they did themselves and the club proud finishing 96th overall. Congratulations to Bob Howard for his coaching through the winter with support from Tim Baldwin and Rob Frost.

Our Ladies crew have been training hard since the autumn with Andrew Blit as coach and winning at Norwich Head. After a difficult start they came 207th overall and we have huge potential for success as we move towards the Regatta season.

Unfortunately the weather hit the HORR this weekend and our Men’s, U17 and Vets Crews have been disappointed not to be able to compete but can reflect that a solid winters training can now be carried into events in the coming season.

Dates for Your Diary

Here are some dates that you should put in your diary:


  • Quiz Night 18 May 2013 – further details soon
  • Annual Dinner and Dance 5 October 2013 – more information nearer the time

Learn to Row

  • 6th April – 11 May 12.30 – 14.30 – please confirm you are available to help with Pippa

Rowing Events

Note these are events we are currently planning to enter or are notable rowing events we should aspire to enter at least one crew. We may attend others as the season progresses. Speak to your Vice Captain to discuss entries.

  • 14th April – Bedford 4’s and Small Boats Head – entries urgently needed to ensure a place
  • 5 May Wallingford Regatta Dorney Lake
  • 19 May British Masters – Nottingham
  • 1-2 June Peterborough Spring
  • 21-23 June Womens Henley
  • 28 June Henley Qualifiers
  • 3-7 July Royal Henley
  • 12-13 July Henley Masters
  • 14 July Bedford Quarts
  • 20-21 July British Rowing Junior Champs
  • 27-28 July St Neots
  • 3 August Sudbury International Regatta
  • 10-11 August Peterborough Summer
  • 15-18 August ZeZere Rowing Tour Portugal
  • 1 September Gt Ouse Marathon
  • 8 September Cambridge Autumn
  • 15 September Boston Marathon

Evening Rowing

With the evenings getting lighter and the clocks changing over Easter weekend we will start evening sessions from the week commencing 8th April.

We found last year that crews were training most nights of the week so we will no longer have an evening when there is a Duty person. This means we have to set a few rules.
If you are planning to row during an evening you must notify your VC and book a boat with times. If you are not at the club 15 minutes after your booked time then another crew can use the boat.

Respect other river users – during the summer we have to share evenings with Sea Scouts, canoeists and anglers. Development crews must arrange outings with their VC and there must be a senior member coxing or present. Juniors can only go on the water by arrangement with a VC or Coach and if a senior member is present. Exceptions are if the VC and Club Captain have formal notification from a parent authorising unsupervised boating. We will not be allocating specific evenings for squad priority however Wednesday is usually the evening most used by Juniors and the river is busy. Any incidents or damage must be reported – this is not about blame it’s so we can ensure any damage is dealt with and we learn from the incident.

Boat Handling and Safety

Our boats are both expensive and delicate and they are most likely to be damaged when handling them on and off the water; in and out of the boathouse and racks and on and off the trailer. Please think about the following to save unnecessary damage and injury
Make sure that the cox or a crew member gives clear instructions – and make sure each crew member is switched on and listening.

Ensure that the crew is capable of handling the boat – don’t be afraid to ask for help
Before lifting ensure that the way is clear and that trestles or racks are prepared
Put the boats on racks after outings even if they are going to be used in a later session
Take care when turning boats on land – check both bows and stern to ensure there is enough clearance.

Make sure that you have a plan when placing the boats on the trailer – particularly the top section and make sure they are properly strapped down. Always strap boats on outside racks.

That’s all for now.

Let’s look forward to a successful season ahead and some warmer weather


Keith Paxman