January Newsletter

Unfortunately river conditions have been the worst for years, so there has not been much activity on the water.

Off the water the work output has been amazing as usual. The new toilet had to be moved to the other side of the boathouse as the old location flooded too easily. Andy McKenzie punted the septic tank across the flooded site.

Heather Rudge installed lighting. Roger is not having an epiphany.

Captain of Rowing’s Update
A frustrating couple of months but congratulations to the Explorers for their first and second wins at Hillingdon before Christmas. The time-trial at Maidenhead this Sunday has been a victim of the river flow, but the next event to look forward is Molesey Vets Head on 15th February. A timed race over a 3.25 km course, the Vets division starts at 2.30pm. This Head includes a section for Explorer boats, so it provides an all too rare opportunity to compete alongside fine fours and eights. I propose that we take a trailer with boats in both classes and I would invite members to propose some crews with this in mind. Entries close on the 8th Feb but these Heads usually fill their quota well before the official cut-off date. I have posted the event on the FitClub calendar. Please respond, one way or another even if you are not interest in competing. I hope there will be a good level of interest in this event as I think it is an excellent opportunity for all members of the Club to be involved, whatever your experience. 
If you cannot make it to Molesey, the next event to look forward to is Goring’s own Explorer Event which is scheduled for 22nd March. Again, I will post this on FitClub for anyone interested in being involved. 
Lets hope we can be back on the water very soon.
Richard Berkley

Boathouse Development Group
Brian Barnes wrote a summary of boathouse progress in 2019. Everyone should read it. We have come a long way.
Brian also wrote a document that lists the projects we aim to tackle in 2020 and describes how the Boathouse Development Group will collaborate with the committee.
We need help and volunteers of all kinds so please contact Roger Moore to make our boathouse the best on the Thames.

Boathouse Fundraising
Jessica Fowler initiated the new fundraising group. We have ambitious plans to get funding for our projects. Please email Jessica if you would like to get involved with this essential work.

Dates for your diary

  • Molesey Vets Head – 15 February
  • Quiz Night – 4 March
  • March Mad Dash – 22 March
  • Next Go Row – 5 April

Merry Christmas!!!!

Ramping up for Christmas 2019, and GGBCs upcoming one-year anniversary at our new boathouse … here are some of the highlights from our first year rowing this glorious stretch of the Thames.

For those first few weeks rowing life was a little slow, dogged by the usual January and February weather conditions, rowing wasn’t possible every weekend, but enthusiasm was still high to ensure final touches were in place to make for good rowing for all whenever conditions allowed.

Spring really brought the riverbank to life and our first Learn to Row course got under way in April. Learn to Row is a four-week course run by GGBC British Rowing certified coaches. Over four Saturday morning, and two evenings at the indoor rowing tank in Oxford, our novice rowers got the full GGBC treatment – the first of three successful courses to run from our new site in 2019.

Summer heralded our Open Day on June 5th with the official opening and cutting of the ribbon led by an address from President John Wills. This was followed by rowing taster sessions for any who wanted to take to the water, as well as a tour of the site, and refreshments. GGBC has not lost its love of cake and biscuits, nor willing club members prepared to wield the barbeque tongs!

Of course, in the background to all this, planning for the July 20th biennial Regatta had long been underway. Many a meeting, hundreds of emails and a not insignificant amount of prayers in the days before asking for it to “please stop raining”, this year’s regatta was a magnificent success. The skies cleared by 10.30am and more than 1600 visitors passed through the gates, kids went free and the newly introduced Baby Dragon boat racing and Crafty Raft race were a delight to watch. Late into the evening volunteers and members were still buoyant with the fun of it all.

Autumn was fabulous. In September we could take full advantage of evening rowing well into the end of the month while the light still held. Thursday evening sessions became hugely social events with members heading down to the boathouse straight from work and staying on for amazing picnic spreads laid on by session managers. We really did eke out every minute of light to take advantage before the changing of the season.

It is now December and winter is upon us. So much rain in November has meant rowing conditions have rarely allowed us to venture out and when we do, we need to be safe. With that in mind more than twenty GGBC members recently attended an ITC certified First Aid Course run by Elements First Aid Training. Led by Flora Schnider, frontline Emergency Ambulance Crew and herself a keen outdoor sport enthusiast, Flora gave key insight into first aid scenarios specific to rowing and the challenges that that may bring. We hope we never need it but as in any walk of life its better to be prepared.

And so, as we go into December, our twelfth month of rowing in the Goring Gap, December 1st smiled on us and GGBC donned their Santa hats and took to the water. A few dog walkers and families out for a stroll, themselves taking advantage of the early winter sunshine, gave us a smile and wave as we passed.

Don’t forget, GGBC is first and foremost a recreational, community club. Whether you are new to rowing or an old hand that wants to get back into it, come and see us. Visit our website or drop an email to our Captains of Rowing, Richard and Nick .

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year from all at GGBC.