July 2020 Newsletter

It has been six weeks since lockdown was eased. The club is nowhere near normality, but we have come a long way.

General News

Sadly, the willow by the pontoon fell down, only just missing our launch and the pontoon. Thanks to Richard Berkley and John Hyde who cut it to size without injury. The good news is that our frontage is now a bit more open and it will be easier to launch from the pontoon.

Despite lockdown we have had a surprisingly healthy influx of new members. Please make them feel welcome!

Picnics are now allowed, but only for members’ families.

Rowing

Richard has organised single sculling coaching on Saturdays and Sundays within British Rowing’s COVID-19 restrictions and we now have 40 scullers assigned to club singles. A silver lining of lockdown is that many people have dared to try sculling that otherwise would not, so I think this will have a long lasting positive effect. If you would like to get involved then please contact Richard.

For those of you who don’t want to go out in our fine sculls we have a number of other options. These include our punts, Snuffy for stable sliding seat sculling in family groups, Canadian canoes, stable single sculls with floats and a new fixed seat boat for family groups or picnics.

If you want some guidance on using these boats contact Andy McKenzie.

Boathouse

Boathouse volunteering has restarted within government COVID-19 guidelines and steady progress is being made.

Our water-flushing toilets are almost ready.

Brian Barnes has an ambitious plan of work, so please contact him if you would like to help.

Volunteering

We got an excellent response from the call for help with mowing. Big thanks to Matthew Crowder, Belinda Drew and Andy Hyde for offering to do the job.

Stuart Hunt and Chris Gardner both mended a push mower each and we have a sit-on lawn tractor from Anthony Jordan.

I am really pleased we got this help as David Key and Nick Digby were overworked. Despite this they have kept the site looking great and complying with the strict constraints of the council’s ecological plan.

If you would like to discuss anything, please get in touch with anyone on the committee.

Current status

Finally after six months of flooding and lockdown, we are back on the water. Unfortunately we are still very restricted.

We cannot restart club sessions or have events or social gatherings.

Only the following are allowed:

  • Private singles, doubles or canoes
  • Club singles
  • Club boats with all rowers from the same household

Snuffy, a large gig rigged as a coxed double, and a punt will be kept floating and chained up under the bridge, but will be usable by all. Oars and poles will be kept in the boathouse.

Richard Berkley is running single sculling coaching sessions. Please email Richard if you are interested.

Picnics are now allowed, but only for members’ families.

Please keep the forecourt clear at all times as construction work access may be required.

Safety rules

• Do not visit the club if you or anyone in your house are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or whilst you should be self-isolating
• Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser before touching any equipment
• Only 2 people in a bay at a time
• Keep the doorways clear
• Follow social distancing guidelines at all times
• Wash all boats and blades before and after use
• Disinfect blade handles and high-touch areas (gunnels, riggers, gates, footboard fastening nuts, seats, hatch covers) before & after use
• Store trestles in bay 3
• Write up your session on the outing board
• Carry a mobile phone when on the water
• Do pre-boating safety check
• Do not use the catering facilities
• Follow all normal Club safety procedures

John Fawthrop

We are sad to report that John Fawthrop passed away last Sunday.

John was always smiling and a pleasure to be around. He gave a lot to the club and the regatta over many years.

We were extremely fortunate to have John’s experience, composure and competence as treasurer for five years.

John rowed at Tiffin School and Kingston Rowing Club. After that he was one of the founders of Warwick University Boat Club. Later he rowed at London Rowing Club.

A true gentleman. He will be sorely missed.

We will pass on the details of the memorial service.

Full shutdown of club rowing

Yesterday British Rowing sent out advice saying:

British Rowing advises that all Affiliated Clubs should cease all club-based activity as soon as reasonably possible tonight and not reopen tomorrow until further notice. This advice will be reviewed, on an ongoing basis, in line with Government guidance.

Therefore we have decided to shutdown the boathouse completely until further notice.

COVID-19 update

Given the latest government advice about the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee have to announce a partial shut-down of rowing activities.

British Rowing has announced that it is cancelling or postponing all its supported events until at least the end of April. We have cancelled the Mad March Dash and the next Learn to Row course.

Until further notice we are running no club sessions, events or social gatherings

We are still allowing:

  • Private boats
  • Club singles
  • Doubles and pairs of people in the same household
  • Rowing machine sessions

We will review the situation constantly.

Please contact the club chair if you have questions.