Sponsored Row

A day of fun and fundraising - 27th September 2008

Saturday 27th September saw Weybridge Rowing Club coming together to raise funds for much needed new boats and equipment.  After the disappointment of the postponment of the first row planned for Sunday 14th September all parties were mighty relieved when the day dawned bright and fine (well the mist burned off quite quickly) and the river was serene and beautiful, with the trees turning from vibrant green to golden amber and flaming red.

The Double 'Other Wey Up', the Eight 'Weyward' and the Octople 'Tossed Awey' set off in high spirits from Henley Rowing Club (our thanks to them for allowing us to start our event there) at about 08:20.  After a very brief pause at Bisham Abbey Sports Centre the first major call of the day was courtesy of the kind people at Maidenhead Rowing Club, (picture, right) who put up with us interupting their training session. 

Such was the enthusiasm for the event from the Junior Squad that the coxed Quad 'Wey Hey' joined the flotilla at Maidenhead and 7km later our second coxed Quad 'Breakawey' was added.  Now we comprised 5 boats, all 'Weybridge Blue' and looking very smart, representing the best that the Club can offer.  The adult group led the way to Dorney (picture, left) in case the Juniors got there before them and scoffed the marmite sandwiches!

After a fantasic lunch courtesy of the Miller and Cocks families (thank you so much) at the Army Rowing Club (many thanks to them for their kindness in letting us their facilities) the flotilla set off for the final pitstop of the day at Wraysbury Skiff Club, at Runneymede (Weyward, below left), where a generous tea was laid on by the Millers and Cocks'.  Thanks to the Skiff Club for the use of their facilities too.  We are most grateful.

The final sector saw the mighty figure of no less than Jon Beagley in the  Eight as 'Weyward' (lower in the water now - picture, below right) set off to Weybridge, via Laleham, and Chertsey.

As the sun sank over the gasworks the singing of the WRC juniors in 'Tossed Awey' and 'Breakawey' could be heard from Weybridge as they rowed between Chertsey and Shepperton Locks, arriving at the Club at about 7:15.

It was interesting that before the event there were a number of people concerned as to whether they could 'row that far'; by the end of the second sector people were asking if they could possibly do an extra sector.  Indeed the original plan of taking the double out of the event at Dorney was abandoned due to the enthusiasm of the day.  Even when all parties were back at base there was still lively chatter and smilling faces (and a very relieved Captain).

The day bought all ages and abilities together in a variety of ways; rowing, land and lock crews, catering and so on.  Maidenhead RC were mightily impressed (Gilly, picture left), and have asked if we can talk them through what we did as they want to do something similar.

As a whole, 1,408.1 'rower kilometres' were rowed between Henley RC and Weybridge (excluding some weaving around the river!) of which the Junior section contributed 781.1k, or 55.47% of the total.   14 locks were negotiated.  As I write this (28/9/08) the total sponsorship is yet to be established.  There's still time for donations to be received bt the Club - tax deductable!  A very kind gentleman in a nice cruiser provded crisps and cokes at one of the locks - and Jenny Miller extracted £12 from just talking to people!

A very great effort by all, including organisation by Caroline and Richard (Adults), Nick and Clive (Juniors), lock and land work by JT and catering by the Miller and Cocks families.  Thanks also to Martyn Milwood-Hargrave for cycling the whole way and JB who cycled or rowed from Henley to Weybridge as safety support and many others for behind-the-scenes activity.

For posterity, those who took part were:

James Coxhead*, Jack Shepherd*, Maddy Shanks*, Seb Kirk*, Pip Bolding*, Helen Cocks*, Tom Oades*, Kirsten Owens*, John Milwood-Hargrave*, Stephanie Smith, Ali Miller, Callum Russell, Elliot Tarrant, Colin Opp, Alex Keenes, Ben and Toby Jeffries, Anna Beagley, Harriet Fisher, James Russell, Alice Coxhead and adults Theresa Capel*, Rachel Fisher*, Liz Flavell*, Caroline Turnbull*, Richard Harris*, Tracey Westbey*, James Flemming, Toby Hokin, Jon Beagley, Jemma Smith, Marion Pidgeon*, Margaret Flemming and Moritz Gregory.

'*' indicates those who rowed the whole way

Well done to all, Juniors and Adults.


P.S.  How the Surrey Herald reported the event