The Maidenhead Rowing Club junior trip to compete in Saint Petersburg in Russia took place from 1st-6th October. The trip was conceived a year ago - Katerina Kleshneva, the lead boys coach at the club is a former Olympian originally from St. Petersburg and still has both family and rowing contacts in the city. Some very enthusiastic mums of juniors took soundings and before we knew it, the trip was on. Regular updates and itineraries were provided during the year.
So well organised were the parents that we even provided our own pilot in the form one of the juniors' dads, a BA pilot who used what should have been his day off to fly us there!
The group stayed in an area boasting many new sports facilities including the new Zenit Saint-Peterburg football stadium in construction for the 2018 world cup. At breakfast on the first morning we gained the impression that all Russians were extremely tall only to discover that the hotel was full of basketball players. Then a group of smaller Russians came in - the cyclists, competing at the next door velodrome.
Maidenhead were hosted by the English Rowing Club of Saint Petersburg (Honorary Chairman: Sir Steve Redgrave) a club originally founded in 1864 by British expatriates and which was re-opened on its original site on the Krestovka river embankment (part of the delta of the River Neva on which Saint Petersburg is situated) in 2010. We were excellently looked after with evening barbecues and lunches at the club. There are several other rowing clubs in the vicinity but crews also came from further afield in Russia for the race.
Great to see so many new rowers out on the water during the late summer evenings.
Here are some reminders for us all particularly relevant to our reach during busy times.
- Steering/look-out: ensure your cox/steer is appropriately experienced and looks-out frequently. If you see someone approaching, and on course for potential collision, please remember to shout ‘look ahead sculler/double/quad’. Do not assume they have seen you.
- Navigation: follow designated pattern, avoid middle third of the river.
- Turning points: turn at specified points only (immediately downstream of the A4 roadbridge – not off the pontoons; immediately upstream of the Sounding arch – primarily for crews returning from Boulters lock-to-lock pieces; and in the Bray lock cut), and take a good look out before starting to turn.
- Cruisers and canoeists: pay particular attention to other river users, they may not see you.
- Whiteboard: if you are boating outside designated squad times, please use the whiteboard propped up next to the cox-box and key lockers. Remember to erase your entry when you return from your outing.
- Lifejackets/PFDs: Vero Jones is doing a fantastic job maintaining our lifejackets and PFDs. If you notice any damage or defects, please advise her.
- Coaching launches:
- Risk assessment: everyone is responsible for their own safety. Do your own risk assessment (capability/experience, conditions, equipment) before each and every outing. If in doubt, do an ergo instead.
We have had a couple of near-misses recently. Please be aware of your surroundings, particularly other boats.
Please learn and abide by our rules. They are on the website (http://www.maidenheadrc.org.uk/index.php/safety), and hardcopies posted inside and outside the clubhouse.
MRC Water Safety Advisor
Cell +44 (0) 782 484 8591
This weekend, our Maidenhead Junior squad made up of 28 athletes (WJ14 – J18) and 6 coaches made their way up to Strathclyde in Scotland for their annual National Championships.
It was a fantastic weekend on all accounts (maybe the weather could have improved a little...), and it is certainly a trip that will be remembered by all. In summary, we came away from the event with 3 GOLDS and 1 SILVER. In addition to this, every athlete that competed qualified for the A and B finals. The weekend got even better when it was noted that the WJ14 4x+ had set a new championship record!
The weekend surely couldn't get any better, but it did...It was announced that the Maidenhead Girls had won the Victrix Victor Ludorum, an award given to the team who collect the most points in womens events over the weekend. After the prize giving, we were asked to stay behind and gather the Maidenhead Boys, we waited suspiciously... to hear that we had also been awarded the Victor Ludorum for the combined effort of the club! It was a very close call between us and our friendly neighbours Claires Court School who were just 1 point behind. Claires Court also had a fantastic weekend with 2 GOLDS, 2 SILVERS and 1 BRONZE. Overall, a very thrilling and rewarding weekend for both clubs.
In more detail...
GB vs France
Back in June, Maidenhead sent several junior crews up to Nottingham for the GB v France team selection trials. The team of Abbie Bird, Kate Woffinden, Ella Holgate, Talia Antioco, Sean O'Mahony, Edoardo Marshall, Elliot Kemp and Victor Kleshnev all put up fantastic efforts in a mix of 1x, 2x, 2-, 4x and 4-.
After a tough day of racing, some miserable wind from Nottingham and a swan attack, the team were thrilled to come away with Victor being awarded a GB Vest for the JM 1x.
Victor went on to race at London Docklands in July at the closed match between the Junior 16 teams for both Great Britain and France. With mum and coach Katerina in tow, he put out a sterling performance to come home with his first medal for the GB team. Congratulations!