Friday evening’s Christmas Party was a great success. Huge thanks to Gary Austin for organising and MC’ing the event. Thanks also to our very own talented Dylan Gomersal (and partner Richard) and Peter Smithson (and partner Brian) for entertaining us; and to Carlotta and team (Edoardo, Johnny and Sean) who ran the bar and kitchen for the evening.

Junior Christmas 8+s race will run as usual on the 24th December 10-12 pm followed by chat and snacks! Juniors + Alumni Juniors are welcome! Plan B is being considered if the river is still too fast. Bring xmas hats and some nibbles with you. The bar will be open for non-alcoholic and some alcoholic drinks (for adults).

Red River ergo schedule is now on the club websitetps here.

WiFi code – The router card has gone missing; we’d appreciate it back! If anyone knows the WiFi key code please email me with it.

The next phase of club refurbishment – ground floor/first floor lobby painting – will be undertaken by the now well-practiced team of Keith, John, Roger, and Ken. They are planning to work off Christmas lunch on 27/28/29 December to do this, so please avoid the front stairs during this time.

We plan to convene a short Townhall on Sunday 5th January at 1100 to share the design principles and plans for displaying the vast collection of rowing pictures; aiming to tell the club’s story from the nineteenth century to the present day. 

This is the time of year to reflect on achievements, and to thank you all for making the club what it is, including the vast numbers of volunteers who give up their time to run events, and keep the club running, without whom….

Wish you all a great holiday period, a merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all back on the water in the New Year.


No rowing to report again this week, but plenty of ergos, weights, gym sessions, cycle rides and swimming, as we use all means available to keep up our winter training. The Weybridge Winter Head was cancelled; the QMULBC camp postponed; and a decision will be made on the TVSL event (26 January) this coming Thursday. If you have kindly volunteered to support the event, Andy will advise.

Congratulations to the Reading University crew, with alumni members Edoardo and Sean, who received their trophies for winning the Academic 4x event in the 2019 Fuller’s Head of the River Fours in a ceremony last week. Good to see Maidenhead club ties being proudly worn.  

More work in and around the club to report on this week. Brunswick green hand rails and skirting boards on the main stairs; removal of the low wall that has proved a trip hazard when the touring tubs are used; repair to the fence on the north side of the club; and loading the container for its imminent departure. Many thanks to all of you who have helped in these activities. 

We have now updated the Land training schedule, with some changes particularly to reflect the large numbers of Junior squads actively training, which is great to see. Please check the schedules on the club website (they should be posted early next week). If you do wish to train during a squad allocated session, please contact the relevant squad captain/coach ahead of the session to check availability.

Please remember to leave the cardio suite (ergo room) in good order when you leave; close windows, switch off lights, close the door. Please release (in a controlled manner) the ergo handles from their holders at the end of a session, after wiping down, storing them next the flywheel housing, to reduce chain wear.


Storm Dennis caused events and outings to be cancelled this weekend. Instead of urlando contra il cielo, have a look at Vicky Thornley’s suggestions for cross-training activities, for racing and recreational crews alike:

Next weekend’s planned events are the Burway Head (22 Feb) - good luck to our 6 WJ14/15 crews entered; and GB Junior trials at Boston (22-23 Feb) with a fabulous 5 of our juniors being invited - good luck to Amelia, Danny, Izzy, Jacob, and Max.

At the club (22 Feb, 1000 – 1700), we are planning to host a team of Royal Marines training to row on the Pacific Ocean ( They are doing this to raise awareness and funds for members of the service community struggling with mental health or physical disability issues.

This week there will be some framed pictures going up around the club; please be extra careful as we have just had them newly framed.  If you are at the club on Monday from 1000, please use the back stairs and try and avoid the corridor by the Kitchen door and Bar if possible. 

A team of Half-term escapees from the VetMen will be doing some more clubhouse redecorating, gardening, and new bar furniture assembling. The truck will have a small-boat carrying frame fitted on Monday.

Looking further ahead, two events for your diaries: an indoor rowing challenge to support Sport Relief and the club (13-15 March); and the formal clubhouse reopening (28 March from 1400).

Sports Relief will be on 13 March.  As some members will be racing in the Kingston Head on 14 March and/or in the Head of the River the following weekend, we will be holding the challenge over 3 days from Friday 13 March to Sunday 15 March, so squads can fit it into, or around, their training schedules.

The challenge will be for us collectively to row from the distance from Lands’ End to Shetland (via Tim’s house on Anglesey), 1,175 km in total.

As we have 25 ergos, that makes a target of 47 km per machine. We would like as many club members as possible from all squads to be involved.  If, say, 120 members participate, the average distance per member would be less than 10km. We will send out more information, including how you can get involved in raising sponsorship, over the next few weeks.


Burway Head was cancelled, and the Cockleshell Endeavour team row postponed again. The GB Junior trials were replaced by ergo tests at the club yesterday, with some great performances by our triallists Amelia, Danny, Izzy, Jacob, and Max; well done to you all. Two of our alumni members, Edoardo and Sean, were in the Reading University BC 4x that took silver in the BUCS Head on the Tyne today; congratulations to them.

Next week we say farewell to Layla, and wish her well as she relocates to Vancouver. I’d like to thank her for her hard work in running the function-hire on behalf of the club; this has been, and continues to be, a valuable source of funding for us.

Thanks to Dawn for running her informative and practical coxing and steering course; 10 people will have completed by next week, who found it very useful and are looking forward to putting it into practice on the water (eventually…).

Another milestone was achieved with the clubhouse refurbishment project, as the new bar furniture was delivered and assembled this week. Thanks to Keith and Ken for their flat-pack assembly skills. The old bar furniture will continue to be used in the community at All Saints church. Paul Lion kindly made a donation to the club for this; thank you Paul. Further painting is underway on the stairwell leading to the cardio suite, and more pictures are being hung, as we prepare for our re-opening event on 28 March at 1400.

The tow-truck now has a removable frame to enable it to carry up to 3 small boats to events. This will not only ease boat transport, but expand our boat-transporting contingent, due to less stringent DVLC conditions for a lighter load. Please contact Dylan if you would like to arrange coaching for truck and/or trailer towing, as it will ease logistics if more members are able to transport boats.

Our regatta dates have been confirmed by British Rowing, so please add them to your diaries: Junior regatta 17 May; Open regatta 8 August.

In addition to club news, I would like to share rowing technique tips and guides. These are intended as discussion points for our members, as there are often (always?) varying opinions. Please email me your topical/favourite tips for inclusion. Thanks to John S for the following piece on breathing. It sounds obvious, but Rowing is named as one of the hardest endurance sports and proper breathing is very important to be able to sustain the amount of work;


Reading Head cancelled; more land training. Frustrating though this may be for us all, it helps build the foundation for the summer’s race/tour performances. WEHoRR scheduled for 7 March; if that goes ahead – good luck to our SW 8+.

We are planning to launch the Sport Relief ergo challenge (for us collectively to row the 1,175 km distance from Lands’ End to Shetland) next week, once formalities are completed. The final day will remain Sunday 15 March, but bringing the start date forward enables us to positively benefit from Red River ergos. Further details to follow.

Please follow the NHS guidelines on the Corona Virus. If you are feeling unwell and think that it could be the Corona Virus please self-isolate and do not come down to the club until you have been cleared. As an additional precaution please clean all weights, rowing machine handles with antibacterial spray both before and after exercise. Our Safety Advisors, Chris and Diane, have shared some advice, so please read and heed their email.

A reminder that club policy is for new Maidenhead racing kit to be purchased exclusively from our nominated supplier, Regatta Sport. Please refer to Club Kit Manager, Mark Stockdale’s recent email for the rationale, which includes our desire to present a unified club identity.

The club’s rich history is being vividly portrayed, as the reframed photographs are being hung around the clubhouse. Thanks to Roger and Caroline for the considerable time they are putting into doing such a professional job. One of the benefits of our refurbished clubhouse is an increase in the demand to host external functions. This is an important source of revenue, and I’d like to thank Carlotta for picking up the Party-hire role from Layla, and Chris and Peter for continuing to run corporate hires. Thanks also to Paul and Laura for running the bar on Sunday afternoons, for those who are not sleeping off yet another weekend of long ergo pieces.

Another reminder that our clubhouse reopening event is on Saturday 28 March starting at 14:00. Flyers will soon be displayed at the club.

Some useful reminders on ergo technique from British Rowing’s Go Row Indoors programme  The sequence is key: Legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs. Focus on your legs – 60% of the power is from the legs, 30% body, 10% arms. Maintain good core stability. And breathe. Adaptive rowing techniques are included in workouts with some of the current Invictus team: