This is my last blog, and I will keep it brief! Your new Captain, Ben Rodford as well as the responsibility for running the club, has the keys to this page.
I've found the last two years challenging to put it mildly, but it has also been hugely rewarding when it's gone well, (and a little humbling when it hasn't). Sometimes I've felt like a caretaker - just keeping it going till there's a 'proper' captain to take over, but I believe that overall we have made progress, and thanks to the efforts of the many, there are have been gains and the club is now in a better place than it was two years ago. This is just my take on it, and I know that there are those who will not agree. One thing that I have learned is that you can't please all of the people all of the time ...
What is not in doubt is that the club is gradually moving into a new era, with some potentially enormous gains to be made in the future, and some big risks if we don't get it right.
The regatta ran over Saturday and Sunday like a well-oiled machine - thanks to the organisation, kind weather, a modest entry and most of all to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly from early Friday through to Sunday evening, (some activity still evident as I write this on Tuesday lunchtime).
We managed a reasonable level of Gloucester entries and I hope that everyone who wanted to, got a race. I won't list the Gloucester wins here - they're on the site if you want the details - but suffice it to say, if there had been a victor ludorum, we'd have won it!
A large contingent of juniors and seniors headed up to Stourport at the weekend, the majority of entries being mixed - is it avoidance of points or the belief that boys and girls are more civilizedwhen they're together?
Anyway there were wins for the mixed eight, quad and four, the women's quad, women's novice single and double - congratulations to Karen and Tori. The remaining recipients of silverware were Caroline, Karolina, Dan, Sam, Georgi, Charlie, Tobi, Nick, Ben M, Lynsey, Kim and your knackered scribe.
Congratulations to Ruth, Yasmin, Camilla and the rest of the GB Junior Women's Eight on winning Gold at the GB Rowing Team at World Junior Championships; Mention should also go to their coaches, in particular Arran O'Dell.
From the British Rowing Website:
Britain has a new set of world rowing champions today after the junior women's eight took gold in commanding fashion at the World Junior Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
They dominated their race from starting pontoon to finish line to take victory in 6:24.97 - over three seconds ahead of the USA in silver.
Representatives of the club headed north of the border last weekend to the sunny (?) climbes of Strathclyde for the National Championships. i believe there were about twenty in the party and transport was in hired minibuses, with boats taken on the Ross trailer.
Notable performances were put in by Ben, J17 single who made Silver
and the WJ16 quad of Georgie, Charlie, Lauren, Alicia, who narrowly missed medalling with a 4th in the final, whilst Lauren in WJ15 single, made 5th in the final.
All juniors were complemented on their good behaviour by the hotel staff.
The club had a small but highly trained squad in attendance at Henley Masters, and just as well. The competition was fierce and we gradually fell by the wayside, (picture the charge of the light brigade) until there was only one left - well done Gerry - gold for Gloucester!
Meanwhile in Lucerene, Beth was doing her bit for another cracking performance by the GB squad, winning gold again in the quad. Congratulations to Beth and the rest of the squad.
Gloucester Rowing Club were represented in two events at Henley - the Wyfold and the Princess Grace Challenge.
The coxless four of Ben, Dan, Tim and Sam were racing on Wednesday. They had a good solid row, but sadly were eliminated in their heat against a powerful London Rowing Club crew - London 'B', noting that there were London A, B, C and D. London B went on to lose against the eventual winners, Nottingham in the semi final, while London A lost in the final.
Henley qualifiers on last Friday - perfect weather if a little hot - good conditions. The coxless four consisting of Ben, Dan, Tim and Sam qualified for the Wyfolds. Dave Pollard went for the Fawley in a composite with Maidenhead; competition for this one is very tight, and unfortunately they weren't among the qualifiers.
The Gloucester four will be performing Wednesday at 10.30 against London B. Good luck and have a good row!
Good luck also to Beth Rodford who will be racing in Gloucester colours in a composite quad.
Representatives of the club were competing at a variety of locations at the weekend, with some success.
At Stratford many juniors were competing for the first time, and medals were won by Neil and Ben, (not competing for the first time), Adam Rees and Tom Sharples, and Tom Allen - first win for Tom - congratulations.
No wins at Marlow but the coxless four made it through a heat and a semi to race in the final.
Another quick update - well done everyone who helped make the Bell Boats a big success last Sunday. I know some of you were finding the bureaucracy a real head ache in the preceeding couple of days, but it proved worth it in the end.
The masters at Nottingham had some limited success - well done Gerry for winning a silver in the singles and commiserations to everyone else who were not quite so successful!