Docklands Head 02 November 2008

The winter training at Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club has been going very well over the last few months, both the ladies and the mens squad have committed to water outings and land based training in the mornings, evenings and weekends and are now training under their new coach Ray Cassidy.

On Sunday 2nd November three fours and two eights travelled to Docklands to compete in the first Head race of the season away from home water. The crews were set off and raced against the clock, making every stroke count over the 2750m course to ensure the best time possible for the crew.

The MIRC mens eight were the fastest boat of the day completing the course in a time of 9 mins and 20 seconds. The mens novice four also won their category completing the course in a time of 10.51.

The Womens S4 8+ were the fastest women’s boat and completed the course in an impressive time of 10.51.
All the Maidstone boats finished in the top 14 out of the 61 competitors on the day and now MIRC are looking forward to competing in the next race of the season.

Laura McGrillen

National Championships, Nottingham. 18/19/20 July 2008

Crews from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club also attended the National Championships held in Nottingham over the weekend and were also faced with bad conditions. A very heavy head wind slowed racing times drastically and in some cases caused crews to stop dead.

Hampshire and Mollison in their double came 3rd in the heat and were drawn against two top Leander crews,  although fighting hard for a place in the final the two Leander crews came first and second. Hampshire and Mollison could still secure a place in the final by racing in the rep. The Maidstone crew had a very close, nail biting race and came second place by less than a second but nevertheless secured their place in the final.

The Maidstone crew knew they had to push hard in the final having met many of the opposition in the heats, they knew exactly what they were up against. After a good strong start the Maidstone double blasted off in second place out of six crews but the other crews slowly took water off Hampshire and Mollison and left them in last place 750m into the race. Not being phased the crew stuck to their race plan and by 1000m they had pulled back to 4th place, with 250m remaining the Maidstone crew powered for the finish and finished a very respectable 4th place.
All crews that have raced recently at Veterans Henley and National Championships proudly represented Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club and helped put Maidstone on the map.

Kate Beaumont

Veterans Henley 12 July 2008

Crews from both the ladies and the men’s squad represented the club at Veterans Henley. The crews raced over 1000m of the Royal Henley course. The weather on Friday for the men’s double scull was terrible with rain, wind and a fast flowing stream. Robin Chapman and James Knight, a very experienced crew were prepared for the challenge that lied ahead. With a blinding start the crew settled down into their race pace, focused only on their race plan. Their opposition, a composite crew from Ardingly, started to edge forward at the half way mark putting them slightly in the lead. Chapman and Knight fought hard to stay with the Ardingly crew but were defeated by 2 lengths overall but thoroughly enjoyed the race and their 2008 Henley experience.

The ladies double scull, Kate Povall and Liz Macham had better luck with the weather on Saturday and made their way up to the start in plenty of time. As Stolen Dreams made its way up to the start, through the wake of cruisers and umpire launches, around Temple Island they met with their opposition, a County of Avon/Globe composite crew. After a bit of banter, both crews made their way to the stake boats, the umpire sent them off and the Maidstone lilac ladies had a blistering start, taking some water off the opposition early on. After the crews had settled into their stride the Avon/Globe crew started to pull away.

Fighting through the strong winds made the middle part of the race a strong challenge for the Maidstone crew, the conditions differed greatly to those experienced on the Medway. Povall and Macham soon picked up when they heard the cheer for Maidstone from the bank. Rating at 34 Strokes per Minute at the half way, the Coach (Robin ‘the rowing tart’ Chapman), started to run along with the crew, encouraging them to drive it home. Maidstone dug deep and kept it technical but could not pull back the two length lead that remained from here until the finish.

Both crews slummed over the finish and congratulated each other. The Maidstone ladies obviously enjoyed the experience as they had vowed to make a return visit to Veterans Henley before they had even reached the landing stage after the race.

Laura McGrillen

Royal Henley Regatta 02-06 July 2008

On the 3rd July, two members from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) Chris Mollison and Stuart Hampshire, took part in the very prestigious Henley Royal Regatta thanks to sponsorship from Right Management. Henley Royal Regatta is a major event attracting many rowing clubs both nationally and internationally. The regatta runs over five days and operates on a knock out draw with two boats racing side by side in each round. The crews race over a distance of 1 mile, 550 yards which is 112metres longer than the standard international distance of 2,000metres. 

This year was the first time that MIRC had a full senior crew to represent the club at Henley Royal Regatta.
Chris Mollison and Stuart Hampshire competed in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup event racing against a composite crew, D.J.Lowe and T.W Hennessey, from Adelaide Rowing Club and Adelaide University Rowing Club. The Australian stroke man had just missed out on a place in the Australian International Rowing crew.

Their nerves were unfounded as Hampshire set a good rate throughout the race and Mollison steered a brilliant course. MIRC had a fantastic start and managed to push away from the other crew almost instantly and settle into their race pace, which kept them ahead of the competition up to the first marker point, the Barrier. At this point the opposition’s experience showed as they started to come through the Maidstone crew, though Maidstone were by no means off the pace as they continued to push hard to the line. MIRC stayed with their opposition until the last 750m when the Australians pulled away to win by 1 ¾ lengths. Maidstone finished in a time of 8.02 just two seconds behind the winners.

Hampshire and Mollison were very positive about their race and both very pleased with their efforts as were the Maidstone supporters and their coach Ray Cassidy . The crew now look forward to their next race at National Championships in Nottingham where they hope to win a medal in their double scull.

Laura McGrillen