Pairs Head of the River - Saturday 17th October 2009

On Saturday 17th October, two crews from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) travelled to Chiswick for the Pairs Head of the River. With 372 crews from all over the UK competing, the MIRC Elite double scull consisting of Stuart Hampshire and Chris Mollison were thrilled and honoured to start the race in number one position.  The conditions on the River Thames were remarkably tame, with no rain and only a slight wind.  Hampshire and Mollison started the race exceptionally well and maintained their number one position for the majority of the race, as they approached Hammersmith bridge the MIRC double were being pushed on by University of London Boat Club crew who spurred them on and had a blinding finish.  Hampshire and Mollison completed the course in a time of 12.25 and finished in a very respectable 12th place overall.  The wind increased for MIRC’s Intermediate 2 double scull consisting of Matt Nicholls and Sam Blackwell who set off in 87th position and faced a head wind during their race.  Nicholls and Blackwell have not competed together in a double scull before but did not hold back, as they had a good start and went off rating 33 and settled into a steady rhythm and maintained 30 strokes per minute for the duration of the race.  Nicholls and Blackwell completed the course in a time of 12.34 and finished in 24th  position overall.  With just 9 seconds between the two MIRC crews they are all looking forward to the upcoming races in November to see who finished where.      

Laura McGrillen

Maidstone Small Boats Head - Sunday 4th October

Sunday 4th October was the Maidstone Small Boats Head which was held on the River Medway from Kings School Boat House to just before Town Bridge, a distance of 2.5Km. Head racing is when boats are individually timed.

155 boats from various clubs, racing over 3 divisions in a variety of different categories for Mens, Women's, Juniors, Vets and Mixed crews.

Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) entered 37 crews and won in 15 of the categories. They also got 3 of the 4 fastest times.

The Mens fastest time was awarded to Maidstone/Globe composite IM2 4+ Matt Nicholls, Chris Mollison, Stuart Hampshire (all from MIRC) and Mark Jaques (from Globe Rowing Club) coxed by Jo Jarrett in a time of 8:29, they were the fastest boat of the day.

The Junior J18 2x - from MIRC Tim Grant and Morgan Hellen were the fastest Mens Junior Crew – 9:08

Fastest Women's crew WIM3 4+ from MIRC Laura McGrillen, Liz Bennett, Elida Fidler, Katie Martin – Coxed by Tricia McGrillen from Sudbury Rowing Club. Time: 9:53

Fastest Women's Junior Crew was awarded to Bewl Rowing Club was J15 4x+ – 10:22

Other winning Maidstone crews

IM3 4+ Rich Wood, Stephen Slade, Marc Feary, Ben Finch coxed by Thea from Royal Docks RC

Elite 1x Stuart Hampshire - 9:03

J18 4+ - Dave Porter, Fergus Maunsell, Matt Delderfield, Ben Le Lion cox Ross Porter – 9:19

J16 2x Ryan Mitchell, Charlie Talbot - 9:34

J18 1x Tim Grant - 9:44

Vet E 4+ Robin Chapman, Harry Salmon, Dave Marsden all from MIRC and Ian Boyd (from Tyne Rowing Club) coxed by Sue Mobbs - 9:44

J15 2x Nick Penny, Pierre Flasse 9:56

Vet Novice 4+ Graham Hodgekinson, Richard, Simon Da Maria, Ali Macham coxed by Tui Thain - 9:59

1x Vet B/C James Knight – 10:02

1x Vet F Roger Mobbs – 10:45

WJ16 2x Abi Deldefield, Sarah Judd - 10:49

WJ14 2x Megan Fuller, Lauren Gilchrist 12:01

Later this month Morgan Hellen and Tim Grant are attending World Class Start and GB potential camp

Laura Johnson

Maidstone Invicta Junior Squad - Presentation Evening - Leeds Castle, 18th September 2009

The Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club Junior Squad have celebrated a successful 2008 / 2009 season last weekend. Following a grant from the Kent Youth Service for £50,000 the deputy mayor (to send name) helped name the new eight and new training single. The eight was named after the longest serving junior coach Ray Long who helped coach the juniors to their greatest year.

The boat naming ceremony was followed by the annual presentation evening held at Leeds Castle. It was a fantastic evening with lots of laughter and reminising. The junior of the year award was won by Morgan Hellen, who represented the club and Great Britain at Le Coupe de la Jeunesse winning 3 golds and a bronze. Morgan's mother, Anita Hellen was awarded Coach of the Year an award voted for by the juniors.

The overall contribution award went to Ross Porter after he coxed the junior eight to the Henley quarter finals, the coxed four to National Championship silver and represented the club and England winning a silver at the Home Countries. He is the club's youngest athlete to win a medal representing his country.

It has been a great year for the junior squad and a big thank you goes to all the juniors, parents and coaches for all their hard work.

Kate Beaumont

Cambridge Regatta - Sunday 13th September

On Sunday 13th September, Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club entered 8 boats into the Cambridge Regatta. Of those 8 boats, 6 made it into the final with 4 of them winning. This event was 2 crews racing side by side in knockout stages.

The winning crews were:

Women's Novice coxed 4's - Vicki Spencer, Emily Barrett, Rachel Rickwood, Liz Macham and cox Chloe Martin won against composite crew Peterborough/Newcastle

Vet C Novice 4+ - Bert Kleine-Dieters, Greg Snape, Bill Butler, Rob McManaway and cox Chloe Martin beat Sudbury's Vet B Novice crew

Mixed IM3 8+ - Jo Sticklee, Liz Macham, Rick Wood, Katie Martin, Mark Tomkins, Liz Bennett, Aly Cooper, Guy Sticklee and cox Robin Chapman beating X-Press, Cambridge

Mixed IM2 8+ raced in CRA Mixed 8's - Jo Sticklee, Aly Cooper, Anne Salmon, Katie Martin, Mark Tomkins, Liz Bennett, Richard Ridgway, Guy Sticklee and cox Robin Chapman beating First and Third Trinity, Cambridge.

The Womens novice coxed quad and Mens Novice 1x lost out to Beccles in the final.

The Vet C Novice 4+ and Vet D 4+ both made it through to the semi-finals.

This was the final regatta race of the season that MIRC are entering. Now the club is starting to concentrate on the forthcoming winter head races. Starting with the Maidstone Small Boats Head on Sunday 4th October.

Laura Johnson

Juniors competing at Le Coupe de La Jeunesse

Three juniors from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club represented Great Britain last weekend in Vichy, France. James Crumpton, Josh Pendry and Morgan Hellen took part in Le Coupe de la Jeunesse a European rowing match and came away 7 Gold Medals and one Bronze.

James, Josh and Morgan raced in the Mens Junior Eight winning Gold on the Saturday and Sunday racing. Morgan Hellen, who attends Oakwood Park Grammar School, also raced in the Mens Junior Coxed Four winning Gold on the Saturday and Bronze on Sunday. The eight won on both days by a clear 2 or 3 second victory and the Coxed Four winning by 5 seconds on Saturday. All three athletes help to assist Great Britain to win the overall trophy with France coming in second and Italy in third.

These are some of the best results Maidstone Invicta has seen on an international level together with 9 athletes winning Gold and Silver only two weekends ago for England. Well done to all the athletes involved and coaches and parents.

Kate Beaumont

National Rowing Championships of Great Britain 2009

In what can only best be described as variable water and weather conditions, Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club produced some stunning performances on the last day of the National Championships to bring home a medal haul of 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. Racing over the 2000m course at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham was always going to be difficult against the top National crews from both Schools and Clubs across Great Britain, however, the Maidstone Invicta Rowers did not disappoint its supporters and fought hard on the last day to end the regatta on a real high. Winning Gold in the Open Junior Coxless Fours and Open Junior Coxless Pairs, Silver in the Open Junior Coxed Fours and Bronze in the Open Junior Under 15 Double Sculls.

With crews entered in the under 14, 15, 16, 18 and Senior events this was the largest number of athletes selected by the Club to compete at the Championships in the Clubs relatively short 25 year history.

Other results of note was a 5th place for Stuart Hampshire and Chris Mollison competing in the Open Double Sculls who narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing in 5th place in a very tight race.

Ray Long, Head Coach - Juniors, said "These results were not only a credit to the hard work and dedication put in by the athletes, but also reflect on the incredible support of both the Coaches and Parents. This has been a very long and hard season, but the results speak volumes about the growing success of the Club. With the results of these Championships and the GB Final trials only 2 weeks ago, 12 of our athletes have now be selected for International representation by GB Rowing, with Morgan Hellen, Josh Pendry and James Crumpton selected for the Great Britain 8 at the Coupe De La Jeunesse European match, which is being held in France in two weeks time. Plus, Tim, Tom, Jon, Ben, Ross, Craig, Alex, Will and Sam all being selected for the England team, which is fantastic. I would also like to mention the support of Evesham Rowing Club who have been instrumental in the development of these athletes, and I could not finish without thanking Arran O'Dell, Mark Woodcock and Paul Crumpton who have worked with the squad in specialist Coaching roles, and without question the ongoing support of our Club Chairman, Robin Chapman, in what has been a truly outstanding season."

Open Junior Coxless 4 - Gold Medallists
Sam Blackwell
Will Tew
Alex Torbica
Craig Turner

Open Junior Coxless Pairs - Gold Medallists
Alex Torbica
Craig Turner

Open Junior Coxed Four - Silver Medallists
Jon Farrar
Tom Mason
Tim Grant
Ben Farrar
Cox - Ross Porter

Open Junior U15 Double Sculls - Bronze Medallists
Lewi Giles
Ryan Mitchell


Open Double Sculls
Chris Mollison
Stuart Saunders

Open Single Sculls
Matt Nicholls

Under 14 Double Sculls
Pierre Flasse
Nick Penny

Open Junior Coxless Pairs
David Porter
Tim Grant

Womens Under 14 Double Sculls
Sally McConchie
Bella Fish

Womens Under 16 Coxed Fours
Sarah Judd
Abi Delderfield
Polly Bass
Emily Dow
Cox - Lauren Gilchrist

Ray Long

Henley Royal Regatta - 1st - 5th July 2009

Maidstone Invicta Rowing club (MIRC), managed to qualify with 4 boats at Henley Royal Regatta last week 1st – 5th July. 3 of the boats (coxless 4 competing in the Wyfold Challenge Cup, Double scull competing for the Challenge Cup and the Mens Eight A competing for the Thames Cup) managed to automatically qualify for this prestigious event. Whilst the Mens eight B also competing for the Thames Cup had to prequalify on Friday 26th June where they had to beat eight crews to enable them to Race at this Regatta.

The regatta course is 1 mile 550 yards (2,112 metres) long. It has 2 crews racing at one time in knockout stages, which take place each day, leading up to the final on the Sunday (5th)

On the first day of the regatta Wednesday 1st July, MIRC had 3 boats racing. The first Maidstone crew to race that day, was the Coxless 4 (Josh Pendry, Will Tew, Alex Torbica and Craig Turner) In the Wyfolds Challenge cup. They had been drawn against Nottingham Rowing Club and managed to beat them by 2 ½ lengths, qualifying them to race on the Thursday when they beat Worcester rowing club by 1 ¾ lengths, which got them through to the Quarter finals on The Friday, unfortunately they lost to Sydney Rowing Club, Australia by 3 ½ lengths. Sydney RC went on to win the Wyfolds Challenge Cup.

The 2nd crew to race that day, was the eight B (James Knight, Alastair Cooper, Geraint Evans, Mark Tomkins, William Purnell, Richard Ridgeway, Guy Sticklee and Owen Mills – coxed by Sue Mobbs), The Eight were up against Chester RC, but were beaten by 3 ¾ lengths. Chester were very nearly disqualified due to bad steering.

The Mens eight A (Sam Blackwell, Tim Grant, Lance Tredell, Tom Mason, Morgan Hellen, James Crumpton, Jon Farrar, Ben Farrar, coxed by Ross Porter) raced later in the afternoon and were up against Monmouth Rowing Club, where they beat Monmouth by 3 lengths, qualifying them for the Thursday where they up against Green Lake Crew, USA and won by 2 ¼ lengths, pushing them through to the Quarter final stages on the Friday and were up against one of the favourites London Rowing Club A. Unfortunately London Rowing Club beat them by 3 lengths. The Winners of the Thames Cup were Molesey Boat Club A.

Also racing on the Friday in the quarter final, was Stuart Hampshire and Chris Mollison who were racing their Double Scull in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup. They lost by 1 ¾ lengths to the New Zealand international double Matthew Trott and Nathan Cohen who were the eventual winners of the Challenge Cup and beat the GB international and Olympic bronze medallists Double (Matthew Wells & Steve Rowbotham) in the final.

Well done to all those who participated.

MIRC's next regatta is Nat Champs in Nottingham on 17th 18th and 19th July.

Laura Johnson

Qualifying for Henley Royal Regatta - 1st - 5th July 2009

Maidstone Invicta Rowing club is celebrating its 25th anniversary year this year and what a fantastic way to celebrate than by reporting that four MIRC boats have managed to qualify at this years Henley Royal Regatta. This is a fantastic achievement for a provincial club to have more than one entry into this highly prestigious event.

 Last year was the first year that MIRC entered, with Chris Mollison and Stuart Hampshire entering into the Double Sculls Challenge Cup. This year they are entering for the same cup again, and are up against Matthew Trott and Nathan Cohen, two international rowers from New Zealand.

 MIRC are also entering two junior crews at senior level. The first being the coxless four (Josh Pendry, Will Tew, Alex Torbica and Craig Turner) challenging for the Wyfold Challenge Cup and are competing against Nottingham Rowing Club in the first round.

 The other junior crew at this event is the Mens eight: (Simon Blackwell, Tim Grant, Lance Tredell, Tom Mason, Morgan Hellen, James Crumpton, Jon Farrar, Ben Farrar, coxed by Ross Porter) challenging for the Thames Cup. They have been drawn up against Monmouth Rowing Club.

 Another MIRC crew challenging for the Thames Cup:(James Knight, Alastair Cooper, Geraint Evans, Mark Tomkins, William Purnell, Richard Ridgeway, Guy Sticklee and Owen Mills – coxed by Sue Mobbs), they have been drawn against Royal Chester Rowing Club.

 We would like to say a big well done to all MIRC participants racing at this years Henley Royal Regatta and would like to see all their hard work pay off with victories for the Maidstone crews and hope that the spectators provide enough support for all those that cannot attend to show their support.

Laura Johnson & Laura McGrillen

Marlow International Regatta - 21st and 22nd June 2009

 Maidstone Invicta rowing club (MIRC) headed off to Marlow International Regatta for Multilane racing at  Dorney Lake  on Saturday 21st June which was over 2000m and Sunday 22nd  June over 1000metres.

Maidstone's first boat on the water was the Senior Coxless 4 (Josh Pendry, Will Tew, Alex Torbica and Craig Turner) where they came 2nd in their heat, in a time of 6:19.42. The final didn't go quite so well for them and they came 5th in 6:27.26

Next up was the Intermediate 8s, where the MIRC juniors (Simon Blackwell, Tim Grant, Lance Tredell, Tom Mason, Morgan Hellen, James Crumpton, Jon Farrar, Ben Farrar, coxed by Ross Porter came home 3rd in the heat qualifying for the reperchage, they raced a good race and managed to finish first in a time of 6:19.42, qualifying them for the Final, where they came 2nd to Hampton School. MIRC seniors (James Knight, Alastair Cooper, Geraint Evans, Mark Tomkins, William Purnell, Richard Ridgeway, Guy Sticklee and Owen Mills – coxed by Sue Mobbs) didn't have such a good race and finished last in their heat.

 The Senior Crew of the previous race also raced at IM3 with a slight change to the crew and James Knight coming out of the crew to make way for David Porter, where they came home 5th in the heat.

 The last race of the day for Maidstone was for Chris Mollison and Stuart Hampshire in the Mens Elite Doubles. They just lost out to a straight entry into the finals by coming 3rd so had to race in the reperchage where they came first, then qualifying for the final where they came 2nd in a time of 6:52.37

 On the Sunday the regatta was split into AM and PM. This time the distance was only 1000metres. MIRC only entered one crew for the Sunday and that was for Intermediate 1 Mens Quad (Matt Nicholls, Chris Mollison, Stuart Hampshire and Craig Turner). In the morning the men came home first in the final in a time of 3:00.74 bringing home a plaque. Then in the afternoon the same crew raced again, but this time they came 2nd in a slightly faster time of 2:57.85.

 Some of the Maidstone Invicta Mens crew are looking forward to competing at Henley Royal Regatta next week (1st – 5th July)

Laura Johnson

Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May

On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st  May, representatives from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club attended Metropolitan Regatta, at Dorney  Lake, a glorious weekend for racing and spectating.  Crews were required to race 2000m over the multilane straight course.

MIRC’s Junior eight consisting of Sam Blackwell, Ben Farrar, Morgan Hellen, James Crumpton, Alex Torbica, Will Tew, Josh Pendry and Craig Turner, coxed by Ross Porter, raced at Intermediate 1 on the Saturday and came third in their heat in a time of 6.47 and made it through to the finals.  The eight had a storming race in the final and cleared the field to come first in a time of 6.30.

David Porter, Tom Mason, Tim Grant and Jon Farrar competed in Intermediate 1 coxless four and finished the course in a respectable 7.56.

The men’s Elite Double sculls of Stuart Hampshire and Chris Mollison competed in the afternoon and after a good race came third in a time of 7.25 beating opposition from London RC and Glasgow RC.

On Sunday, crews aimed to improve their times from the Saturday, the men’s Intermediate 2 eight consisting of Alastair Cooper, Stephen Slade, Geraint Evans, Guy Sticklee, Mark Tomkin, Richard Ridgeway, Will Purnell, Owen Mills coxed by Sue Mobbs were disappointed with their race and were fired up to compete in the Intermediate 3 category, they came third in this race and finished in a time of 6.32.

A change in crews members in the Junior eight from Saturday meant they didn't have as many points, so they could also race at Intermediate 3, including crew members Sam Blackwell, Ben Farrar, Jon Farrar, Tom Mason, Morgan Hellen, Tim Grant, David Porter and James Crumpton coxed by Ross Porter.  They MIRC crew came first in their heat and went on to be the overall winners and completed the 2000m course in a time of 6.25 in the final.

Hampshire and Mollison competed in their Elite Double Sculls again and came second in a time of 7.20.

A new entry for the Sunday was an Intermediate 1 Quadruple scull formed of (from left to right in the photograph) Craig Turner, Stuart Hampshire, Matt Nicholls and Chris Mollison.  They had a fantastic race and were pushed on at the end with pressure from Tees Rowing Club, the MIRC crew finished in first place in a time of 6.32.

Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club would like to consolidate on their experience in the recent regattas and aim high for regattas in June and July, including Marlow Regatta on 20th and 21st June and Henley Royal Regatta 1st – 5th July.

Laura McGrillen

Lea Spring Regatta - Sunday 26th April 2009

With the forecast set to rain last weekend, the sun shone rather nicely for Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club's (MIRC) first regatta of the season, hosted by Lea Rowing Club up on the River Lea (a tributary of the River Thames).

With MIRC entering only 8 crews, they came away with 3 wins in the Final, with 7 of the 8 crews making it to the Final for their category.

The first win of the day was the Mens Novice 4+ (Alastair Cooper, Geraint Evans, Sean Bennett and Will Purnell coxed by Liz Macham), who were up against Kings School Rochester. To get to the final, MIRC had beaten Broxbourne earlier that morning in the semi final.

The second win was a battling competition between two Maidstone Mens crews meetings in the IMS 2x Final, with Alastair Cooper (2nd win of the day) and Guy Sticklee beating off Richard Nicholls and Sean Bennett. The winning boat had been up against Kings School Rochester in the semi final, whilst the runners up had knocked out Medway Towns Rowing Club to reach the final

The final win of the day, also had Alastair Cooper in the crew, but this time he was coxing the Mens Vet Novices (Ollie Barton, Pete Kingsley, Tom Fuller and Alan Leeson), who were up against the local Lea crew.

The Womens I3 4+ crew won their semi final heat against Lea, but lost to Broxbourne in the final, and two vet doubles finals - Harry Salmon and Robin Chapman in Vet D/E and Anne and Harry Salmon in Mixed Vet C, both lost in the final.

This Sunday the Club is off to Dorney Lake to race in the Wallingford Regatta.

Laura Johnson

Juniors at National Schools Regatta, Senior Men at Monmouth Regatta - Bank Holiday weekend

Nottingham hosted the 2009 National Schools Regatta, with conditions slightly rough on Friday 22nd May but improving during the weekend for a fantastic day on Sunday 24th  May.

The Maidstone Invicta juniors attended and did not disappoint, competing against the best schools and clubs across the country. The J14 double of Nick Penny and Pierre Flasse rowed well narrowly missing out a medal, coming 4th. The girls J14 double of Sally McConchie and Bella Fish came in 11th having produced a great row. The day ended with a silver medal in the J15 double sculls with Ryan Mitchell and Lewis Giles.

Success continued throughout the weekend with the girls coxed four of Emily Dow, Polly Bass, Abi Delderfield and Sarah Judd coxed by Sally McConchie racing in two events achieving 9th and 17th. The coxed J15 quad of Charlie Talbot, Lewis Giles, Ryan Mitchell, Rob Ledniczky and coxed by Ross Porter narrowly missed out on reaching the final by 0.03 seconds coming 7th overall. The weekend finished with Morgan Hellen and Tim Grant winning the J16 coxless pairs adding to a great season. Hopefully more success to come for the squad through the summer regatta season.

Thanks to all the coaches and parents who helped the juniors achieve great success and made the weekend thoroughly enjoyable.

More success for Maidstone was achieved by the Senior Men at Monmouth regatta. The Maidstone Invicta Senior Men also had a weekend away from the club, heading off to Monmouth in Wales.

Saturday was a 750 metre sprint course with 2 crews racing at anyone time in a knockout formation; Maidstone entered 7 crews into different races they came away with 2 wins in the Final. Richard Nichols and Richard Wood won the IM3 Double, giving them points to move up to the next status, beating Evesham Rowing Club.  James Knight, back on his home waters, chose to race his single scull in his old club colours for Old Monmothians Boat Club (OMBC) - alumni club for those who went to Monmouth School. He won in the final of IM3 1x and he also moves up IM2 status.  The men's eight had a disappointing row and lost to Swansea university in the heat.

 On the Sunday, the course was 1,500 metres, this was also 2 crews racing side by side. Maidstone entered 7 crews again. This time winning the Mens IM2 Coxed 4 – Mark Tomkins, Geraint Evans, Richard Ridgway, James Knight and coxed by Alastair Cooper beat Monmouth School with clear water between them, in a straight final. Richard Nichols and Richard Wood raced their double again, this time they raced at IM2, their new Status and gave a good race, narrowly loosing in the heat.  The eight that had a disappointing row the day before, had a bit of a change around, and were up against the same components 'Swansea University' as the previous day. Despite having a better row and giving Swansea University a good race, they took the race right to the end.

Next regatta for Maidstone Invicta is the Metropolitan, at Dorney Lake on Sunday 31st May.

Kate Beaumont and Laura Johnson

Poplar Regatta - Sunday 10th May 2009

On Sunday 10th May, a large contingency from Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club attended Poplar and Blackwell regatta, racing over a straight 2000m multi lane course.  The day started early, with the women’s intermediate 3 1x with Sophie Ollier, after a good start Ollier settled into a good rhythm and kept close to her competitors after recently moving up into this higher category.  Ollier completed the course in a time of 9.08mins.

This was shortly followed by the Men’s Intermediate 2 eight, featuring Guy Sticklee, Richard Ridgeway, Mark Tomkin, Will Purnell, James Knight, Richard Nichols, Geraint, Alastair Cooper coxed by Laura McGrillen. After a good racing start, the other crews pulled away to leave the Maidstone eight in fourth place.  With the morning race behind them the men went on to race in the Intermediate 3 eights and finished in third place in a respectable time of 6.14mins.

The sun stayed out for the ladies novice four, featuring Katie Martin, Liz Bennett, Claire Torbica, Kate Povall coxed by Liz Macham.  With an excellent start, the ladies managed to stay ahead throughout the race and finished with clear water in a time of 7.56mins.  The ladies claimed their novice pots and are now looking forward to racing in their new category of Intermediate 3.

Another win for Maidstone Invicta when Stuart Hampshire competed in the SENIOR 1x, this involved racing his doubles partner Chris Mollison.  Stuart finished with clear water in a time of 7.15mins and pushes him ever closer to becoming an elite sculler, with Chris Mollison finishing in 6th place in a time of 7.46mins.

The last race of the day for Maidstone, was the women’s Intermediate 3 eight including Laura McGrillen, Anne Salmon, Liz Bennett, Claire Torbica, Katie Martin, Laura Johnson, Liz Macham, Kate Povall coxed by a junior from London Docklands club to which Maidstone are very grateful.  The lilac ladies had a good race and finished a close third, unfortunately their time was not recorded.

Maidstone Invicta now have a couple of weeks to consolidate their crews and race plans before attending Monmouth on 23rd and 24th May. 

Laura McGrillen

Wallingford Regatta - Sunday 3rd May 2009

Last weekend (3rd May) Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) headed off to Wallingford Regatta at Dorney Lake, the home of rowing for the 2012 London Olympics.

Wallingford Regatta is quite a popular regatta on the club racing calendar, with 129 races throughout the day and with multilanes, where upto 7 crews racing at one time in the 2km purpose built lake, there is a lot of compitition.

Maidstones first race was at 8:30 in the morning with Senior Mens Coxless 4 (Josh Pendry, Will Tew Alex Torbica, Craig Turner) winning their heat, then coming 2nd in the Final.

The womens Novice 8 (Liz Macham, Sue Marsden, Laura Johnson, Katie Martin, Claire Torbica, Liz Bennett, Kate Povall, Laura McGrillen and cox Jo Sticklee) also qualified for the final in their heat by coming in 2nd.  There final was at 6:25pm, one of the last races of the day where they came 3rd.

Chris Mollison and Stuart Hampshire entered their double in the Elite Double sculls which was a straight final and did really well, considering they were racing  one step above their station and came in an impressive 3rd place which they were both happy with.

Both the Women's Intermediate 3 Eights and Mens IM2 Eights narrowly missed out to making it into the final.

This weekend MIRC are off to Poplar Regatta at the Royal Albert Docks for more 2K multilane racing.

Laura Johnson

HORR Saturday 21st March and Vets HORR Sunday 22nd March 2009.

For the first time ever the Junior Squad entered the Head of the River Race (HORR). As Maidstone's second eight they started 219th on Saturday 21st March racing in the Senior 2 category. The event saw over 500 eights race from Mortlake to Putney on the River Thames and was the first time many of the crew had rowed the event. Over the four and a quarter mile course the crew over took 7 boats and caught another two. The crew came 40th overall in a time of 18:38.65 behind some of the worlds best athletes including those back from Beijing. The junior crew finished in the highest place the club has ever achieved and were the highest placed junior crew in the event. Well done to the whole crew and thanks to the parents and coaches who supported the crew during the day.

HORR Crew MIRC II (Bow to Stroke):-Sam Blackwell, Ben Farrar, Morgan Hellen, James Crumpton, Alex Torbica, Will Tew, Josh Pendry, Craig Turner, Cox - Ross Porter.

The senior men also entered a crew and came a respectable 213th with a time of 19:45.75.

HORR crew MIRC I (Bow to stroke) Cox:  Alastair Cooper,  Geraint Evans, James Knight, Stephen Slade, Mark Tomkins, William Purnell, Rich Ridgway, Guy Sticklee, Cox- Sue Mobbs.

On the Sunday, Maidstone Invicta were back up on the Thames again for the Vets Head of River Race. This time they entered 4 eights, 3 Mens crew and a women’s crew. With over 170 boats entering into the race our Vet A mens (6 + the cox had raced the previous day in the senior mens HORR) crew crossed the line in a time of 20:59.15, the 36th fastest time of the day, followed by our Vet D crew with a time of 22:03.26, Vet C,D,E Novice crew came home in a time of 23:09.08 and not far behind them was our women’s Vet B, with a time of 23:14.26.

Kate Beaumont and Laura Johnson

Womens Eights Head of the River Race. Saturday 7th March 2009.

The weekend of Saturday 7th March, Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) entered a Womens eight into the Womens Eight Head of River Race (WEHORR). The crew consisted of (from bow)  Jo Sticklee, Katie Martin, Diane Hargan,  Anne Salmon, Claire Torbica, Liz Bennett, Kate Povall, Liz Macham cox Sue Mobbs. This race takes place on the Thames, from Mortlake to Putney, a  distance of 4 miles 374 yards and is the reverse course of the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race.

The MIRC ladies, were crew number 219 and they completed the course in  21min 37 seconds, coming in146th out of 300 eights entered.

WEHORR is a favoured event, with crews coming from all over Europe to compete and also includes international rowers competing for their clubs.

This weekend (Saturday 21st from 11:15am), is the mens turn to compete in the Head of River Race (HORR), which has over 400 entries. MIRC are entering 2 eight for this race, a Senior mens crew and a Junior crew. Then on the Sunday (22nd from 12:00pm) MIRC are entering 4 eights into the Vets head of River, one womens crew  and 3 mens crews. Some of the Men who are participating in the Vets Head will have raced the day before. Both HORR and the Vets Head are taking the same course as WEHORR

Laura Johnson

Medway Small Boats Head 22nd February 2009

 On Sunday 22nd February, 103 boats from rowing clubs all over Kent and Sussex took part in the Medway Small Boats Head.  Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club (MIRC) entered 28 boats from the Women’s, Men’s and Junior squad to compete over the 2.5km course, racing from just above Allington and finishing at the end of the town straight in Maidstone.  The race was set out in three divisions with crews competing against the clock.

With a sunny start to the day, the BBQ was set up ready to feed the rowers and their avid supporter’s breakfast in anticipation of the first division starting at 9.30am.  The clouds and winds appeared even more so for divisions two and three which commenced at 11.30 and 1.30, although this did not affect the crews storming down the river into the town.

The event was very successful for MIRC with a number of wins despite the majority of club members also marshalling the banks of the river and running the BBQ and tea stall throughout the day!  The fastest four of the day was awarded to MIRC, the crew formed of Craig Turner, Chris Mollison, Stuart Hampshire and Alex Torbica coxed by Lauren Gilchrist, competing at S2 and had a fantastic row finishing  completing the course in a time of 8.23.  With the buzz of winning in the four, Mollison and Hampshire went on to win fastest double scull of the day.
Another win for MIRC men’s four in the S3 category and was celebrated by crew members Richard Ridgeway, Guy Sticklee, Geraint Evans and Alistair Cooper coxed by Sue Mobbs.  A successful row was also completed by Guy Sticklee, Will Purnell, Geraint Evans and Alistair Cooper coxed by Zoe Chapman.

Members of the women’s 8 head crew were split into smaller boats for the race on Sunday and provide their hard work, both on land and on the water had paid off as the four lilac ladies that competed at senior 4, won their category in a time of 10.03, the crew featured Liz Macham, Kate Povall, Liz Bennett, Jo Sticklee and coxed by Laura McGrillen.  With a slight change of crew members in the third division, Jo Sticklee swapping with Claire Torbica, coxed by Zoe Chapman, they also managed to win the women’s novice four event and completed the course in a time of 10.17.

Another win was for the men’s novice double scull, of Oliver Barton and Geraint Evans the knowledge of the home water enabled them to finish triumphantly in a time of 10.13.

The mixed double scull event had two husband and wife entrants from MIRC, the medals were awarded to Harry and Anne Salmon for successfully winning the category and completing the course in a time of 10.33.
A number of wins by the MIRC junior squad, rewards all their hard work with wins in the J18 pair, fastest junior double scull, fastest J15 quad, women’s J15 quad, women’s J14 quad and women’s J15 double scull so lots of medals to add to the trophy cabinets on Sunday evening.

The event was a very successful day and now brings the running total for MIRC club wins this year to 22 so far.  If you are interested in finding out more about Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club please see our website at 

Laura McGrillen