Upper Thames Fours & Small Boats Head - 2012

A small MIRC contingent made its way to Henley to compete at the Upper Thames Head.  We put 6 Junior crews and 1 Masters crew into a competitive field for the 2 mile race.  Compared to the Medway, steering at Henley with the white posts taken away is a relative breeze, with only a gentle long bend to contend with.  However, the strong headwind and upstream conditions meant that it would be very expensive if you found yourself carried out into the stream.

For the Juniors, Jake and Pierre came 3rd with a time of 12.38 in the J18 2x beaten only by two very strong crews from Star / Leander.  

Ross and Jack also came 3rd in the pair beaten by two crews from Kingston again J18s with a time of 13.12.

Andrew and Dylan raced twice in the J18 2x and IM3 2x but improving from race to race (14.40 and 14.13).

The boys J17 quad racing at J18 came 3rd again beaten only by the Star/Leander and Henley J18s with a time of 11.47. They did beat the Bewl crew that took bronze at Nat Schools by 48 secs, however.
Sally and Tamsin rowed a composite with Bewl and were competitive against stiff opposition on the day

Overall the Juniors have raised the bar with their performances.

As expected, the experimental Masters Vet D4x were beaten by both Ardingly quads.  The time: 12.07 v 11.53 for their Vet D crew and 11.56 for their Vet E crew.  That said, Ardingly have one of the most competitive veteran sculling squads in the country, coming 3rd and 1st respectively at last year's Open events at the Vet Nat Champs, so this was not too shabby.  We will get a better picture of where we fit at the Vets Fours Head in November.

Tour from Medway to Maidstone on 28/10/12.

On 28th October our recreational section organised a short tour for the 11.5 miles from Medway Towns RC at Rochester (on the tidal Medway) back to Maidstone via Allington Lock.  The Recreational Squad was joined by boats from other squads and 6 crews and 39 members took part. It started as a cold wintery Sunday with temperatures as low as 4 degrees but luckily despite forecast rain it stayed dry, other than from some members who got damp from washes from passing boats.

As the cars turned into the Medway slipway one member commented “it’s a bit rougher then we are used to at Maidstone!”  This was part of the reason for the row so we could allow members to have the opportunity to row on more lively tidal water than we are used to.   We had invited Medway Towns to join us but they were in the middle of a big recruitment drive and their members were very busy taking out new members so they were unable to join us.  They considered it to be a relatively calm day, with a following tide and a following wind.

The boats taking part were:-
  • Recreational coxed quad (Captained by Alan Leeson).
  • Recreational coxed quad (Captained by Tom Fuller).
  • Masters B coxed quad (Coxed by Ella Knight).
  • Masters Intermediate 3 coxless quad (steered by Ally Machin).
  • Junior eight (MGS coxed/coached by Lois Birrell and stroked by Mark Tomkins).
  • Masters D eight (coxed by Andrea Barker).
  • Club Safety Boat (manned by Chris Long and Dani James).

The first boats got afloat about 9:30am with the last boating at Rochester about 10am

 Masters 8


 MGS boys with Sean and Mark

The 6 crews all had different reasons for the row with the recreational boats out for a long leisurely row while taking some members for their first long row.  The junior eight were also out for their first long distance row, and the two Masters quads and the Masters eight using the row as tidal water training to get ready for the Veterans Heads in November.

Frozen Lois!

All the crews were well wrapped up against the cold day and plenty of water and snacks were also taken together with balers and other safety equipment.

Allington Lock is only opened 2 hours before and 2 hours after high tide so those using it have to plan this row with the tides.  We also had to allow for the fact that at low tide much of the up reaches around Aylesford don’t have enough water in them for any boats to row.  Luckily, we planned the tides just right and our boats came up fast at the top of an incoming tide with high tide at the lock at 12:15. 

About 11:45am our first crews reached Allington Lock, and the lock keepers opened up the full lock to enable all the boats to get into the lock together. By 12:30 all the crews were back at the club for tea and cakes.

Thanks go to Chris Long and John Clayton for organising the towing and Chris and Dani for manning the safety boat, and braving the cold.

Dani gets some heat in her.

The pictures show the Clubs boats at Allington lock.

It was generally agreed it had been good row and great fun and that the Club should organise more events and rows similar to this one.


We are grateful to both Medway Towns RC and the lock keepers for their help. 

John Clayton

Pairs Head - 2012

MIRC put in 3.5 crews at this year's Pairs Head.

Matt Nicholls and Chris Mollison were our fastest crew, coming 78th overall and 4th out of 7 in the Senior 2- in 12.21.9.  Not too shabby when the fastest 2-, an elite pair from Molesey, did it in 11.48.3.

Alex Marlow and Tom Saunders continued their fine run of form coming 97th and an excellent 3rd out of 28 runners in the IM2 2- in 12.29.1.  Just 7 seconds difference between them and Matt and Chris!!

Keith Jones (today choosing to row in the fetching green of Bewl Bridge) and Ray Phillips came 340th and 5th out of 8 in the Masters F2x in 13.40.6.

Finally, the newish paring of Laura Birrell and Sarah Kendall came 354th and 7th out of 8 in the lightweight women's IM3 2- in 13.47.6.

Maidstone Autumn Small Boats Head - 2012

The weather Gods were kind to us this year after weeks of rain, there was neither flooding nor a particularly strong stream.  Instead we were treated to a glorious autumn day, albeit with a headwind during the 2nd and 3rd divisions impacting times a little.

The clubs visiting us bore a close resemblance to those who came to the Spring Head, with strong contingents from the Lea, Medway Towns, Globe, and Kings School Canterbury in particular.  So, as we are beginning to discover, the days when MIRC dominated the event are long gone, and a thoroughly competitive day was to be had.

MIRC did reel in a good clutch of wins, however,

Chris Mollison and Matt Nicholls were our fastest boat in the pair coming 3rd overall in 9.06, though were without opposition.

Another special note goes to Saunders and Marlow in their IM2 pair who came 6th in 9.15.  Their terrifyingly high rating making up for some unique steering and timing choices, is now putting them in spitting distance of Mollison and Nicholls.  "Game on" says Tom.

The Masters D4x+ of Richard Huggins, Ollie Barton, Gerraint Evans and Ray Philips (coxed by Andrea Barker) came 9th and won the D/Cx category in 9.18 without having to resort to their handicap.

The Masters G4x+ of Tony Marshall, Alan Leeson, Keith Jones, and Robin Chapman (again coxed by Andrea Barker) won their G/Fx category in a very useful time of 9.47.  For the uninitiated - G represents a minimum average age of 65.

Jake Harris continued his strong season by winning the J17 singles in 9.56.

Lucy Maunsell and Andrew Collins won the mixed J182x in 10.38.

Of the other Juniors, a special note goes to the WJ13 4x+ of Louise Holt, Charlotte Burrows, Molly Bishop, Ella Knight and cox Katie Le Lion experienced their first head race and coped admirably with the chaos of pre and post race marshalling. They did well to complete the course despite being smashed into from behind by an aggressive coxless pair wearing orange and thus learning a few new words in the process! Great work to build upon with a benchmark set to beat in Spring. 

And finally, Tony Marshall won the Masters E/F 1x category in 11,45, beating his friend and frequent opponent from Tyne RC, Ian Boyd, by just 3 seconds.

Another fun day out on the Medway was had by all, with only 3 swimmers.  Just need to get those final results out a bit quicker.. hint.