Water training has been postponed for a while over the Xmas holidays due to the worst floods since 2000.  Check out the Facebook site for piccies.

Fours Head and Vet Fours Head - 2013

3 senior and junior crews entered the Fours Head (about 450 crews) on Saturday.

The IM1 4x came 181st in a time of 21.16

The IM1 4- came 255th in a time of 21.51

The Junior 4+ came 415th with 24.10

On Sunday 2 MIRC Vet crews were entered on a shorter course this year.  About 230 crews were entered in all.

The D4x came 27th in a time of 19.10

The G4x came 114th in a time of 21.12

Special mention goes to James Knight who (rowing in Old Monmouthian colours), came 1st in category and 4th overall in a B4x composite crew with Poplar and Medway.

Vet G crew (that's an average age over 65 folks) doing a photo call opposite Fulham Football Club.

Kingston Small Boats Head - 2013

Maidstone entered 8 crews for the Kingston Small Boats Head.  Our results were:

IM2 4x-    15.38.7 (10th fastest out of a field of 362)
Mas C4x-  17.17.1
J16 4+      17.50.0
J16 4-       18.33.1
WIM3 4x- 18.54.4
Mas D1x   19.41.9
J18 4x-     19.45.3
WJ16 2x    20.59.0

 Mas C4x-

 WIM3 4x-

 WJ16 2x

 WIM3 4x-

 J16 4+

 IM2 4x-

Pairs Head - 2013

The day of the Pairs Head (Sunday 13th October) was the day that the indian summer decided to call it a day; with temperatures plummeting, winds rising and rain varying from light drizzle to light downpour all day long.  It was a different world after last weeks' MIRC SBH.

The Head is held on the Thames on a shortened championship course from Chiswick bridge to Hammersmith bridge - 4,000 metres.  It is a big event, this year attracting 435 of some of the UK's top pairs and doubles.

The planned representation of 4 Maidstone crews dwindled to 2 with Lewin and James (B2x) crying off because of various ailments and Keith and Ray (G2x) crying off because, well, because they can ;).

Chris Mollison and Matt Nicholls entered their first race of the campaign after laying off for pretty much the past year, and rediscovered just how difficult it is in the Senior category.  Their pair came in 5th out of 7 and 95th overall in a time of 13.07.86.

The Masters D2x pairing of Geraint Evans and Richard Huggins continued to surprise everyone including themselves with a creditable 3rd out of 9, finishing 158th in 13.34.50.

MIRC competitors take note: crew kit colour coordination looks good!

Maidstone Autumn Small Boats Head - Oct 2013

This year's autumn race was held on a truly beautiful indian summer's day with calm waters, still winds and a full entry.

The Head's organisation is now honed to close to perfection given the constraints of our narrow, bendy stretch of water, resulting in a well run day, plenty of volunteers and only one capsizing (to my knowledge).  But then, what is the MIRC Small Boats Head without a capsize or two?

real life capsize drill

Mr Porter enjoys the river too!

The club brought home 4 victories - 3 of which came in the top ten times of the 190 strong field.

They were:

James Knight and Lewin Hynes (Lewin sporting his Kings School Canterbury colours) in the Masters B2x winning the BCD2x category against opposition from MIRC, Kings Canterbury and Medway. Impressively, they came 3rd overall with a time of 8.52.  An excellent achievement for a veteran double.

The Masters also came 7th in the Masters D4x+ in the DEF4x+ category (their third win of this event in a row).  Ollie Barton, Geraint Evans, Ray Philips and Richard Huggins were coxed by Andi Barker, and came in with their best time to date (9.02) against another MIRC D4x+ and an Erith F4x+.

Ross Porter and Jack Grace came 8th in the J182x event against Globe, Ardingley and Gravesend in a time of 9.10, which also won them the pennant for fastest Junior boat.

Finally, the juniors rowing in the Novice 4+ event of Tom Long, Dan Singer, Frederick English, Dom Tinker and coxed by Sam Rogers came 20th in 9.38 beating a strong field consisting of 2 crews apiece from Kings Canterbury and Gravesend, Herne Bay and a fellow MIRC crew.  No photo of them - has anyone got one?

Well done everyone!

See below some pics from the event.  Thanks to Susan Warren, Andi Barker and Alan Leeson.

all action by the club!

Concept 2 Ergo Logs

Hi ALL Maidstone Members

At present – MIRC Vets are/have set up personal rowing logs on www.concept2.co.uk under LOGBOOK.
We want to get as many members of the club [Junior, Senior and Vets], either leisure rowers, competitive – old and young…  it’s really down to you and is a completely FREE service!
Your Captain or Team coach can also keep an eye on how you are progressing too, this is a simple process by sharing you individual RANKING ID# with your team Captain/Coach.

Overall, we wish to get all MIRC members to join the Online ‘Maidstone Invicta RC Onliners’ too, this allows everyone to take part in online ERGO Challenges, so please join the Onliners!

  • Personal log – keep tabs on your personal fitness
  • Review your personal bests against others in your age group [in the world] – by Ranking you times!
  • Link up with fellow crew members and work together and motivate each other
  • Opportunity to compete in the Online challenges set throughout the season
  • Raise the Online Profile of MIRC, help attract NEW memberships

Detailed instructions on how to join are in this post in the noticeboard, so take a look at the attachment and get yourself logged on.


Cambridge Autumn Regatta - 2013

An inauspicious start… half the club entries rejected, draw not published until the Wednesday morning, towing plans thrown into confusion, last minute withdrawals, towing vehicle falling apart, alarm clocks not working, a spot of cold overnight camping…

However, all that aside, the WJ14/15 squad plus Alex Marlow and Will Purnell ventured forth to a misty field in Fen Ditton. The girls had been cajoled into trying singles and doubles racing in new combinations, new steerers etc.

Falling foul of the draw, Ella and Charlotte had to race singles at 0-eight-hundred (0 standing for Oh my gosh it’s early and hence the overnight camping)… the other girls at 08:30.

Charlotte, Katie, EllaM and Louise showed great spirit in their first ever singles races arriving at the finish line dry and displaying good steering but each in second place.

EllaK made light work of her first opponent from Putney High School to set up a rematch with the City of Cambridge sculler she beat at Oxford, Ella vs Ellen, very confusing… the same result again, half a length to Ella. Ella then drew an Amazonian Globe sculler in the semi-final. Ella was drawing back level at the ¾ mark but pulled a back muscle with the effort so went out fighting. (post race research revealed that the Globe sculler won NJIRC back in March breaking the British record for their age group!)

Meanwhile, Will was being frustrated with opponents scratching and when he got to race found the pace a bit too hot but was pleased to be improving from his past races. Alex was playing it cool in IM3 1x winning by a foot in one race but then dominating his other races to win.

WJ14 doubles saw Alice and Grace taking to the water. Although losing, their steering on the tricky course was exemplary and they were moving well together… bit of tidying up of the catch and finish and some more oomph and they’ll be in front next year.

WJ15 doubles saw EllaM and Ceilidh partnering up with EllaM taking steering duties. Again, MIRC showed how to row a corner well but the more experienced combination from Cantabrigians led them over the line.

Coxed Quads:
The B Quad was first up against last year’s opponents from Putney High School. Initially MIRC had the better bladework but PHS had the more lasting power… but a very gutsy performance from MIRC nonetheless especially from Katie at stroke.

The A Quad then had the chance for revenge. Ella having retired injured in the singles meant that Katie was subbed into the stroke seat for a second go at PHS. A faltering start saw MIRC behind but several big pushes meant MIRC pulled away for our first heat win in WJ14 coxed quads and a spot in the final.

The final saw MIRC matched up against Cantabrigians who were confident after knocking out PHS’s other crew. Cantabrigians had a quicker start and settled in slightly in front of MIRC. The MIRC crew kept up the work rate and then went for a big push at 350m. MIRC worked together and started moving through Cantabs causing them to panic with crabs being caught. MIRC romped home to record the win and collect the pots!

So five girls and Alex got to take a glass tankard home but everyone (coach included) got good experiences to utilise for the new season.

City of Oxford Regatta - 2013

James and Ella Knight made the trip to Oxford in an attempt to add an Oxford pot to James's collection...

Instead, Ella beat a City of Cambridge girl by 1/2 length in first round, rowing through her in the last 100m and then beat a City of Oxford girl by 5 lengths in the final after losing her on the start and coping well with the bend off the start. Her first victory in a singles event.

James meanwhile didn't get through his first round ;).

So not quite to plan but Ella now has two pots... One from Oxford and one from Cambridge! Is there a complete Russell Group set to be had?

Gloucester/Ross Veterans - 2013

MIRC Chairman Harry Salmon, and his wife and mixed double sculls partner Anne travelled west over the Bank Holiday weekend to race at Gloucester Masters and Junior regatta on Saturday, and then Ross Masters and Junior Regatta on Sunday. 

The trip was more than eventful and started on the Friday with Anne breaking down in the car en route to collect Harry from work. The car had both the boat and blades on the roof! Having called out the AA and established that the car was not going anywhere except to a garage for repair.  Without a long enough vehicle to take the boat and blades, hasty calls were made to try and establish whether the host clubs would lend a boat and blades. Gloucester came up trumps very quickly so the decision was taken to proceed in their somewhat smaller mini! The M25 was by now a ‘car park’ and 7 hours after Anne leaving home they finally arrived in Ross on Wye. 

Here is their report on the races:

On the Saturday morning, Gloucester were very obliging and allowed us to take the boat , a black Janoussek, down the canal for a practice outing. It had the new adjustable shoes in it so we were able to try them out too. We rowed down to the docks, put in a few starts and rowed back. 

When the time came for the race against a younger Mixed Masters C crew from City of Bristol, we stormed off the start, taking full advantage of the four second head start. (Had we been racing earlier in the day it would have been 5 seconds as the umpire was miscalling the handicaps!). City of Bristol then set off and began to slowly eat into the advantage until about half way down the course when they seemed to run out of steam. After being warned for steering, whilst making an adjustment, Anne jammed her blades together and nearly brought the boat to a grinding halt. We just about managed to get back together and scramble over the finish line before the Bristol crew could catch up. Pot number 1 secured (just!) by a length and a half.

After an evening out in Ross on Wye with ex members Di Binley (of Rock the Boat fame) and Mike Howe we arrived at Ross Regatta not entirely sure that we had a boat to row in. After locating the club captain he said that it should be ok but depended on the outcome of his junior boys crews racing at lunchtime. 

It was a long and chilly wait on the river bank. After spending time exploring Ross, watching the umpires aligning at the staggered start, and establishing how the stagger at the finish worked we eventually secured a boat. Unfortunately there was no time for us to take it out for a practice. Our opposition from Evesham came over and we explained what had happened. He replied’ that’s a big boat!’, obviously trying to psyche us out. 

After later exchanging a bit of banter with them in the control commission area we eventually waded into the chilly River Wye to boat. On the way to the start a stray women’s double in a previous race tried their best to take us out by veering off course but we made it there intact apart from noticing too late that one of Harry’s gates had a large spacer washer missing! After having to back down off the start because our opposition struggled to align in the correct lane we came under starters orders. We were in the lane on the outside of the bend so were up by half a length.  

Our opposition also needed to be about a length up at the finish so we knew if we could keep ahead we would win. As we were both Masters D crews we started together this time. We put in our storming start and almost immediately pulled away. The steering was much better today and we took the bend well. Harry had to be reminded that we were far enough ahead that he could afford to relax the rate a little! He was enjoying the experience of being in the lead once again. We clipped one of the centre buoys and it shattered. They had been doing this all day and were gradually diminishing in number. After ensuring we kept well out from the beach area where periodically cows had been wading in for a drink (an interesting obstacle on the course!) we took it home for the finish for victory number 2, this time the verdict was ‘easily’.

It was a lovely weekend at two lovely regattas. Maybe the club could make the trip en masse next year?

Anne Salmon

Sudbury Regatta - 2013

Chaos prevailed in the run up to Sudbury.  Key crew members were on holiday, crews were entered way past our official deadlines.  Our administrators were entering crews while they were on holiday (thank you Charlotte and Anne); trailer towers were not identified until very late in the day, and there was no boat/loading plan.  Toys were thrown out of prams... and then thrown back in again.

Only through dint of persistence on behalf of the few, did the many manage to get to the regatta; race and win...

10 times!!!!

Sudbury, as usual, delivered fair skies, a relaxed ambience, entertaining visits to the notorious banks by novice and experienced alike; and frankly admirable handling of the divisions by the organisers, with enormous levels of flexibility and humour.

There were far too many crews and far too many races to catalogue them all.  So here are the winners.

Peter McLarney and Alex Marlow won the IM3 2- beating St Neots, Broadland and the Lea.

Ben Finch beat Oundle Town and St. Neots in the IM3 1x

Jake Harris beat Kann Belton in an all MIRC straight final in the J18 1x.

Keith Jones beat St Neots in the Masters G/H 1x

Huggy won the Masters D 1x beating Isle of Ely, Peterborough and his doubles partner, Geraint in the final.

Pluto and Dan Hawke won a straight final in the IM2 2x

Ross Porter and Jake Harris beat the Lea in a straight final of the J18 2x.

Mark Tompkins and Sean Bennett beat St Neots in the Masters A Novice 2x - thus losing their novice cherries!

Sue and Roger Mobbs beat Sudbury and Peterborough in the Masters D/G Mixed 2x
Sue having a bad hair day!

Susannah and Kate Povall thrashed Erith in the Womens Masters A/B 2x in a MIRC/ Csepel Evezos Klub composite, thus firmly staking Sudbury regatta as a truly international venue ;) 

Finally, Maidstone Grammar School for Boys came for their first serious regatta under the stewardship of headmaster and MIRC rower, Mark Tompkins, and coxed by Lois Birrell. They fielded 6 crews and won the Mixed IM3 2x and the Novice 2x.  Well done.

A fantastic day's racing everyone.  Well done.

Meanwhile the rowing committee have a few organisational things to sort out...

Other pics...

 Alistair's harem chilling before their first ever race!

Valiant effort by the harem - lost by 2 lengths

   Geraint giving the bank the "evils"