After making the step up to Captain 2 years ago I wondered if it was the right decision to make, especially as you hear people refer to it as the poison challis, but I can honestly say it has been an honour to be Captain over the last 2 years; there has been some trying times as with any role but on the whole members have supported me and my decisions and together we have become more integrated and friendly towards one another. Every member is important to the club and every member should feel that they are.
The club has become more welcoming and helpful to all members and especially new members. So much so when running the I Am Team GB taster day after the Olympics we had a group of people all new to rowing come down to try a new sport, we had a few say they have never met such an enthusiastic and friendly bunch of people. This is a great introduction to rowing but mainly to Bewdley Rowing Club.
We have seen activity all year from all members’ areas, from West Midlands Explore League and racing at primary regattas for those new to rowing through to World level with the masters section of the club and of course all the local regattas and heads as well.
The winter season was a bit of a wash out so not many crews attended heads, or there weren’t many heads to attend. That said we sent 2 pairs to the pairs head, 1 crew to the Vet Fours head, 1 crew to the Women’s head and 1 crew to the Head of the River.
For the regatta season, as a club we attended all the normal local regattas with the highlight winning the Victor Ludorum trophy for the club with the most wins over the weekend at Stourport Regatta – which was 16. We had 18 wins again at our own regatta which again was a very successful one. This year we allowed people to double up on their races to make up events for travelling crews; this was a tough decision to make given all the jobs that have to be done in order to run a successful regatta, but even in allowing this all the jobs were done and the event ran smoothly.
We held a primary event for the first time to allow our newcomers the chance of racing at a mainstream regatta. Some of these have since gone on to race at other regattas this season.
And Bewdley won the sprint 8’s men’s trophy, but I’m sure Pete will fill you in with the rest in his report.
On to the wins for the last 12 months:
The senior wins are up on last year, some of these are juniors now making the step up to race at senior level.
The vets wins for the second year in a row are level for both men and women!
The performances that have stood out this season are the junior boys who raced at senior level and won and who also represented the club at the Head of the River and the West Midlands Juniors Championships where they won.
But I think the most notable performance of the season comes from the again vets section of the club, by way of the womens masters C4+. They went to the World Masters Championships for the first time and came away World Champions! Beating a field of 7 others from across the world they won by 6 tenths of a second. Bewdley haven’t won a medal at the World Masters Championships for many years so this was a fantastic achievement for the crew and the club. They didn’t stop there though; they then teamed up with Marlow to make a composite C 8 and won that too! Even though it was the first time they had been in a boat together.
Congratulations to everyone who won this year and let’s hope next year under new leadership brings even more success.
The wins this season would not be possible without coaching and thanks must go out to all coaches for their efforts over the last 12 months. The coaches who are members of the club do not get paid and give up a lot of time throughout the whole year for the benefit of the membership and help to make the club grow on success. We are lucky to have the coaches we have but as with any other club could always do with more; even if it’s members just willing to give up their time to help out our existing coaches.
Learn to Row
Rachel James has run 4 successful courses this year with various members helping on each course. We have gained a number of new full members who have gone into the novice squads, these squads continue to grow from Learn to Row and Pub and Club and they along with the juniors are the future of our club.
Pub and Club
Everyone who took part enjoyed it and we gained a few new members. The live commentary proved popular again and thanks go out to all those that made it successful. I would especially like to thank Mike, Dave and Tony who as always give up a lot of their time to make sure the event runs smoothly. Following on from Pub and Club and attracting new members we entered a float into the 50th Anniversary Bewdley Carnival and we won the award for the best Sports Club.
Everyone wants top boats to row in but as a club we don’t have thousands to spend year on year on equipment alone. We spend too much money each year on repairs, accidents happen but carelessness can be prevented. The senior members of the club need to set an example to the new members showing them how to look after boats and help if necessary. Our boats are old and tired but they would cost a lot of money to replace so we need to take care of the ones we have.
I’d like to thank the committees and their members for the hard work they have put in in making the club grow in the right direction and do what’s best for the members.
To finish off, I’d like to thank Mike my Vice-Captain for supporting me and helping make decisions over the last 2 years.
Most importantly I’d like to thank you the membership, as the general help from all members of the club whether it be on work weekends or helping each other out at regattas this year has been superb and has brought the club closer together. Without the membership the club would not exist, so thank you all for your support over the last 2 year and hopefully you will support the new Captain in the same way you have supported me.