It’s great to see all of you here tonight; obviously the dinner dance was more appealing than trick or treating!
You probably won’t want to listen to a ‘this is your life’ story but here goes, back in 2008 I had a go at an event called Pub and Club completely by mistake; and managed to get through to the semi-finals after only being in a boat 3 times. Our coach happened to mention about joining the club and learning how to row properly! As I enjoyed myself so much with pub and club I thought why not? When I say I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed the competitive side of the event not the rowing side of it. I was absolutely terrified of being on the river.
It came to the time when I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to join or not and pros and cons to me were equal, so it was going to be tough mainly because I was terrified of the river. At the time Craig who was Captain persuaded me to give it a go, it didn’t go without a few panicking moments and some members may remember I flatly refused to row on some occasions whilst out on the water – something I have since learned you never do!
Why am I telling you this? Well in 7 years of being a member I have gone from being terrified of getting in a boat to absolutely loving it – ok there is still the odd occasion I have a minor panic but now I never stop rowing. But more importantly I never thought 7 years ago I would take on the role of Captain let alone doing it for a second year! You have Craig to thank for me standing here telling you this. No, personally I would like to thank Craig for persuading me to join and also thank you all for allowing me to become Captain; it is such an honour and something I thoroughly recommend especially to all the new members in the room, who knows it could be you standing here in a few years’ time.
Moving on to the last 12 months, Bewdley has been represented at all the local regattas and heads. This season we sent 3 crews to the Women’s head, 3 crews to the Vets head and for the first time in a few years we sent a crew to the Head of the River. All the crews performed well with the outstanding result coming from the crew that went to the men’s head finishing 14thout of 50 in their category even with a number of novices in the boat. The senior men then went on to Marlow to test themselves; hopefully there will be more of this to come this season.
Also competing at a higher level we had the juniors 16 girls who brought home a bronze medal competing as a composite crew with Birmingham for the Inter Regional Regatta.
The few veteran members of the club represented Bewdley at Henley Masters Regatta which saw the women’s masters C 4+ go on to win, something that hasn’t been achieved by Bewdley for more than a decade. This same women’s 4 also won the veteran 4’s head of the river back in November last year again something that hasn’t been won in a many number of years.
We were also represented at national and world level by the veterans, gaining 3 medals at the National Masters Championships by way of the Women’s Mas.C4+ with silver and gold for the Mixed Mas.C 8 also Women’s Mas.C IM3 double.
We had quite a few novice wins last season, where some of the junior members stepped up to race at senior level, this bodes well for when they make the move to the senior squads. Also Mel finally won her novice singles.
We as a club have had 64 wins in total last season with:
• Juniors -6
o 5 boys and 1 girls
• Seniors – 19
o 13 men, 5 women and 1 mixed.
• Vets – 39
o 18 men, 18 women, and 3 mixed.
The members with the most wins last year were:
• Junior boys – Jake 4
• Junior girls – Sophie Evans 2
• Senior Men – Aston, Dave and Callum 7
• Senior Women – Kiah, Sophie E, Penny, Laura Ray and Jenny 2
• Veteran Men – Matt, H, Jem and Mike Parker 6
• Veteran Women – Kim and Jean 10 – topping the most number of wins for the second year running.
A few other things worthy of a mention from last season were possibly things that the people involved would rather was forgotten, there were:
• The Vet D 8 forgetting to take their riggers to Ironbridge as being men they all assumed someone else would do it!
• Liam for helping Roger get in a single, by holding the boat and then letting go, to which Roger then went for a swim!
• And also, Eddy and Paul thinking their sculling riggers had been taken by another club at Stourport head, because the ones they had were too small…. Once turned round they were big enough!
Now to the interesting part of the evening, the trophy presentation:
This year’s award winners were:
The Mayor of Bewdley Pot – Most Improved
Bewdley Carnival Youth Achievement – Outstanding Junior
Bill Ince Memorial – Outstanding Rower
Womens Mas.C 4+ Kim Martyn Smith, Jean Main, Jane Chiswell, Helen Hugo cox Kat Carlyle
Neil Brett Memorial – Non Rowing Achievement
Ken Sollom Memorial – Coach
Stephen Kent Memorial – Cox
Outstanding Achievement – Junior Development Squad
WJ16 4+ Kiah Bradley, Sophie Evans, Victoria Williams, Penny Gunn cox Grace Cox