Trafford Rowing Club-Latest News

Thatcher Rock – Torquay

Thatcher Rock, Torquay – 4/10/14

The Club was represented at races as far apart as from Runcorn down to Torquay last Saturday, just when the weather decided it was actually autumn and as well as sending in heavy rain, the temperature dropped about 8 degrees from one day to the next.


It also decided that wasn’t enough and sent in strong winds too.  Down at Torquay the crews were in preparation for the World Rowing Coastal Championships in 2 weeks.  The sun did come out in time for the first race of the day, and off went the women in a race around Thatcher Rock, out towards Livermead and then back to the harbour to finish off the 8k.  After a quick start the first 3 crews of Exmouth, Teign Scullers and Trafford were battling against each other in the more sheltered part of the race, however by the first turn buoy Trafford were 2 lengths ahead of Teign, with clear water ahead of Exmouth and the other 4 boats in the race.  Turning Thatcher Rock there was a big push from both leading crews and but Trafford continued to hold them off.  As the race continued out into the bay the conditions became much more challenging with very strong sideways and head winds, all the way back to the finish.  Trafford  continued to increase their lead and came in first.

The mens race was next, and all boats were very close off the start, the crews were all jostling for positions throughout the way out to Thatcher Rock, around the turn and back into the bay, by which time our men were close behind 2nd place.  Out again into the challenging winds of the bay they maintained 3rd place, but with an excellent racing turn around the next buoy by the very experienced Mayflower Offshore RC crew and cox their opposition sneaked ahead, our men didn’t let up and kept up the challenge all the way to the line.  Trafford came 4th, just 1 sec off Mayflower, 3rd.  One of the closest finishes you can probably get over 8k in those conditions.


Chester Long Distance Sculls – 28th September

Well off we went to the first Head race of the season in the North West.

Chester Long Distance Sculls has previously been one where we entered very few juniors because of the distance. However as we have seen an increase in strength and stamina and also the introduction of the short course we decide to venture out to the historic City and River Dee. Entries were split between the short (2.75k) and long course (5k).  Many of the younger ones J15 and under were entered in the short course with older juniors in the long course as well as the some of the seniors / coaches.

This was my first event at Chester that I have attended and after a bad start to the morning with my Sat Nav deciding to send me down an obscure scenic route to Chester then shouting at me to “Turn Around When Possible” I actually managed to get to Chester only to then be caught up by the Chester 1 way system and lovely “No Right Turn” signs. After only 1 stop in a car park to get my bearings and a quick U turn I was back on-track and down at the Groves to see Martin on the corner waiting for the trailer, which apparently was also taking the grand scenic tour of Chester!. A Quick drop off with kit and then off to park up at the Meadows side of the river.

Yet another fine day was bestowed upon us for Chester Long Distance Sculls, where crews competed at both the long distance and shorter course. An overcast morning soon brightened up to a glorious day with Sun cream going and the ice cream stalls doing a roaring trade.

In Division 1 the J15A.4x+ crewed by Joe B, Ben HS, Tom W, Louis M and coxed by Georgia  took second place with a time of 11:17.7. They also were the second fastest boat in that Division with just 40 seconds separating first and second.

Also in Division 1 the W.J14.4x+ crewed by Libby D, Grace M, Beth G, Isla H and coxed by Amy  took fourth place with a time of 12:57.2 and were 1min 16secs behind the winner.

In Division 2 Martin took the bold step to enter the ELI.1x and managed a time of 20:22.0 with second place being only 38 seconds behind Agecroft over the long distance course.

Larry was also hot on Martin’s tail being only 31 seconds behind Martin and also took a second place in the J16.1x with 20:53.7 which was only 26 second behind the winner.

Sorry Larry Martin was still faster than you 😉

Other juniors in morning put in a tremendous effort with some wobbly legs coming onto the landing stage.

In the Afternoon W.J15A.4x+ crewed by Tilly T, Bronya S, Eleanor H, Amy D coxed by Georgia  took first place with a time of 11:49.1 in Athena, only a 5 seconds ahead of Trentham.

With another win coming in for the W.J14.2x girls crewed by  Libby D and Grace M who also took first place with a time of 12:50.4 coming in 52 seconds faster against their nearest opponent.

Andy and Simon made a second place in the MasD/E.2x with only 10 seconds between them and first place.

The J17.2x crewed by Olie I and Joe I took an admirable third place with a time of 21:11.8 against some strong opposition.

All in all a great day was had by all with congratulations to all those who competed for putting in a strong turnout.

Thanks as always to those who helped with all the planning and also on the day including Richard Deighton who towed, Martin and Andy who coached, planned boats and helped getting juniors and boats to and from the water and also those parent who managed to stay out of the Pubs and Cafes to help out and cheer on. Remember we can’t do these events without your support.



Catches and Extracts

September edition please see link below.

read it here………  

Jill Lees

Media and Publicity

Trafford Rowing Club    

North of England Sprint

Well what a beautiful day it was at Hollingworth….. Sorry was thinking back to last year. I think I should have started with what a miserable, dreary, wet day, but what the heck!

Many learnt a lot of lessons, one of which was “READ MY EMAILS” as well as the importance of coming with clothing for all weather.

All the juniors put a valiant effort in on the day and although the Juniors only had 1 win in the Novice Doubles everyone put in their all. Other wins were for Martin, who won by some distance although those that blinked may have missed the race and the Senior Women’s crew at the end of the day. Support was great even with the weather and it was brilliant to hear “Come on Trafford” all down the bank.

Special thanks goes to Sam and Bronya for getting us out of a sticky situation and who stood in for those who forgot / were delayed, also Georgia who saved Mark from having to squeeze into Rose Rage to cox. Also to Olivia’s mum, who brought birthday cake for Olivia & Bronya with a chorus of Happy Birthday to end the day.

I’d like to give a really big thanks to all the parents that helped getting the boats to and from the trailer and with rigging and de-rigging, unloading and loading the boats. You have no idea how much easier this makes things and the coaches even managed to see a few of the races as well which helps us with coaching and feedback to the rowers. It was a tremendous help and let’s keep it going through the Head season.

Also thanks to those who put in such a long day including the coaches and John for towing, most of which started the day around 5:00am and got back around 8:30pm. Not forgetting all those that stayed behind to help load the trailer and came back to the boat house to put it away.

The North of England Sprint saw off the last of the Regattas for 2014 as the Head season starts off with Chester Long Distance Sculls.


Gordon Rice
Junior Vice Captain / Coordinator

Catches and Extracts

Welcome to your Newsletter

As there is so much going on at our club we’ve set up this newsletter to keep everyone informed on a regular basis.

If you have anything you’d like to mention in the next edition or would prefer not to receive this electronically please email Jill
Lees at

read it here………  

Jill Lees

Media and Publicity

Trafford Rowing Club



Henley Masters 2014


Simon and I entered Henley Masters this year,with the aim of getting through to Saturday. With some good training sessions in the weeks beforehand we were quietly confident that we could do well.

We arrived in Henley on Thursday, to get a training outing in that afternoon. Conditions were rough, with a strong wind against stream and wash from pleasure cruisers. The booms may be solid if you hit them, but they don’t seem to be much of a barrier to wash. Nonetheless it was a good outing. We had an early start on Friday morning to get in a final practice. The water was calmer, but the outing lacked rhythm. Neither of us were concerned though, taking the attitude that it’s what happens in the race that matters. For once luck was with us and we had a bye through the preliminary rounds. We watched our opposition race and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Saturday was a beautiful day, warm and still. Our semi-final at 0800 was the first race of the day and the water was calm. Racing Nottingham we had an almost perfect start, taking a lengths lead by the barrier. This allowed us to control the race and we won more comfortably than the 13/4 verdict suggests.

Predictably by the final at 1440 the tension was creeping in. The prospect of a medal was looming. Our opposition was Ardingly from Sussex, a crew we had beaten at National Masters. Conditions were now rough, with a queue of cruisers churning up the water. Very different from the semi-final.

Our start was poor, with the boat rocking from side to side over the first 15 strokes. We were a 1/4 length down, but after a warning for steering we started to row more comfortably and showed our speed in the middle of the race. We rowed through to win by 4 lengths.

Overall Henley Masters was a great event, well organised in beautiful settings. For any aspiring Masters rowers I would definitely recommend it as an event to enter.

Andy Sykes




Those of you down at the weekend will see that the fence has now been erected on the towpath and unfortunately no padlock has been provided. However, the compound at the end of car park by the model railway is permanently manned by a security guard, who is happy to unbolt the fence to allow access. Accordingly, will whoever is down first arrange with the guard for access and whoever locks up liaises with the guard to close the fence. We were previously led to believe that the towpath would not be available before 6.00 p.m. Equally it is not envisaged that the work will occur over weekends unless it falls behind schedule so for the time being, there are no restrictions at weekends.

Please also remember that the towpath is classified as a building site and that access is essentially at your risk – neither the club, contractors or Bridgewater Canal Company will accept liability for accident or injury.

Work will start on the towpath on Monday.

In terms of boating arrangements, this will be down to the captain and VCs. Whilst work is on, access to the towpath will be limited and if you fall in there will be nobody there to rescue you and you may not be able to get onto the bank between the clubhouse and Altrincham. Please apply common sense – if you wish to scull or use a small boat and are not proficient please either do not go out or if you must, then please ensure you are accompanied by somebody on the bank and go northbound towards Manchester. Also coached sessions will need to go northbound as well.  The towpath on the opposite side (adjacent to the Metro track) is inappropriate for coaching and from a capsize perspective is not suitable for getting back into a boat.

During the period of the works in particular, consider the safety issues and how to exit the canal in the event of an emergency. If you have any doubts, please talk to Henry in the first place, your VC or one of the committee members.

Car Park and Model Railway

It appears that the compound has been erected with Council agreement, but no notification provided to the model railway society. Some of the model engineers are upset that they cannot get close to their facilities.

During the duration of the works, please be sensitive to the model engineers and seek to minimise the loss of parking spaces when taking the trailer out of the club. If we can get it on the gym club side of the building, please do so.

Any questions or queries, please get in touch




Membership renewal / declaration


I have updated the membership forms and had them uploaded to the website.

As per my previous note, anyone new to the club is required to download a membership form (first 2 options), complete and return to your Vice Captain or leave in the folder at the back of the boat house (next to the blue steps).

Anyone continuing with their membership or returning to the club after a break is required to complete the online form (3rd option).

Completion of the forms (electronic or paper based) is a requirement for EVERYONE and I would urge you to take 4 mins to complete this task rather than waiting for me to send your name out on a list of people who need to complete to continue using the equipment.

Any questions as ever please let me know


Trafford Rowing Club  


Membership Costs



As we draw to a close on the current membership year, here are the details of fees for the forthcoming membership year …

Membership year:

The membership year runs from 1 July to 30 June and membership is due for the full year.  Part year payments (with the exception of the summer student offer) are not offered.

Membership costs:

(1) Ordinary membership – £210 (reduces to £190 if paid before 1 August)

Applies to all members who don’t qualify for the other membership categories noted below.

The fee can be paid in one payment allowing you to take advantage of the early payment discount, or paid quarterly (details below).

(2) Junior membership – £50 membership + £30 monthly coaching fee (reduced to £25 monthly fee for a 2nd sibling)

The annual £50 membership fee is payable by all members of the junior squad for the next 12 months and is in addition to the £30 monthly charge for having a dedicated coach

(3) Student membership – £100 for the year or £50 for the Summer only

This applies to all members who are in FULL time education and either aren’t included in the junior squad. Again this can be paid in full or by quarterly installments as noted below.

(4) County membership – £50

This applies to members who either live away from Trafford and will visit the area infrequently, or rowers who will on average come down for 1 outing per month throughout the year.

Please contact me separately before making payment if you believe this category applies to yourself.

(5) Cox / Coach / Rower Support – £15

This applies to members who wish to cox, coach or just provide support to the squads but does not allow you to use the club equipment for rowing purposes.

(6) Family membership

We offer a family discount for any families involved with the club where there is a minimum of 1 ordinary and 1 junior member wishing to take up membership.

Please contact me separately for a price in relation to this category

Payment methods:

(1) Payment by electronic bank transfer (preferred) – Payments should be made to the club’s Barclays Bank account:

Sort code – 20-01-96

Account – 20892386

You should provide a reference of “14/15 [NAME]” so I can distinguish who has paid please. An email confirmation once you have made a payment would also be appreciated.

(2) Payment by cheque – Payments should be made out to “Trafford Rowing Club” with the members name on the back of the cheque and left in the purple folder at the back of the boathouse (next to the blue metal steps)

(3) Quarterly installments

Ordinary and full time students may choose to pay in 4 quarterly installments, the first due by 31 July 2014.

Ordinary – £55

Full time student – £27.50

The club WILL NOT accept cash payments. Payment has to be by cheque or electronic transfer ONLY

Special rates are available for anyone who may be unemployed, please contact me for a confidential discussion on membership arrangements.

Membership fees are non-refundable unless there are mitigating circumstances.

Due dates:

Membership fees are due from 1 July.  Members will be afforded a months grace to ensure they are able to sort payment (and in the case of the ordinary members, take advantage of the early payment discount).  After 1 August non-payment will result in reduced access to club equipment and training times out of fairness to those who have paid and for insurance purposes.

Membership declaration:

Every member is required to provide a membership declaration upon joining for the new membership year. Continuing / returning members can complete the on-line form (3rd option down in the following link).

New members will be required to complete the paper based forms (Options 1 & 2) which will be updated over the next week:

As ever, any questions please let me know

Vice Captains – please could you ensure all the members in your squads get to see this information.




Trafford Rowing Club

Tow Path Closure

We have now received confirmation that the towpath works will start on Monday June 30th. The towpath will not be accessible for a 12 week period and works not schedule to be completed until 19 September. The towpath is to be upgraded from Marsland Road Bridge through to the path opposite Budenberg buildings. Ultimately, it will make the towpath a better place but will obviously cause some impact during the works.

During this period, we will not be able to access the towpath between 7.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Access to the boating area will be gated and accessible only during the agreed hours i.e after 6.00 p.m. and on Saturdays (works permitting) and Sundays. Some works may be undertaken on a Saturday – to be notified which may restrict access also.

Whilst the works are underway and when access to the towpath is permitted, it will be at the individual’s risk, liability and responsibility. The Bridgewater Canal Company, its officers, its contractors (Fairclough) or its employees will not be liable for any injuries or accidents or damage to equipment during the periods of the work.

To retain access over the period for boating only, we have had to agree to these restrictions. Equally, if anybody accesses the site and tries boating during the site working hours, we will have our access privileges withdrawn and not be able to row.  Please therefore respect the arrangements agreed with the Canal Company.

We have only just received notification of the works and the impact will be different on the various sections of the club. Your vice captains/co-ordinators will be in touch with more detail once we have had chance to consider the implications on our activities.

Any queries, please get in touch.


Trentham Review


What a start to the day.

After a number of downpours earlier in the week the sun certainly did not let us down. What a Scorcher……

This was the first Regatta for a number of Juniors with entries in for W.J11.2x and W.J11.1x crews. It was also my first Regatta without the support of the other Junior coaches.  Some left the country and others went to the extreme of entering a Triathlon, others even decided that work was a far better option for the day. Come on guys, my jokes are not that bad…..

The mayhem of the morning set upon us putting together split boats and trying to work out exactly how on earth we managed to get so many boats onto a single trailer and how we get them off and rigged with only 5 trestles. Followed by the standard set of obligatory questions of, when do I race, what boat am I in, where do I go, have you got a rigger jigger, what blades do I use….

The first crews were then sent off, with a sigh of relief, for a second at least, followed by a quick dash to take missing seats down and a quick change of odd blades.

The races then began…..

The Juniors started well with 2nd place in the Event 1: W.J14.4x+ crewed By Bronya, Amy, Rachel, Tilly and coxed by Georgia. Which was shortly matched by the Seniors also with a 2nd place in Event 5: W.IM3.4+

Isla for the Juniors came back with another 2nd in the Event 6: W.J13.1x, putting the Juniors ahead…

The juniors then got their first win for Trafford in Event 11: W.J11.2x with a win for Ilenna and Gwen in their 1st ever Regatta together in a double.

Having spent what seemed to be a lifetime on the water, the Seniors finally made it back into the running with a strong come back in Event 12: Nov.4+ taking 1st.

The Juniors not wanting to be left behind then stepped up to the mark and managed another 1st with Rachel and Tilly in Event 29a: W.J14.2x, followed by 2nd place in Event 29b: W.J14.2x with Amy and Georgia

Seniors came back in in the Event 49: W.Mas.A/B.4+ with a 1st, followed by another 1st in Event 64: W.Nov.2x

The Juniors then fought back valiantly and returned with a 2nd in Event 65: J16.2x for Luke and Ollie and another 2nd in Event 71: J14.2x for Tom and Pavel and whilst a valiant effort did not manage to close the gap on the Seniors this time ……

Next Event for the Juniors is Runcorn Junior Regatta on the 05/06/2014.

Thanks for all the Help from the Seniors, Parents and Juniors who all mucked in together.

Gordon Rice
Junior Vice Captain / Coordinator
Trafford Rowing Club


Warrington Regatta


What a Start to the Junior Regatta Season!

Northwich Regatta started the season for Trafford Rowing club and not only did we have some excellent racing and some very close calls, but also some excellent weather to go to it.

Racing started well with a win for Carly and Chris in the Mixed double, so the gauntlet was thrown down to the Juniors in Division 1.

It wasn’t until Division 2 did the Juniors draw level with a win for Sam Johnson in the WJ14 single, followed by a win for Eleanor Heathcock at W.J13.1x. Grace Mills performed very well after not actually being in a single for quite some time.

The Quarter Finals of the W.J15.4x+ had a well fought race against the Grange School, with a crew that had only had only rowed together once before managing to push The Grange School all the way up the 500m sprint and at one point being in the lead, only just to be pipped in the last few strokes.

The Women brought in another win for the seniors in the W.MasA.4+ showing signs on catching up to the Junior wins.

Division 3 also was not without its moment. In the two W.J14.1x Quarter Finals the commentator praised the 1x scullers for then excellent sculling technique including a thrilling race between Trafford and Grosvenor resulting in a Photo Finish. Grace Mills and Libby took another win for the juniors with a win in the W.J1.2x, in Libby’s first regatta!

Division 3 continued into the afternoon with both the W.Nov.4+ being still out on the water when I left, but managed to pull another win in for the seniors.

Other highlights, Larry showed that he was well on the way to recover after his injury and Luke only just missed out.

All in all an excellent start to the junior season, with some surprising results from those being in their first Regatta and also the more seasoned with a sterling effort being put in.

As always the Juniors did us proud with an excellent start to the season all round.

Once last note.

A big thanks to all the Coaches, Parents that support us and the Volunteers that put in endless hours of time and effort in to make this all possible.

Gordon Rice

Junior VC


Northwich Spring Head


Congratulations to all the junior and masters crews who took part in Northwich Spring Head today. It was a good day of racing with a strong tail wind to give fast times. There was some excellent racing with a number of good results.

Ollie came a good second in the J16 1x and Rachel and Tilly were also second in the WJ14 2x. The best results of the day though were wins at Mas B 1x for Martin, Mas D 1x for Andy Sykesf, WJ13 1x for Eleanor, WJ13 4x+ for Isla, Orla, Jenna, Eleanor and Nia and WJ14 4x+ for Amy, Tilly, Bronya, Rachel and Georgia.

It has been brought to my attention that Martin at Mas B 1x, Eleanor at WJ13 1x and the WJ14 4x+ all broke their respective course records for Northwich Spring Head and the WJ13 4x+ in their first race together were only 3 seconds outside the course record.  Well done to everyone!

So with 5 wins for the day it was a good result for the club.

Thanks to all the parents and coaches who helped out during the day and especially to Richard for towing.

Andy Sykes

Junior VC


Junior Sculling Championship


Two crews competed today at the Junior Sculling Championship at Eton Dorney. Held at the site of the recent Olympics, both crews rowed well (WJ16 4x- of Nic, Olivia, Emma and Emily and WJ14 4x+ of Amy, Tilly, Bronya and Rachel with Alix at cox) and everyone enjoyed the event.

The competition was fierce, with the best crews from the UK and crews from abroad. The WJ16 crew came a very creditable 28th of 38 crews and the WJ14 crew won a bronze medal with 3rd place from 48.

Their results show what can be achieved with training and hopefully next year we can better the results.

Thanks to all the parents and supporters who endured the 3 hour journey each way and to Runcorn for towing our boats.


Andy Sykes

Junior VC


2013 Junior Review


2013 was another good year for the squad with numbers up and for a second year in a row a record number of wins. I’m not going to mention individual wins, as you can look results up on the club web site, but would particularly point to success at National Championships. We took a very inexperience group, some of who were rowing in older age groups, but everyone performed beyond expectations.

I was particulary pleased to see the breadth of wins across the squad rather than from just a few individuals.

Other very successful events included Runcorn Junior Regatta, Trafford Head and Mersey Regatta.

We have also had a very successful junior skills competition earlier in the year won by Bronya and more recently our time trial with the fastest time posted by Ollie. Training sessions have regularly been full and the summer evening sessions were very well attended.

This years social events included the annual dinner which saw juniors take two tables. Awards went to Victoria (Junior Endeavour), Larry (The Bridgewater Cup) and the WJ13 4x+ who won the Bridgewater 4. More recently the Christmas row was well supported.

As always I’m please to see how many juniors have used rowing towards Duke of Edinburgh Awards and would like to thank all of you who have helped out with coaching.

Especial thanks to Pete and Charlie for towing the trailer to events. It’s no fun being first to arrive and last to leave, but without towing we wouldn’t go to any events. A big thanks must also go to all the parents who have helped out over the year. Our events have been well supported with drinks, cakes and bacon butties and thanks especially to Karen who organised the time trial catering. I also realise what a burden it can be having to get up early on the weekend to taxi juniors to training and events.

I also need to thank the club as a whole for the support that the junior squad has had. Despite a limited fleet of boats we have generally been allowed to get on with training without too much pressure on seats and training times.

Finally my special thanks to my fellow coaches who have all given up their time to coach sessions and to Martin who has continued to do a fantastic job, raising the standard of junior rowing at Trafford.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year and I look forward to another successful year of rowing.

Andy Sykes

Junior VC