27 November 2011

Learn to Row

The current Learn to Row course is going really well, its great to see the crews progressing so well. Two weeks to the finale race event on Sun 11-Dec-11.

19 November 2011

Autumn Small Boats Head of the River Race. Sunday 13 November 2011

Northwich RC hosted their annual small boats Head race on the river Weaver between Vale Royal and Hunts Locks a distance of 2,600 m. The event was held in sunny autumnal conditions throughout the day with racing commencing at 9:45 with Division 1, finishing Division 3 with the fading light at 16:00 dealing with 100 boats in each division! This event has a reputation for being one of the best in the northwest attracting local clubs and many from other regions. This was reflected in the huge entry the club had to deal with, subsequently taking the difficult decision to reject many crews namely our own to make way for visiting clubs. The event was a huge success. It was a very long, busy day but enjoyed by everyone; athletes, volunteers and visitors alike. NRC was delighted to have 6 wins with many of the club crews racing extremely well against strong opposition.

There are two coveted trophies to race for in this event, namely the Tim Hooper Trophy for the Men’s fastest boat of the day and the Susan Benyon Trophy for the fastest Women’s boat of the day.
Joyce Hooper was delighted to present the Tim Hooper Trophy to composite crew Northwich RC & Royal Chester RC, who raced in a coxless quad covering the distance in a very fast 8:00, 30 sec ahead of their competition, Royal Worcester Grammar School.
Crew: Matt Jump (NRC), Oliver Cocklin (RCRC), Rupert Wiltshire (NRC) & Richard Hawkins (RCRC).

The Susan Benyon Trophy winners Trentham BC WJunior18 coxless quad covered the distance in a respectable 9:03.
Div 1
J18 single scull Hugo Norris
Womens Masters C single scull Clare Briegal, club Captain.
Div 2
Masters E coxed four winning decisively against their younger opposition from Liverpool Victoria RC, Steve Wignall, Simon Bannister, Tom Kilkenny, Nev Hand cox James Morrison
Div 3
Elite coxless quad mentioned earlier
J18 coxless quad Grange Sch RC & Northwich RC Callum McRoberts, Hugo Norris (NRC), Connor Gay & Luke Ozsanlav-Harris (who won a medal in all three divisions in different boats)
WMastersD coxed four Carolyn MacRitchie, Clare Briegal, Carole Riddell,Elaine Hemsted, cox Jonty Moore continuing their unbeaten success in the region.

07 November 2011

NRC Masters” Race the Tideway

Two Masters Crews made the journey to London departing in fog at 6am to race the Masters Head of the River Race. Fortunately conditions improved as we headed south. There was a large entry across the ages. Our crews boated at Barnes Bridge so there wasn’t much time for a warm up as we were practically at the start. As we boated the weather conditions were favorable, calm, dry and not too cold. However, as we raced the stretch between Barnes and Hammersmith Bridges the water conditions were challenging, typical Tideway – choppy waves with a strong head wind. Fortunately it calmed down for the last section of the race to the finish which we were all relieved to see!

Masters E coxed four:
Steve Wignall, Simon Bannister, Tom Kilkenny, Nev Hand, cox James Morrison

Women’s Masters D coxed four:
Carolyn MacRitchie, Clare Briegal, Carole Riddell, Elaine Hemsted cox Jonty Moore.  

The course is on a section of the river 4¼ miles (6.84km) long Mortlake to Putney. This is a large event with 216 crews competing in the race. 

01 November 2011

George Musker Awards 2011

Northwich Rowing Club held their annual awards ceremony on Sunday 16 October 2011. Club Members, family and friends gathered to celebrate and recognise those who performed to the highest standards, as well as those who helped to make this happen.

Clare Briegal, NRC Captain, explained 2011 had been particularly satisfying seeing the continuing development of NRC’s Junior squads progress within the men’s squad, the establishment of regular Master’s crews, close cooperation with local clubs and of course our newest member of the GB squad.
The club raced at over 30 events through the year including not only all the local NW Heads and Regattas but also many national events and championships achieving a fantastic 61 wins in total across the squads. Furthermore introducing over 30 people to the sport of rowing; Juniors and Seniors.
Eddie Phillips Junior Award , for the best & most promising junior of the year
Winner : NRC J15 squad

This year NRC’s juniors’ rowing was all about “squads”.

We had an exceptionally strong WJ16-18 squad, coached by Kevin Jump who joined up with the Grange School and created two strong VIII’s. They competed at the Women’s Eights Head of the river, won the North West Regional Time trial and won a bronze medal at the InterRegional Regatta at Holme Pierpoint. This squad took delight in beating Manchester University at WIM3 8+s’ at our own regatta. I’m delighted that this joint approach is continuing into 2011-12 season.

Starting out in rowing were the J12/13 girls and boys squads coached by Faith Murray, Simon Crouchley and Jed Barlow. The WJ13 girls clocked their first win at Northwich Spring Head and the J12 boys at Warrington Regatta.

However our most successful age group by far was our J15 squad, both girls and boys. They achieved over 20 wins between them in a variety of boats – singles, doubles, quads, fours, eights. They competed in girls, boys, senior women and senior men’s events, as well as mixed senior events. Wins included Dee Head, Northwich Autumn Head, Senior Men’s Novice Pennant at the Head of the Float, Head of the Mersey, Trafford Head, Northwich Spring Head, Merseyside, Northwich, Bridgenorth, Ironbridge and Burton Regattas.

With such strength in numbers it was impossible to single out one individual so in the spirit of the team itself the Eddie Phillips Junior Award is presented to the whole J15 squad!
Who is, in no particular order:
Tom Asteriades, Nathan Jump, Zak Trigg, Rian Gamble, Liam Adamson, Joe Ronald, Alex Murphy, Craig Milne (cox), Kate Mehan, Beth Chaplin, Olivia Oakes, Libby Weltman, Ash Hudson, Sam Over
Eddie Phillips Award for the Best VeteranWinner: Elaine HemstedThe Masters squads remain a strength at Northwich. We have many oarsmen who have rowed at the club first as juniors, then seniors and now represent us in Master’s events. Many club members have started as Master’s rowers through our Learn to Row scheme.

This year’s winner graduated from our Learn to Row course in 2007.

She demonstrated strong potential from the off. Her first medal was a Bronze at the English Indoor Rowing Champs in February 2008.

Her first win on the water was in a Women’s Veteran Novice 8+ at the North of England Head in 2009 and she won a Silver Medal at the English Indoor Rowing Champs in the same year.

In 2010 things really started to take off with another medal at the English Indoor Championships and then first regatta wins at Trentham and Warrington in WMasC 4+.

Since October 2010, Elaine has been rowing in the WMasD 4+. This crew has had an exceptional season winning at Agecroft, Northwich Autumn and Spring, The Head of the Mersey as well as Shrewsbury, Northwich and Ironbridge Regattas. Elaine also won WMasC 8+ pennants at Runcorn and the North of England Heads.

Elaine had her first taste of multilane racing this summer. The four competed at the National Master’s Regatta at Holme Pierpoint and came third in WMasC 4+. The crew is sticking together this year, so far winning at Runcorn Small Boats Head and entered in the Veteran Fours Head on the Tideway in November.

Several years ago NRC donated an Eight Ivy Irvine to the Grange School when they were setting up their own club at Acton Bridge.

Ivy Irvine, born Alec, rowed for Shrewsbury School and won a trial cap for Oxford, he worked for ICI and coached at both Northwich and Royal Chester Rowing Clubs.

Ivy’s brother Sandy (Andrew) was also a rower at Shrewsbury and Oxford, rowing in the blue boat in 1922 and 23. Just 1 year later he lost his life with George Mallory in 1924 attempting to climb Everest at the age of 22.

In 1953 Ivy donated a spectacular trophy to Northwich Rowing Club of which we are very proud. The Everest Challenge Oar commemorates the conquest of Everest and was awarded from 1954 until 1988 for coxed schoolboy 4’s.
Andrew C Irvine was known for his spirit of determination and endurance.

A new award was announced in the memory of the Irvine’s.
The Irvine Award for the Most Improved RowerWinner: Phil Hewitt
Phil joined the Club through the Learn to Row programme and has really taken to the sport. He won his rowing novice at Trentham Regatta last year and has concentrated on sculling in 2010/11. Throughout the summer he trained in a single and a double with Nick Parkes. In August he won Novice Sculls at Warrington Regatta.
The Simon Crouchley Coaching Award recognises Coaching Excellence.
Winner: Jed Barlow
Ed Grisedale his protégé accepted the award in his absence.

Jed has rowed and coached at Northwich Rowing Club for over 40 years. He has nurtured young talent in one person in particular, Ed Grisedale, who holds him in great esteem.

In Ed’s own words:
“Jed took me on at the age of 15 knowing that he had a lot of work to do for me to catch up with rowers of the same age that had started years before.

Jed worked round lessons and exams that enabled me to get the correct number of training sessions in. Jed came down to the club early or stayed late to help my parents as my Dad has spent lots of time in hospital; he has even spent the whole day at the club and has sorted out meals.
Jed organised for me to go to other North West clubs giving experience in different crew boats and water conditions. This also gave me the advantage of being able to jump into any crew boat and row with confidence, something that really helps when it comes to seat racing.

Jed was very aware that I trained the majority of time alone so organised & took me twice a week to train during the winter with Grange School on the ergo's etc.

Jed is retired and has a boat in France but has worked his holidays round GB Trials and my events. He has made contributions that have had an impact not only on his social life but also his own pocket, spending numerous weekends away from home, driving up and down the motorway and spending nights in hotels.

Not only has my rowing taken over my life, my rowing has taken over Jed's life.”

The audience was delighted to have a video message all the way from sunny France from the man himself.
Dennis Mills Coxing AwardWinner: Craig Milne (J15 squad member)

Rowers really appreciate the smaller members of our club, who brave the bad weather and sit for hours in the coxes seat of our fours, quads and eights.

A band of dedicated professionals with cox box in one hand, seven layers of clothing and lifejacket they sometimes resemble the Michelin man.

But never underestimate the role of the coxswain in winning. Steersman, coach, motivator, technician; they have many roles.

The award this year goes to a member of the award winning J15 squad so you already heard about their successes.
The Bill Cotton Award presented to recognise the person or persons who have gone beyond the call of duty for Northwich Rowing Club.
Winners: Steve Jump and Kevin Hudson
This year two members were thanked and recognised for their efforts and their time given to the Club & whose entire families have become a big part of the Northwich Rowing Club scene.

Always ready to lend a hand around the Club but both with specific skills these two men have made a huge difference to the running of Northwich Rowing Club.

The first is part of a rowing dynasty but uses his craftsman skills to keep our fleet afloat with expert boat repairs. The second has kept our coaches in motion on the bank with regular bike repairs.

Both individuals are quick to volunteer for the less glamorous jobs around the club, whether it is bagging and clearing rubbish or laying flagstones or even making tea and toast.
The Chairmans Award presented by the Club Chairman
Winner: Clare Briegal

Grange School Trophy for Endeavour
Winner: Enid Barlow
The Learn to Row programme has been a vital part of the Club over the past few years for recruiting senior and master’s rowers.
Behind such a successful course the Club is fortunate to have a dedicated and professional administrator, keeping tabs on the applicants, taking payments and filling in paperwork also organising booklets and certificates for the course members. These are the types of activities that she completes without fuss or complaint


The George Musker Award.
The final and most prestigious award for Excellence and Elitism shown in the Sport of Rowing
Winner: Ed Grisedale

At Northwich Rowing Club we sometimes take it for granted that our top athletes will be selected to represent their country.
We have a rich history & a track record from the first winner of the George Musker Award in 1980 Geoff Simms, who competed in a single for England in the Home Countries Regatta. Others including Jo Rafferty, Rachel and Elizabeth Hooper, George and Will Laughton.
Not forgetting our George Musker winner in 1999, 2008 and 2009, GB World Champion, Matt Langridge, silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and contender for London 2012.

We well know to secure a place in the GB squad takes a great deal more than a strong pedigree.

This young man has put body and soul into his training. He has proven himself throughout the year and through GB trials. An exceptional sculler, his wins for the year include; J17 1x at Chester Long Distance Sculls, J18 1x at the Dee Autumn, then teaming up with talented oarsman from the Grange School he won J18 2x and 4x at Northwich Autumn Head. He won the J18 category at the English Indoor Championships both individual and team events, with PB of 6:20.2 for 2000m. Then with Tom Ford from the Grange he won J18 2x at Hampton Head – their quad came second to Leander by just 0.2 seconds.

He performed well in trials. In the early Junior assessments in November he came 4th overall in the 1x and then 8th in February and 3rd in the 2x trials. By April he was down to 11th in the time trials at Dorney Lake, Eton and he failed to reach the A final. He knew he had to do more to impress the selectors – there were only 7 seats available for the Junior sculling squad! So in the B final he set off determined to win. In second place at 500m he pushed through and won convincingly in a time that would have put him in 5th in the A final.

This was good enough for the selectors and following a successful GB camp in March, Ed earned his first GB vest in May at the Munich Junior regatta.

During the summer he increased his experience by joining Royal Chester at the Marlow Regatta and Henley Royal.

Invited back for more trials in July he secured a place in the GB junior team at the World Junior Championships at Dorney Lake, Eton in August.

Initially disappointed to not make the quad our award winner raced in the 2x. In an exceptionally strong field they had the race of their life in the semi final and secured a place in the A final, exceeding Team GB’s expectations.

The Club was delighted to be informed, Ed Grisedale, the winner of the George Musker Award “the bow man in the 6th fastest junior double in the world”!