September 2015

Captain's Report

Over the summer, four crews entered the British Masters at Nottingham, with each winning a medal.  Two golds, one silver and one bronze counts one of our most successful years.  
As a club we competed at only one other event during the summer - the St Ives 150th anniversary regatta held in June.  Traditionally this event gives newer rowers their first chance of competition, and this year our junior section really stepped up to the plate with several creditable performances, most notably wins for the J15 boy's quad and Olivia Messenger in a single. 
We consulted widely throughout the racing section of the club to determine crew preferences and level of commitment, and as a result new crew combinations have been forged which we hope will compete though to the end of next season (August 2016).  New crews meant new training times and these were implemented from the end of June.  Thanks to everyone for their cooperation in this; over the summer it has worked well, and when everyone is available, over 80 rowers will have at least one training outing each Saturday morning.

Diary Dates

A programme of "whole club" events is planned through the autumn and winter.  We try and arrange at least one club event each month, so dates for your diaries are as follows:-
Saturday 19th Sept. - Milton Keynes Invitation Regatta - a friendly but keenly contested event giving everyone a chance to compete over a 500m course.  Stakeboat start.  Held on Caldecott Lake in Milton Keynes.  An added incentive is a cup for the club with the most wins - OTRC won this 2 years ago, but had to hand it to Milton Keynes last year.  We need to win it back!  Entries will be confirmed shortly.
Sunday 11 Oct - Bedford Small Boats Head.   The first of the "head" races of the season.  This is a very popular event as it is the first chance most crews get to test themselves in competition.  1900m course through Bedford town.  We will shortly be asking for availability as we want to get our entries in early.
Sunday 22nd Nov - Star Club Head.  Held over the same course as the Bedford SBH. 
December - no event planned
Saturday 23rd Jan 2016 - Northampton Head of the Nene. Another popular event which we have supported and had great success at in past years.
We are on the lookout for other suitable events, so please look out for details as they are announced.

Quote of the Quarter

This is a quote from a while back, but I keep forgetting to include it in the newsletter.  However, I love it and want to share it….
After watching numerous videos of the Old Men’s quad and enduring prolonged analysis of technique, a spouse (and fellow OTRC rower) was heard to say “It’s all well and good, but FOUR WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!” 

The OTRC Quiz is back ..

…and BIGGER and better than ever as WE ARE MOVING to A NEW VENUE!
 On November 28th we shall be holding the 2015 OTRC Quiz at the new Oundle Primary School site on Cotterstock Road, so start planning your crew of 8 now for a fun evening. Please invite family and friends too. However, we can find you a crew if you are new or still getting to know us better.
Put November 28th in your diary now!  Tickets @ £10 each, to include a hot meal, will be available shortly from Rhona Murray, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Safety First

Your club Safety Advisor, Dick Meads, is in the process of updating the OTRC Safety Manual which will be published to all members soon. In the meantime, why don’t you check what you already know the club’s safety guidelines by answering there five simple questions (answers are at the end of the newsletter)…
1. According to the British Rowing RowSafe guide, who is responsible for your safety while rowing? 
(a) British Rowing 
(b) The OTRC Committee and Safety Advisor 
(c) Your coach 
(d) You and your fellow rowers 
(e) All of the above 
2. For which of the following OTRC members is it NOT mandatory to wear a life-jacket? 
(a) A junior rower who has not passed a capsize/swim test 
(b) An adult rower who has not passed a capsize/swim test 
(c) Coaches on the launch 
(d) Passengers in the safety launch 
(e) A cox who can swim 50m or more 
3. According to OTRC policy, which of the following should you do when taking to the water at dusk?
(a) Attach white lights at bow and stern of the boat conforming to COLREG rule 25 
(b) Wear a high-visibility tabard over the top of your splash jacket 
(c) Carry an air-horn to warn on-coming boats about your presence 
(d) All of the above 
(e) None of the above 
4. Which of the follow groups are authorised to drive the safety launch without additional supervision? 
(a) Any club member or parent/helper who holds a Class B or C UK Driving Licence 
(b) All club coaches qualified to Level 2 
(c) Any adult who has undertaken a launch driving assessment and is on the club drivers register 
(d) Juniors who have passed their capsize/swim test 
(e) All of the above 
5. Which of the following items should you check on your boat every time you go out on the water?
(a) Buoyancy compartment hatch covers are closed and watertight 
(b) Bow ball is fixed securely and not split 
(c) Outriggers and gates are secure and operating freely 
(d) Heel restraints do not allow the shoes to rise above the lowest fixed point of the shoe 
(e) All of the above 
Answers at end of newsletter. 

Membership 2015-16

Renew before 31st October to benefit from the ‘early bird’ discount.  Please complete forms and return to Martine Chandler, membership secretary  via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    or send to 38 Kings Road, Oundle PE8 4AX,  or leave in the box at the club house (forms only -  for security reasons please do not leave cash).

 OTRC is run entirely by volunteers and Needs You!

‘OTRC  spirit’  =  doing wonderful things for the benefit of the club.  This might include digging ditches, cutting the grass, painting blades, clearing the jetty of goose whoopsies  ..... Whatever it may be it’s the ‘OTRC spirit’ that makes our club special.
Page 4 is a new addition to the OTRC membership form and is an opportunity for members and families to offer help in a myriad of different ways.  OTRC is run entirely by volunteers and it is only with the goodwill and enormous skill of members that the club has continued to thrive. Please indicate on the form where you can help, this does not necessarily involve a regular commitment, just offer whatever you feel you can.

OTRC 100 Club

New equipment is always needed at OTRC as we expand, and now everyone can help in a fun way as we are launching the OTRC 100 club @ £50 for 10 months. Members, friends and family over 16 can purchase a number to be in the 10 draws.
Details on how to join and support the club will follow shortly by email.  Keep an eye out for them.

Kit Corner - By Jo Milborne

For those new members, or those who only wish to row on a recreational basis, as long as your clothing is close fitting (so it doesn't get tangled in the oars or seat runners) and suitable for the weather conditions and time of year, no special clothing is required for rowing. Lightweight, quick drying fabrics are best, and a spare set of kit for those unexpected 'swims' a sensible precaution. 
For those rowers who want to race, the minimum British Rowing requirement is for the crew to have a top in club racing colours, usually a singlet or an all-in-one.
These can be ordered by members via the Godfrey website (,  just enter Oundle Town Rowing Club into the search box and our club page will appear, with all the club kit and clothing displayed. Pay online and they are delivered to you directly. These items can be embroidered with your name if you wish, just follow instructions on the website.
Once or twice a year we put in a bulk order to Godfrey, which means we save on package and postage. The next order window will be between Monday 14th September and Sunday 11th October. If you order clothing via the website during this period your order will be delivered to me around November 20th and we will be able to give it out at the quiz night on Saturday 28th November, or you can call into Oundle Osteopaths at 42 West Street, Oundle during business hours (9am-6pm, Monday to Friday) and collect your order. I will send an email out when the order arrives. I can usually be found at the club on a Saturday morning if you want me to bring your items down to the club, just email me to arrange a time.
We are also going to do another order of club tee shirts, hoodies and polo shirts. These are casual wear rather than technical clothing, and have the club motife on the breast with OTRC on the back, and are not personalised. Similar items can be ordered through Godfrey, but ours are cheaper. Tee shirts are £10, polo shirts £15 and hoodies are £22. They make ideal Christmas presents for rowers and supporters. 
If you wish to have one of these, please contact Vicky Birchall or myself and we will put an order together.
As one of the club kit coordinators I am sometimes offered second hand kit to offer for resale to other club members. I have therefore decided to set up a second hand kit service. If members have items for sale, they can give them to me with an indication of price, half of which will be taken for club funds. (Obviously if you wish to donate the entire proceeds to club funds, that would be fine!).
 If you have kit to sell or  are looking for second hand kit email me and I will let you know what I have 'in stock'. 
Jo Milborne. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Clubhouse Development Report - By Anita Dunn

Approximately £35 000 has been raised through grant applications and allocations from Club funds. The team have been considering how best to spend those monies to get us the best value for money and the largest & most suitable space for our needs. 
The needs were investigated by Member questionnaire in 2014.
The original plan was to develop an internal second floor in the existing boathouse but a failure to secure all the funds  led us to consider other possibilities.  
The most easily achievable option is a modular building constructed of shipping containers with an area of 640 sq ft . This is achievable with the money that we already have and could include toilets & shower, a kitchen and space to socialise over a bacon sarnie. Permission has to be sought to install this from our landlord & patron HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester. 
A new, cheaper method of installing an upper floor in the boathouse is also being explored as are some new opportunities for grant funding. 
If you would like to help in any way, just get in touch with Anita or any committee member.  

OTRC and Leander Club - By John Milborne

Leander Rowing Club is one of the most prestigious and exclusive names in rowing. In the last few decades it has provided the bulk of rowers for Team GB Rowing and provides a high performance training facility for those that aspire to race at the highest level of the sport. In the past you could only join the club by invitation and those eligible to join were boat race winners, Henley winners and college winners of the bumps from both Oxford and Cambridge. In the late 70’s, in an effort to broaden its catchment of high performance rowers, the club also invited individuals from the top rowing (public) schools to join the Leander cadets. If you look at the make up the recent GB Team at the World Championships, by far the greatest proportion come from the Leander Club. Currently, to join, you need to be proposed and seconded by a club member and the entry requirements are for either top level rowers, as in the past, or for those that have made a significant contribution to the sport. 
Some of you may have heard of Leander through visiting Henley Royal Regatta, as the club sits just past the finish of the course and the club house provides an exclusive area for members to entertain their guests. Many of the “blazers” associated with running Henley Royal Regatta are Leander members e.g. Sir Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent. What has all this exclusivity and elitism to do with OTRC you ask?
Well, OTRC is my second stab at a rowing career. When I was asked to help set up and coach at OTRC and subsequently to be Club Captain, I was determined to be part of a club that was inclusive and introduced all members of society to rowing whether high performance athletes or not. In other words: the polar opposite to Leander. 
The “old cronies” from my first career in rowing have been interested, impressed and supportive of the work that we have been doing here at OTRC and this has been recognised through donations and support. The wider sporting community has also recognised OTRC through awarding us the Community Sports Club of the Year in 2010.
I often attend Henley Royal Regatta and was overwhelmed at this year’s visit to find that I been invited to join Leander. The irony of being asked to join an exclusive club for our work on inclusivity has not been lost on me!  Briefly, I did think they might want me for Rio before I was rudely brought down to earth by my sober wife.
I firmly believe that rowing is about team work, but did accept this honour on behalf of OTRC in recognition of the work that we all put in here at the club. OTRC is still an unusual club in an exclusive sport like rowing and is seen by many as a model of an inclusive sports club. All of the members of the club should feel proud of what we have achieved and that we have been recognised in the wider rowing community.
OTRC members will be relieved to know that I will be racing in OTRC colours rather than the “pink hippo” of Leander!

Blazer Award

Our eminent Judge has decided that this quarter’s award for misdeeds by miscreants goes to Eleanor, one of our Summer Student rowers, & her partner, not for capsizing their double with the first stroke, but for choosing to sunbathe rather than getting back in to the boat! Unfortunately, the Judge, although eminent, is suffering from a temporary form of dementia and can’t remember the partner’s name, so she gets away with it!! But he thinks it’s Emily.

Caption Competition

This photo was taken at the recent, very successful, Club Maintenance Day (Philip reiterates his thanks to all involved).   Contrary to the impression given by the photo, lots of great work was completed on the day!
There’s a prize for the best caption for this photo (alcoholic if won by an adult, probably some form of chocolate if won by a junior).  Entries to Auntie Angela by 27 September.  


Find all you need to know at: or

Safety Quiz Answers: 

1. (e) BR and the club officials have a responsibility to set out policies and guidelines to ensure that your rowing is as safe as possible. Coaches are responsible for the running of training sessions in a safe manner. But you must also take responsibility for the safety of yourself and of your fellow rowers, and highlight any concerns to your coach and/or a club officer. 
2. (b) It is OTRC club policy that all Juniors who have not passed a supervised capsize test, all launch drivers and passengers, and all coxes must wear a life-jacket at all times. Adult rowers do not have to pass a capsize test, but they do have to certify when they join the club that they are fit and able to swim proficiently, so a life-jacket is not mandatory for adults. Of course, anyone who has any concerns can opt to wear a life-jacket and perform a capsize drill if they wish to.   
3. (e) OTRC does not permit rowing after dark; you should never leave the jetty if you cannot get back before dusk. 
4. (c) Only those adults who have had supervised tuition about safe launch driving and recovering people from the water, and have passed an assessment, can drive the launches on their own. Other adults may drive but only whilst under the direct supervision of another registered driver, for example, when preparing to take the assessment themselves. Juniors may not drive the launches at any time. 
5. (e) Your safety relies on the correct operation of many aspects of your boat, so no matter how good a rower (or swimmer) you are, you should check all these items every time you go out, and report any defects to the maintenance team. 

Please send articles for the next newsletter to the Editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Social after the Milton Keynes Regatta
The Ship Inn, Oundle, 8pm
Food available too, with prior booking – speak to Rhona!
All OTRC Members welcome – racers, rowers and non-rowers alike.