News archive – 2014

Thames Valley Trial Head – 2 February
Thames Valley Trial Head took place on Sunday 2nd February in a brief window of decent weather, and the Wallingford juniors took full advantage of the opportunity to race after several weeks of being stuck on land.

The best result came from Seb Newman who won the J15 single in a field of nine. Other strong results came from Dan Wilkinson who finished second in the J17 single, the J16 double which also finished second, and the WJ18 double which finished third. There were good results all round though in events with large entries, and it was a great to get some good racing in early in the year.
Winning crew
J15 1x
Seb Newman

Oarsport Junior Sculling Head – 14 March
The Oarsport Junior Sculling Head took place on Friday 14th March, and after a foggy start conditions cleared up for a great day of racing. Wallingford had four crews entered: two J16 quads and two WJ15 coxed quads.

Both events are extremely competitive attracting large entries, and are a good indication of speed before the National Schools Regatta in May. The WJ15 quads both put in strong performances with the A crew coming 11th, and the B crew 41st out of a staggering 60 entries. The J16 A crew equalled the girls success with a matching 11th place, and the B crew finished 30th out of 39th entries. Some promising results and congratulations to everyone who competed!

Official Gym Opening and Boat Naming – 14 March

On Friday 14th March Wallingford celebrated the official opening of its new gym facility with special guest, Olympic Champion Katherine Grainger. The new building houses free weights on the ground floor and a mezzanine for ergos, providing an excellent on site training facility for club members. The gym is the product of several years hard work from a dedicated group of club members, led by Tony Wheel. The project was made possible due to significant grants from South Oxfordshire District Council, the Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund, and personal donations from many club members.

As well as the gym opening Wallingford celebrated the contribution of club members, either for their sporting achievement or for their support of the club over a significant period of time, by naming nine boats. Those named were:
Nick English (2004)
Helen Casey (2004, 2008)
Alice Freeman (2008)
Paul Mattick (2008)
Lindsey Maguire (2012)
Senior & U23 World Champions
Kathryn Twyman (2011)
Bri Stubbs & Ellie Piggott (2013)
Longstanding club supporters
Tony Wheel (junior coach, committee member, gym project manager)
Ken & Ros Lester (longstanding club supporters, and Ken as Wallingford RC Olympian)

Women’s Head of the River Race – 15 March

The Women’s Eights Head of the River Race took place on Saturday 15th March with near perfect conditions and a strong entry including many international crews. Wallingford had three crews entered and all three finished in the top 100 which was a fantastic result in a strong field of 240. The Wallingford A crew had a good race and, whilst slipping down the rankings slightly from previous years, managed to maintain a top 20 finish coming in 19th.

The Wallingford B crew was a mix of junior, novice, and more experienced senior rowers and put in a very strong performance to come 61st overall and 10th out of the enormous IM3 category entry. Wallingford C also raced well, overtaking several crews and finishing comfortably in the top 100 at 95th.

Wallingford RC Senior Training Camp – 16-24 March
Wallingford’s senior training camp took place in Temple-sur-Lot, France this year from 16th-24th March. Around 30 rowers from the senior men’s and women’s squads took part in the camp and spent eight days training hard and kick-starting their summer race preparation.

After a winter of flooding it was a great chance to get some decent time on the water, and everyone returned from the camp fitter, stronger and faster. Despite being in quite an isolated location, the rowers made the best of any spare time by organising a scratch quads race and a talent show on the last night. It was a great week and plans are already underway for next year!

Vesta Veteran’s Head of the River – 30 March
After the men’s Head of the River Race was cancelled the previous day, the vets were luckier with the weather for the Vesta Veteran’s Head of the River which took place on Sunday 30th March.

Wallingford had three crews entered and amidst some strange results, probably due to tidal conditions, all finished in the top 100 crews. A Wallingford/Quintin F8+ composite led the way finishing 9th overall on unadjusted time, and winning the Open F8+ category. Not far behind them was the Wallingford women’s C8+ which finished 30th overall and 5th in a very competitive category. The second Wallingford F8+ came in at position 100. Great racing from all!

Abingdon Spring Head – 6 April
Though windy, the rain stayed away for this year’s Abingdon Head of the River Race, in which Wallingford Rowing Club entered 22 crews. Over the 2000m course on the River Thames, the first two crews off the start consisted of two eights from Wallingford’s large group of veteran rowers. The ‘A’ crew won the Masters ‘F’ 8+ category, with the ‘B’ crew finishing just 4 seconds behind them, to take second place.
The senior men’s squad entered 3 coxed fours and a double scull. Again, winning performances were posted from the word ‘go’, beginning with the Intermediate 1 crew of Alastair Collier, Bill Cole, Richard Thwaites, Peter Watson and cox Becky Collier storming down the course to become the fastest coxed four of the day. In the afternoon division, having swapped Peter Watson for new recruit Liam Price, the crew also won the IM3 4+ category. Richard Thwaites rounded off the racing with a hat-trick after winning the Intermediate 3 double sculls with Steven Hall.

The even younger end of the clubs’ membership produced excellent racing within the junior squad. The WJ16 coxless quad of Lucy Walker, Lauren Shannon, Poppy Dawe and Jess Shuttleworth won their event and also took the title of fastest Women’s junior crew of the day, winning the Milton Challenge cup. In addition, Jess Polkey, Ani Cook, Poppy Dawe and Georgia Swiatoniowska with cox Billy Lines won the WJ15 coxed quad. Not being outdone by the girls, the boys also put in excellent performances with wins from Henry Edwards, Andrew Wheel, Alex Lyons and Arthur Arnould in the J18 coxless quad and Seb Newman in J15 single scull.

Winning crews
Mas F 8+ Paddy Hislop, Ian Millar, Colin Edgar, Jeremy Warrell, Anthony Cooke-Yarborough, Michael Drury, Andy Knight, David Wright, Alice Walker (cox)
IM1 4+ Alastair Collier, Bill Cole, Richard Thwaites, Peter Watson, Becky Collier (cox)
IM3 4+ Alastair Collier, Bill Cole, Richard Thwaites, Liam Price, Becky Collier (cox)
IM3 2x Richard Thwaites, Steven Hall
WJ16 4x Lucy Walker, Lauren Shannon, Poppy Dawe, Jess Shuttleworth
WJ15 4x+ Jess Polkey, Ani Cook, Poppy Dawe, Georgia Swiatoniowska, Billy Lines (cox)
J18 4x Henry Edwards, Andrew Wheel, Alex Lyons, Arthur Arnould
J15 1x Seb Newman

GB Senior and U23 Final Trials – 19 April
This weekend, the Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake, home of the GB Rowing Team in Caversham hosted the final assessment for athletes seeking selection into the GB squad for the approaching World Cups and the World Championships this summer. The trials were attended by some of GB’s most famous international athletes, who went head-to head with young talent and rising stars, including Wallingford Rowing Club’s resident under-23 world champions Brianna Stubbs and Ellie Piggott. After taking the top spot in the lightweight double scull at the 2013 Under-23 World Rowing Championships, Brianna and Ellie were quickly invited to train on a full-time basis with the national squad. The women’s lightweight field at the trials was certainly a tough one – including Kat Copeland, 2012 Olympic Champion, who went on to claim top position at the weekend.

The Wallingford RC girls set a high standard in the opening time trial, with Ellie posting the 4th fastest time, and Brianna hot on her heels in 5th position. The semi-final, the first of the side-by-side races of the day, saw both girls clinch spots in the ‘A’ final of the women’s lightweight event. As a result of worsening weather conditions, the selectors made the decision to run the finals on the same day, as opposed to the next day as originally scheduled. This meant the final was to be raced just a few short hours after a tough semi-final. Bri and Ellie held their own in the tough headwind, and Ellie finished in 4th place, and Brianna in 6th – a fantastic achievement, with both athletes showing their ability to make the step-up from under-23 to senior international level. Brianna Stubbs said, of the weekend’s racing: “I’m really pleased to have delivered a performance that keeps me in the hunt for selection this summer. It is especially sweet given that my winter training was heavily disrupted by illness. It was a very challenging day of racing in many ways and I feel like I rose to the challenge; getting a place in the A final was a great result.”

New Sponsorship Deal for WRC
Wallingford Rowing Club is pleased to announce a new partnership with Co-operative Funeralcare, who have recently opened new premises in the centre of Wallingford. The Co-operative are very interested in helping clubs and groups in the local community, and have made a very generous donation towards the redevelopment of Wallingford Rowing Club buildings. The funding is to be used to create a ‘Club Room’ within our existing building, which will provide club members with a comfortable place to meet, relax, and of course re-fuel and warm up between training sessions on the river.

The Co-operative Funeralcare are also the title sponsors of the Junior 15 eights event at Wallingford Regatta, which is happening on Sunday 4th May at Dorney Lake. We are very excited about the future of the partnership and the development of our new facility, and our members are very appreciative of the generosity of those involved. Pictured to the right are Club Captain Caroline Greves, with Derek Wright from the Co-operative Funeralcare, and Vice-Captain Eve Newton.

Wallingford Regatta – 4 May

Sunday 4th May saw Wallingford Rowing Club host their annual regatta at Dorney Lake. As usual, the event was extremely popular, attracting entries from clubs all over the country. There were 117 races held, and events were offered in a wide range of age categories and boat types.
Wallingford’s WLwt2x of Amy Grieve and Minna Jones-Walters (pictured) won their event by a convincing margin of 17 seconds, in what was a newly-introduced event for this year’s regatta.
Wallingford’s junior squad was well-represented at the regatta and notched up some good results throughout the day. The J164x- finished 2nd by 0.3 second in a highly competitive field with just 5 seconds separating all crews. The WJ182x of Alice Walker and Katie Metalli achieved a third place finish in their event, and the WJ154x+ also finished third out of a strong field of 18 crews.

Nottingham City Regatta – 17 May
Wallingford juniors Lucy Walker and Dan Wilkinson travelled up to Nottingham City Regatta to gain some valuable multi-lane race experience. Their efforts were justly rewarded, with 16 year-old Lucy winning the WJ17 single scull, and Dan taking 3rd place in the J17 single scull.

British Rowing Masters Championships – 18 May

The annual British Rowing Masters Championships was held at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, and a large contingent of Wallingford’s masters squad entered. Peter King and Mike Edge brought home a gold medal by a convincing margin in the MD2x, and both then raced in their single sculls – Pete took silver in the MC1x, and Mike a bronze in the MF1x.
The women’s D4x crew of Christy Job, Rachel Edge, Alice Brown and Julia Wilkes also won their event (pictured), and Rachel Edge (with her partner from Wycliffe RC) added to the medal tally with a silver medal in the WD2x.

National School’s Regatta – 23-25 May

For many of the junior squad, the National School’s Regatta was their first experience of a national multi-lane event, but all Wallingford crews displayed some high-quality racing across age groups and events.

The J164x of Henry Edwards, David Willcox, Alex Lyons and Tim Waller (pictured) stole the show, winning silver in a notoriously well-contested event.

Congratulations are also due to the Girl’s Championship 2x of Alice Walker and Katie Metalli, who just missed out on a medal with a 4th place finish in their final.

Metropolitan Amateur Regatta – 1-2 June
‘The Met’ is one of the most competitive events in the summer season, and attracts a very high standard of crews in the run-up to the Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta.
The Wallingford lightweight women brought the silverwear home to the club, beginning on Saturday with a convincing win for our 2013 GB under-23 world champions, Brianna Stubbs and Ellie Piggott (pictured), in the women’s elite double sculls. They then followed up this performance on Sunday, again winning the women’s elite doubles, by clear water.

Not to be outdone, Wallingford also claimed the women’s elite lightweight double sculls title, won by Minna Jones-Walters and Amy Grieve, by a 14-second margin.
The women’s Intermediate III coxed 4 finished in a creditable 2nd place, less than a second behind the winning crew. This is an exciting result for this promising combination, in the run up to their first Henley Women’s Regatta.

Reading Amateur Regatta – 14-15 June

Wallingford swept the board on the first day of the Reading Amateur Regatta, bringing home wins in five separate events.
Sculler Lizzie Polgreen kicked things off with a win by clear water in the women’s elite single sculls. The women’s elite double then followed suit, winning their event with a verdict of ‘easily’ over Twickenham RC, and upholding their winning streak of the season. The women’s novice coxed four (pictured left) also won in style, beating Bournemouth University ‘A’ by four lengths. These three crews are to race next weekend at Henley Women’s Regatta.

Wallingford’s junior squad showed their continued improvement by winning in two very popular quad events. The girl’s J15 coxed quad of Georgia Swiatoniowska, Ani Cook, Jessica Polkey, Morgan Sims and cox Billy Lines won convincingly, proving themselves as a very competitive crew in their age group following numerous wins this season. They were closely followed by the boy’s J16 ‘A’ quad, who beat Claire’s Court School by 1.5 lengths in their final.

The crews racing on the second day of the regatta had a hard act to follow, but again the wins rolled in, beginning with victory for Eve Newton in the women’s novice single scull. Also victorious were the J182x of Dan Wilkinson and Tom Brock. They were succeeded by one of the closest races of the day, in which the Wallingford girl’s J182x beat Reading Rowing Club by a foot to claim the title.  WRC’s youngest double combination of Lauren Shannon and Jessica Shuttleworth won the J16 category, andthe winning J15 quad of the previous day returned to claim the J16 quad event, a noteworthy victory as they raced in a higher age group than previously.
The day’s celebrations were topped off with Wallingford being awarded the Victor Ludorum trophy, for the club winning the most events over the weekend – a total of ten wins over two days.

Henley Women’s Regatta – 20-22 June

Wallingford Rowing Club claimed two national titles this weekend at Henley Women’s Regatta.
The lightweight combination of Minna Jones-Walters and Amy Grieve continued their unbeaten streak of the 2014 season, winning the senior lightweight double sculls by four lengths over Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC.
A short time later, sculler Louise Hart won her second successive senior sculling title, beating Imperial College in the final of the senior lightweight single sculls. Louise is due to race in the single scull event at the European University Championship Regatta in Rotterdam in July.
Pictured, L-R: Amy Grieve, Minna Jones-Walters, Louise Hart and coach Ben Reed.

World Rowing Cup II – Aiguebelette, France, 21-22 June
Wallingford Rowing Club’s Ellie Piggott claimed a silver medal in the Lightweight women’s double scull at the second World Cup of the season, contributing to a landmark 1-2 placing for Great Britain in this event.

With partner Charlie Taylor, of Putney Town Rowing Club, the GBR double rowed through the German crew in the last 250m to take the silver medal, behind the GBR ‘1’ combination of Kat Copeland and Imogen Walsh. Ellie and Charlie (pictured) were just four seconds behind the winners, a notable result for this recently formed combination.
Ellie is due to race in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup for quad sculls at Henley Royal Regatta this weekend (5th-7th July), along with former double’s partner and WRC member Brianna Stubbs. This crew shall then go on to race at the World Cup III in Lucerne from 11th-13th July.

Henley Masters’ Regatta – 11-12 July
Wallingford RC was proud to post a large entry to this year’s Henley Master’s Regatta – nine men’s and women’s crews raced, ranging in category from ‘B’ through to ‘G’.
After Friday’s racing was over, three WRC crews (F2x, B1x, WC4x) had progressed into the semi-finals, raced the following day.

Although the F2x and B1x narrowly missed out on a spot in the final, the WC4x battled down the course with Mortlake Anglian and Alpha, to win their Semi and progress to the final.
The crew of Heather Moon, Alice Brown, Christy Job and Julia Wilkes (pictured) then went on to claim a great win in the final, beating Tideway Sculler’s School by a verdict of ‘easily’. 
The same crew are also National Master’s Champions, and are set to race in the 2014 European Master’s Championships, held in Munich bewteen 25th-27th July.

British Junior Championships – 19-20 July
WRC entered eleven crews for this year’s British Junior Championships, into events ranging from J15 through to Open. Five of these crews qualified for the ‘A’ finals of their event, and by the close of play on Sunday, Wallingford had claimed two bronze medals.

The J15 2x of Will Mangion and Max Thompson, coached by Tom Polkey (pictured) took the bronze spot in their event, after just one month together training in this combination. The established combination of Katie Metalli and Alice Walker also won a bronze medal in the Girl’s Open 2x, which capped a great season for this crew, who have been working together since the start of the year to achieve their end goal of a British Championships medal.

Home International Regatta – 26 July
Wallingford RC members were selected to represent England in four events at this year’s Home International Regatta, held in Cork, Ireland. 
The women’s quad of Louise Hart, Lizzie Polgreen, Minna Jones-Walters and Amy Grieve took the top honors in this event, beating Wales into second place by clear water.
The lightweight double of Minna Jones-Walters and Amy Grieve were selected after their convincing win at Henley Women’s Regatta, and sadly just missed out on the gold medal by a three-second margin to the Scottish combination.
Louise Hart also took second place in the lightweight single scull, and Lizzie Polgreen came in third in the openweight single scull.

European Masters Regatta 2014
Our veteran squad competed at the 2014 European Masters Regatta, held in Munich in July, and brought home six gold medals. 
The Wallingford women won in the D4- and the D2x, and the men won top honours in the E1x and G1x and the F2x and G2x.

British Senior Championships 2014
Wallingford’s lightweight women started the season in the most impressive style this weekend at the British Rowing Senior Championships.
The Lightweight quad of Lou Hart, Lizzie Polgreen, Gemma Hall and Minna Jones-Walters won a silver medal in the women’s quad event, among an exceptionally strong field, with the gold medal position going to a composite crew containing Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.
This position also resulted in them winning the pennant for the highest placed lightweight crew, and on top of this they were also the fastest non-composite crew in the event.
WRC’s junior boys were also pleased with a 4th place finish in the U19 quad category, and alumni Sarah Fabes won a bronze medal in the W8+ after returning to row with Newcastle University. 

Veteran Fours Head – Sunday 2 November 2014
The men’s and women’s veteran squads have once again proved that age is no barrier to moving boats.
The WRC Men’s C 4x, crewed by Peter King, Andy Hull, Mike Edge and Harry Powell, won overall, retaining the headship for the second consecutive year.
The Men’s G 4-, a Wallingford/Quintin composite, made up of Sean Morris, Colin Cusak and Charles Parry of WRC and Tom Bishop from QBC, also scored a win. Not content with coming first in their own category, they also beat all of the D, E and F crews, adding insult to injury for their competitors by claiming to have had “a bad row.”
Meanwhile the Women’s D 4x continued its winning streak. Alice Brown, Christy Job, Julia Wilkes, Rachel Edge added another gong to an impressive 2014 haul which has already seen them win at the Vet Championships and European Masters.
Check out this video of the WD4x in action and, for more info and pictures, head to the British Rowing news pages here