News archive – 2019

Wallingford Rowing Club Announces New President
Following the sad death of Bob Elliott at Christmas, Wallingford Rowing Club is pleased to announce that its new President is Ken Lester. Ken is currently High Steward of Wallingford. He is married to Wallingford town councillor Ros Lester, who will shortly become Wallingford’s Mayor.

Ken joined WRC in 1958. At the age of 13, Ken was selected to cox the Men’s Coxed Pairs in the 1960 Olympics at Rome, thus becoming Britain’s youngest ever male Olympian (a record he still holds). A cox had to train with the crew – Ken had to undergo weekly weigh-ins as he attempted to make the minimum weight. Ken recalls “The only pain was trying to put on weight – the minimum weight was eight stone and I weighed less than seven!” Unfortunately, the competitive part of the Games did not last long as the Coxed Pair finished fifth in their heat, behind the Soviet Union and USA, the eventual silver and bronze medallists.

Ken went on to row to Elite status. Later, he rowed in the crew who performed the Oxford to Westminster record row of 1970. This crew recently had a reunion in the club bar. 

Ken has been Captain of the club and during his leadership in that role women were admitted to the club for the first time.  He has held other office on the WRC committee. He is a club Trustee. He and Ros are now regular social members, and work hard to help the club, especially for the regatta. 
We are delighted that he has agreed to serve as our President.

Katie Kapernaros