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Pairs Head 16 Oct
Henley Lunch 23 Oct
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Safest Club on the Tideway - Update - 25/11/2010


The 'do' for the Safety Award has been confirmed as Thursday 16th December, starting at 19.30. It would be good to see as many of you there as possible to drink the beer that the PLA are kindly paying for. You earned it so only right that you should enjoy the rewards. Doubtless there'll be some nibbles as well.



Safest Club on the Tideway - 24/11/2010

Gentlemen and Ladies,

I am delighted to inform you that Cygnet RC has won the award for being the safest club on the Tideway. The prize is £1000 and a nice plaque to hang over the bar. This award is not just a reflection on the committee and captaincy's commitment to a good safety culture at the club but also to all the active membership; we can work as hard as we like to keep you informed and advised but it's up to you guys to digest and act accordingly so many thanks for your efforts over the last few years.

As well as the prize money the PLA will also be 'hosting' an evening at the club whereby they'll be buying all the drinks! We are just trying to work out a convenient date but it quite likely to be 15th or 16th December. All the members are invited and are indeed very much encourage to come along, after all, you earned it. I'll confirm the date very soon.

Love your work


Captain's Update - 15/11/2010

A busy weekend down at the boathouse but we got through it and posted some encouraging results at the Vet Fours Head and Fours Head. Starting with the Vet Fours event on Saturday, Cygnet had four crews entered - two crews at IM3 4+, one Masters A 4- and the Chairman's invitational 4- at Masters E. Of the 190 or so crews who raced, the Chairman's crew stormed home in 128th in a time of 22:52 just behind ex-Captain Rob's IM3 coxed crew in 121st (22:41). Neil Pickford's coxless crew finished in 68th (21:47) with Bart de Groot's IM3 coxed four finishing 55th with a time of 21:35 and 2nd in the IM3 4+ category.

And then to the main event yesterday and provisional results are now out. Out of 505 crews, Cygnet had four crews entered - two IM1 coxless fours, an IM1 coxed four and an IM2 coxed four. The coxless fours were pretty evenly matched starting six boats apart and then finishing six boats apart in 372nd and 378th respectively. The IM2 coxed four finished in 300th place but sadly the IM1 coxed four had to retire mid-race after another crew steered into them damaging their rudder. We all know a good placing was certain had they finished.

That just leaves me to say a big thank you to Mike and his boating team for another smooth operation and to those of you who helped out on the numbers desk and with launch driving.

Senior squad meeting this Thursday, 7pm

We are now switching back to eights from this weekend so it's a good time for the Captaincy and coach to touch base with the squad on the plans for the next few months up to Eights Head and explain more about the training plan we have in place to build for that event. Our coach Stephen will be explaining more about the training and coaching programme over the coming months on Thursday at 7pm. Its primarily aimed at the senior squad but novices are welcome too. We are also planning a foreign racing excursion for the senior squad in March next year and we will explain more about that. In the meantime, get your availability into the spreadsheet by tomorrow (Tues) night for outings this weekend.

Additional coaching

Stephen will be coaching an additional second session on Sunday's until Christmas to bring on the novice eight and any senior oarsmen who want a second outing - if there's the demand we'll put a senior eight out. This is additional to what's budgeted for coaching this calendar year so coaching costs will be split between those who choose to take advantage. We hope to make coached double outings the norm on Sundays from January.

Changing room boots

Gents - a reminder that if your wellington boots fill up with water during an outing, remember to empty them before putting them back on the pile in the changing room. A few of us have had a nasty surprise when picking up boots this week and it only takes a few seconds to empty your boots and tuck them behind the radiator to dry in the changing room. We've also found a red bike light by the Cygnet trailer - if anyone has lost said light please let us know.

Coming up

Saturday 20 November - Kingston Small Boats Head. Neil is our sole entrant in his single. If you are down in Kingston on Saturday morning, swing by the river and give him a cheer!

Thursday 25 November - Emergency General Meeting, 7pm - your chance to vote on buying a coxless four.

Saturday 27 November - Scullers Head, 9:30. We have five entrants - Neil, Davo, Matt C, Rob and the Chairman. It's quite a feat completing the Head course in a single so any of you on hand to buy them a beer afterwards will be gratefully thanked.

Sunday 28 November, 6pm - Capsize Drill at Chiswick Pool. You should have all seen Neil's email. Let him know if you will be attending.

Saturday 4 December - Barnes Bridge Ladies Ball. Tickets are now sold out but anyone not going is welcome to join us for an early evening aperitif during the pre-Ball Waddle. Our social secretary will email soon with the details.

See you in the week.


Fours' Head & EGM - 12/11/2010

Thanks to all of you who have volunteered to help out at the Fours Head on Sunday. It will be a busy weekend with a lot of unknown folk using the boathouse (including the changing rooms) so do remember to secure your valuables. We will also have a Dutch crew staying with us over the weekend (probably in the shed) and I'm sure you'll make them feel welcome.

Some of you at the boathouse will have seen that a notice went up on Wednesday evening of an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on Thursday 25 November at 7pm in the boathouse bar. The purpose of this meeting will be for all club members to vote on the purchase of a coxless four/quad convertible to replace our oldest club boat - the 'Richard Du Parcq', which would be sold on.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 25th.

Stuart Gibbons


Cygnet Rowing Club

Capsize Drill - 08/11/2010

As I'm sure you are all aware from diligent study of the captains emails that we have organized, in conjunction with BBLRC, a capsize drill on Sunday 28th November. It is very strongly recommended that if you haven't done one of these before then you should attend this session and it is particularly important for all the new members to make an effort to come along (even if you have already capsized for real at sculling camp). If you have done the drill before but would like to again that is fine, the more the merrier.

The session will be run by the Ladies Captain, Jenny, who is qualified to instruct in accordance with British Rowing guidelines. We have exclusive use of New Chiswick Pools (10 minutes walk from the club) from 6pm until 8pm so will meet at the club at about 5.30. Cost will depend on numbers so the more who attend the cheaper it gets - shouldn't be any more than about £5.

You'll need normal rowing kit and a towel.

We are organising a bit of food afterwards as well.

Sunday 28th November

You know it makes sense


CWSA, Cygnet RC

Health & Safety Update 25/10/2010

I'm sure that many of you have already heard about the very sad and sudden death of Andy Holmes, Steve Redgrave's Olympic pairs partner.

Article here

As you can see from the link above it is suspected that the cause was Weil's Disease. Although cases are rare, Andy has been coaching on the Tideway and I've been asked to pass on the information below. It we consider the fact that Thames Water also regularly dump untreated waste water into the river (again this weekend), it would seem a good time to remind you all about the need to properly clean both yourselves and your equipment (both boats and blade handles) after outings and particularly before eating anything. It's also strongly advised that any cuts and grazes are properly covered before going afloat.

Further information is available at the follwing links:

Rhine Marathon

A great time was had by all (photos to follow) with Cygnet and BBLRC placing as follows:

Cygnet 4x/+ (Neil, Bart, Rob, Stu) 2:26.27. 70th out of 143 crews

Barnes Bridge Ladies 4x/+ (Becky, Helena, Katie C, Stephanie) 2:43.04. 125th out of 143 crews.

Cygnet 4+ (Matt B, Wylie, Marj, Alan) 2:52.39. 132nd out of 143 crews

Comment from our spreadsheet expert:

Tough year on the Rhine, this - it seems to be getting tougher year on year. Certainly it was the biggest field known (143 finishers = more than 6,000km rowed in total!). The Cygnet 1st boat clocked our highest finish for a sculling boat since records began (2003).

Bear in mind also that the stats don't include the full breakdown of figures for Altbeirs & KillerP*sses drunk, Schwienhaxes haxed, and sausage & cake coupons redeemed. When those figures come in, I'm confident that Cygnet-BBLRC will move to the top of the pack...

Captain's Update, 5/10

Great to see pairs, doubles and two Cygnet eights out side by side these past two weekends. Training side by side seems to create a Duracell effect amongst crews whereby they concentrate far longer compared with standard outings so we'll look to continue side by side outings in fours and eights where possible over the winter.

Coming up, we have the Rhine Marathon this Saturday. Eleven club members will be flying to Dusseldorf, eight of whom will race. We have two quads entered - Bart, Neil, Stu and Rob in one, and Marj, Matt B, Nick Wylie and Alan Cox in the other. As always, we intend to push the other overseas crews hard for the fastest foreign crew trophy we last won five years ago. We'll let you know the results on the club website next Monday.

Pairs Head - Saturday 16th October

The Pairs Head is now less than two weeks away and help will be needed on the day. Over 100 crews will be boating from our boathouse and we'll need volunteers to help marshal the boating area and ensure crews boat safely. Mike Collier leads the boating team and he'll be asking for volunteers this week. Turning to the race itself, Cygnet will be represented by no fewer than six crews this year. In the pairs events we have Nick Bates/David French and Andy Naylor/Barry Thomas. In the doubles events we have Matteo Perucchini/Luke Gannon, Andy Rawkins/Chris Shea, Rob Henderson/Becky Rangecroft (BBLRC), and Neil Jackson/Mick Condron (AKRC). I'm sure you'll all join us at the boathouse to cheer them on.

Land training

Land training for the new season got underway after the squad meeting on 21 September. A reminder that seniors have priority on the ergs on Tues and weights on Thursday. The new novice squad have priority on the ergs on Thursday. Circuits at the school is open to all club members on Weds evening - just remember to bring a water bottle, towel and money (£3.50) for Marj if you haven't paid up to Christmas (£30). Thanks to all of you in the senior squad who put in your 5K benchmark time last week and for those of you who haven't done it yet, get it done this week. Your land training will obviously play a part in crew selection so unless its recorded on the spreadsheet, we'll assume you're just down for social rowing.

Keeping Warm

Most of you would have all seen our Water Safety Adviser's recent email about night rowing and incident reporting. He also mentioned the club kit available to keep warm in the winter. If last winter is anything to go by, it will get very cold from November so now is the time to get on the Di-Bi website ( and order some leggings, thermal tops, hats, splash jackets and/or gilet. Those of you new to the club and wanting to race next year should also take the opportunity to order a club racing all-in-one. Orders can take a few weeks to arrive so best not to leave it too late. Remember that you won’t be able to race without a club all-in-one and British Rowing membership, which you should all now have


Another reminder to be ever vigilant when admitting people into the boathouse. If someone knocks on the boathouse door asking to come in and you don't recognise them then don't just let them in assuming someone else will. Ask who they are and what they're up to and if you're not satisfied with their answer, don't let them in. Thieves are currently targeting boathouses along the Tideway having already hit ourselves, London Rowing Club and Emanuel School. Remember that if you're leaving the boathouse ensure the front door is properly closed behind you. If you're the last person to leave the boathouse or training shed, ensure all windows and doors are properly closed and locked.

Dates for the Diary

Saturday 23 October, 12:00 - Henley Lunch at Leander Club. One of the highlights of the social diary as Cygnet's young and old decamp to Henley for the afternoon. The Social Secretary will be after you to sign up so please do so this week. It's well worth it.

Saturday 13 November, 9:30 - Vet Fours Head. Volunteers will be needed to help around the boathouse on the day.

Sunday 14 November, 9:30 - Fours Head. Volunteers will be needed to help around the boathouse on the day.

Sunday 28 November, 17:30 - Capsize Drill at Chiswick Pool. More details to follow. It-s important that those of you who have never done a capsize drill or need a refresher mark this in your diaries. It's usually followed by food and drink at a nearby eatery afterwards.

Bernie Thompson Race Notification

TSS will be holding its annual Bernie Thompson race, in single sculls, from Chiswick Bridge to Beverley Brook and back on Sunday 3rd Oct. The race will start at 11am, competitors will generally be wearing the yellow T shirts we sold in aid of Prostate cancer research so should be obvious to all! Scullers will be started in batches of 10 or 15 with a long gap between each batch. We hope this will ensure there are no significant obstructions to other river users.


Chris Williams

Tideway Scullers

Goodbye, 20/09

After 9 years as webmaster, the arrival of a scull (courtesy of Stampfli), a wife (courtesy of BBLRC), two small boys (ditto) and a lot of happy memories (courtesy of Fuller's) it's time for the old webmaster to make way for the new.

See you on the river...


Captain's Update, 15/09

Afternoon all,

Eights and fours out with new coxons these past two weeks, not to mention the Pairs Head crews continuing their training in preparation for the main event on 16 Oct. The holiday season concludes this weekend with sculling camp at the Cygnets bungalow so please let Laurent know asap if you haven't yet told him you're coming along and also make yourself available to help load boats onto the trailer this evening at 7pm. Sculling camp starts at 10am on Sat and with many of you making your way to Shepperton, there will be no organised outings on the Tideway this weekend.

The season kicks off with a squad meeting on Monday at 7pm in the bar where we will outline our plans for the season. From that point we will be monitoring the level of training done by each squad member so remember to keep filling in the training and availability spreadsheet, which will inform crew selection decisions.

Vet Fours Head/Fours Head - 13/14 November

A reminder that the next big racing event will be the fours head and we'll be looking to set crews by the end Sept/early Oct. If you haven't already, can you please let me know by Friday 24 Sept if you want to train and race for this event. Likewise if you want to participate in the vet fours head let me know by the same date.

Evening outings

All evening outings must now have boat lights. With sunset now at 19:15, this will be the final week where boats can go out in the evening unaccompanied. After this weekend, night rowing can only take place if a crew is a) a set racing crew and b) accompanied by a launch or steered by an oarsman approved by the Captaincy, in consultation with the Water Safety Adviser, for night time steering.

Boat cleaning/changing room cleaning

A lot of us have noticed how filthy the inside of our boats can get if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. We all want to be rowing in boats that look good inside and out so we will now be cleaning the inside of our boats once a weekend to ensure that remains the case. I'm sure you'll agree that an extra few minutes each weekend to avoid gummed up slides and rowing in your crewmates body hair is worth the effort. Also remember that the changing room clean up is this weekend so all personal items should be removed or suitably bagged on a peg to avoid falling victim to the cleaners.

Rowers revenge! - Sun 3rd Oct

Every year, one of Cygnet's (or possibly one of the UK's) most dedicated fitness enthusiasts Nick Wyatt encourages the rest of us to head out to Marlow and get beaten by him at the rowers revenge triathlon (4k erg, 23.5k bike and 7.5k run). However, Nick fears he may be beaten this year and now's your chance to topple him. See: for more information and how to enter this year's event. Seriously though, it's an ideal opportunity to test your fitness at this time of the season and a fair few Cygnets usually take part as a quick glance at previous events on the Cygnet website will reveal.

That's it from me for now. See you down the club, at sculling camp or on Monday for the squad meeting.


Captain's Update, 16/08


The holiday season is now upon us with various crews out taking advantage of the summer evenings. Nick Rowett continues to coach the squads at weekends and we've been encouraged by the number of you training in shed which can only bode well for the new season. A few of the senior squad also made their way northwards to race at Peterborough regatta.

Peterborough Summer Regatta

The regatta weekend got off to an unfortunate start with the news that Gav had injured himself during a squatting exercise on Friday. A few last minute calls didn't yield a sub so sadly the Novice 4+ had to scratch. Of the handful of seniors remaining, the IM2 2- (Bart/Stu) made the 1000m final on Sat finishing 3rd and followed that up with a 2nd place finish in the 500m final on Sunday. Matteo was beaten by a canvas in the final of the IM2 1x on Sunday whilst the Novice 2x (Lee/Stu) followed up their 2nd place at Neots with a 2nd place in the final at P'boro. A weary bunch returned last night, largely satisfied with the weekend's racing despite the lack of pewter.

And that concludes the summer regatta programme. It's been a rewarding season for some but for others it's been one of frustrating close-calls and we'll want to rectify that next year. The pewter will return, I have no doubt.

Race fees

Now that the regatta season is at an end can everyone please clear their racing debts by the end of August at the latest. As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, regatta fees and coaching come out of the same pot. We're looking to employ a new coach in September and we'll need the funds to pay them. Some of you owe over GBP50 with a few of you owing close to GBP100 and that's a fair amount of coaching time lost if you don't pay up.

The Bank of Byrne circulated the latest monies owed list last week so please settle up in time for the new season.

New season

A brand new 2010/11 training and availability spreadsheet for the senior squad, with input from our previous coach Kirsty Simpson, will be circulated in the next week so you can get filling in your availability from September (a new novice spreadsheet will follow a bit later). A number of you will be moving up from the novice to senior squad so you'll have a new training programme. That includes earlier outings at weekends with the new novice squad for 2011 beginning outings at 10/10:30am in Sept.

I will also be circulating a questionnaire in the next couple of weeks giving each of you the opportunity to state what you want out of the coming season and in particular whether you are available to train and be considered for selection for the Fours Head on Sunday 15 November. Responses will remain confidential and amongst other things will help us know where to pitch the level of training over the course of the year.

Pairs Head - Saturday 16th October

Many thanks to those of you who got back to me about the Pairs Head. Pairs Head crews will be as follows:

IM1 2- Dave French and Nick Bates in the Benrath.

IM2 2x Matteo Perucchini and Luke Gannon in the 1890.

IM2 2- Barry Thomas and Andy Naylor in Ye White Hart.

Masters 2x Chris Shea and Andy Rawkins in the Hamhaugh Island

Masters 2x Mike Condron (AKRC) and Neil Jackson in Neil's own 2x

Mixed IM2 2x Rob Henderson and Becky Rangecroft (BBLRC) - boat to be sourced by crew

From this point on, the club pairs and doubles will be set up to accommodate the above crews and should not be re-rigged or have the steering changed. If anyone wants to take out any of the above club boats it must be with the prior approval of the Captaincy and Pairs Head crew concerned.

Boat lights for evening rowing

You would have all seen Neil Pickford's email a few weeks back advising on boat lights. Sunset is now before 20:30 so all crews boating from 18:30 must have lights. Crews boating before then should still perform the usual risk assessment and take lights if the evening is particularly overcast. In September, all evening outings must have boat lights. Unaccompanied evening outings will conclude towards the end of that month.


The Alan Cox 4- is now de-rigged to be sent away for a full hull refurbishment. That leaves the Paul Rawkins as the main 4- for the next few weeks so if you are planning on taking it out, check with me to avoid a clash with other crews.

Dates for the Diary

  • Club Day - Sunday 29 August from 1pm. Matt Clarke's previous email explains it all. Let him know if you'll be attending.
  • Sculling Camp - 18/19 September - more from Laurent in the coming weeks.
  • Pairs Head - Saturday 16 October - if you're not racing come down to cheer the Cygnet crews on.
  • Henley Lunch at Leander Club - Saturday 23 October, 12 noon. More details from Phil Beckett and Matt Clarke in due course.
  • Vet Fours Head - Saturday 13 November. Fours Head warm up anyone?

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