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Cygnet Rowing Club
on the Tideway since 1890
CSSC Sports and Leisure

Captain’s Valedictory Log: Thank you Cygnet

12th August 2023

Dear Cygnets, this is your (former) Captain speaking!

I hope you will forgive one last Captain’s log as I sign off as your Captain.

This week we met (virtually) for our summer Ordinary General Meeting and with a great deal of pride having led Cygnet as your captain for the last two season, was pleased to pass the baton on to the incoming captaincy team who will take the club forward into the next Heads Season and beyond.

As I reflected on Monday evening, it has been a great privilege to row with you and serve you as Captain for the last two years, having taken the mantle on from Cristobal, and I hope have guided Cygnet forward and upwards through Heads, Regattas and much else beside on the river and off! Whilst it has been a long recovery from the seasons impacted by covid, coupled with the many challenges of being a small(er) upper Tideway club, I am proud of all that we have achieved out in the fairway and for our development as a club around the boathouse and beyond in the wider rowing community.

Most importantly I take enormous pride in our continued strength and achievements as a family of Cygnets, with such a proud history and treasured connections across our generations of rowers and many traditions it has been a privilege to be part of and now in standing down to pass on.

I’m incredibly pleased with the progress we have made as a squad and all of the hard work, training and racing efforts that our rowers have put in continuing to compete and hold our own on the Thames and further afield whilst creating the environment for us all to thrive and enjoy the sport - and social bonds - of rowing with Cygnet.

We’ve taken some great strides forward these past two seasons and from this I’m sure our best is certainly to come. My huge thanks and gratitude to Beth for all her support and expert coaching that has been so integral to so much of our development as individual rowers and as a squad. We wish Beth every success with Putney Town Masters Women.

I’d like to extend my thanks to both my captaincy teams, Martin and Pete for all their work in my first season and to Henrik and Matt Gutteridge for their immense efforts and support to me and the club this year - especially for the outreach and development support both our current rowers, our bonds with the civil service and the future of Cygnet Rowing.

I’m also immensely grateful to our longstanding Chairman and now President, Nick and Charlie having taken the Chairmanship this season, for their guidance, much wisdom and support as I’ve sought to lead Cygnet in its most recent chapter.

Rowing is of course at its best as a team sport so my immense appreciation extends to the Committee and the many selfless volunteers who have stepped forward time and again to lend a hand, to pitch in and help make Cygnet a great and better place to row. We couldn’t row and we couldn’t function as a family without your efforts, oftentimes unseen, to keep us moving forward in the very best of Cygnet spirit. Thank you to each of you.

I wish Martin, my successor as Captain, and Tom C and Mustafa, as his Deputy and Vice, the very best of luck and all my support for the 2023/24 season ahead - Cygnet will continue to thrive under your leadership and encourage one and all to row in behind to support their efforts and to actively involved in helping to make Cygnets next chapter an even greater success.

My heartfelt thanks to all of your cygnet friends and family for your patience, kindness and help along the way - as my predecessors will know, a Captain’s work is never done and challenges there are many but I and we as a Cygnet family have made the best of it and I’m grateful for your enthusiasm and support towards our collective endeavours.

I’m looking forward to the next season and rowing from the backbenches whilst supporting the incoming team and the club with the hard efforts and successes to come in the year ahead.

I hope many of you will be joining our end of season celebrations in September, but until then Cygnets, thank you and row well.

With warmest wishes,

Rupert Bailey

Cygnet Captain 2021/22, 2022/23

Author: Neil Pickford


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