Monday, 12 October 2009

The Club - What it is and what we do


Chesterton Rowing Club is a small and friendly rowing club in Cambridge, UK.

We row on the river Cam, and enter local and regional competitions.

We put up three men's and two women's boats into the town bumps.

We enter most time trials and regattas on the river Cam, including Autumn Head, Winter Head, Christmas Head, Winter League, Nines Autumn Regatta.

We enter events around the Eastern region, including Bedford, Peterborough, Sudbury
We enter events on the Thames, a fairly serious undertaking, as the course is 4 1/4 miles long, and the river is tidal.

We train our own rowers from scratch using a Mondego tub pair and a Kayell training scull.

Beginners will be trained sufficiently in training boats to be able to row safely when put into an eight, and are often able to race within a few outings.

Outings are generally coached, even for beginners. This leads to rapid development and helps rowers avoid faults which can be difficult to overcome when habits have become ingrained.

Chesterton RC is affiliated to British Rowing and to the Cambridgeshire Rowing Association

The club is active socially as well as for rowing, and although we don't have our own boathouse or club house, Chesterton rowers can usually be found enjoying a drink together after outings.

Please see here for membership rates.

A brief history

Chesterton Rowing Club started off life as Pye Rowing Club, and has been around since the 1930s. It started off life as a company club, affiliated to the company sports and social club.

Pye Telecommunications was taken over by Philips in the 1970s, but the Pye name stayed, as Pye is a trademark of Philips.

The rowing club changed its name to Simoco in the late 1990s shortly after Philips sold its mobile radio business. The club became gradually less dependent on the shrinking number of company staff, and became increasingly independent, finally losing its affiliation to the Philips Sports and Social club when the latter was closed down during re-development of the company's St Andrews Road site.

The club continued to lease the St Andrews Road boathouse on a yearly basis until this was sold off in early 2000.

The club now uses rack space in several college boathouses and hires college boats when it requires additional capacity for races, especially the town bumps.

The club changed its name to Chesterton Rowing Club on 1st May 2008, finally reflecting its status as a fully independent club.


  1. So why the name "Chesterton" rowing club?

  2. 'Cos that's where it is?

    1. I was kind of hoping to get a more informative answer since this question is being asked in the context of History.

  3. Hi William, I never noticed this question before. When it was decided to change the clubs name from SIMOCO to something new many names were suggested by club members and a vote was held one cold evening at Queens. Chesterton was popular because it referenced the clubs physical roots being the location of the former Pye site and the clubs original boathouse. It was also less likely to date than some of the other suggestions. So Chesterton won the vote and the rest, as they say, is History.