Wednesday, 22 August 2012

AGM 20/09/12 @ CB2

Chesterton's Annual General Meeting will take place on

Thursday 20th September
7pm (note earlier time than in previous years)
CB2 Bistro, Norfolk Street

This meeting will be an important one as a lot of key positions will become free.

As many members as possible should come, and all members, even relatively new ones should consider taking on a committee role. (I became Secretary before I'd even been in an Eight!).
Most roles are fairly non-arduous and its a good way to get more involved and give something back to the Club, as well as have a say in how its run. 

Any changes to the constitution need to be proposed at this meeting.

The roles to consider running for are as follows:

(If you are interested in standing for a position, probably the best way to contact Chris (Club Captain) as well as person who currently holds it if you want to know more about what they do.)

Club Captain: The official face of the club, who also keeps an eye on everything that the other committee positions are doing, and co-ordinates important matters.
Chris Wood

Keeps minutes of meetings, emails the club about important issues from the CRA
Amy Tillson

Keeps track of the financial situation, including who has and hasn't paid
Sarah Coates

Mens' Captain
Co-ordinates the Mens' training plans and outings
Steven Andrews

Womens' Captain
Co-ordinates the Womens' training plans and outings. This position is currently the only one that can be shared between two members.
Meg Richards Lorraine Turvill

Water Safety Adviser
Records any incidents, ensures the club complies with safety regulations.
Dave Richards

Kit Officer
Places orders for new kit, organises sponsorship t-shirts and other kit
Lorraine Turvill

Equipment/Maintenance Officer
Makes sure equipment is in working order
James Howard

Social Secretary:
Organises social events
Becca Scourse

Keeps the website and mailing lists up to date
William Connolley

Race Secretary:
Organises race entries and fees
Emma Howard

A rough agenda is as follows:

Committee reports: Treasurer/membership, Mens Captain, Womens Captain, Water Safety, Kit, Equipment, Club Captain.
Dissolve committee
Committee Elections
Any constitutional changes
Equipment purchases and priorities

Hoping to see lots of you there!

A new boat booking system

The summer rowing season is over (I'm counting Nines regatta as the start of the autumn) so its time to start preparation for the winter. And what better way to start than fiddling with the long-standing boat booking system?

The old system is good, because it works, quite reliably and with no perceptible input from anyone. It is bad because no-one [*] ever looks at the old site anymore, and I can't remember how to authorise new accounts there. I'm sure I could dig into my email and find out, but I'd like to trial use a google calendar system for booking the boats, and here it is.

Well, it is a calendar, and to use it (to write to it) you need to sign up for a google calendar account (if you just want to read it, well, there it is below). Since these are free, I'm rather hoping that won't be an insuperable barrier. Once you have that, you need to add this calendar: it is called the snappy name of:
To add the calendar to your google calendar account, you need the "Other calendars" menu item, which is at the bottom on the left, and you need to paste "" into that box.

I'm just a touch unclear about permissions... the calendar is public, but I think I need to OK you for write access. If you're having any trouble, just send me an email and I'll add you.

Over to you lot:

Notes, queries, complaints

Feel free to complain at me if this doesn't work for you. Comments I've had:

* It doesn't work (by which I think is meant, adding bookings) by iPhone. Answer: I haven't got an iPhone to try, but via Android, if you switch from the "mobile view" to the "desktop view" then you get full functionality including booking.
* Comment: it doesn't allow block booking, and this is good.
* Update: the new calendar is now official. The old calendar is obsolete. I will remove it soon.
* I need to contact Kings, Peterhouse to tell them this.

A bit of help

Some people have trouble making this work. Here's a bit of help. Note that you cannot add events just by clicking on the display of the calendar in the posting above; that's just a display-only read-only copy I'm afraid. You need to go to to start. Once you've got the boat-booking calendar installed, to add an event on it, click on your day to add the event, then select the correct calendar from the drop-down menu:


[*] I mean, of course, that I don't. I can't tell what you do :-)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Eyes in the boat!

There were moments in M3s bumps campaign when I wondered whether I had spoken outloud whilst coaching, was just muttering to myself, or not speaking English.

My suspicions were confirmed when I saw this photo...

Chesterton M3 - Bumps 2012
M3 Crew: Chris S (cox), Rasmus, Tim, Rumman, Harish, Joe W, Bryan, Luca, Dave C

The pressure of a sandwich boat rowover, saw all credible technique, especially heads forward, thrown out of the boat...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Its almost over....

The final installment from our bow seat correspondent...

Day 4 (Bump Down)

We’ve not made life easy for ourselves.

A realisation that the months of prep, the icy winter outings, the endless hours of erging, the strict protein diets really are worth implementing next year.

We desire to be winners… to experience again the unbridled joy of grinding out a bump.

Today “Automaton”, the rising Champs 9 boat, are our relentless assailant from behind. This will be tough!

Our W2 crew thrash past looking good for their bruising week & it later transpires they went all the way with a gutsy row-over ensuring they missed the spoons. Inspired, we line up still at the head of Division 4, ready for the race of our lives…

At the gun it’s like an out of body experience… smooth & firm we power away, not a lobster pot in sight.…& so it continues… the settled tones of Chris; “rhythm & power, rhythm & power” are punctuated with astonished snippets of praise.

Hey… we’re really moving!

There was no inevitability about the end this time & we ground it out all the way to Ditton Corner or thereabouts (my awareness tunnelled into the boat by this point). They were ultimately too strong for us & deserved their ‘blades’ but we gave them their hardest contest.

…& so we were denied our final row in Division 3 but finished knowing we had improved, rowed our socks off & had acquitted ourselves well with by far our best row of the week.

Next year… stronger, leaner, fitter, slicker, BETTER. We, or a new incarnation of us will be there!

M3 - Town Bumps 2012… The pictures speak for themselves!

Bow Seat Correspondent, M3

The battle of Armageddon

M3, Day 3. (Row-Over… Twice!)

Chris has us catapulted to 1577 & Drake’s 3 year circumnavigation, pillaging his way around the world. We fear it’s gonna feel like it too!

So duly installed back where we were day 1… at the head of Division 4… we seasoned warriors cheer our gutsy W2 boat past to their much later bump down (Dang!) & install ourselves at the start point.

The start’s not perfect but we’ve had worse… much worse. Smooth water ahead, “Outspoken” clattering their way down the running order behind…what can go wrong?

The answer is... despite our best efforts... nothing!
A steady charge up the river, the pressure is soon off as the bumping chaos behind leaves the last opposition with an unattainable over-bump to get us. Steady & firm we start to settle & grind it out.
As we tire the crabs creep back in & the corners are not the tidiest but we make it in good order & not totally shagged.

Immediate spin & back down to the lock we go… crikey it seems a long way!!

Chris has by now taken leave of his senses & we are mounting a “mighty & valiant charge to Mount Meggido by the chariots of Thutmoses III”… The battle of Armageddon. Not my period to be fair but it sounds about right!

According to his dispatches “the King of Kadesh bumped out early leaving the M3 chariot milling about the field looking slightly non-plussed.”

…& so it was. A valiant start, giving it our all, closed the gap initially but bumping up ahead left us with a daunting over-bump to chase. We ground it out, managing to keep station but in the end making little impression.

Chris throttled us back at Ditton Corner, sparing us valiant galley slaves the unnecessary whip; an act of kindness & mercy calculated to position us for even honours at the very least on day 4...

I’m all for positivity but I can’t help now seeing Chris with bristling tash… as General Melchett… uttering his finest rallying cry… If all else fails, a total pig headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through!

War of the Spanish Succession

... more from M3s Dave...

Day 2. (Bump Up, Row-Over)

Chris has us re-grouped back in the War of the Spanish Succession… The Duke of Marlborough’s 250 mile march across the Low Countries to the Battle of Blenheim (1704). Frankly despite his rousing intent he’s sounding more Churchill than Marlborough. I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears & sweat…

Still, a tidier row down & we’re soon back to our ringside seat for another mowing down of W2… Further this time but they’re caught just beyond us... (Bollocks!). Hey ho… minds to our own daunting task...A tidier spin & we’re lined up, buoyed by some previous night spy footage of our
opposition courtesy of William C.

At the gun we’re off with the customary lurch & a spectacular crab but we’re all facing the
right way & we’re moving!!

It’s not quite the coordinated volley fire of a well drilled platoon… more ‘individual rapid fire’
but “Outspoken” are simply no match. Oh the glory as we clatter into their flailing paddles at full tilt (well a brisk jogging pace).

A BUMP!!… Fantastic.

And so, swelled with pride & self belief we rattle back down stream to our well earned place at the lock for round two. Cocky now, Chris has us perform some sort of reverse spin (“not bad boys”)… & with an eleven point backing manoeuvre & a bit of terse shouting we’re safely at our station.

At the gun we’re off… improving! improving!… And so we rattled our way up the river. The photographic evidence tells the story in itself.
We’re tired, a little ragged, decidedly odd around grassy, but we hold it together & make it to the end not a million miles behind the illustrious X-Press boat.
A row over at 2.5 lengths… not bad.

And so, only day 2 & we’ve experienced it all… A bump down, a bump up & a row over. Tired & happy we contemplate day 3 ahead.


Zulu warriors at Isandlwana

or M3 do bumps...

From the man in the 'copter, Dave C, a bumps write up for the week, day by day...

Day 1. (Bump Down)

The months of prep, the icy winter outings, the endless hours of erging, the strict protein diets… it all comes down to this moment.

Following a variable row down & some interesting practice starts we coast down to the motorway bridge, narrowly avoid an embarrassing capsize in the spin then sit & watch W2 savagely mown down in front of our eyes before taking up our station.

By now we’ve come to terms with the fact that the ‘sandwich boat’ isn’t in fact an early doors retirement to the hospitality tent & that the months of prep, the icy winter outings, the endless hours of erging & the strict protein diets would probably have been handy as we’re rowing twice nightly!

Chris’ theme of the day is the Zulu warriors at Isandlwana… A long rapid march to the field of battle (a row over) followed by a swift dispatch of the enemy (the subsequent bump). So with Cetshwayo perched in the cox seat in captured colonial head dress we experienced that rising angst at the sound of the distant cannon…

…fair to say (& totally out of character), the Zulus panicked.
Chris will I’m sure forever dine out on the fact we reversed our blades & on the gun, backed ourselves rapidly through the boat behind before crashing the lock. A slanderous exaggeration but not entirely absent of truth. A reversed blade corrected, 3 air shots, a gentle crab, a huge lurch to starboard & we were off! Crabs?… the river’s been mined with lobster pots & despite weaving like the Bismarck we’re busy collecting them all!
Needless to say the half-length or more we conceded before we even remotely got our act together was entirely unaffordable. This was Rorke’s Drift... X-Press 6 were the 24th Foot, their blades crisp like coordinated volleys of rifle fire, Michael Caine in the cox seat.
The Zulus were mown down in short order & in harried disarray… & ironically, in front of the aforementioned hospitality tents.

In the later words from the trenches of the immortal Captain Blackadder…Made an entry in my diary today… simply says “Bugger”!