I rowed for a couple of terms at school as a 15 year old (see photo above). The next 32 years were filled with O-levels, guitars, computers, A-levels, university, work and raising a family. I forgot about rowing.
I came back to rowing, prompted by my son who took up rowing with much greater skill and enthusiasm than I had at his age.
On 8 September 2018, I joined a Learn to Row course at Fulham Reach Boat Club and spent the next 5 weekends enjoying good company and being taught by excellent coaches, including Tracy Corbett and Tim Koch.
After the Learn to Row course, Tracy encouraged me into a single (1x) and coached me 1 to 1 through October and November. Her unending positive enthusiasm and skill at coaching combined with the unforgiving technical demand of the single resulting in a rapid improvement. I thoroughly recommend getting into a single as soon as you dare.
A couple of months later, in a quad with a crew significantly more experienced than me, we sculled a 5 hour charity marathon course down to Westminster and up to Ham House to raise money for the boat club’s new gym.
In 2019, I tried a few competitions, with mixed results.
Sweeping in the FRBC mens 8+ at the Head of the River, we were not overtaken by everyone else.
At the Putney Town Regatta my quad was beaten easily by a crew half our age. This was redeemed by a win in the Putney Town 2x, Masters C, with fellow FRBC rower, Charlie. In the summer, Henley Masters was not so kind to us.
I also had the huge delight of sculling with my son and have done so a few times since. He’s much better than me, so it’s not fair to ask him to do it again …
During 2019, I also got my Power Boat Licence, First Aid Certificate and Safeguarding qualifications which allow me to help with coaching duties.
In 2020, I am sometimes found on the river, in a single, working up to sculling the 20km to Richmond Lock and back. I am more often found talking about it.
I made this website to help FRBC and regular tideway users