Seal visits Hammersmith

Seals have been visiting the Tideway since the river was cleaned up and oxygenated in the 1980s.  This one was enjoying the sun on the sailors' pontoon on 17 November 2017.

Veteran Fours Head 11 November 2017

Mirko, Dave, Tomaso and Pete retained the MMasA.4- pennant at the Veteran Fours Head, finishing fifth overall behind four quads.    The crew has been short of training this year – too many weddings, too few ergos - but they looked good value for their win over opposition from Thames and Warsaw.

The race ran on the ebb tide as usual but finished at Ranelagh so as to avoid the tunnel works below Putney.  No veterans were complaining about the shortened course: the Pairs Head finish at Harrods would have been quite sufficient for most of us.  Racing conditions were excellent with early drizzle clearing before the race started and flat water apart from launch washes.  The club entered six crews in all.  The WMasA.4+ almost matched the MMasA.4- achievement but finished just 7 seconds off the pennant for their division.  The older crews were outshone on this occasion by the youngsters but generally rowed or sculled well enough to enjoy the day.

Like Ducks to Water

The Learn to Row course graduates made their competitive debut at the Upper Thames Autumn Head in Henley on 29 October 2017. They were joined by some very special guests from the senior crews (ahem, ringers) who generously donated their time – and bodies – to ensure the newbies didn’t miss out on their first race.

Despite numerous head count and administrative challenges, when the men’s and women’s teams reached their respective starts they were fully focussed on completing the 3km in good time to show off what they’ve learnt since they first hit the water back in July.  With no other Novice 8 teams participating this year, neither team was able to match the opposition times. However - both teams had a cracking day, learning so much and experiencing first-hand the satisfaction of racing other teams.

It’s safe to say that we’ve got the bug, and are now proudly showing off our aches, pains and blisters in preparation for the next opportunity to represent SONS in head competition.

Pairs Head 2017

Six Sons crews raced in the Pairs Head on 14 October, mostly in double sculls.  Les and Brad were the fastest of our men in 14:54, Mel and Colleen were the fastest of our women in 16:40. 

The race committee had unwisely decided to use the new performance ranking indicators to divide the entries into divisions.  This cunning plan did not go well but nobody let that spoil the race.  The water was pleasantly flat for the Tideway and a stiff tailwind helped the less fit to keep the rating up from Mortlake to Harrods.  The Sons crews generally did well against those that they would regard as peers. 

World Rowing Masters 2017

Eight of the mens masters squad travelled to Lake Bled to compete in the 2017 World Rowing Masters Regatta.  (With help much appreciated from two TSS rowers, Hilary and a Thames cox.)  Results were disappointing due to a combination of strong competition and unsuitable hired boats.  That apart, the regatta was a fine experience with eight lane racing in a spectacularly good location and ample opportunities for socialising.  It was a suitable finale to a long and demanding season for the mens masters.


What a fun day racing on the river Lea - clashes with blades and riverboats guaranteed. 

Nine races, nine crews and four pots! A stellar effort from Sons to kick start the 2017/2018 season.  

Masters crews: 

W.IM2.4x Ruth, Sanne, Coops, Jenny 

Mx.MasC.2x  Dave Smith and Coops (winner) 

Mx.MasC.2x Drago and Darlings 

MasD.1x Dave Smith (winner) 

Senior Women's crews:

Mx.IM2.4+ Emily, Georgie, V, George, Darlings 

W.IM3.4+ Emily, Georgie, V, Laura, Eleanor (winner) 

W.IM2.2x Georgie and George 

W.NOV.2x Darlings and V (winner) 

W.NOV.2x Laura and Eleanor

Special mention to Eleanor taking home a pot in her first race with Sons, Dave Smith continuing his winning form in the single, and finally to Laura and her brownies which were a big hit after boat loading. 

From all accounts the river racing over 600m was well worth the trip to N/E London. See you next Autumn, Lea! 

Boat naming and summer barbecue

Members turned out in force for a boat christening in honour of Colin Price, the club president.  Colin rowed for Furnivall SC in the 1970s in a number of successful club crews.  He moved to Sons in 1981 with a group from FSC and set about revitalising the club.  Les, naming his double, shared a few anecdotes from those days and explained how important Colin's boundless energy and enthusiasm had been for him personally and the club as a whole.  Mel had arranged a fine barbecue, the sun was shining, many old members had come along to reminisce, the Becky M was rechristened after refurbishment and a good time was had by all.

Voga Longa

The first rule of the Voga Longa, is that no one puts in a write up about the Voga Longa. As a result we never really know what happens out there in Venice. The bare facts appear to be that five from our women's masters squad were invited last year, and liked it so much that they all went again in 2017. Guarded verbal accounts hint at a long distance tour of Venice in an atmosphere of aquatic carnival. Specific details, detailing a group rendition of the song from the Cornetto ad, for example, have not been supplied, leading us to conclude that what happens in Venice stays in Venice. In fact, pretty much all we have is this photo. 



Henley Masters Regatta 2017


When Henley Royal Regatta comes to an end, the booms stay out a little longer for the increasingly well-attended masters' event which uses a shortened course of around 1000 meters. With no doubling up allowed, Sons of the Thames Rowing Club put out a quad in MasE4x, Stephen replacing Ed in the line up that lost in the final last year to a Howarth/Hollingworth Lake Composite. After a bye in the first round, Stephen, Les, Brad and Bruce came up against Norwich Rowing Club whose crew included Audinis, the current national champion at Mas E 1x. Our quartet sculled tidily and sustained a split time of around 1:50 per 500m, but Norwich went faster with a final verdict to them of three lengths. The Hammersmith crew took some comfort to see that Norwich beat Peterborough in the final by a greater margin of five lengths.

Henley Masters seems to have been an enjoyable regatta though. As Les comments, "The 1000m boomed course from Temple Island to Upper Thames is excellent. The sun was shining this year, the wind was barely stirring the trees and the water was good."