Shoreham’s Saunders is British Rowing Volunteer of the Year

Shoreham Rowing Club Captain Garry Saunders has been named as British Rowing’s West & South East Coast Volunteer of the Year 2018 at its recent National Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The Awards, run by the UK governing body for rowing aims to recognise the efforts of an army of volunteers around the country who are integral to the success of the sport at grass roots level and beyond. 

Guest speaker at the event, Zoe de Toledo, cox of the GB women’s eight which won an historic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics said “Its a great privilege to be able to present these prizes at the Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards. The people we are honouring today are the backbone of our sport, form grass roots all the way through to high performance. “All of us remember not only our first coach, but also the people who made the biggest impact on us in our sport, whether they are coaches or volunteers, or both. I have some huge admiration for those who turn up week in, week out, in rain, wind, and snow, to encourage participation in rowing. Thank you for everything you do.”

Guest speaker at the event, Zoe de Toledo, cox of the GB women’s eight which won an historic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics said “Its a great privilege to be able to present these prizes at the Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards. The people we are honouring today are the backbone of our sport, form grass roots all the way through to high performance. “All of us remember not only our first coach, but also the people who made the biggest impact on us in our sport, whether they are coaches or volunteers, or both. I have some huge admiration for those who turn up week in, week out, in rain, wind, and snow, to encourage participation in rowing. Thank you for everything you do.”

Will McGrath, Chairman of Shoreham Rowing Club spoke of his pride at Shoreham’s captain being singled out by British Rowing. “We are an entirely volunteer-run club, no paid coaches, no salaried staff to keep our boats in good working order, and yet we’ve had junior rowers enjoying success competing for their country at an international level, we’ve had representation at prestigious events such as Henley Royal Regatta, we’ve won the coveted ‘Bideford Bowl’ – the  South Coast mens senior coxed fours championship – more times than any other club and our current cohort of senior women have been unbeaten for the last six years. “Garry has played a pivotal role in many of these successes and we are extremely proud that the huge commitment he has given to the club in time spent coaching, towing boats to regattas, organising crews and developing junior members has now been recognised on a national level.”

Will McGrath, Chairman of Shoreham Rowing Club spoke of his pride at Shoreham’s captain being singled out by British Rowing. “We are an entirely volunteer-run club, no paid coaches, no salaried staff to keep our boats in good working order, and yet we’ve had junior rowers enjoying success competing for their country at an international level, we’ve had representation at prestigious events such as Henley Royal Regatta, we’ve won the coveted ‘Bideford Bowl’ – the  South Coast mens senior coxed fours championship – more times than any other club and our current cohort of senior women have been unbeaten for the last six years. “Garry has played a pivotal role in many of these successes and we are extremely proud that the huge commitment he has given to the club in time spent coaching, towing boats to regattas, organising crews and developing junior members has now been recognised on a national level.”

Garry and Emma Young 2006

Saunders, 51, who has been a member of Shoreham Rowing Club since he was 16, has been the driving force behind several of the club’s recent junior rowers attending trials to join the GB junior rowing team – with past Shoreham GB successes including a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Sydney in 2013 and a bronze medal at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Amsterdam in 2006.
He said “I am very pleased, and very surprised to have received this award. Shoreham Rowing Club has been part of my life for so many years that I couldn’t imagine not being part of the community here. When I was 16 my father took me and some friends out on the water for the first time. I loved it and I have not looked back.”For me, taking a leading role in the club is about people having opportunities to progress, to gain confidence and to realise their potential.”
Saunders collected his award on Monday at a special ceremony and reception at the iconic River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. Presenting the awards were Mark Davies (Chair of British Rowing), Phil Hornsey (Director of Membership & Rowing Community at British Rowing), Sarah Harris (Head of Education & Training at British Rowing) and Olympic silver medallist Zoe de Toledo. 
Hornsey said of the awards “It was a real privilege to be among so many of the people who make rowing the sport we all love. On behalf of the rowing community I’d like to say how grateful we are for the passion, commitment and energy of not just our awards winners, but of every volunteer and coach in rowing, at every level of the sport – you really do make it all possible”.

Written By Sarah Faith

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Shoreham success on home water at 2019 Head of the Adur

Head of Adur 2019

Shoreham town centre once again played host to the annual Head of the Adur rowing race on Saturday.

Competing among over 65 crews from across the Kent and Sussex coast, Shoreham Rowing Club shone on home water to secure six wins, including the much-coveted fastest coastal sculler of the day title. 

Organised by Shoreham Rowing Club, the race, held in two divisions either side of the high tide, saw crews racing  a 3.5km time trial down the River Adur from Shoreham’s iconic wooden toll-bridge to the RNLI station at the entrance to Shoreham Harbour. The first event of the Coast Amateur Rowing Association’s 2019 calendar, the Head of the Adur offers the first chance for competing clubs to pitch themselves against each other and see how effective their winter training has been.
Sarah McCorry, Shoreham Rowing Club regatta secretary and race organiser said “Simply holding the Head of the Adur has been an achievement in itself this year, with the events in both 2018 and 2017 cancelled due to high winds. We’re delighted to be have been able to welcome so many other clubs to our stretch of river once again.”

For the home club, the day was particularly successful, with Shoreham’s ladies’ squads once again dominating. The first division saw the women’s pairs take on a fast in-flooding tide. Excellent rowing against a strong stream saw Shoreham’s senior ladies pair of Roxanne Addison and Melissa Shaw win their category by a comfortable margin over Worthing Rowing Club, with Shoreham also coming in third. In the junior women’s category the Shoreham pair of Anna Hollingdale and Bella Watton held their nerve in a close race with Worthing to take the win in their first competitive event together.

head of adur 2019 senior ladies

The second division, raced with the tide, offered more favourable conditions for the competing crews. Once again Shoreham’s senior ladies four showed their prowess, winning by over a minute against crews from Worthing and Herne Bay. Unbeaten in the last six years, this year’s senior line up of Melissa Shaw, Charlotte Pigg, Gemma Stoner and Roxanne Addison, coxed by Sally Hills, will be a force to be reckoned with as they enter the main racing season this year.  There was also success for Shoreham’s newest members, with the novice ladies four of Annie Redfern, Aimee Graville, Jamie-Leigh Williamson and Linds Taverner, coxed by Toby Strevens, keeping cool heads to win in their first ever race.

Shoreham’s under-16 boys squad also showed their strength with the quad of Jack Bates, Dan Bates, Xav Grassie-Clarke and Kirkland Childs, coxed by Garry Saunders winning comfortably in the first division. Jack Bates, a recent GB junior trialist, then paired up with Grassie-Clarke to win the mens junior pairs category in the second division.

Head of Adur 2019 quad

Fastest sculler of the day went to Shoreham’s Tom Faith in the second division, who completed the course in a time of 13:04.  The fastest time of the day, 11:55, went to Bexhill Rowing Club’s Mark Mitchell and Kieran Cahill racing in a river double scull (a quicker class of boat than its coastal equivalent).
Saunders adds “Shoreham’s fantastic results are a testament to the hard work put in by all our squads over the winter. As an entirely volunteer-run club with no paid coaches it is down to each individual to take responsibility for their own training. “Having our novice women win in their first ever race is not only a fantastic achievement for the crew, but also for all the other club members who have taken the time to coach, cox and help develop our newest members. And with a strong under-16 boys squad pushing at the heels of out more experienced rowers we’re very excited to see what the rest of this season will bring.”

Author: Sarah Faith

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Shoreham Juniors are South Coast Champions!

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Shoreham Rowing Club has rounded off a hugely successful 2016 season by winning the Ladies Under-16 quadruple sculls race at the South Coast Championships, held on Saturday 3rd September in Herne Bay, Kent.

The four Shoreham girls, Verity Millar-Sarahs, Phoebe Mercer, Portia Smith and Delphi Coombes-Cowell coxed by Ezra Hulme, led their race from the start, maintaining their power and composure to see off challenges from six other clubs from across the south coast. Undefeated in the quad for two years running in Kent and Sussex, their victory on the larger South Coast stage was very well-deserved.

Shoreham Rowing Club vice-captain Sarah Faith says “Our J16 girls have worked so hard this year, racing multiple events at each regatta, dedicating themselves to their training and proving that they will be key members of Shoreham Rowing Club for years to come. They should be very proud of their achievements this year – we all are – they continue to inspire their peers to succeed and I have no doubt that we will see them winning again at South Coast Championships in the future”.

Massive congratulations girls!

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Shoreham Rowing Club continue 2016 success in Brighton

Hove seafront was the setting for an exciting day of racing as crews from across Kent and Sussex descended on the city for Brighton & Hove Coastal Rowing Regatta.

With Brighton and Hove Rowing Club closing in 1994, the historic event is now organised by nearby Shoreham Rowing Club which counts a number of Brighton & Hove residents among its members. The regatta was the fifth event in the 2016 Coast Amateur Rowing Association racing season, contested by clubs along the Sussex and Kent coast from Southsea to Herne Bay.

Although the sun was shining and sea conditions were calm, the stiff northerly wind made racing challenging, with crews struggling to keep their boats tucked into the more-sheltered waters near the beach, and to line up on the start.

It was the home club Shoreham which took home the lion’s share of the day’s wins – an impressive 10 in total as the club extends its dominance in the Coast Amateur Rowing Association Grand Aggregate, awarded to the club with the most wins across the 13-regatta season.

Once again Shoreham’s ladies crews performed extremely well, dominating the women’s events throughout the day and winning every ladies’ status race – winning the ladies novice fours, taking first and second in the ladies under-16 quad sculls, first and third in the ladies junior fours, first and second in the ladies senior fours, first and second in the ladies senior pairs, first in the ladies junior pairs and first, second and third in the ladies double sculls.

The club’s men’s squad also continued their return to form. A convincing victory for Shoreham’s men’s junior four of James Tilley, Max Huxtable, Cian Kennedy and James Mouland coxed by Sally Hills edges them ahead of Deal in the 2016 CARA junior fours championship and the club’s Novice Four of Alex Apps, Matt Randall, Alfie Scott and Eamonn Wilkinson coxed by Max Huxtable won their second race of the weekend to progress up to the higher Junior status in coming regattas.

The club also took home the Ladies Aggregate and the coveted regatta Grand Aggregate trophies at the end of the day, and saw young member Isobel Tugwell named the regatta ‘Cox of the Day’ for steering a fantastic course in two of her races.

In other events one of the most exciting races of the day was the men’s senior single sculls, where a full-on sprint for the line saw Bexhill and Deal neck and neck, with Bexhill the eventual winner by just a couple of inches.

Shoreham Rowing Club’s vice-captain Sarah Faith says “We’d like to extend our thanks to our main regatta sponsor Marval Marine Services, our other sponsors and all the volunteers who gave up their time this weekend and without whom it is not possible to run the event.

“For Shoreham, this weekend has been one of our most successful in recent history – the well-deserved result of months of hard training, and a fantastic club spirit which is buoying up all of our crews, at all levels.

“We’re excited to see where this season will take us”.

Results from the day can be seen below:

Event Distance 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Time
Men’s Novice Sculls 2 Lengths De Bx De Dv HB Bx 7.58
Men’s Junior Sculls 2 Lengths Bx De Bx Bx Dv Sm 7.50
Men’s Senior Sculls 1/4Cvns Bx De Sm Bx Dv HB 7.50
Ladies Double Sculls Easy Sm Sm Sm HB Bx Dv 8.18
Ladies Junior Pairs Easy Sm Bx So De Bx 8.33
Men’s Junior Pairs 3 Lengths Bx So De De Sm Dv
Ladies Senior Pairs 2 Lengths Sm Sm De W Dv W 8.02
Men’s Senior Pairs 3 Lengths Bx F De De HB Bx 6.56
Ladies Novice Fours 1 Length Sm De HB Dv Sm W 8.49
Ladies Junior Fours 3 Lengths Sm Bx Sm Dv De 7.45
Ladies Senior Fours Easy Sm Sm De Sm W Bx 7.55
Men’s Novice Fours Easy Sm W Bx Dv Bx 7.46
Men’s Junior Fours Easy Sm De So Bx Sm HB 7.13
Men’s J/S Fours Easy De De HB Bx De 7.03
Veteran 40+ Fours Easy Bx Bx E Sm De 7.10
Veteran 50+ Fours 2 Lengths Bx Sm 8.04
Men’s Senior Fours 2 Lengths De Bx HB De De Sm 6.39
For more information about the Coast Amateur Rowing Association visit http://ww.coastara.org.
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