Star’s New Year’s Head – that’s a wrap!

A rousing success after initial weather-related concerns

Star Club attracted 293 entries from 23 Clubs at its New Year’s Head today and provided a warm welcome to competitors, coaches, friends and supporters. Special thanks to the officials and volunteer contributors, in all their guises, who made it possible!!

There were wins for Star across all squads. Full race results are available here and Star Club race reports will follow in the next few days.

The fastest boat of the day was Dulwich College Open 8+ and here they are receiving their pots. Well done lads and look forward to seeing you next time.


Scullers Head 8thNov2019

Scullers’ Head, December 2019

Masters men take courage in both hands

Saturday, 7th December, 2019

Three happy people!

Despite the fact that they are all experienced crew oarsmen on the Tideway, this was the first time that Ivan Higgins, David Rainbow and Lester Waugh had competed in their singles on this challenging stretch of water. It’s not surprising, therefore, that there was a measure of trepidation as they prepared to get on the water.



David Rainbow Scullers Head 2019

David Rainbow, Mas D

Conditions were good (for the Thames) and temperatures kinder than they have been recently. Nevertheless, boating from Sons of the Thames Rowing Club, just upstream from Hammersmith Bridge, was quite a challenge as our scullers fought the wash from marshals’ boats and the stream to join 500 other competitors to make their way to the start at University Stone Mortlake.


Ivan Higgins Scullers Head

Ivan Higgins, Mas E

That long process of edging up to the start, behind hundreds of others who are doing the same, will be familiar to all who’ve raced on Tideway – it’s just a bit more solitary in a single and requires strong watermanship to manoeuvre around hundreds of other boats, against the tide! But our three intrepid scullers all reported that it was an amazing spectacle.

Placed at numbers 406, 439 and 472 respectively, it was nearly 2 hours later that David, Ivan and Lester were racing down the course towards the finish at Putney.


Lester Waugh, Scullers Head

Lester Waugh, Mas G

All put in a very credible maiden effort: Ivan finished in 332nd position in a time of 25:12.75 (age adjusted 23:47.83); David finished at 336th in a time of 25:16.98 (age adjusted 24:16.98); and Lester finished at 347th in a time of 25:23.72 (age adjusted 22:57.72), all incredibly close to one another.


Well sculled all of you. And a huge thank you to Sons of the Thames who made us feel so welcome. We hope you won’t mind that we think your clubhouse would look even better on the banks of our own River Great Ouse in Bedford!

Ivan, Lester & David outside Sons of the Thames Clubhouse



BRIC 2019

Star shines at British Indoor Rowing Champs

The Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships, the largest event on the UK rowing calendar, took place on Saturday 7th December at the London 2012 Velodrome in Lee Valley VeloPark.

Star Club at BRIC 2019

Freya features in the Telegraph

Chris Callow and Ian Donald, two of Star Club’s Vice Presidents had the unenviable task of administering over 2,300 entries across 140 events. Chris has been on the BRIC Organising Committee since 2016 and, in his role as Entries Secretary this year, Chris managed competitors from all over the UK and as far afield as New Zealand. These included our own Freya Parry and Ellie Sadler from the Women’s Squad.

Chris says ‘’It’s been an extremely busy couple of months leading up to Saturday’s event but it’s been enjoyable working closely with British Rowing staff and volunteers to deliver what was an epic event! The hard work was all worth it when you see the excitement of those competing and experiencing the electric atmosphere within the velodrome.’’

Ellie achieved 7:36.6, competing in the Under 23 women’s 2k, achieving 12th place. Freya, who came 5th in her WE2 open event with a 2k time of  7:25.8, was spotted by the Daily Telegraph and featured in their event report – not bad for a day’s work!

Star Junior Sam Gale achieved  6:56.9 and came 43rd in the sixth form boy’s 2k category and Will Lamb (son of Sue and Simon) achieved 6th with 6:11.4 in the open men’s 2k category, racing for Molesey.

Very well done to you all!

Star Regatta A Triumph

Star Regatta on Saturday 9th of June was a resounding success with over 200 crews racing – on time and with competitive vigour. With a large juniors entry and a dominant presence from some of the country’s best rowing schools, the large crowds that lined the bank were treated to some very high-quality rowing.

Star Pots

Organising an event of this scale is no mean feat and relies on volunteers giving up a huge amount of time. The regatta committee and officials devote hours and hours to planning and on behalf of all club members… thank you. Ian Donald organised the marshals on the day and managed to pull off the event despite being 21 volunteers light. Thank you Ian.

Other volunteers also help make the day and two teams deserve special thanks. Chrissy Boggis’s vintage tea stall was a huge hit in the enclosure and Chrissy has quite rightly submitted a match report. Tibbs Dementia Foundation also set up a stand to spread the word and fundraise. As our club charity for 2018, we were delighted to welcome Tibbs Dementia and look forward to intensive fundraising when the regatta season ends.

Vintage Tea Stall Match Report

Chrissy Boggis writes: This year we fielded the best tea tent ever. The vintage theme was well conceived and went down superbly. We scored a big win (ed… ok, I made that sentence up, but I quite like the idea of competitive team stalls).

We had a great team as you can see from the photo… it simply would not have worked without them. So, I’d like to thank the team of helpers and all the fabulous people who donated sandwiches, filled rolls and the delicious array of cakes.

Results in brief

Star juniors, in most cases just starting to reappear after revision and exam hell, performed particularly well and recorded most of the day’s victories. In total, 45 of the day’s 202 races featured Star competitors. 26 of those recorded wins and 11 of those were finals. Star wins were:


W.2X (pictured below)


J18.4X (pictured above), W.J17.2X, J16.2X, J18.1X, J15.1X, W.J14 B 2X, J17.1X, W.J15.1X



Race Reports

Womens’ Open Double Sculls

Ellie Bennewith writes: Since I was a junior, Star Regatta has been one of my favourite local events. The atmosphere is always fantastic and it’s always great to see so many members from the club either competing or helping out. Gemma and I were racing in the Women’s Double category; it was a great opportunity to race the 1200m course as it’s a similar distance to Women’s Henley which we will be competing in next weekend.

Gemma and Ellie racing at Star Regatta

Heading into the first race against Leicester University, Gemma and I both felt confident, but the pressure to perform at our club’s regatta was looming in the back of our minds. We’d both agreed that we’d treat it as a 500m race and do what we could to get a good lead by town bridge. If this worked, we planned to wind down for the finish.

Sure enough, past Monkey Island our lead had stretched to several lengths so I made a call to relax and slow the rate down… but neither Gemma nor myself made much of a change, as I think we both convinced ourselves that you never know what could happen! By the time we reached the lock, we eventually calmed down and realised we could actually start to relax. Coming up to the line, we were taken back by the amount of support along the course – we were being cheered from start to finish and the final verdict was ‘easily’.

As we successfully made it into the final, we knew it would be us against another Star women’s squad double made up of Ingrid and Rhianna. Before boating, we all huddled together to remind us that it was already an achievement to see a Star-Star final, which speaks volumes about the development we’ve made as a squad. Ian Donald was beyond chuffed and if you spoke to him on Saturday you’d know how proud he was of what we’ve all achieved.

In the final, Gemma and I were racing against the clock as it was good practice for Women’s Henley. It wasn’t our cleanest row, but we produced a decent time which was faster than we’d aimed for and came away with the win. Ingrid and Rhianna were fantastic competition and I’m excited to see where that boat will go in the future!

Thank you for all the support along the bank. Gemma and I appreciate all the support from the club, both on and off the water – it hasn’t gone unnoticed and we hope to do our club proud in the weeks to come.

Next stop Henley Women’s Regatta!

Open Eights

Dom Hawes writes: A regatta on home water was too much temptation for the mens’ masters squad to resist, so a Star/Bedford eight was entered in the open class, that being the only class available. With an average age of 55, the VIII boldly took to the water giving away 39 years a man against Bedford School’s J16 Bs. After using their size to power to an early lead, Star/Bedford clung on down the enclosure straight as Bedford School reduced the lead to just 1/2 length.

In the final, Star/Bedford lined up against heat A winners, Eton College. This time we only gave away 37 years a man, but it made little difference. Eton rocketed off the start and although it felt like we held them to the town bridge, they pushed on pretty easily and secured a win by four lengths. Next time, maybe we’ll race their Dads instead?

What about your race report?

When you race, and if you’d like to be included in the report, please send a race report and photos/video by 7pm on the Tuesday following to or post them to and share the link.