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



Nottingham Masters Yields Three Star Wins

Several Masters crews ventured North to the National Water Sports Centre (NWC) at Holme Pierrepont for Nottingham Masters’ Regatta on 27th May and the club came away with three wins. Conditions are always tough at the NWC and this year was no exception. Strong tailwinds brought the waves up causing such tricky obstacles that the race was held over the first 1000m of the course.

Winners: W Mas F2x, Mas E4+, Mas F8+

Sue Lamb reports: The Women’s F double competed in the Non- Championship D-F category against Exeter and Upton. No handicap is given for age at Non-Championship level and the opposition was a D and F crew. The Star Ladies were pleased to have crossed the finish line comfortably ahead of Exeter, after an interesting race trying to clear the sculling blades from the waives. Twice the boat speed slowed slightly due to stroke’s blade bow blade getting caught on the water, and Exeter made a little ground, but the many kms of square blade paddling practice on home water helped the Star crew to tap down more and push on to finish in first place.

Dom Hawes reports: The Mens’ E4+ faced off against Nottingham and York, both strong crews with a string of high-level wins behind them including Henley Masters, Nottingham City 2017 and National Masters. A solid start gave our crew a half-length advantage after barely 10 strokes and then quickly settled into a long stride at 32/33, which added steadily to its lead. Nottingham fared better than York ok the day and pressed our men hard at 400m and again at 850m. But, with plenty in the tank Star pushed home its advantage taking the win in a time of 03.30.5, which was the fastest 4+ of the day.

The Men’s F8+ was pitted against Peterborough and the result was certainly not a foregone conclusion. Star’s new line-up F8 hadn’t enjoyed too much water time before the regatta and, with a last-minute injury sub kindly provided by Nottingham it was effectively a scratch-crew. Peterborough got the better of the start, but our crew ground out a strong enough lead in near surf conditions to secure a well-earned win.

Other Star reports provided by racers

Report on W Mas D/E 8+
Sue Lamb reports: Unfortunately, due to 2 crew changes the day before the race, this crew went on the water without a full crew practice. But good crew spirit held up, determined to have the best race possible with a very competent cox from the Star Juniors. The crew changes meant the crew should have moved up to E from D, but a category change was not permitted for the race so Star raced York City (E), Nottingham (D), Bradford Amateur (D), and Hollingworth Lake (D). York went off 7 seconds ahead of the D crews and stormed home in a time of 3.43. The Star crew had a good start in the calmer waters but struggled as the water became choppy, not conditions the Star crew was used to but battled on to finish 4th out of the 5 crews, ahead of Hollingworth Lake. The crew all commented that the rough water experience was invaluable and hopefully useful at other venues like Tideway.

Peterborough Summer – Masters Men Race Report

Star Masters men entered boats in eleven events over the two days, scoring wins in five of them!

On Saturday the in the C/D 8+ event the Star boat stroked by Colin Hunt scored a win rowing as Masters D. This was a good achievement in a straight race as the crew were unable to compete at their age category of Masters E.

In Masters D/E 4+ Star came first and third with the boat stroked by Andy Crook winning. This was another win in a string of wins for this crew over the season.

The third win of the day was in the Masters D 2x. This crew consisted of Rachael Armstrong and David Sogan. Although rowing in a men’s event they scored another convincing win.

In Masters D 4x and E 4x both crews finished second. The D crew (Armstrong) to the very fast boat from St Ives and the E crew (Thomson) to Norwich.

In Masters C4+ the Star crew stroked by Andy Chillingsworth came third in a race won by Worcester.


On Sunday five crews competed in the 500 meter sprint.

The Masters C/D 8+ with Andy Crook stroking scored a good win.

In Masters C/D 4+ Star entered two boats, finishing first and second. Michael Mitchell was in the winning boat and also in the winning C/D eight. A great bonus for him as this was his stag weekend and with his future wife Kat coxing!

In Masters D 2x, again two Star crews competed with a win for the Lisa Boggis double over the Clive Thomson double.

The Masters D/E 4x was won as usual by the fast St Ives crew with the George French quad finishing fourth.

Last but not least the Masters E 2x stroked by Ian Staniforth came a close third in their heat just missing the final.

All in all a very successful weekend for the Star Masters Men, which included a couple of Star Masters Women in the two winning crews

Master Squads Storm Sudbury

The Masters Men and Women took a small but select contingent to Sudbury Regatta on Saturday 5th August. Enjoying both the very best and the very worst of British summer weather, the group gained two wins from three events, including a long over-due win for some of the Masters Women. The day was especially exciting for Clive Thompson, who coxed those two winning crews –  his first time competing as a cox since 1974.

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