Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta

Nineteen year old Lucie Daman was the star of this year's regatta winning a record six titles for skiffing and punting, including the trophy for best punting style with fellow WBC member, Marcus Chew. It was great to see so many WBC members competing and Henry and Eleanor Blois-Brooke won several titles highlighting the strength of the WBC junior section. As ever, the regatta was a lot of fun over the two days with families getting across to Shiplake in the early hours on Friday to pitch their gazebos and create their base camp...

There are lots of photos of WBC members of all ages in action in dinghies, dongolas, skiffs and punts on the photogallery.

The 'Rag'

On Saturday 12 July members enjoyed a glorious day of sunshine for the annual Rag Regatta. There were over 100 participants in an action-packed schedule of events for adults and children, both experienced and novices.  Families and friends enjoyed supporting on the riverbank and the BBQ (superbly manned as ever by Bernie Leigh), bar, tea and home-made cakes. It was lovely to see so many new families getting involved as well as more familiar faces and several were inspired by the mixture of fun and competition to enter the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta in August. Thanks as ever to all the volunteers who made the day possible with particular mention to Camilla Cook, Jane Swift, Jane Jordan, Megan Rowson (in at the deep end), Charlotte Taylor and the team of umpires and course-layers.

The list of Cup winners can be downloaded from the docs page and there is a very full photogallery (thanks Brieze!) where you can download your own favourite pics of this lovely day.


Our new members' day was very successful and well attended by many who had signed up on Open Day. Chris and Martin gave a safety briefing and introduction to all the types of boat and the river Duty responsibilities were explained. Families then then went out in dinghies and canoes. Many have now started on the various training courses. Congratulations to the children who swam the river - with low water temperature and fairly strong current they did really well:

Lydia Atkinson
Grace Silby
Luke Silby
Dominic Vonka
Finlay Coleman
Jamie Rowson
Katie Doward

Open Day

Thank you to all members and particularly the intrepid new joiners who put on their wellies and came down the flooded track to Open Day and course sign up on Saturday. It was really unfortunate that the rain the previous week had brought the river levels up again and so no boats could go out on the day. Thanks to Paul and Andy for manning the BBQ and to all who brought cakes along. Some of the courses have a couple of spaces so if members are interested please get in touch with the head of the relevant section by email to find out if they can sign up.

The new duty rota is now on the website and has been sent out to members so please ensure you check your session. The Club will be open this Bank holiday weekend and the new members' afternoon is now on Monday 5 May from 2pm which starts with a safety talk from Chris. 

Winter Flooding

Thanks to Nick, Chris, William and Peter who have spent a morning down at the club to try and minimise damage caused by the flooded Thames which is the worst the Club has seen in past 15 years. The river is so high that water is in the main boat room and the guys had to take a Canadian canoe down the lane to access the club and estimated the water to be up to 4 feet deep down there. We are keeping fingers crossed that the water does not rise to the kitchen level but they have put fridges on tables as a precaution! Apparently the river looks like one large lake from the Club over to Henley Sailing Club and the landscape is unrecognisable. Thanks so much to our wet volunteers.

Happy New Year to all members!

Laying Up Supper

The Laying Up Supper marks the end of the season and it was wonderful to see 90 members at this year's event which was themed as a Masked Ball. The Woodclyffe Hall was transformed by creative, stunning decorations and there was a fantastic array of masks ranging from exotic, feathered affairs to Shrek and a snorkel mask... After a welcome glass of bubbly, guests found their tables and sat down to a delicious meal provided by Nikki Alston and her team.

As ever at Boat Club socials the dance floor was packed and the band played a great variety of music for everyone to strut their stuff! 

Nick Towers, Chairman presented this year's Club Service award to Lisa Taylor who had orchestrated this wonderful evening with her team of volunteers and has been an outstanding Social organiser this year as well as representing the Rowing section on the Committee.

River Swim

Well done to all the children who successfully swam the river - list can be downloaded at bottom of page!

Bollywood Party

If there’s one thing Wargrave Boat Club knows how to do – it’s Party.  And we’re happy to devote as much time to that as we are to messing about with boats on the water.

On Saturday 7th September members wrapped themselves in thermals, donned saris and turbans and enjoyed a Bollywood themed Summer Party by the river at the Boat Club; we love dressing up too! 

Party goers enjoyed a free Mumbai Mule cocktail on arrival and a delicious supper of curries courtesy of the Gaylord in Twyford.   There was plenty of food to go round and members ate supper in the large gazebo which was festooned with swathes of Indian fabric and decorated with fairy lights, candles and bright cushions giving an atmosphere of warmth and colour.

The river setting provided a picturesque backdrop to the evening’s entertainment.  There was Bollywood music and professional dancers were hired to demonstrate the right moves.  We also had a Henna artist to decorate our hands.  The dance floor was busy all evening and the lively music made a refreshing change to the more traditional disco.

We’d like to thank Lisa Taylor, Penny Kunzig & Yvonne Brown for organising this enjoyable event. Laying Up Supper here we come!!!

Well done to all those who completed in theGreat River Race - full report on Skiff page.

Rag Regatta

WBC members enjoyed a barbeque in the sunshine and lined the bank to cheer on those taking part in the annual Rag Regatta on Saturday 20 July. Around 70 children and adults competed in a packed schedule of 80 races which involved most types of the club craft - punts, skiffs, kayaks and dinghies. 

There was the usual mixture of fun and competitive spirit and a lovely combination of novices (some as young as six!), families, students back from Uni and experienced 'old hands'.

New for this year was a newcomers' event for those families who have recently joined the Club - this involved the family rowing the new double dinghies and was a great spectacle - well done to the Websters. 

Jane, Camilla, Charlotte and Jane and the umpires did an excellent job of keeping the races on track and the day culminated with exciting finals.

Prizes were presented by Mike and Fiona Stubbs and the full list of winners can be downloaded from the documents page

Thanks to all who made the day possible and those who volunteered on the bar, BBQ and with boats and those who brought home-made cakes - it was a fantastic day!

Carry On Boating

The Wargrave Festival Treasure Hunt was a lovely afternoon and 20 families enjoyed finding the clues along the riverbank. Heidi, Wendy and Bernie had laid the trail in a downpour at lunchtime but the rain held off for the actual event. Afternoon tea and goody bags greeted the participants on shore and the adults enjoyed a Thames quiz prepared by Scott.

 The Boat Club ergo stand at the Festival fete brought out the competitive spirit in the village and the results were: 

U12 Boy - Isaac Beasley 243m                                 

       Girl - Eleanor Blois-Brooke 249m

U14 Boy - Josh Pierce 246m                                

U17 Boy - Henry Blois-Brooke 327m                 

       Girl - Maddie Curran 243m

Adult Male - Andrew Southworth 344m  

        Female Caroline Simmonds (nee Goodall) 286m

Over 50 Male Peter Hanks 289m 

             Female Susanna Hanks 279m

Open Day 20 April 2013

The sun shone and the newly-decorated Boat Club welcomed lots of new families as well as familiar faces at the Open Day. There were good numbers of adults and children signing up for training courses and all enjoyed an excellent BBQ. Thanks to all the members who brought home-made cakes, manned the bar and sign-up tables and to those who had helped prepare the Club on TLC Day. 

The weather was so glorious that all the dinghies ended up out on the water. The news that the Club is buying a new double dinghy perfect for all the family was well received. Nick Towers is the new Chairman and he presented Steve Huyton with a gift in recognition of all his hard work as Treasurer and Chair.

The club is now open every weekend and 11 May is the River Swim and New Members' Day. Let's hope the sunshine at Open Day is a good omen for a warm, sunny summer and lots more idyllic days at the Boat Club. 

December 2013

The Laying Up Supper was a wonderful end to the season, with 100 members gathered in a beautifully-decorated Woodclyffe Hall. The Social Committee did a great job with the theme of 'Going for Gold' and 
guests enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal (many thanks to Nicky Alston and team) and dancing to 'The Crazies' .

It was great to see a real mix of older and new members and the seating plan really encouraged this. Steve Huyton (Chairman) presented the award for service to the club to Mike Chamberlain and Nick Towers for their hard work restoring the punts this year. 

Wishing all members a very merry Christmas (and a dry 2013!)

September 2012

Well done to all who helped organise and competed in the highly successful SRA Regatta - full report on skiff page.

The Rag Regatta is always a highlight in the club calendar. Strong currents and heavy rain had caused the 'Rag' to be postponed from its July date so everyone was delighted to see sunshine on 1st September. 

Watching the Olympics had certainly motivated everyone and it was great to see competitive instincts combine with fun in the varied events. The 'Rag' is such an enjoyable day as competitors range from Boat Club coaches to young children and novice adults and there were lots of new families this year. Skiffing and punting events are drawn so as to level the playing field and the canoeing, dinghy, kayaking and dongoling races had participants aged from 7 to 70! 'The Bull' Enduro kayak race - which involves a quick half at the local - was won by the two Corkes, Belinda and David, and its junior equivalent, the Anne Reid Enduro (the children drank lemonade not beer!), was won by Alex Leigh and Isabella Taylor. David Corke was one of several double or treble winners as he won the adult/child canoe event with daughter, Scarlet. Henry Blois-Brook, fresh from his success at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta, combined with Marcus Chew to win the classified and drawn punting event as well as the u15 dinghy and junior skiffing, and Marcus sculled his way to victory in the virus boat. Chris Jennings won the sit-on kayak race with Martin Pennock and steered his junior dongola crew to victory, Nicholas Pierro was in the winning adult dongola and skiffing crews and Anna Gutierrez won the side by side dinghy and boy and girl Canadian canoe races.

The full list of winners can be downloaded here.

Many thanks to Jane Swift, Charlotte Taylor and Camilla Cook and their team of umpires and boatmen who organised such a slick programme of events. The Social Committee had done an excellent job of coordinating the BBQ and tea and there was a delicious array of home-made cakes. The trophies were presented by Jane and Peter Jordan in recognition of their tremendous service to the club over the years.

Many returned in the evening for the 'Blues at the Boathouse' event organised by Tim Hodges - an idyllic Indian Summer's evening on the riverbank listening to the music of Brighton-based band, 'Goofer Dust'.

July 2012

Three skiffs and one rowing eight from Wargrave Boating Club were amongst the man-powered boats which escorted Matthew Pinsent and the Olympic torch in the ‘Gloriana’ from Teddington to Richmond last Friday.  The members of the Club all had a dawn start from Wargrave as they had to be on the river very early. Conditions on the Thames were tough but seeing the crowds lining the banks and Hampton Court Bridge provided great motivation. It was an amazing experience for all those involved to be a part of ‘London 2012’ on the opening day and they all returned to the Club tired but exhilarated and cleaned the boats!


The day-long journey of the Torch along the Thames culminated in the arrival at the Olympic opening ceremony that evening when David Beckham (in a speedboat) handed it to Steve Redgrave to carry into the Olympic stadium.


This special day for Wargrave Boating Club came after skiffers also took part in the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant so 2012 really will be a year to remember!





Lizzie and Beverley  skiff in front of Hampton Court Palace


All the rowers and skiffers on their return to Wargrave Boating Club

Home page shot shows Peter and Jane following 'Gloriana'

For lots more photos of this amazing day please click on the link below:

June 2012

Wargrave Boating Club were represented in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant by a skiff crewed by Maggie Goodall, Katie Marsden, Nick Towers, and Carlton Barnard, who stepped in at the last minute.  In addition Patrick and Deirdre Fennessey were in a private skiff with mother and daughter rowing legends Elaine Laverick (who rowed in World Championships in the 60's) and Elise (who won Olympic Bronze in 2004). Last but not least John Rhodes crewed in a private skiff from Henley which was built in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (1897). 

At around 2:30 the manpowered boats were orderd to arrange themselves in formation, which we think went fairly smoothly, however it was clear after setting off on the Pageant itself that the formation was not being held, although that probably added to the fun of the event.  We performed an oar tossing salute with three cheers in front of the Queen at Chelsea, then set off again - some of the fleet seemingly intent on chasing the Royal Row Barge Gloriana which was leading the Pageant, some hanging back to be near the Royal party now following on the Spirit of Chartwell. The crowds were immense - every conceivable vantage point and some more besides seemed occupied with Union Jack waving and cheering spectators, including a good number from Wargrave! We had every variety of rowed and paddled boats around us, all in good spirits despite the bottenecks slowing the boats at some of the bridges, and some very random coxing at times. The only clash of oars we had was with Ben Fogle's triple skiff, but as he was being coxed by Zoe de Toledo (Oxford Blue Boat cox) we felt it was probably not our fault!  

Tower Bridge appeared which was the official end point of the Pageant.  That for us was also when the heavens decided to open, which took the gloss off rowing through the "Avenue of Sail" which was formed by the awe inspiring tall ships which could not get through Tower Bridge.  But still the crowds were cheering.  Once past the tall ships there were however still 3 more miles to Millwall in pouring rain and rather fewer spectators....   

Although very cold and wet at the end, we loaded the boats on the trailer and soon warmed up after a day to remember forever. - Nick


Wargrave Boating Club will have one of its Thames racing skiffs in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3rd June. The crew will be Maggie Goodall, Katie Thomas, William Davies and Nick Towers (selected by a draw at the Fine Boats Supper) and they are already in training for what promises to be a challenging and truly unique event. 


They will be involved in a seven mile procession on the tidal stretch of the Thames in London with 1,000 boats (including several from the Henley area) accompanying the Royal Barge, and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle. 


The sixth Wargrave Boating Club Skiff Racing Regatta was held on Saturday September 10th at Henley Sailing Club in Willow Lane.   Although the forecast threatened both wind and rain, the day stayed dry, apart from a short lived shower in the early afternoon.  100 entrants contested 23 different events, with a total of 71 scheduled races.  Despite the busy schedule, the event ran smoothly and finished on time, with some very exciting racing and close finishes – over the 500 metre course there was one dead heat, three wins by just 2 feet, and one of 3 feet, and many more of less than a boat length.  Wargrave competitors won 8 of the events, Skiff Club 6, Dittons Skiff & Punting Club 4, Thames Valley Skiff Club 3, and Wraysbury Skiff & Punting Club 2.  It is an indication of the considerable junior talent that we have at Wargrave, that 6 out of the 8 events we won had at least one teenager in the crew. 

Prize wine goblets were presented by Kate Calverley, and it should be mentioned the gratitude the club has to Kate for her tireless work as Membership Secretary.  She along with Kate Robinson were the Race Controllers for the day and kept an iron grip on proceedings, making for a highly efficient regatta.  Rod Murray did a great job at the finale as Master of Ceremonies.  It takes many people to put on a regatta and make possible an exciting and enjoyable day, so thanks go out to those who helped set up and clear away, the catering and bar team, the controllers, the boatmen, and those doing the unseen but essential work in the background.  Bouquets of flowers from Victoria Florists were presented to Kate Calverley and also to Beverley Davies, who spearheaded the organization of the event. Full list of winners can be downloaded from home page.


It was great to see so many Boat Club members taking part in this year's Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta and there were several high profile victories. The aptly named Wargrave Elite (pictured) won the prestigious Grand Dongola competition, and we showed that we are a true family club by winning both the Veterans Dongola (Just Old Enough) and the under 12s (Pick 'n' Mix steered by Martin Pennock).
Lucie Daman won an amazing 4 titles showing her skills in skiffing, canoeing and dongoling. Debbie Brady won the novice punting and Henry Atkinson, Peter Swift and Grace Atkinson won the under 12 side-by-side dinghy. 

The two days were really well attended and it was wonderful to see so many families enjoying the regatta. Thank you to all members who helped with practices, umpiring, marshalling, safety etc. 

Enjoy a few photos in the photogallery and official photos can be viewed at 


Congratulations to the rowers who competed in the Goring Regatta last weekend. This was a first for the mixed eight and they perfomed really well against stiff competition. 

Rowing is really going from strength to strength at the Boat Club with the courses encouraging some who rowed at school or college to take up the oars again and others to try it for the first time. There is always a good number for Sunday morning outings which continue throughout the year.  

The section has bought a new four this season which allows more flexibility.