After a bit of time off the air waves as we had Christmas and New Year and horrible water.  However painful it must be for all of you, I am back with my ramblings and observations as there is much activity going on at MAABC including some news about mixed crew racing –  firstly, you may have noticed that we are continuing to tidy up the boating area and fleet, we have said goodbye to the Phoebe Mason and that has gone to Putney High School – we will be focusing on the outside racks to tidy up the boats.  We have taken delivery of the Kanghua’s and a new triple: all evidence of our investment strategy for the Club.

Turning to very important news about racing, training and results.  We are thrilled to see such interest in rowing in 8’s they are difficult to organise and require the ultimate team attitude from each of the athletes.  Coaches Alice and Ben have formed a group and are focussed on training and technique combined with long outings to build race stamina.  We have been fortunate to mix in some tank sessions at Emanuel School (thank you Nina) giving the coaches the opportunity to help with individual technique.  The 8 makes huge progress: well done to everyone especially Ben and Alice.  Huge thanks to Margaret who has embraced the coxing challenge of The Thames: it is greatly appreciated.

The ever youthful G4x- went up to Molesey Head and was successful in winning their category and we also had a mixed 4x- in the C/E division.  Well done to both crews particularly as I am sure that the water up there was tricky!

The senior women’s eight  competed at Henley Head last Saturday in both the morning and afternoon divisions and recorded a fourth place overall in each division containing some 25 women’s eights in each race. The plan was for the girls to get experience away from the Tideway with its challenges and to have some change from the usual training programme –  coaches Mervyn and Geoffrey intended that  the girls see and learn how hard they can push and hurt themselves twice over the 3k course in what was flat water, (readers you may need to reach for a dictionary to find out what the definition of flat water as we do not have that facility on The Thames)  against the stream and a little head breeze.

Given their facial expressions in the photographs taken at the end of each race they achieved that goal massively.  It was further proved by three of them on returning to the club, two with beers in hand, could not work out how they were getting home although bikes and cars were outside.  Note: beers/bikes/cars do not mix girls.

Job well done!  Sophie, Marlo, Claire, Katie, Su, Jade, Kat, Amy, Tamsyn. They repeat the task this weekend at Burway Head near Staines division 1 at 10am, division 2 at 12am. Storm Doris permitting.

The Women’s Masters Group continues to build on experience and we have a number of new members – WELCOME all.