Wallingford Regatta report
The absence of racing has really been felt at Molesey this year so understandably everyone was very keen to get some side by side under their belts at the first test of the summer season. Leading out and definitely a flagship win for the Molesey Juniors was the boys J16 quad. Just over a second separated them from tideway scullers who took second, showing a real improvement in the Junior squad. The junior coach Olivier was especially pleased with the result and also had a J15 coxed quad make their respective final.
The women also saw some good results from the day with the women’s senior coxed four taking second place in their race. There was also a strong Molesey sculling presence from elite and down through the ranks to the cracking third place finish in the women’s IM1 double sculls. Furthermore Gabby Rodriguez was there to represent Molesey in her single, taking a well-deserved third place in women’s elite singles.
The senior men also met with success at the regatta. With a couple of straight finals the guys picked up second in IM1 quads and also the win in the Elite coxless fours. The IM1 eight was also in action in the morning, just being pipped into second place in a hotly contested final. Come the afternoon Molesey lined up with two eights in the elite event, only being run as Molesey had enough athletes to boat another eight and prevent the event from being scrapped!, against a strong Tideway scullers eight. The first eight took a commanding lead and held it to the end and the second put up a huge fight and led scullers until the toll of the tight earlier racing told and they just lost out.
Overall it was a great first stretch of the legs for the club with good and promising results everywhere. The club took a few pots and podium finishes and plenty of confidence for the summer racing season to come.
Molesey Win GB Trials
For once Boston gave GB's finest and aspiring finest flat water and clear skies. Rowing full stop is a bit of a novelty for our athletes this winter and rowing on quality water even more for those based at the Club. The Men's Pairs was won by our very own Andrew Hodge and Mo Sbihi, by 22 seconds over George Nash and his CUBC partner. The expected threat from Reed and Gregory of Leander didn't appear due to illness. Fred Gill, with his partner Cook of UL, finished 9th, with Ed Ford and Colin Williamson a few seconds behind in 10th. Matt Talock and Phil Congdon finished 15th. Both results about as expected after barely any rowing since October but clearly plenty of work to do.
In the Women's singles, Karen Bennett finished 22nd and Nel Castle-Smith 37th out of 45 Scullers. Ruth Walczak, now Caversham based, did not race in the Lightweight Women's 1x due to illness.
Our club crews hope to be next seen in action at Reading Head and against OUBC but let's see what this wonderful winter holds in store for us!
Andy Hodge and Moe Sbihi on their way to winning trials (Photo by Peter Spurrier)
Sponsored Cycle in aid of CRY and the new development.
A few creative routes were taken by some of the groups, including trips round Dorney and Heathrow, but the riders all made it back in good time, with the first group arriving not long after 1pm. Highlights of the day include Sadie and Dave's (dressed as Superman - cape and all) limited gear tandem and the constant squeaking of one member's single speed bike!
Thanks to all involved, including Sigma Sport and our two support staff, photographer Ben Pugh and Jon "No, I'll drive the truck" Higgs! Money being counted as we speak... but hoping to have raised more than £5000. A big thanks to Sam Fowler for organising it and to all of you who sponsored our cyclists!
Acer Nethercott: 28/11/1977-26/1/2013
He was one of Britain’s best ever coxes. To his crews, he brought a combative desire to win, together with an incredibly sharp mind. Both were real confidence boosters whether your boat was in the middle of a really tight head to head race, or half-way through a 20k UT2 session and needed some inspiration. He will rightly be remembered for his role in two memorable Oxford victories in 2003 & 2005, together with the Olympic silver he won coxing the British eight in Beijing. But unsurprisingly for such a high-achiever, there was far more to him.
Having come up through the ranks of Oxford rowing – steering the Dark Blue women in the 2000 Boat Race, Acer knew what a crucial role that coxes could play in the development of young rowers. Therefore he had no hesitation in offering to help out with the Sporting Giants programme at Molesey Boat Club in 2008 – the same year he was driving for Olympic selection. Beneath his sometimes quiet, cerebral and focussed exterior, lay a man with big heart; responsible for giving a helping hand to so many in British rowing.
More than anyone, Acer knew how fine the lines were between the cox making a real difference to the crew’s performance. In 2003, it was in part down to his refusal to concede any water to the Light Blue eight along Chiswick Eyot in the 2003 Boat Race, that Oxford were able to hang on and subsequently go through to beat their rivals by the narrowest of margins. Yet just 12 months later, it was Acer’s decision to push Cambridge hard early in the race that led to a clash that Cambridge profited from. Those are the type of calls you want your cox to make and it was no surprise that Sean Bowden once more trusted Acer with the job of steering Oxford’s legendary 2005 crew. They were a boat packed-full of international talent and Acer ensured that they delivered their best on the day.
The Olympic cycle of 2004-08, saw Acer once more involved in crafting a top-class British eight, though the process took its time. There were no medals for the crew in the first couple of years. But by the Munich championships of 2007, the crew were good enough to win a bronze medal. By the time of the Beijing Olympics, it was clear that the British and Canadian eights would dispute the Gold medal. And it was a mark of the crew’s desire and Acer’s competitiveness that their silver medal was seen as a disappointment.
It was typical of the man that he refused to discuss his illness. And when he went for coxing trials in 2012 for the British Olympic eight, many of the crew did not know that he was suffering from cancer. At 35, his death has taken him from us too soon. Our thoughts are with his club mates, friends, and family.
(L to R) Andy Hodge, Acer Nethercott, Tom James after the 2008 Olympic homecoming.
Mavis lived her life with great poise, dignity and compassion, which shone through especially in the last difficult year of her life. With her death almost a year to the day after Harry’s , we have all lost a great friend and mentor whose 57 year association with the Club touched so many.
Mavis and Harry will live on fondly in the memories of all who knew them.
Her funeral will take place at Kingston Crematorium at 1300 on Friday the 21st of December.