Team Building Day for Dataquest
It was an early start, with a team of volunteers from the club making ready for the day ahead. The weather, an all important element in these things, was looking menacing and the wind was up, but the rain managed to stay away, mostly. Five eights were put on trestles and checked, five launches were put in the river and fuelled up and a final inspection of the building was completed to ensure all was clean and shipshape.
Steve Parsons, who we can’t keep out of the kitchen, prepared sausages in a bread roll and a cup of coffee to the very grateful early crew. Ian Knight, Head Coach for the day and Bill Raspin, Race Management, were off up the river to carry out a risk assessment and report back.
We were expecting thirty six non-rowers who were going to experience our sport for the first time. A challenge for them and for us! Our client, Dataquest UK (Working with all business sectors to deliver print, scan, copy and telecommunications systems that integrate seamlessly into the office process), are a city-based, sales-driven organisation with a work hard, play hard ethos and we were expecting them to go all out to master the rowing side and enjoy the day. They did not disappoint!
Simon Kay, who managed the client relationship, also sorted out catering for the day. A breakfast was laid on for our guests on arrival and later a magnificent hog roast, for all to enjoy. After breakfast the briefing included the running order for the day. First, everyone needed to get in to their exercise kit ready for pre-boat training. The group were then divided into teams of nine, (7 recruits, 1 cox and 1 MBC stroke) ready to start the training.
We established five breakout groups which each team would rotate through lasting 10 minutes each.
1. Ted Bates – Club History, Olympic ambitions & a bit about rowing
2. Steve Parsons – Rowing jig in club room learning “the stroke”
3. Charles Bowman – on 7 Ergo’s learning rowing action
4. Runner – 200m Ergo time trial
5. Ian Knight – Meet an 8 and dos and don’ts of rowing.
Once completed and after a quick coffee, they were ready to get on the water! Ian Knight briefed the crews on the rules of engagement. I particularly remember him enforcing that “When I say ‘Stop’… Stop!!”
Following the risk assessment, it was decided that side by side racing was a step too far, given the weather conditions, so the plan was to learn as much as possible on the way up to the top of Thornycroft Island and then take part in a short, timed run back down the island. Not everyone made it up to the top, given the windy conditions, but everyone had a challenging row and returned safely.
The coxing was particularly challenging given the windy conditions and novice crews. Angela Walker, Lucy Windsor, Pat Sinott, Jessica Nolan (Weybridge Ladies) and JP did a stirling job. All the 8s were shadowed by a coaching launch providing instruction and safety cover. The “stroke team” were Catriona Rogers, Dave Spencer, Dave Griffith, Sophie Faldo and Helen Brown. They certainly earned their lunch.
Ben Pugh spent the day with us and was persuaded to coach from one of the launches. It must have been an interesting experience coaching these guys and then moving onto rowing at Henley next week. All part of the new job as Captain of MBC.
After the boats and launches were put away it was time for the Hog Roast. The buzz around the club was unmistakable and it was clear that everyone had enjoyed what turned out to be a challenging row in difficult conditions. The bar was open for business and Ted, Davinda Bhatia and the team were busy poring beers and filling Pimms’ jugs for the thirsty throng.
After lunch, Sarah Winkless (double world champion and Olympic medallist), gave a presentation and talk on her career in rowing and what motivated her to succeed at the highest level. She eloquently drew many parallels between the approach to sport and business and how such lessons can educate and motivate individuals and teams to achieve more through a positive “can do” attitude. Sarah was well received by all and answered lots of questions before closing.
At this point everyone started “ripping into the tinnies” (Australian for having a couple of beers) and recounting their experiences of the day. Personally, I slipped out of the door at the point that Simon Kay got the yard of Ale glasses out! You may find they are still there on Sunday morning.
It was a great day. I would like to thank the MBC team who really got behind this event and made it happen.
We have another one in a couple of weeks, so do get in touch if you would like to get involved.
For more information and pictures, have a look at Team Building Days
Molesey Win Elite and Senior VIII's at Reading Regatta.
Molesey Boat Club's Thames Cup squad, took on Abingdon School
(National Schools Champions and new record holders) at Reading Regatta
on the weekend of 9th June. In the final of Senior, Molesey used the inside of the
bend to good advantage and had a length by 500m. However they couldn't
shake the tenacious school boys off and that was the winnining margin
in the fast time of 4.02. Both crews then turned around and went back
to the start for Elite. We had agreed to switch stations and this time
Abingdon use the advantage well and grabbed a few seats but our crew
got into its rhythm and by 500m were half a length up and just kept
moving, winning by 3 lengths.
Our Men's 4+, which a week ago won it's novice pot in IM3 at the Met,
this week won IM1 4's over Reading Rowing Club by 5 lengths, having
lost to Birmingham Uni in Elite semi final.
Next up...Marlow Regatta!
Molesey Athletes Selected for London 2012 Olympic Games
British Rowing has announced the athletes chosen for London 2012, and a record number of Molesey athletes have been selected in various boat classes, making up half of the GB Men's Sweep Team.
In the Men’s Coxless Four, our captain and Beijing Gold Medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge and Beijing Gold Medallist Tom James have been selected.
In the Men’s Eight, half the athletes are from Molesey Boat Club. First time Olympians Moe Sbihi, James Foad and Tom Ransley have gained selection and veteran OlympianGreg Searle will find himself going for gold again 20 years on from his gold medal in Barcelona!
In the Men's Pair, George Nash will also be competing in his first Olympics.
There is still one more seat in the eight to be selected and the reserve athletes, so another Molesey member Cameron Nichol is still in the mix.
Molesey Boat Club would like to congratulate all our athletes on their selection and look forward to supporting them in July!
The Club will be open throughout the rowing and cycling coverage during the Olympic Games, with food, TV coverage and a final celebratory party. Members please come along and join in with us supporting our athletes. Keep an eye out here and at the club for more details.
MBC represented in Jubilee row
Five of Molesey Boat Club’s “super-vets”, (Martin Leach (cox), Jacqui Papillon, Michael Price, John Sheldon and Angela Walker), joined and completed the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on Sunday 3rd June 2012 rowing a classic 1920’s clinker built four. The boat was suitably decorated for the day with flags and insignia representing both the event and the Club and the crew turned out in club kit and boaters reminiscent of the period. The overall impact attracted the attention of the BBC who broadcast a live interview with the crew from their day’s launch site in Putney. Later Jacqui and Michael spoke with Boris Johnson who extended his best wishes both for the Pageant and for the eight Club members who have been selected for the UK’s Olympic rowing squad.
Molesey Win 4 Golds in Ghent
The weekend of May 5th saw the ISPS sponsored MBC Senior Men travel to Ghent in Belgium to take on some of the better clubs in Europe as well as Oxford Brookes and London Rowing Club who were also there in strong numbers. The trip made a nice change from the usual procession of Dorney Regatta's and the closeness of the racing, albeit between British crews, made the trip very worthwhile. The fact we came away with wins both days in the Men's 8's and Men's 4-'s as well as bronze in the 4- was the icing on the cake!