• Sculling Course Success

    Kingston Rowing Club's summer sculling courses were a great success. For three weeks we ran courses with two professional coaches, Nick Rowett and Andy Medcalf and some helpers, for a group of 12 or fewer scullers, giving a lot more coaching attention to individuals than other similar courses. Feedback from athletes was extremely positive and some have already booked places for next year. We will be running them again in 2016 in July and August. To register your interest please contact Nick Rowett

  • Dave Brooks Etape - Mont Ventoux Bike Charity Ride

    We had a 4am alarm call, breakfast at 4:45 then the coach ride to the bike store. Into the 'start pens' for 06:30.

    Squeezed in with 9,500 riders it was a sea of bikes, with plenty of nervous anticipation sweeping through the crowd.

    The start was very well organised, with all 9,500 riders getting away on time at 7am.


    The four of us got going without any crashes, punctures or mechanical failures.

    It was a beautiful warm sunny day (more on that later!) with crowds lining the streets cheering 'allez allez'.

    My personal plan was to ride conservatively, stay out of trouble and manage my pulse rate, saving some energy for Ventoux.

    There were plenty of crashes - I saw one guy who'd not spotted a central reservation, and then hit it doing 30km/h and gone flying.  That was game over for him. 

    The drinks stops were the next unexpected risk - total pandemonium, rather like Harrods sale on day 1 with people fighting to get to the bottles of water. Back on the ride the scenery was beautiful, going through vineyards, gorges and classic tree lined french roads. There's many other stories to tell you, but the headline is Ventoux of course.

    I arrived at the base of the mountain after about 6hrs of riding, not feeling too bad.


    The route up Ventoux is in three parts, the easy section from Bedoin village, then the long forest section of 12km where the gradient jacks up, then finally the infamous bare rock moonscape up to the summit.

    The summit section is renowned for the fearsome heat from the sun, reflecting off the white rocks and with no tree cover.


    However, on our day on the mountain, Ventoux surprised everyone, with instead the forest becoming unbearably hot.

    That nice sunny day had been heating the forest, so without a breath of wind it had become baking hot, the temperature climbing to 38 degrees.

    With the relentless gradient, riders started dropping like flies. There were people being sick, toppling over with heat exhaustion, crying even, it was total carnage. I saw one guy get back on his bike and pedal for about 20 metres, going slower and slower, until he fell over and just stayed where he fell on the tarmac. 

    In the end over 2,000 riders dropped out!


    I remember being struck by the silence in the forest, the crowds had stopped cheering and were kind of looking on in horror.

    My speed dropped to around 5mph. I was in my lowest gear, grinding away trying to keep it above stall speed.

    Two or three times I tried to change down a gear, vainly hoping I'd forgotten one but of course no.

    The hill just keeps coming at you, there are no flat sections to give your legs a rest, just up up up.


    When I got to Chalet Reynard at the end of the forest, I was in pieces - feeling really spaced out and shaking quite badly.

    Sitting down for 10 minutes I started to feel better, and tipped some water over myself to cool down.

    I then took the last of my energy gels and got back on the bike for the final push to the summit.


    Ironically it was cooler out of the forest, with a fresh wind to bring the temperature down.

    I felt quite good at this stage, being able to see the red and white finish tower at the summit.

    I speeded up a bit (to a whopping 7mph), started overtaking, counting down the final kms to the finish.


    You go past the memorial to Tom Simpson near the summit (a famous UK cyclist from the 60's who died on Ventoux)

    After that there's a few more switchbacks, then at long last the final steep bend and then under the finish arch.

    Wonderful feeling to have finished, stumble off the bike and collapse in a heap for a while, gasping for air.


    My finish time was 8hrs 10mins, which puts me into mid table mediocrity - around position 3,300 out of 7,500 finishers.

    Full results and a few photos here:-



    So thanks to all those who've donated, I think we've earned it!


  • KRC Veteran's Prayer rediscovered

    This prayer was previously misattributed to a 17th Century Nun:


    Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

    Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

    Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

    I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

    Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.

    Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.





  • Kingston Small Boats Head 2009 Flyer

    Updated2nd Nov: Mixed Double Sculls have now been added to each division.


    Download as PDF 




    Hampton Court to Stevens Eyot – 4800 metres


                        Open/Mixed events                                            Womens events



    1X                Sen, IM2, Nov, Jun, J15, Vets **               WE, WIM1, WIM3, WJ16, WJ14

    2-                  Sen, IM2, Jun                                           On application *

    2X                E, IM1, IM3, J16, J14, Mxd 2x ***              WSen, WIM2, WNov, WJun, WJ15, WJ13, WVets**

    4+                 IM1, IM3, Jun                                           WIM2, WNov, WJ16

    4-                 Sen, IM2, J16                                          WSen, WIM1, WIM2

    4x+               J15, J13                                                 W J15, WJ13

    4X                Sen, IM1, Jun, Vets**                               WIM2, WJun




    1X                E, IM1, IM3, J16, J14                                WSen, WIM2, WNov, WJun, WJ15, WVets**

    2-                  IM1, Vets**                                               On application *
    2X                Sen, IM2, Nov, Jun, J15, J13, Vets**,        WE, WIM1, WIM3, WJ16, WJ14
                        Mxd 2x ***
    4+                Sen, IM2, Nov, J16                                   WIM3, WJun
    4-                 IM1, Jun                                                  WJun, WJ16
    4x+               J14                                                          W J14

    4X                IM2, IM3, J16                                           WSen, WIM1, WJ16



     With payment by chequefor the total amount due and payable to: ‘Kingston Small Boats Head’, to be sent to:

    Kingston Small Boats Head

    c/o 89 Wolsey Drive,

    Kingston upon Thames

    KT2 5DP


    by the close of entries and quoting relevant Club /event identifiers


    Entry Fees:  Fours & Quads£36, Doubles & Pairs£18, Singles£9


    Please stateCLEARLYon your entry if you areNOTprepared to race at the next higher status (which may involve racing in the division other than that including the status of the original entry), if there are insufficient entries in your chosen status. The race organisers reserve the right to transfer entries automatically to the next higher available status, and to assume the agreement of the entrant,UNLESSotherwise stated on your entry. 


    *Individual W2- classes will not be split between the divisions; please indicate preferences for division (if any) and status separately and clearly on the entry for these events


    ** Please specify Veteran status at the time of entry. The organisers reserve the right to combine age groups on a handicap basis

    *** Mixed entries are accepted on the understanding that, should insufficient entries be received at any particular status, entries will be transferred to the same status in Open 2x in the same division, as shown above




    This race is under A.R.A. Rules.


    For other contacts, please use the Kingston Rowing Club website:


    or e-mail direct to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Entries close at 10:00 on Saturday 14 November

    (Cheques should be posted so as to be received by Tuesday, 17 November)

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