With their meteoric rise up seven places through Division 2 and well into Division 1, the Rob Roy BC W2 crew was not only the most successful crew on the river in this year’s Town Bumps but also probably the youngest. With three fifteen-year olds and a sixteen-year old all just back from competing at the Junior National Rowing Championships plus another sixteen-year old and three seventeen year olds, the girls showed that youth can triumph over experience.

Their young counterparts in the Rob Roy M4 crew had an unluckier run, after a first night triumph bumping one of their coaches in the Xpress M3 crew. Again, everyone in the Rob Roy crew was under 18, with three fifteen-year-old scullers competing having had just 3 outings using sweep blades before racing.

All of the Rob Roy crews included members of their junior squad; M2 working hard (and pretty successfully) to protect M1 from attack from behind; and the W1 and W3 crews enjoying a mixed bag of bumping up, bumping down and rowing over. The only crew without juniors in the boat was M3, who attracted fines on Day 3 for a hugely enthusiastic but under-age bank party of their children – Rob Roy juniors in the making –  who helped M3 maintain position by bumping Peterborough back.  

Teamwork Triumphs at Try Rowing Boat Race Day

No-one fell in but everyone jumped into the water at Milton Sport Lakes to celebrate a very close contest between pupils from Parkside Community College and Chesterton Community College at their Try Rowing Boat Race Day this week, watched by a large crowd of parents and friends.

The two schools had been invited to take part in ‘Try Rowing’, a project introducing rowing to pupils who would otherwise be unlikely or unable to try the sport, funded by the Oxford and Cambridge Rowing Foundation and organised by Rob Roy Boat Club. Two Chesterton pupils who took part last year have gone on to win several medals already this year.

Presenting medals to the winning crew, Rob Baker, Head Coach for the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, commented, “I saw some really good rowing today and I’m very impressed by the encouragement all the pupils gave each other – it is that teamwork which wins the Boat Race.”.

The event organiser, Jo Burch of Rob Roy BC, said, “We’ve all had great fun! I think most of the pupils who have taken part want to keep rowing, which is fabulous! Everyone has learned new skills, gone out of their comfort zones, and worked together to tackle the challenge of preparing for a rowing relay race in just a few sessions.” She added, “I am particularly proud of the pupils who overcame real fear of water in order to take part and not let their team down.”.

Earlier in the week the project’s parallel Try Rowing Boat Race Day took place between North Cambridge Academy and Trumpington Community College. Everyone stayed dry that time, though NCA Headmaster Martin Campbell looked dangerously wobbly when he took to a boat, inspired by his pupils, and discovered that rowing is trickier than it looks.

The results:

Both NCA crews beat their opponents from Trumpington

Parkside 2 beat Chesterton 2

Chesterton 1 beat Parkside 1

NCA beat all three other schools in the cumulative rowing machine challenge.

IMG_1652 IMG_1653 IMG_1654

Strength in Depth at National Rowing Championships for Rob Roy Boat Club Juniors

While medals were hard to come by at the 2017 British Rowing Junior Championships last weekend, five crews formed from Rob Roy Boat Club’s Junior Squad made it into the top 12 crews in the country in their categories. Fifteen-year-old Brett Taylor won a bronze medal in the J15 single sculls – just a week after flying back from Taiwan where he trialled for a place at the 2017 Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualification Regatta.

Alongside Brett, five boys, all from Chesterton Community College, who were complete novices in September, and were introduced to rowing through the Try Rowing outreach programme for local schools organised by Rob Roy, came an astonishing eighth in the country in their coxed quadruple scull.

Two other Rob Roy youngsters, Levin Graf and Flora Turnbull came fifth and eighth respectively in their events, while squad fellow Charlotte Knapp came eleventh in a composite double scull with Lucy Whiteside from King’s Ely – and another eight juniors from the Club made it into the top 24.

Jo Burch, the Club’s Junior Squad Coordinator said, “I couldn’t be more proud of the achievements of our juniors. All of them raced their hearts out and did everything we asked of them – and were unlucky to miss out on medals. We took half our squad to the Championships and just about all of them came in the top half of their categories, which shows fantastic strength in depth”.

[Note: Photos of each of the mentioned crews, with two of the coxed quad, one as they go over the line and one at about 300m before the finish showing how close the competition was.

BrettTaylor#3inJ15singleszIMG_2696 CharlotteKnappinRobRoyKSEcompositedoublecome12thinwomenJ16doublescullszIMG_3980 ClosefoughtraceforJ15coxedQuadszIMG_3052 FloraTurnbullinclosefoughtJ15womensinglescullfinalAzIMG_3447 J15coxedquad in thelastfewstrokeszIMG_3107 LevinGraf#5inJ16singlescullszIMG_3792

Marlow Regatta 2014

Yet more great conditions at Dorney heralded further progress on the road to Henley today (21st June) for the senior men.

Our Wyfolds aspirants (Schramm, Clift, Lundgren, Stark) pulled a 4th in the Elite 4-final ….but only beaten by Visitor’s crews. Overcoming a poor start, the guys just did their thing. 4- are on the up.

Chris Revell, in a gut wrenching effort (literally) won the final of the Snr 1x and 2nd in the final of the Elite 1x. Chris Owen had a super row in a strong field in the Snr 1x and wasn’t far behind his winning clubmate showing our depth in this event.

The 4+ (Dix, Covey, Matcham, King, Crosby(Cox)) stepped up to Elite and stepped their effort accordingly coming fifth in the final (beating Tideway Scullers and the all ‘Start’ Nottingham boys) but third among their prospective Britannia Cup rivals. Their strongest outing yet, closing sharply on the top crews and plenty more room for improvement.

Go Robs!

The MET Report

The Metropolitan Regatta 2014 31st May/1st June, Dorney Lake

This was Dorney at its most benign, two days of great conditions, and six Robs crews there to enjoy it.

Met Regatta 2014

On Saturday six boats raced: An Elite 4- (Schramm, Clift, Lundgren, Stark), a Senior 1x (Revell), an IM1 2- (Butlin, Owen), an IM1 1x (Graff) and an IM2 4+ (Dix, Covey, Matcham, King, Crosby(Cox)).

The Elite 4-, last year’s HRR Wyfold crew with the exception of Moritz Schramm for John Hale, competed in a straight final and beat Thames, Molesey and a Thames/Tyrian composite for third place behind Upper Thames (considered favourites by the bank cognoscenti) and a really strong Leander crew who romped home in a time of 6:01.58 to Rob’s 6:12.38.

In Senior Single Sculls Chris Revell came in second in his heat in 7:26.06 to reserve his spot in the final where, despite posting a 7:18.01, came in second to a winning time of 7:12.74.

The IM1 pair of Stef Butlin and Chris Owen came third in their heat in 7:24.56 to qualify for the repechage where they managed another third.

Stefan Graff competed in a straight final in the IM1 singles coming in sixth in 7:32.66 in a closely packed field with six boats coming within 11 secs of each other.

The IM2 4+ chased a powerful Reading University crew for second place in their heat and did the same thing in the final finishing in a very creditable 06:41.05 to Reading’s 6:32.22.

On Sunday we were represented by an Elite/Senior 2- (Lundgren, Clift) and a Senior 4+ (Dix, Covey, Matcham, King, Crosby(Cox)).

The Elite Pair of Leo Lundgren and Dan Clift raced in a straight final and were only marginally beaten by Leander in a cracking finish which saw Leander come in at 6:57.13 followed by Robs at 07:00.80.

The 4+ from Saturday raced up at Senior on the Sunday and couldn’t quite reach Saturdays form. Coming second in the semi, to the eventual winners Imperial, they came in fifth in the evening’s final in a time of 6:49.46, Imperial taking the honours in 6:32.15.

Full results from the weekend’s racing at



Pairs Head – Masters B win

The Pairs Head (October 13th, 2013 at 2pm) is raced on the Tideway in London between Chiswick to Hammersmith Bridge over approx. 4,000m.

Sven Friedemann (bow) and Stefan Gräf (stroke) won Master B 2- in a time of 13:11.89. Overall they placed 102nd, came 18th fastest pair and would have also won IM2 2- category by 7 seconds (

Continue reading “Pairs Head – Masters B win”

Cambridge Town Bumping Races 2013

With another episode of Town Bumping Races now past, all Rob Roy Boat Club crews entered can be proud of their accomplishments. There were no bumps made on Robs crews and one crew won blades. Robs entered four crews this year, all racing in Division One with M1 chasing for the headship.


Robs M1

Robs M1 on Friday (Image by Lorenzo Santinelli, photographer of sports and indoor events, contact

Continue reading “Cambridge Town Bumping Races 2013”

Henley Royal Regatta Update

Image courtesy of Henley Royal Regatta

Following on from Friday’s Henley Royal Regatta Qualifying Races,

Huge congratulations to Ed Parkhouse and Simon Goodbrand who have qualified to compete in The Double Sculls Challenge Cup. Their first race will be against J.R. Thomas and T. Barras from Cardiff University on the Thursday of HRR.

Continue reading “Henley Royal Regatta Update”

Racing Update

Photo of Charlie Cousins by Peter Reed
Look out for the next big event for Team GB rowers, which will be the World Cup at Dorney Lake on 21-23 June.
After his stunning 1x win over Alan Campbell on 21 April at GB Senior Trials in Caversham, ex-Robs athlete Charlie Cousins teamed up with Campbell in a scratch quad crew to take 5th on 11 May at Essen Regatta. They came in 6 seconds off the winning crew, which was the Croatia 2012 silver medallists, over a 2km course.

City Bumping Races 2012 – Report

Rob Roy Boat Club had five VIII’s racing the Bumping Races this year.

M1 Rowed over every race, remaining position two in Division 1.
Matt Castle sends this report: ‘Robs M1 rowed over four days in a row; it was a different scratch crew each night. We didn’t make any ground on Cantabs and whilst City made valiant efforts for the first half of the course they didn’t have the staying power over the entire distance and always finished many lengths behind us.’

Continue reading “City Bumping Races 2012 – Report”

Cold Weather Rowing and Sculling

Member Gen promotes knowledge sharing, with contributions welcome from Rob Roy Boat Club members

Captained by Leander-based Jock Wishart, the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole six-man crew left Resolution Bay 29 July 2011. They sculled 450 miles across the Arctic Ocean, reaching magnetic North Pole after 28 days in constant daylight. The expedition was organised to highlight effects of climate change on Arctic ice. Air temperature during the challenge ranged from -2 to 6 degrees C. But actual air temperature, taking into account significant wind chill factors, was lower.

Continue reading “Cold Weather Rowing and Sculling”

Great Ouse Marathon

Robs J16 Amy Bland reports on her reasons for suggesting a club quad entry in this year’s Great Ouse Marathon.

‘My friend from Sudbury, Ellie, had done this race in a single when she was WJ14. I thought it would be fun to do in a quad. We overtook four boats- two singles, a double and a four….it wasn’t that bad as you just kept going, except the last five kilometres seemed to go on forever. Hamish shouted at a man on a narrow boat, ‘How far is it to Ely?’ When he replied ‘About two miles,’ it cheered us all up. Our race time was 1:45:31, setting a record for Mx IM3 4X. We came 9th out of 28.
We’d like to thank Stefan, Chris and Donna for helping us to organise it.’

Rob Roy Wins at German Marathon!

Organised by Ruderclub Germania Düsseldorf, the 41st Rhine- Marathon 2012 took place on Saturday, 6th October over 42.8km from Leverkusen to Düsseldorf. 167 crews from 82 clubs across Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, France and The Netherlands took part in triple, quadruple and quintuple sculls as well as fours. There were no eights and no singles (sorry Brett!).

Continue reading “Rob Roy Wins at German Marathon!”

2 wins at Norfolk

Check out this happy picture of Stefan with his latest trophy. Matt and Stefan raced Div 1 and Div 3 of Norfolk Long Distance Sculls today and they both came away as winners.

Stefan’s wins made him fastest sculler of the day, earning him a nameplate on that great trophy. Both guys raced twice over the 4.2 km course. Stefan was fastest sculler in both long distance divisions. Matt won IM3 1x. He sends this report:

Continue reading “2 wins at Norfolk”

Mr Asbo

It has been six months since the swan nicknamed “Mr. ASBO” and his mate were relocated from their annual nesting site downstream of The Reach to an undisclosed sanctuary 60 miles from Cambridge.

Arrangements were made by Natural England and Royal Swan Marker, David Barber, to secret the pair away, wings clipped to ensure no return. Here is an update:
Mr. ASBO’s sensational behaviour earned coverage on Will Baker and Guy Thomas’ website

Continue reading “Mr Asbo”


Member Gen promotes knowledge sharing, with contributions welcome from Rob Roy Boat Club members

“Rowing is a repetitive-motion, non-impact sport; thus, rowers are unlikely to suffer sudden and unexpected injury, but more likely to suffer overuse injuries. Like other athletes in repetitive sports, the cause of these overuse injuries can usually be traced to a training
error in either volume or technique, or inappropriately sized or configured equipment.”
(Kristine A Karlson MD, The Physician and Sports Medicine- Vol 28, No 4, April 2000)

Continue reading “Blisters”

Cambridge Small Boats Head 2012

With beautiful weather throughout the day, Cambridge Small Boats Head was a fine start to this year’s head race season. Held 6 October over the usual 2600 metre upstream head race course on the Cam, Events Secretary Anna-Rosa’s expert planning and logistics ensured that the day was a great success. Chairman Andy Turnbull reported a 30% increase on entries, from local to national clubs, with one competitor racing for an Irish boat club.

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Summer Preview – Olympic Rowing & Robs

It isn’t long now until the 2012 Olympic Games begin. The torch has passed through Cambridge, accompanied by lots of rain and fanfare. Whether you will be going down to London or watching the games on a screen, it is worth noting which athletes among Team GB Rowers have a training/racing history that includes Rob Roy Boat Club.

Continue reading “Summer Preview – Olympic Rowing & Robs”

Swedish Exchange

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Stefan Graf, twelve Swedish teenagers, all keen competitive rowers, came to visit Cambridge and train with Rob Roy Boat Club during the first week of April. Six lads and six lassies from Swedish International Boarding School in Gränna, along with their teacher and coach, Greg Kewley, plus two coxes/coaches arrived to enjoy a full programme of activities. These included a college tour, social gatherings and pub meals as well as a trip to London to watch

Cambridge win the boat race. Stefan arranged accommodation, bicycle rental and plenty of outings. Most of the youths had already done (some several times) the Rhein-Marathon in Dusseldorf, Germany.


Town Bumping Races

With four men’s VIII’s and one women’s VIII entered this year, Robs look set to rock at the Town Bumps. The men’s M3 have begun in great form, placing 3rd overall (with adjusted times) and taking pots for Fastest Men’s Masters crew in the CRA Timed Race.
Robs first three men’s boats all start in the Mens 1 race, with M1 trying to catch 2011 winners Cantabs. M2 starts at sixth place behind X-Press’ M1. Robs M3 faces the challenge of catching 99’s M3 to stay clear of sandwich boat position.

Continue reading “Town Bumping Races”

Henley Royal Regatta

Robs Elite/ GB Start Men competing for the Wyfold Challenge Cup (Photo courtesy of Tony Holmes of HRR Photo)

Top club news has to be our fabulous club entry at Henley Royal Regatta this year.

Rob Stark, Ben Hicks, Chris Covey and Dan Clift faced stiff opposition from 32 crews racing 4- for the Wyfold Challenge Cup.
On Wednesday, the Robs crew won by four lengths against Henley’s B boat.

Thursday’s race brought another convincing win for the Robs crew by 4 1/4 lengths against Cork Boat Club, Ireland.

Continue reading “Henley Royal Regatta”

Spring Racing Update

Tantalising results have been consistently achieved by Rob Roy Boat Club racing squad members rowing and sculling as crews and in singles.

Enhanced winter training collaboration between Elite Men’s Squad and Ely-based GB Start rowers has proved mutually beneficial. Wrapping up RRBC’s typically active local head racing season, Ely-based Senior Men’s athlete Chris Owen sends this cheerful summary:
‘Between the Robs/Ely Start group we took a clean sweep of all the sculling events at the Winter League: Continue reading “Spring Racing Update”