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2023 Races and Activities

Maidstone Head

March 2023

Maidstone Spring Head:
4 crews competed at Maidstone Small Boats Spring Head, including 2 crews consisting members representing the club for their first time!

Ruta Aisthorpe, Natalie Cole, Hazel Davey and Ilona-May Hall, coxed by Douglas Kergall, were the first of the crews, mainly consisting the first time racers, to complete the 2.5km course, completing it in 11:31, finishing third in their event.

Rosie Brennan, Helen Cox, Hazel Davey and Ilona-May Hall, coxed by Douglas Kergall, completed the course in 11:58.

Jason Davis and James Ross competed in their first head race, completing the course in 11:12.

Douglas Kergall and Mohan Dell competed, completing the course in 9:50 and finishing third in their category.


Liz McVeigh competed in the Women’s Head of the River on Saturday 4th March in a composite crew with Upper Thames, Wallingford, Strathclyde Park and Wycliffe College (crew number 107 – the Sheffield member of the crew had to drop out with a dislocated shoulder).  Liz is not saying that her inclusion was entirely due to offering sufficient years to get them into the Masters F category, but it definitely helped…   Liz had won Masters F eights at Henley Masters in July 2022 with four of the crew (see previous report) and has tentatively agreed to go to the Head of the Charles (in Boston, Massachusetts) with this crew who are still recovering from their second place last year, by less than a second, and wish to return in triumph. 

As you can imagine therefore, they were not amused to find themselves second again on 4th March… and, even worse for some, to a Wallingford crew (  Liz, on the other hand, was delighted to have completed the race at rates of 32 and above the whole way, and enjoyed the fact that the weather was not quite as cold as in the lead up or, indeed, directly afterwards.

The fact that the winning Wallingford crew was also in the over 60 category and not only won the Masters’ event on handicap, but also on overall time, suggests that they are quite a crew to be reckoned with – so the gap of 6 seconds to Liz’s composite crew (with their first full practise together on the morning of the race) is perhaps not such a disaster as the crew made out…  Two crews were less than a second faster than Liz’s crew but they were in younger categories, so Liz’s crew were second overall on handicap.

Liz cannot recommend enough the joy of competing in one of the main heads of the river in London – it is such an enriching experience and so good to see so many others out on the water – over 300 women’s eights were on the water on 4th March.  If you really have nothing better to do, you can see shots of Liz’s crew at 52 minutes 53 seconds and Wallingford at 54 minutes and 3 seconds on this YouTube link:  But if you wish to look at some real rowing, watch the first few crews across the line (around 13 minutes 50 seconds) – wonderful!

Liz will also be competing with her more usual composite crew (Bedford, City of Sheffield, Kingston and Leander) in the Vets Head on Sunday 19th March – more on this to follow….

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