2016/17 Archive

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Peterborough Summer Regatta
12th – 13th August 2017

As is tradition the epilogue to the 2016/17 season was played out at the Peterborough Summer Regatta. This is one of the most popular events on the racing calendar offering a full weekend of 4-lane racing on their man-made 1000m course. On Saturday AK recorded wins in the W.Tier1.4+ (Kirsty Page, Kate Pankhurst, Amanda Piggot, Anne Schieck with Kate Rennoldson coxing) and W.Tier3.4x (Angela Hitchens, Kirsty Page, Joey Innes-Hopkins and Kate Pankhurst) while Hitchens and Marianna Raffaele just fell short in their respective Masters 1x finals. The ‘nearly-but-not-quite’ theme continued on Sunday over the shorter course format with a number of close runners-up spots for Raffaele in her W.MasC.1x, the W.Tier2.8+ and W.Tier1.4+.

Back row: Amanda Piggot, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Angela Hitchens, Anne Schieck, Kate Rennoldson; Front row: Kate Pankhurst, Kirsty Page

All told this was another splendid weekend of thoroughly enjoyable racing, and a fitting way to end the season.

Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta
29th July 2017

AK left it late to pick up some silverware at the Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta – the only regatta offering 3 lane racing on the Henley Reach. Having made the final of the W.IM3.4+ earlier in the day, the crew of Amanda Piggot, Alice Humble, Jayne Kerton, and Sophie Lovett, coxed by Jimmy Pigden, were much too good for their rivals in the W.NOV.4+ category, taking a 2.5 length win over Reading RC in the final as light began to fade.

W.NOV.4+ from l-r: Amanda Piggot, Alice Humble, Jimmy Pigden, Jayne Kerton, Sophie Lovett

For their efforts they got to take away some shiny pots and could leave behind their novice status. While a number of other crews where also in action (see the Latest Results page for detail), it was the coxed four that stole the show.

Henley Royal Regatta
28th June – 2nd July 2017

Qualifying all three boats into the knockout stages of Henley Royal Regatta was a fantastic achievement. Sadly no boat progressed beyond their first round, but take nothing away from the crews – this was the best result for the club in years.

The Thames Cup eight lost out in a Tideway tug-of-war with Lea Rowing Club, while the Wyfold coxless four were defeated by eventual semi-finalists UTS Haberfield.

Wyfold Cup Coxless Four

In the Double Sculls Challenge Cup Hugh Mackworth-Praed and partner Elliot Barton lost out to an Italian crew who have since gone on to claim bronze medals at the European Championships.

With many of our men racing at Henley Royal for the first time these results demonstrate the great level of progress that the squad has made in a short space of time, with plenty to build on next season.

Henley Royal Regatta – Crew Lists
26th June 2017

Auriol Kensington has sent three crews to Henley Royal Regatta this year and is delighted to announce that all have successfully navigated last Friday’s time trial to qualify for the knockout stages of the regatta – starting on Wednesday 28th June.

The coxless four, stroked by Mark Mearing-Smith, steered by James Dickinson and with James Green and Tim Morton-Humphries in the middle seats, will compete in the 1st Round of The Wyfold Challenge Cup against an Australian crew – U.T.S. Haberfield RC.

The eight will take on Lea RC in the 1st Round of  The Thames Challenge Cup. Cameron Graham strokes the boat, and will be ably supported by Yevgen Fesenko, Josh Herridge, James Kirkbride, Stuart Watts, Juan Aponte-Dubois, Michael Walsh and Alex Tomlinson. William Lewis will navigate from the coxswain seat.

Men’s Eight at HRR Qualifiers

AK stalwart Hugh Mackworth-Praed will also compete with partner Elliott Barton in The Double Sculls Challenge Cup.

The Thames and Wyfold Cup crews are coached by Roger Ewing.

The qualification of the 3 boats means that AK has got all five of their crews sent to Henley in 2017 (2 to HWR, and 3 to HRR) through to the knockout stages of their respective regatta. An achievement which the club is deservedly proud of.

Henley Women’s Regatta
16th June – 18th June 2017

Following two weeks of intensive training since Met Regatta the two crews arrived in Henley to take on the Friday time trial in confident mood. They both lived up to expectations with the coxed four setting the 2nd fastest time, and the eight comfortably qualifying as the 11th quickest crew.

The four was straight back into action on Friday afternoon, given a tough draw against the fastest unseeded boat – Wallingford RC. Despite a slow start the girls set a relentless mid-race pace, rowing through the opposition and putting clear water between the boats by the finish line.

On Saturday morning, the eight was drawn against Dart Totnes RC, and despite a gutsy row were not able to overhaul their Devon-based opposition and finished 1.5 lengths down. The four was also in Quarter Final action against Tideway Scullers School – eager to put to bed memories from last year’s 1st Round defeat in the eight. They needn’t have worried as a powerful start put them up and out of reach by the halfway mark, and they cruised to a 3 length victory.

Sunday saw the four take on a strong Vesta RC crew in the Semi-Final. Despite a faster time trial the girls knew this would be a very close race. Sadly a stumble entering the enclosures with the boats level lost them the best part of a length and denied the crowd the grandstand finish that would likely have resulted.

The Women’s Eight following Qualifying

While no medals to show for their efforts the results demonstrate the upward trajectory of the AK Women’s squad. Undoubtedly they will be back next year – fitter, stronger, and faster.

Henley Women’s Regatta – Crew Lists
12th June 2017

AKRC can now officially name their crews for the 2017 Henley Women’s Regatta. The entry is spearheaded by a Club coxed four in The Lester Trophy, and a Club eight into The Invesco Perpetual Challenge Cup.

The coxed four is stroked by Tamara Zwaagstra, and she is joined by Joey Innes-Hopkins, Kate Pankhurst, Angela Hitchens, and Chris Williamson in the coxswain seat.

Women’s Coxed Four at Met Regatta

The eight is stroked by Catherine Edwards. Behind her is Kirsty Page, Amanda Piggot, Mateja Sborchia, Kate Cyr, Sophie Lovett, Marianna Raffaele and Anne Schieck. Isy Marshall coxes the boat.

Women’s Eight at Met Regatta

Our Henley crews are supported by our fantastic coaching team of Andrew James and Jamie Smith.

The Metropolitan Regatta
3rd-4th June 2017

The Metropolitan Regatta is always one of the highlights on the racing calendar offering exciting, multi-lane action over the 2012 Olympic 2 km course. The event, using the new Personal Ranking Index for the first time, placed the W.4+ in the top Championship tier, while the W.8+ doubled up in both Championship & Tier 2. The men were represented by a 4+ and two coxless 4’s across various tiers. The best result on the Saturday was a 3rd place finish in the Championship Final for the Women’s coxed four (Tamara Zwaagstra, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Kate Pankhurst, Angela Hitchens, Chris Williamson).

On Sunday both the Women’s and Men’s squads entered the popular Challenge Eights event. The W.8+ battled through their time trial and semi-final and into the B Final, where they rowed through Thames RC to finish a creditable 5th, and the 3rd ranked UK club crew for the event overall. Following their time trial the Men’s 8+ lined up in the E Final and stormed through from 4th place after 500m to take the win. Also in action was James Dickinson and Mark Mearing-Smith in the Tier 2 Pairs event and after a great win in their heat, came home 4th in the final.

Women’s Challenge Eights Crew

Full results from the weekend here.

Twickenham Regatta
27th May 2017

The great summer pot hunt got into full swing at the Twickenham Regatta, led by the AK Men’s squad. The boys picked up wins in 3 categories – IM2.4-, IM3.4+ and NOV.4+, while also taking a runners-up spot in the IM3.8+ and IM3.4x.

The Women’s W.NOV.8+ also had a great regatta, winning their Heat and Semi-Final, before finally falling to East Anglia University in their Final.

Hammersmith Regatta
22nd April 2017

In contrast to previous years the club decided to put in a strong entry into our home regatta, drawn from both our senior and novice squads. The decision reaped reward as AK recorded wins in W.IM3.2x (Tamara Zwaagstra & Marianna Raffaele), NOV.4+ (Cameron Graham, James Kirkbride, Josh Herridge & Yevgen Fesenko – coxed by William Lewis), and in the NOV.2x (Raphael Ricklin & Giles Rowlinson). Other notable performances included a loss by a mere canvas for club captain, Angela Hitchens, in the final of her debut W.NOV.1x competition.

Back row: Raphael Ricklin, Tamara Zwaagstra, William Lewis, Marianna Raffaele, Giles Rowlinson; Front row: Cameron Graham, Yevgen Fesenko, Josh Herridge, James Kirkbride
Head of the River Race
25th March 2017

Auriol Kensington Rowing Club is proud to name three men’s eights for this Saturday’s Head of the River Race.

AK1 will be looking to solidify the club’s top placement at the Head. Following on from their Novice Pennant at Quintin Head and second place at Hammersmith Head, AK2 aim to place very high in their category. For all of AK3 this will be their first HORR, so a fantastic learning opportunity all round.

The squad has a very different look this year with only 4 athletes returning from AK’s 2 eights at the head last year. With over half the squad having learnt to row at AK, and many others coming to AK with little prior experience the gains made this year have been mightily impressive. The coaching and support staff along with the Captain’s are hugely proud of the progress made this year.

Women’s Eights Head of the River
11th March 2017

The 2,500 rowers who converged on the tideway for WEHoRR 2017 were treated to perfect early spring conditions – warm sunshine, a gentle breeze and flat water.

For AKRC’s 1st VIII the preparations in the lead up to the head had been far from ideal – a combination of injury and illness had limited the amount of water time the full crew could put in together. As such to break the top 50 was the stated goal, albeit with a shared conviction to give absolutely everything from the start and see where the cards fell. That they overtook 4 boats and came away with a 33rd place finish (the club’s best result since 2004) was testament to how well the crew had risen to the occasion. The verdict? They absolutely smashed it!

W1 – Kirsty Page (Bow), Angela Hitchens, Anne Schieck, Amanda Piggot, Kate Pankhurst, Tamara Zwaagstra, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Catherine Edwards (Str), Andy James (Cox)

For the 2nd VIII preparations proved equally unsettled with numerous crew changes in the final weeks of training. However, the crew came together and battled the course bravely, ending up coming home in 252nd position.

W2 – Susie Lane (Bow), Diana Sargent, Nadia Fontaine, Jayne Kerton, Sophie Clalsma, Helen Gibson, Mateja Sborchia, Marianna Raffaele (Str), Tim Koch (Cox)
AKRC is Recruiting!
9th March 2017

Auriol Kensington Rowing Club is looking to recruit a new Head Coach to join our Women’s Squad and help push them on to even greater heights in the lead up to Henley Women’s Regatta.

Coach talking to crew
Crew briefing at Henley Women’s Regatta 2015

Full details relating to this exciting vacancy along with details of how to apply can be found on the British Rowing Jobs site here.

Hammersmith Head
5th March 2017

AKRC’s home head race served up a beast of day – cold, wind and rain in equal measure. For the NOV.8+ this provided a great test of their metal, and while pipped by a very good UCL crew to the pennant, this was another excellent indication that they would be very competitive in the Novice category at HORR in 3 weeks time.

The IM2.8+ and and W.IM3.8+ were also in action. The final results for the race are available here.

Head of the Trent
26th February 2017

In a bid to spice up the racing calendar the club took the decision to take the long trip up the M1 to Nottingham for the Head of the Trent. In the wake of Storm Doris some very challenging conditions met all the rowers brave enough to take on the 5.7km course. All of the AKRC crews performed with great credit, but the result of the day was a win for the W.IM2.4+ of Angela Hitchens, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Marianna Raffaele and Kirsty Page, coxed by Andy James. Congratulations for taming the wild river ladies!

W.IM2.4+ Kirsty Page (Bow), Marianna Raffaele, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Angela Hitchens (Str), Andy James (Cox)
AK Retain Dewar Shield!
12th February 2017

Auriol Kensington Rowing Club have successfully retained the Dewar Shield after a closely fought contest with our rival Hammersmith clubs (Furnivall Sculling School and Sons of the Thames). Category wins for the Novice and Vets Men’s crews, and second places finishes for both the Senior Men and Senior Women handed AK a two-point margin of victory over Sons. A full report from an exciting afternoon of racing will be available on this site soon.

Angela Hitchens, Jimmy Pigden & AK members with the Dewar Shield
Quintin Head
28th January 2017

The first test of our speed in the Eights traditionally arrives with the Quintin Head – rowed upstream from Hammersmith Bridge to a point just beyond Chiswick Bridge, and at 4.8 km about two-thirds of the Championship Course distance. By far the best result of the day was for the NOV.8+ who took the Novice pennant by leaving the next best crews of Thames and UL more than 10 seconds in their wake. While slightly faster the IM3.8+ finished 16th in a very tough division. For the Women’s Squad the top boat finished a respectable 6th place in W.IM2.8+ , while the W.IM3.8+ finished 15th in their category. Both women’s crews came together very recently and contained a number of rowers making their debut’s in a tideway head race, so plenty of positives to take away.

British Rowing Indoor Championships
10th December 2016

Auriol Kensington Rowing Club can now boast two British Champions among its ranks after BRIC 2016 – an event held in the Olympic Velodrome which is growing in popularity year on year. Bernard Wills (the oldest competitor at the event) won the 85-89 LWT Men’s 2km race (his 2nd title), while Kate Pankhurst took top honours in the Women’s 40-49 2k. It should be noted that both Bernard and Kate would also have won in the age category down from them – an achievement which both are keen to mention at every available opportunity!

British Champions Kate Pankhurst and Bernard Wills
Wallingford Head
4th December 2016

A glorious winter’s day greeted rowers for the challenging 4.25 km upstream slog that is the Wallingford Head. This gave a great opportunity for AK’s senior and intermediate women to test themselves against some very strong crews. The W.IM2.4+, fresh from a solid row at Fours Head, were disappointed not to win their category, but a 6th place overall finish out of 30 coxed four boats was still an encouraging result. The W.IM3.8+ was a scratch crew who had little opportunity to train together prior to the race, but they were well in the mix in a very competitive division, and came away with some valuable experience of top level racing.

Scullers Head
26th November 2016

Rowing the full Championship Course in a single scull is not for the fainthearted, but the club was proud to enter a number of courageous souls into the Tideway’s toughest challenge. Hugh Mackworth-Praed again flew the AK flag winning the MasC.1x category by some distance and finishing 16th overall. Mark Mearing-Smith was another to have a storming row finishing 4th in NOV.1x and a very creditable 59th overall. James Dickinson, Noel Von Kaltenbom, Ronald Gray-Cheape, Marianna Raffaele and Diana Sargent also demonstrated fantastic boatmanship by competing in a race where simply completing the course is a noteworthy achievement.

Star Head of the River
20th November 2016

As has become tradition the club sent a veritable flotilla of boats to Bedford for the Star Head of the River, and as they had twelve months previously returned laden with a collection of pots and medals. The Women’s squad left most of their senior rowers back in London to train, but still took wins in the W.IM2.4+, W.NOV.8+ and W.NOV.1x (Horton) categories. Not to be outdone the men were victorious in the IM2.2- and NOV.4+.

NOV.4+ from l-r: Hossein Sharafi, Theo Robinson (Cox), Cameron Graham, James Kirkbride, Yevgen Fesenko
Fours Head of the River
12th November 2016

The Fours Head of the River provided the first opportunity of the season for crews to test themselves on the full Championship Course from Mortlake to Putney. Having shown great promise at Upper Thames the W.IM2.4+ of Hitchens, Innes-Hopkins, Zwaagstra and Pankhurst (coxed by Andy James) put in a highly competitive row to finish 4th out of 48 in category, and 13th out of 77 across the whole field. The club also entered a second W.IM2.4+, an IM2.4+ and an IM1.4x, all of whom raced with great credit.

AKRC Annual Dinner
5th November 2016

The Royal Thames Yacht Club served as a splendid venue for the club annual dinner on Saturday night, and a wonderful time was had by all. Congratulations go to the award winners on the night, namely Marc Cox (David Icke Prize for Most Improved Oarsman), Kate Pankhurst (John Booker Prize for Most Improved Oarswoman) and Jocelyn Tillner (Peterborough Prize for Conspicuous Contribution to Rowing).

Back row: James Robson, Kate Pankhurst, Jocelyn Tillner, Marc Cox; Front row: Angela Hitchens, Jimmy Pigden
Upper Thames Autumn Head
30th October 2016

A number of crews took the trip to Henley to compete at the Upper Thames Autumn Head. The quartet of Angela Hitchens, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Tamara Zwaagstra and Kate Pankhurst, expertly steered by Andy James, had a great day taking wins in both IM1 and Senior coxed fours.

W.SEN.4+ from l-r: Joey Innes-Hopkins, Tamara Zwaagstra, Kate Pankhurst, Angela Hitchens, Andy James

Other notable results included 2nd place finishes for the NOV.8+ and NOV.2x (Raphael Ricklin & Ronnie Gray-Cheap).

Pairs Head
16th October 2016

Despite injury scratching two entries, the club was still able to boat a strong line-up for the annual Pairs Head. The best placed of the Senior squad boats was the W.IM1.2- of Joey Innes-Hopkins and Tamara Zwaagstra which finished second in category, while Phil Taylor and Richard Brittlebank’s MasE.2x was the highest placed boat from the Vets squad.

Back row: Juan Dubois, Matt Hargraves, Kirsty Page, Richard Brittlebank, David Robertson; Front row: Tamara Zwaagstra, Joey Innes-Hopkins, Marianna Raffale, Phil Taylor, Alan Saunders

Special mention must also go to Hugh Mackworth-Praed, rowing in AKRC colours with partner Elliott Barton. The pair stormed through to win the MasB.2x category and in doing so posted the 4th fastest overall time for the Head – a fantastic result.

New President & Committee Members
1st October 2016

Following the 2016 AGM held on Saturday 1st October we are delighted to announce the election of Jimmy Pigden as President of Auriol Kensington Rowing Club. Jimmy has been a long time servant of the club and we wish him every success in his new role. Our thanks go to outgoing President, Phil Taylor, for his significant contributions to the club during his two year tenure.

Other new appointments to the 2016/17 committee include Angela Hitchens (Captain), Kate Pankhurst (Honorary Secretary), Jocelyn Tillner (Membership Secretary), Raphaël Ricklin (House Steward), Joanna Innes-Hopkins (Vice Captain), Mark Mearing-Smith (Vice Captain) and Aoife Murphy (Vice Captain). A full list of committee members can be found here.

Friendly, competitive rowing club on the Thames Tideway