IT’S THAT time of year when the Thames regularly resounds to the shouts of enthusiastic coxes urging on the oarsmen in the boat in front of them and one of the highlights of the season is always Staines Amateur Regatta which takes place on Saturday, July 24.
This year’s regatta, which, as usual, is being hosted by Staines Boat Club, is being run in memory of two long-standing members of the club who have sadly passed away in recent months – Roger Moulding and Den Shelton.
Roger, who died in February after a long illness, was the President of the Regatta, so to hold the racing in his honour is particularly fitting. Den, who passed away in April, was a former President of Staines Boat Club and Emeritus Vice President of Remenham Club at Henley Royal Regatta. Den rowed in a very successful Staines VIII in the 1950s and served on Remenham Club’s committee for many years. Roger and Den were both well-liked characters and two of life’s real gentlemen who will be greatly missed by the rowing fraternity.
There will be a full day of racing, with live race commentary, from 9am until around 6pm over a 500m course from Wheatsheaf Lane to Silvery Sands. In 2009 there was a very healthy entry with around 150 races being run and over 300 competitors taking part. Most of the competitors come from clubs in London and the Home Counties but they also come from further afield including an annual visit from a club in Denmark.
At the conclusion of racing, presentations will be made to the winners by the Mayor of Spelthorne, Councillor John O’Hara. Prizes are pint pewter tankards or goblets for winners of finals. The fastest male single sculler of the day and fastest female single sculler of the day will also each receive an engraved silver salver.
Entry for spectators is free and there will be a licensed bar at Silvery Sands, with a seating area to view the finish line with a relaxing beer or Pimms, plus a BBQ, fresh sandwiches, teas, cakes & ice cream.
Sounds like an excellent day out to me…
I PROMISED to report on the progress of Project Kraken, the police initiative designed to plug the loopholes which might be presented for illegal immigration and smuggling through our local marinas – remember the Thames is another route by which people can arrive in the country illegally.
The reason it’s been quiet on this front is because the police have been building up contacts and cooperation with most of the businesses on our stretch of the Thames.
Now, though, things are beginning to move a little more quickly and there is a meeting coming up soon when they will tell us about progress and set out the next steps. I’m going along to that – with around 300 other people who have a direct interest in the river – so I’ll hopefully be able to provide some up to date information in this column within a couple of weeks.