Celebrating International Women’s Day

“Curlew Women’s Squad have returned this season with renewed focus and determination to go beyond their previous achievements.”

“It has been fantastic to see their commitment over the winter months from members old and new and I am sure they will get the results they deserve over the weekend.

Members of the women’s squads consistently play a vital role in running the club, taking on roles on committee, helping coach and cox all our squads and volunteering to help with all our fundraising efforts. It is important to always recognise these key contributions, not just on International Women’s day!”

Tom Weekes, Club Captain

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Curlew Women’s Squad are ready to improve on last season’s performance
The WeHoRR 2018 crews are…
“I am delighted to announce that the Women’s Squad will again be fielding two strong VIIIs at WEHoRR this year. I’m so proud of the hard work that every one of these women has put into what has been a grueling selection process There are high expectations for these crews and I believe that Curlew’s best ever finishing position in our sights!”
1st VIII

Jess Phillips (stroke)
Gemma Barker (7)
Danielle Vande Voorde (6)
Amy Powell (5)
Inga Jirgenstone (4)
Sophie Leonard (3)
Emily Wilsher (2)
Rebecca Jackson (bow)

coxed by Zoe Amos

2nd VIII

Emily Marr (stroke)
Kat Blomberg (7)
Anna Palsdottir (6)
Claire Williams (5)
Catherine Evans (4)
Jemma Wright (3)
Vivienne Meehan (2)
Kate Hatcher (bow)

coxed by Alex Smith

“These crews will be joined by a further women’s crew racing in the Masters category. Having a total of three women’s boats representing Curlew is a great achievement for the club, and is testament to the hard work that past and present committees have put into supporting and promoting women’s rowing.” 

Jess Phillips, Women’s Squad Captain

Where to watch – Barnes Bridge
Photo by Gemma Barker
The official Curlew cheering point is Barnes Bridge due to its excellent view of the course and proximity to our hosting club, Thames Tradesmen. Use the guide below to ensure you don’t miss those blue blades as they speed past:
Crew 57 (Masters VIII)   Start 09:53Barnes 09:57, Hammersmith 10:04, Putney 10:12
Crew 97 (1st VIII)           Start 10:05, Barnes 10:09, Hammersmith 10:16, Putney 10:24
Crew 134 (2nd VIII)        Start 10:13Barnes 10:17, Hammersmith 10:24, Putney 10:33 
Once the racing fun is over, the Women’s Squad will be celebrating with dinner and drinks back in East London. Please fill in this form if you would like to join the party!
Women of ’11 back for more!
It was back in June 2011 when the last Curlew women’s crew were awarded the coveted Curlew Club Blazer. The underdogs of East London beat West London with a truly gutsy and unforgettable row, despite an epic battle through torrential rain. What better way to kick start a Curlew Women’s Masters squad than with a reunion of the 2011 WHR crew for WEHoRR?
2011 WHR Crew: Natasha Wood (bow), Grainne Goodman, Laura Donovan, Svenja Feix, Vicky Skinner, Debbie Haigh, Michelle Olivares, Anita Jeff (stroke), Iona Tovey (cox)  
Five of the original crew (Natasha Wood, Grainne Goodman, Laura Donovan, Vicky Skinner and Anita Jeff) are back to relive past memories, proud to don their Curlew lycra once again. Joined by; Sarah Gregory, IVs head crew in 2011; Lianne Abott, proof that the Curlew Learn to Row programme can deliver top 100 WeHORR competitors and Laura Binns, the longest serving member of the Women’s squad, from Women’s captain of 2009/10 to Alumni Officer of 2017/18. Indeed, the crew comprises five previous Women’s Captains, across the seasons of 2008-10, 2011/12 and our cox, Women’s Captain from 2012-15, Maxine Livesey, the only cox to achieve two Top 100 WEHoRR positions this decade.  

Saturday 10 March will be an exciting day, with the Masters crew rowing alongside this year’s highly competitive A and B crews. It’s a record entry of three WEHoRR crews for Curlew Rowing Club!
Whilst reminiscing about the past, it’s hoped there will be more Master’s rowing and racing in the future – if you are interested in Women’s Masters rowing, please contact anitajeff1@gmail.com

Words by Anita Jeff, Women’s Vet Squad Captain

2018 Masters WEHoRR Crew: Laura Donovan, Laura Binns, Sarah Gregory, Grainne Goodman, Natasha Wood, Anita Jeff, Lianne Abbott (in lieu of Sam Toner) and Vicky Skinner
And I would row 3000 miles…
If you thought Chiswick to Putney was a drag, try rowing across the Atlantic Ocean! That’s what three women – who met when they rowed at Exeter Rowing Club – have decided to do. The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge is an annual 3000 mile race from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. To put that into context, that’s nearly 4830km or 1095 laps of the docks. The race runs from December – January and there are approximately 30 boats ranging from solo, pairs, trios and fours.

We spoke to Ros, Kirsty and Kate to find out how they are preparing for 40 days of rowing. They are currently looking for a fourth woman to join their team, Row For The Ocean.

Kate, Kirsty and Ros will row 3000 miles
Why have you decided to enter the race?
We spent last year training 8 times a week together, raced WeHoRR, Met and Henley, but this year we  wanted a change and a new challenge. We saw a women’s crew break the world record for the fastest ever female Atlantic crossing a few years a go and thought, “we want to do that!” Being sports women we are also keen to inspire young girls to take up sport and do amazing things!

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for a charity we all feel very strongly about. We are supporting Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and their Plastic Free Coastlines campaign. We are trying to raise awareness of ocean plastics and using the row as a platform to inspire people to making changes to their daily use of plastic. Any money raised will be going directly to SAS and their Ocean Schools Programme, which is a great way to teach children about the importance of conservation.  

Is it expensive to take part?
We have raise £100,000 just to get to the start line. We are seeking sponsorship from businesses, local smaller companies and individuals. We have held a few rowing events at companies, did an overnight 24 hour row last year and and later this year we’ll be putting on a gala night with an auction and games. We will be launching a crowdfunder in June where, for a small donation, individuals can get their name on our boat.

What does your training plan involve?
We have a great team supporting us: Exeter Chiefs Rugby team’s strength and conditioning coach is helping us with our weights programme, we have a physio to help iron out those niggles and help with prehab, we have a physiologist who is looking at our energy expenditure and intake so we can optimise – not just our training – but the volume of food we will take on board with us so we don’t overload the boat. 
A typical week is 4-6 sessions ranging from weights, ergs and water sessions in addition to sea survival and navigation training. We are doing long and strong ergs, which will be increasing to 4 hours in length in August and September!

Sea survival is just one part of a demanding training plan
How will you eat and sleep during the race?
We’ll be eating ration packs mainly but will also have snack packs, most likely with chocolate and energy bars.  We have a water maker on board and a JetBoil for cups of tea.We will be sleeping in the cabins at either end of the boat. They sleep one ok, but if there’s a storm then it’ll get rather cosy!  We’ll be maintaining a shift pattern of roughly 2 hours on and 2 hours off all day, every day. It will be tough getting that wake up call at 3am in the morning and having to go out on a cold deck and having to fight the waves to make a small cup of hot tea.

What do you anticipate to be the most challenging aspect?
We each have our own worries and challenges but we all agree that the sleep deprivation will be horrible, although apparently the body gets used to it. Also, you can’t just get off the boat. You have to stay there and push through whatever you might be going through physically and mentally.

What time do you aim to complete the race in?
The world record was 40 days but that got smashed this year to 34 days because of perfect weather conditions. We doubt we’ll have such good weather so under 40 days would be great.

Visit www.rowfortheocean.co.uk to find out more and sponsor Ros, Kirsty and Kate.

Categories: News