Chairperson Report 2009

Chair: Tina Skinner Date: 15.1.10

What a year! Not too sure where to start.

I think the core of the success this year has been through concerted membership recruitment, effort and time of the crew organisers, the hard work and commitment of the team captains Ceinwen and Pete and lastly to the rest of the membership who have rowed and partied hard during the year.


2009 was a hugely successful season in membership recruitment, early in the summer we had 44 rowing members, which at times was creating major headaches for the crew organisers but we battled on and have ended the season with a strong rowing base from which we can develop in 2010.


A highly successful decision of the captains early in the year was to focus on teams where we had a consistent pool of rowers; these teams were the Mens Supervets and the Ladies Vets teams. We raced in all of the suitable available races (which were few due to the poor weather conditions during the summer). We ended the season with an amazing collection of silverware bringing home:

  • Mens Supervets: Northern League, Southern League and Welsh League Champions

  • Ladies Vets: Northern League and Welsh League Champions.

I’m sure many other clubs will field more competition in these classes last year, bring em on…….

We started and ended the race season with fantastic 2nd place in strong Mixed races, the first was the Castle to Castle and the last race of the season in Aberystwyth, our mixed crew worked particularly hard with superb rowing to finish 2nd, truly a force to be reckoned with next season.

The first team crews had difficulty during the year to field crews in the races; this is something I’m sure we can work on in 2010 to get us back on the points board of the main league classes.

Our last notable win was the Ladies Celtic class in the Great London River race in September. Run backwards for the first time and with a crew who had not raced together previously or rowed in the GRR this crack team of ladies from Porthmadog not only completed the race but won! We were so surprised that we failed to collect the trophy for some minutes much to the annoyance of the compere. The men finished a very credible 5th in the men’s Celtic class.

The GRR always an organiser’s nightmare was superbly orchestrated thanks to the commitment and skill of Bendy and Elaine, thanks both. Also huge thanks has to go to Sheila, Terry, Jan and Bob who accompanied us to the race and very kindly set up our camp on Friday night ready for the exhausted rowers on Saturday, they also provided much needed bar services and tea and coffee on tap. Also can’t forget our other key members in this race namely Pete (a born organiser) and Geoff mini bus driver and London navigation expert.

Our own league event was cancelled due to the poor weather in the morning of the race.

By the time the race was due to start, the weather had miraculously improved, despite much misery thinking of the loss of our key fundraising event we continued to hold the post race event BBQ which we all enjoyed immensely.


Bill Andrews took the responsibility for the club website and has done a fantastic job in creating a fully functional, informative site. Thanks Bill. I would like to point out however that it is the responsibility of all rowers to post information and images for the enjoyment of all.


Porthmadog rowers are known for their ability to party, this year was no exception, from the new Valentine’s Frosty Fish, summer Garden Party, overnight pre race camping, end season doo and of course the infamous Frosty Fish we always party in style. The social team, notably Sarah has done an amazing job this year organising our beer fests, thanks to you Sarah and your team of helpers.


We have been fairly active in training our members:

  • Race organising day – Ceinwen

  • Max, Roger, Bill on coxing day course

  • Circuit training was held once a week run through the winter months headed by Ceinwen which helped hugely in team fitness at the beginning of the season

As we have the North Wales WSRA Training Co-ordinator (Simon) in our membership we will certainly be making full use of this contact in the future.


The club is financially secure at this point due to the number of boats rowing in the summer i.e. the wondrous ‘Pound Pot’. We intend to purchase a concept2 with some funds but are also applying for grants to assist.


The Celtics have been through a few wars this year, Ceinwen’s crashes at Aberdyfi being the most notable but the time has come for Fleeting to have an overhaul, this may utilise a substantial amount of the available funds.

The Committee

Finally I would like to thank the outgoing committee members for their hard work this year, without the hard work and very importantly the time put in by the committee, this club would not function. But I cannot ignore certain non committee members who are always the first to offer assistance and ‘muck in’, Max, Elaine and Sue this one is for you.

Looking Forward

Recruitment is still key to the future success of the club, we desperately need ‘youngish’ keen fit rowers to boost our main teams and we also need to build a youth section. The whole system of recruitment and retaining recruits needs investigation and an agreed procedure implemented and maintained long term. Our changes in the structure of the club have bedded in reasonably well but there are still improvements which need to be explored and adapted by the membership.

In conclusion

A great year for trophy gathering and one where we have spread the workload further across the membership which is a great move forwards.

Thanks to all for your commitment and here’s to 2010.

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