Chairperson Report 2010

Another good year for Porthmadog Rowing Club, not quite as astounding as 2009, but certainly another success story and a firm ground on which to build in 2010.
I believe that we are getting the basics right such as membership recruitment, embedding the crew organising system and spreading the work and responsibility further across the club. What we did not manage to do was get teams to the races!
2010 was again a good year for membership recruitment; we have maintained the 44 members over the season by recruiting new members during the year whilst losing a few along the way. A large base of mixed ability rowers created some headaches for the organisers, but we battled on and bearing in mind that our major fund raising is through the £1 pot, high membership numbers equals more cash in the bank and of course a wider base to select the crews. We end the year with another 5 new prospective members from Frosty Fish.
A difficult year where getting a full crew for any race was difficult!
We did do well in the longer races in:-
Celtic Challenge, a huge race both in miles and in organising requirements. We got there in one piece, had a great evening in our usual curry shop and rowed the 86 nautical miles in 18 hours 49 minutes coming in a very credible 3rd in the mixed class. Massive thanks to Porthmadog Football Club for the loan of the van, for our support boats Beyond Mahalla and Celtic Prince, Simon and Shakey getting the logistics right, Maxine for the all important rations, Nicola’s Mum for the stew and not forgetting our very capable trailer towing crew of Terry and Dave. Well done to everyone, for the planning and the rowing, a fantastic event that I personally will never forget or repeat!
Ramsey Island, mixed crew, in our first attempt at this challenging 7 mile race romped home first in this category, shame there was no trophy.
Great London River Race, ladies crew, won the Ladies Celtic Class for the second year running, an amazing result.
Castle to Castle, ladies crew, won this final race of the season in a long, hard row.
We had one success in the league race where the Ladies Veterans won the first League race at Mochras.
It was a strange year when so many reliable crew members went on holiday or to weddings or even to Greece for the whole summer, but in 2011 I’m sure we will be back with a vengeance to reclaim all of our past trophies and keep the ones we already have.
The Porthmadog League Event was again superbly orchestrated by the members; the weather was good and the races hard. We had to hold the event on a Saturday due the lack of water on the traditional Sunday. Numbers were down but we still achieved a significant boost to the club coffers.
We were very successful in 2010 and gained our first ever sponsor of the club. We are very grateful to Purple Moose Brewery for their support by providing our very distinctive purple racing t-shirts.
Fund Raising
The club is financially secure at this point due to the number of boats rowing in the summer i.e. the wondrous ‘Pound Pot’. However, we do have some planned expenditure to cover in boat maintenance and the coaching course which between them could be up to £1000.
The club website has been developed and maintained superbly by Bill with assistance from Nicola during the summer months. The site is now the first stop for any information about rowing, the club and our achievements. Can we all continue to send photographs and blogs to Bill to put on the site to keep it fresh and interesting for current and prospect rowers.
What can I say, yet another year of fantastic, fun and frolics at the Porthmadog Rowing Club. Thanks to Max and her willing team of helpers who organised, shopped, prepared and partied while we raised funds or just had fun. Activities included a Quiz Night, Frosty Fish, Mochras camping weekend, End Season Doo, I’m sure I’ve missed a few in the beer fog! Thanks guys.
Training took a bit of a back seat this year but mainly because a Coaching Course that was advertised by the WSRA did not actually go ahead.
During the summer months we trained daily at all ability levels and during the winter Ceinwen has again run weekly circuit training sessions. This was a significant help to the Celtic Challenge crews fitness early in the season.
We are intending to send two members to the upcoming WSRA Coaching course in March 2011.
A decision was made that it was time to get the Celtics fixed. Both were taken to Bill Piper for a quote for the works required. Fleetwing in particular was showing the strain of years of racing and heavy training. Both are now back to full fitness! The cost will be in the region of £800 – £1000, the Yacht Club have very kindly offered to assist in this cost to maintain the value of their asset.
It is imperative that care is taken when launching and retrieving the boats onto the trailers to avid the damage in the future.
The Committee
Finally I would like to thank the outgoing committee members for their hard work this year, without this hard work, commitment and very importantly the time put in by the committee, this club would not function. But I cannot ignore a certain core of non committee members who are always the first to offer assistance and ‘muck in’, you know who you are….thank you.
I would also like to say a very special personal thank you to Sarah Medcalf, Simon, Elaine, Geoff, Max, Pete and Ceinwen, whose help this year has been tremendous.
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. The whole system of recruitment and retaining recruits needs review and an agreed procedure implemented and maintained long term. We should use the Cob 2000 celebrations as a marketing year to boost recruitment.
Coaching is also vital, we need more coaches for our daily rowing sessions to develop new rowers and to get us oldies out of our bad habits!
I believe that we should enter new races in 2011, e.g. Head of the Taff, Plymouth (40km!) they breathe new vitality into the club, extend the season are also great fun.
In conclusion
A great year for non-league races and new social events. We now have a solid membership on which to grow to a strong, winning club in 2011 and beyond. .
Thanks to all for your commitment and here’s to 2010.
Tina Skinner 26.1.11

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