Dover takes second place at Teddington Head

The weekend saw Dover Rowing Club competing in the Teddington Head Race hosted by Walbrook Rowing Club. The course offered crews the opportunity to race on a wide section of the Thames over a 5200m route. Maria West-Burrows and Jo Johnston raced in the Ladies Double Sculls and Chris Price rowed in the open sculls event after being the sole entry in the coastal sculls class.

West-Burrows and Johnston were in the first division of the event starting at Hampton Court Bridge. The Ladies crew enjoyed the experience of a wide river allowing greater over-taking options as they pushed against the tide but with the wind. By the narrow section at Raven’s Ait Dover’s challenge had slipped away as the lead crew pulled away in their lighter river boat. At the finishing line at Steven’s Eyot they were given a rounded time of 27 minutes, leaving them 2nd.

Chris Price, sculling in a borrowed Southsea boat, was up against it with his opponents in their normal river sculls. Price got off to a safe start working hard to maintain contact with the leading boats. He successfully rounded Raven’s Ait as the conditions worsened with the rain increasing to heavy and in rapidly darkening skies. He successfully negotiated both Kingston bridges making home in a time of 24 m 49.4s, leaving him in a credible 4th place.

Dover RC would like to thank Jeff Watling from Southsea RC for enabling Price to complete and Joel Dinning, Worthing RC for the photographs.

Dover Rowers take fourth in the B Final of the World Rowing Coastal Championships

Dover rowers Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows represented club and country, as GBR04, by competing in the semi-final heats of the Woman’s Double Sculls division World Rowing Coastal Championships held at Thonon-les-Bains on Lake Geneva on Friday. By qualifying for, and competing in, the World Championships Johnston and West-Burrows are hoping to inspire others to take up sport or new challenges regardless of age.

Maria showing off her accreditation and Jo and Maria signing autographs.

The course map for the World Rowing Coastal Championships displaying the 4 km route.

With an average age of over 50, Johnston and West-Burrows gave 20 years to most of their opponents, and rowed in conditions far calmer than they prefer. The initial 1100 metres leading to the first turn on the 4 km course saw a mass charge with Dover’s crew fighting to maintain a qualifying position. The run to the second turn saw the field spread out with Dover towards the back of qualifying and being pushed hard. By the fourth turn Dover had slipped out of the A Final qualifying position but were maintaining a qualifying place for the B Final. Their place assured Johnston and West-Burrows sought to conserve energy for the next race coming home behind their fellow GB crews from Welsh Sea RA in a time of 22:07.86.

Jo and Maria in their club colours.

Saturday saw Johnston and West-Burrows line up for the B final along with other GB and Irish crews. Racing was tight to the first buoy with Dover in the leading group of four. The battle continued through the next three buoys with GBR02 the eventual winners and IRL01 easing ahead leaving Dover to battle GBR05 for third place. It came down to the penultimate turn where Dover dropped a length behind GBR05 to miss out on 3rd place by 3.08 seconds, finishing in a time of 21:24.82. Johnston and West-Burrows were the highest placed English crew in their event and had they been in the second semi-final their Saturday race time would have been good enough to qualify for the A Final. They finished the competition ranked 24th in the World in Coastal Doubles.

Dover RC Committee 2017/2018

Following yesterdays AGM, please be advised of the 2017/2018 committee members:

President – Nick Bailey
Chairman – Kevin (Curly) Goodwin
Captain – Tony Burrows
Vice Captain – Maria West-Burrows
Junior Coordinator/Coach – Jo Johnston
Hon Secretary – Jacky Silk
Hon Treasurer – Jacky Silk
Committee Member – Neil Scrivener
Committee Member – Paul Scrivener
Committee Member – John Cook
Committee Member – Vacant
Junior Captain – Vacant
Development Officer – Vacant
VPs – All Re-elected on block

Many thanks
Hon Secretary

Meridian News visits Dover Rowing Club

Meridian News crew of Jenna Verdicchio and Siobhan Hart visited Dover Rowing Club to report on Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows qualification for the World Rowing Coastal Championships. Johnston and West-Burrows will be competing on Lake Geneva on Friday the 13th in the semi final heats aiming to reach the final on Saturday. Good Luck Ladies!

Johnston and West-Burrows qualify for the World Rowing Coastal Championships at Thonon-les-Bains

There was exciting news for Dover Rowers Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows as they received confirmation that their performance at the British Rowing Offshore Championships in July had qualified them straight into the semi finals of the 2017 World Rowing Coastal Championships held at Thonon-les-Bains, France. They will be competing as GBR4 on the waters of Lake Geneva in the Coastal Woman’s Double Sculls event and will be facing competitors from 9 other countries. The Dover crew will be competing in the blue and white of Dover’s club colours as it is traditional for this tournament to represent both your club and country.

Whilst the rest of the club have entered off season training, Johnston and West-Burrows have been balancing work and family responsibilities as they train in Dover Harbour in preparation for their semi final on the Friday the 13th October. The heat will be based on a 4km multiple turn course with the final being run over a 6km course. The preparations have not been ideal given the temporary space restriction caused by the West Docks Development but both rowers are hopeful of qualification for Saturday’s final, although the present expected calm conditions are not in their favour.
Anyone interested in learning or returning to rowing should contact Dover Rowing Club via the Club’s website.


Dover Rowing Club Annual General Meeting 2017 (Notice given at the 2016 AGM)

Venue:  Meeting Room, Ground Floor, Sea Sports Centre

Date: Tuesday 17th October 2017
Time: 7.30pm SHARP


All Members are urged to attend

If you have any business you would like to be considered at the A.G.M., then please put details in writing to the Committee c/o The Hon Secretary by Thursday 28th September for consideration.  Agenda, previous minutes etc will be sent out approx 1 week prior to the meeting.

A notice for Election of Club Officials and Committee Members will be on display at the Clubhouse on the door by the Gym area in due course.

Thank you

Hon Secretary

business to be considered…

either in writing to the committee c/o The Hon Secretary, Dover Rowing Club, Seasports Centre, Esplanade, Dover, Kent. CT17 9FS or via e-mail to

Johnston takes win in Ladies Open Sculls at Worthing Town Regatta

Dover Rowing Club sent a depleted squad to the rearranged Worthing Town Regatta at the weekend.
First on the water was Lizzie Foley who volunteered to help Eastbourne RC by coxing their crew featuring a new rower. Foley used her experience to assist the crew as they raced coming home 10th.

Lizzie Foley, Jo Johnston, Jacky Silk, Toni Burrows, Maria West-Burrows, Chris Hall and David Newman

Maria West-Burrows and Jo Johnston were in competition in the Senior Ladies Pairs. With the water at its roughest point of the day, in a few strokes one of Worthing’s crews capsized. The remaining boats fought on as they headed down the course. By the buoy turns it was clear that Worthing’s remaining crew and a Shoreham crew would battle for victory whilst the Dover boat would be fighting for third. With the Dover boat in the rougher water on the return leg the third placed crew moved away leaving them to come home in fourth.

IMG_1658Chris Hall
The Men’s Junior Sculls race saw Chris Hall in a competitive field. With conditions rough at the start line one of his competitors was fortunate to avoid a capsize just after the ‘Go!’. Hall found himself in a battle with the two Bexhill scullers offering a repeat of the first regatta of the season. With clear daylight developing between the leading Bexhill Sculler as they headed to the turn Hall tried to hold onto the second placed boat. The turns went Bexhill’s way and both scullers broke clear of Hall who settled into third place as he worked his way up the course. With inshore conditions better than the middle course water Hall watched warily as the Shoreham sculler made ground on him egged on by the commentator. He upped his stroke rate but Hall responded, confident that he was in control of the third place only to see the Shoreham Sculler catch a crab and capsize with less than 400m to go allowing Hall to row controlled to the finish.

Jo JohnstonJo Johnston 2
Jo Johnston competed in the Ladies Open Sculls in calmer conditions. Johnston got off to the better start and found herself leading the Southsea sculler. Forming a comfortable lead on the outward leg Johnston exended her lead to several lengths as she remained long and strong all the way back to the finish to claim her first win of the season.
With only the South Coast Championships left in the coastal season Dover Rowing Club are looking for new and returning members to bolster their squads competing in under 14’s through to over 50 categories for the 2018 season, please see the club’s website for contact details.

Dover Rowing Club places well at the British Rowing Offshore Championships

Dover Rowing Club were in action at the inaugural British Rowing Offshore Championships held over the weekend at Sandbanks, Poole. The Championships serve as a qualifier for the FISA World Coastal Rowing Championships at Thoron, France. Dover RC were flying the flag for Coast Amateur Rowing Association in competing in this longer rowing format. Unlike the normal CARA races the start sees crews standing with their boats in the water, the course being a 4km triangle for qualifying and 6km for the finals and the finish seeing a crew member sprinting up the beach to cross the finishing line.

Chris Price, Maria West-Burrows, Jo Johnston, Robin McCorkellStart of the Woman's Double Sculls
Dover RC entered 3 crews into the competition, Chris Price and Robin McCorkell in the Men’s single sculls (C1), and Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows in the Woman’s Doubles (CW2); all competing in hired FISA boats. The first sculler on the water was Price who has previous experience at the FISA Worlds having coxed Dover’s Quad to win the qualifying round before finishing second in the World Championships in the Channel Islands in 2006. Price pushed hard off the start but found the competition too strong as the field quickly settled into two groups with Price leading the second group of scullers fighting for 5th place. With the qualifying out of his reach by the second turn Price pushed hard to break free from his group to secure 5th place in a time of 23 m 24.3 s.

Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows courtesy of British Rowing Naomi Barker 2

Picture courtesy of British Rowing / Naomi Barker
Johnston and West-Burrows found themselves left at the line as the more experienced FISA style starters gained an advantage in their straight final in the Double Sculls. Once in stroke the ladies closed the gap immediately only to be blocked by the Welsh Sea crew. As the race progressed the experienced FISA crew from Jersey pulled out a substantial lead with Dover in a fight for the minor placings. By the second buoy Dover had been dropped from the medal placings and were fighting for 4th. In an exciting finish Dover’s boat came hammering into the beach with two Welsh crews on their stern. Johnston, belying her 60 years, sprinted up the beach to beat her young Welsh opponent by less than a second. Dover’s fourth place was secured in a time of 34 m 14.9 s; second of the English crews.
McCorkell found himself competing against 2014 World Champion Single Sculls Champion Peter Berg from Sweden. McCorkell got off to a fine start and was in the leading group through the first turn. By the second he was in a comfortable third place and rowed a controlled race to the finish in a time of 20 m 50.9 s thereby qualifying for Sunday’s final.

Robin McCorkell on the sprint finish (1) Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows (2)
Finals day saw McCorkell on the start line at 07:35. Berg and the Czech Huja rapidly pulled away from the rest of the field leaving McCorkell battling for third. Fighting hard round the first turn to keep in contact his challenge started to fall away at the second buoy with the young rower coming home 5th in a time of 36 m 29.4 s; second among the British competitors.

Weather cuts short Southsea Regatta leaving Dover rowers frustrated.

Southsea Regatta, the traditional competition between the Coast Amateur Rowing Association clubs and those from the Hants and Dorset division, ended prior to the completion of most finals due to deteriorating sea conditions.

For Dover Rowing Club there was frustration as none of their finals were completed. With recent seasons being blessed with generally good conditions this has been a challenging year.  Disruption caused by strong winds has led to three regattas being curtailed with a further five cancelled on their original scheduled dates. This weekend will see Dover RC competing at the rearranged Worthing regattas, as ever weather permitting!

Stothart takes first sculling prize as Dover toil in the sun

The weekend saw Dover Rowing Club in action in Herne Bay and Folkestone Regattas. In generally good but hot conditions Dover struggled to make the impact they had hoped for. The Men’s Junior Pairs crew of Tom Stothart and Chris Hall were unable to repeat their win from Deal after having technical issues with their boat on both days leaving them disappointed in 7th and 10th place.

1 Junior Pairs Start2 Hall Stothart3 Hall StothartTom Stothart
There was frustration at Herne Bay for the Novice Scullers after T Stothart and Tony Burrows qualified for the final only for the race to be cancelled as water depth prevented the safety boats from operating. The next day saw Burrows and Paul Scrivener fail to qualify with only Stothart coming through. Young Stothart, nicknamed ‘Topsy Turvy Tom’ at the Club for his habit of capsizing last season, got off to a great start and was in a battle for 1st on the outward leg. After the turn he fell a few lengths behind and finished in 2nd with a similar leading margin over the 3rd placed sculler and securing his first sculling prize.
The Ladies Double Sculls suffered the same fate as the Men’s Novice Sculls on the Saturday. Sunday saw the normal crews flipped with Jo Johnston and Rebecca Stothart competing against Maria West-Burrows and Mary Newcombe. The experiment didn’t end well with the West-Burrows/Newcombe pairing unable to finish due to illness and Johnston/Stothart coming home 7th.

19983667_10155592903483413_8454214228566262418_o J14 Quad Young, Stothart, Crickson, Johnston (cox), Burrows
The J14 Quad Sculls race saw the same crew compete both days, Will Crickson, R. Stothart, Ty Young, George Burrows coxed by Johnston took on older crews both days. At Herne Bay the youngsters showed improvement as they remained competitive further into the 1000m race dropping away around the 600m mark. Working hard they maintained a good rate to finish 5th, 3 lengths ahead of the 6th placed crew. Day 2 the young scullers fought hard to improve to 4th overall at the finish.
Ladies Open Sculls saw Johnston chase down the faster starting Shoreham sculler on the outbound leg at Herne Bay as both competitors found the Folkestone sculler too strong. Johnston was neck and neck on the return leg fighting to the line finishing 3rd; a result she repeated at Folkestone. The Men’s Junior Sculls saw Hall and Chris Price in action, Hall racing from lane 5 with Price pushed out to the unfavoured 10th lane. At the turn Hall came out in 4th with Price two places back. Neither sculler was able to improve their position on the return leg. At Folkestone only Hall competed. With a good outward leg Hall had hopes of a top two placing but was forced to defend his line at the buoy as a rival tried to force him wide. The turn cost Hall as he found himself dropping behind the two leading boats whilst working to hold off a pursuing sculler, leaving him to come in 3rd.

Chris Hall Jo Johnston
Veteran rower Nick Bailey was without a crew at Herne Bay so entered the Senior Sculls race. Giving at least 20 years to his opponents Nick battled bravely coming home 9th. In Folkestone Nick was joined by Scrivener, Chrissy Purvis and Andrew ‘Oily’ Bryant who were coxed by Newcombe in the Veteran 40+. The crew found the competition tough going, finding themselves dropping back in the pack turning in 6th place. The return leg saw the Dover crew unable improve on their position. In the Veteran 50+ Scrivener, Bailey and Bryant were joined by Shoreham’s Jim Dixon coxed by Purvis. With two crews breaking clear early on Dover’s Vet crew found themselves in a 3 way battle culminating in a tight finish, coming 4th.
Dover’s Ladies Junior Fours at Folkestone featured Jen Jordan, Purvis, West-Burrows, Newcombe coxed by Johnston. They pushed into 4th place at 500m and maintained their poise under pressure at the turn but came under increasing pressure in the last 200m only to drop to 5th on the last stroke.

Following two 2nd places the Senior Ladies Pair of Johnston and West-Burrows were hopeful of repeating those performances. Herne Bay saw a stronger field leaving the Dover crew pushed down by the turns. There was disappointment for the pairing as they finished 6th. At Folkestone they had regrouped and pushed hard from the start. Turning in 4th they entered a tight battle in the return but were just pipped at the finish line.

Bailey, Newcombe, T Stothart, Burrows, Hall, Price, R Stothart, Johnston, West-Burrows Tom Stothart (2)