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Commodore's Report 2006


This time last year I made a Trotter-esque prediction that this time next year we would, for the first time in our history, own our own clubhouse. Thankfully the intervening year has delivered. Now, instead of having everything and owning nothing, we own everything and yet have nothing. So the time has come to achieve a balance. As we enter our second year in the wilderness, much has already been done and I predict that a year from now we will have returned to our clubhouse. I was at this point going to detail our situation but Peter Hutchison has done a much more comprehensive job than I could ever manage in his report now circulating amongst you. In summary, a mountain of work has been done, a mountain of cash has been secured and for that our thanks go primarily to Alison and Graham - but we are £62k short and a monster year of work lies ahead.

Thankfully, this club continues to be a haven and an expression for people of considerable energy and focus and a core group is already well advanced with our plans for the year ahead. The nature of the project is such that it needs a small focussed team to maintain impetus, but I would appeal to any members who feel that they could take a specific project and deliver it to come forward. That unburdening of the overburdened would be very welcome.


I have said nothing so far of our core activity. A shiny new clubhouse is meaningless if there are no members to fill it. Thankfully, paddlers are robust creatures and life on the water carries on as normal despite our exile.

Saturday mornings continue to saturate our resources.

The South Africans and the Hendrons keep the Richmond name at the top of result sheets.

Our races, the Sprints, the Marathon and K2 Descent continue to run successfully and our thanks go to the Clan Wetherall and Graham and their teams for making this happen.

At National level, Trish Davey and Lizzie Broughton are reigning British Champions.

Marcus’s canoe group continues to improve at an astonishing rate, while

Peter Barnes’s DW army are mobilising for battle once more.

Quirky highlights of the year were all Mayor-ally flavoured - with the Mayor of Richmond on our float we took the best borough prize at the New Years Day Parade in London, while our annual onslaught on the Thames Great River Race saw us take the Borough Championship away from Elmbridge with another Mayor, this time that of Westminster, in our crew. Continuing the theme, we feted Christmas away from the clubhouse for the first time in living memory, opting instead for the Mayoral Suite on the top floor of Westminster City Hall. Our thanks go to Tim for not forgetting his friends during this, his year in the spotlight.

Finally I want to thank all of last years committee for their input in what has been a busy year. I know Ben and Bettina are standing down and I thank them for their input. I also want to thank Hazel for her ongoing contribution. She has brought continuity, consistency and impartiality to the role of Treasurer for over 10 years. On a committee made up almost entirely of dripping, Helly-Hansen clad “Riverines”, we value her perspective and depth of experience.

So to summarise, keep paddling, keep enduring the exile and look to our triumphant return to OUR Landsdowne Boathouse!



This year I did not need to deliberate for long on this decision. Outside of the management of the club, many paddlers will be unaware of this person’s contribution.

Only two things will transform our hulk into a home; money and hard graft. No one has both achieved and contributed more on these two fronts over the last year than Alison Staite.

Two weeks ago, after an epic pursuit, she secured £135k in Sport England grants.

Our thanks go to Alison.




Landsdowne Boathouse
81-83 Petersham Road
Richmond upon Thames
Surrey TW10 6UT
United Kingdom

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