Maidenhead Rowing Club
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|Maidenhead Rowing Club|
|Location||Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom|
|Home water||Bray Lock, River Thames|
|Bert Bushnell, William Grenfell|
The clubhouse is on the reach above Bray Lock on the Maidenhead bank of the Thames between Maidenhead Railway Bridge and Maidenhead Bridge. The club regularly puts out entries to the Henley Royal Regatta - mainly in the Wyfold and the Fawley Challenge Cup.
Maidenhead RC's early years aren't entirely known, however a Henley entry in 1840 from 'Star Club, Maidenhead' could indicate some connection due to the club's emblem - a green star. The officially given date of the club's formation is 1876. The first recorded win at Henley was in 1924 - where a crew from Maidenhead won the Thames Cup. This was followed by success in 1939 where Maidenhead beat international crew 'Tigre Boat Club' from Argentina to win the Wyfold, doing so in a year where most events were won by international crews. Notable past club members include Bert Bushnell, winner of the Wingfield Sculls in 1947 and so far the club's only Olympic gold medallist, winning gold at the 1948 Olympic Games in London in a double with Richard Burnell; and William Grenfell, also known as Lord Desborough, who was the club's first president and a very noteworthy individual having competed in the only dead heat Boat Race in 1877. The club's success at Henley continued throughout the 1980's with several wins, including Eric Sims (winner of 5 Henley medals) winning the Double Sculls in a double with Steve Redgrave.
The club's junior section has been thriving for the past few years. Each year the juniors bring home a large haul of medals from the Junior Inter-regional Regatta (JIRR) representing Thames Uppriver, the National Schools Regatta and the British Junior Rowing Championships - the latter of which had Maidenhead winning the Victor and Victrix Lodurums in 2015 - that year 3 golds and a silver were won. Successes at the Schools Head, Henley Womens Regatta, and several wins in composite crews at the Henley Royal Regatta also decorate the clubhouse with pennants and prizes.
Graduates of the junior section are rapidly becoming international successes. Former junior Rob Williams raced at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the Lightweight Mens Coxless Four, which won a silver medal. Another former junior, Jack Beaumont is now at the highest level of the GB senior team, having to have subbed in to the Mens quadruple scull at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio at the very last minute due to an injury - helping the crew to reach the final. Many more juniors have represented the GB junior team in the past and from current results it seems many more will.
The club hosts the Maidenhead Junior Regatta in the spring, and the Maidenhead Regatta in the summer, both of which attract hundreds of entries from clubs all over the region and even from across the country. The races are 500m upstream, finishing right before Maidenhead Railway Bridge.
The present boathouse was completed in June 1998 and opened by Sir Steve Redgrave. It replaced one beside Maidenhead Bridge which had been the club's home since 1926.
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