Royal Canoe Club
|Royal Canoe Club|
|Home water||Teddington Lock|
The Royal Canoe Club (RCC), founded in 1866, is the oldest canoe club in the world and received royal patronage in the 19th century. The club promotes canoeing and kayaking, focusing on flatwater, sprint and marathon disciplines. Members of the club have represented Great Britain at World Championships and the Olympic Games. The club is based at Trowlock Island on the River Thames in Teddington near London. The premises are also used by Walbrook Rowing Club, The Skiff Club and Kingston Royals Dragon Boat Racing Club.
John MacGregor, a Scottish lawyer, popularised canoeing in the late 19th century. He went on extensive tours on the rivers and canals of Central and Northern Europe and the Mid-east in a boat he designed named the 'Rob Roy'. Through a series of books and lectures he formed a group of sportsmen who met in 1866 to form the Canoe Club. The first recorded regatta was held at on 27 April 1867. In the same year, Edward VII, Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, became Commodore of the Club and in 1873 the Canoe Club became the Royal Canoe Club by command of Queen Victoria. Evidence to support this exists in club records in the form of correspondence with Whitehall.
International competitors and other members
RCC is the home club of the 2008 Olympic champion in the men's K1 1000 m kayak class, Dr. Tim Brabants, who won his gold medal in Beijing on 22 August 2008, and followed this up with the bronze medal in the K1 500m the following day. Along with Brabants, the club membership includes several world championship medallists (among them Alan Williams, Grayson Bourne, Chris Canham, Steve Jackson, Jeremy West) and Ian Wynne who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. The club provides support and coaching for all levels from beginner to advanced. More recently a junior member of the club became Junior World Champion for Marathon as well as a medallist at the European Championships.
Club members represented Great Britain at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 when canoeing was introduced as an Olympic sport and at every Olympic Games since. In 1922, Edward, Prince of Wales (later to become the Duke of Windsor), became Commodore, a position he held until he acceded the throne.
A notable member of the club was Warrington Baden Powell (brother of Lord Baden Powell). Uffa Fox was not a member, but was nevertheless closely associated with members of the club including Roger de Quincey for whom he designed "Wake".