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Venue: George Hotel, West Bay.
Attendance: Not recorded (too many!)

Welcome and agenda (Jason M)

  • SMT formed in 2022. 
  • For this year, currently no ladies captains – instead ladies representatives on SMT. 
  • SMT made up of Jason Matthews, Chris Bodycombe, Carol Marsh, John Caswell, Lucy Nightingale and Gemma Smith.

Training plan (Chris B and Paul P)

Winter training programme discussed. November to January will be focused on endurance rowing. From February will be building speed and aggression. 

Paul made some general observations; 

  • We are pulling back high stroke rates. Aiming for 30/34 up to 36 to play to the profiles of our rowers. 
  • The endurance rows will be slower still 18-20, the focus being on putting effort into hard stroke and long recovery to develop technique. Will be sprint sessions too. 
  • Rowers to become faster and fitter through carefully designed training, which will be simplified and easier to follow. 
  • Training plan has been prepared right through to October 2023, can be viewed. 

Off water training – Paul produced 8 week training plan, which incorporates rowing and off water. 

  • This year will be less prescriptive so can select sessions – pix ‘n’ mix sessions dependent on how much individuals can/want to train. 
  • Sessions could be ergo / circuits / treadmill / weights (if anyone plans to start weight training, make sure to get advice form professional to prevent injury). 
  • Session length will depend on particular activity.  
  • This off water training programme likely to be available within next 10 days. 

Paul is also going to design off water equivalent for on water sessions, in case of bad weather so that training is not lost. 


  • There will be 2 mandatory protocols per month. From January there will also be 2 optional challenges that will vary month to month.
  • The mandatory protocols are:
      1. 15 minutes at 22 strokes per minute
      2. 30 minutes at 18 strokes per minute 
  • Results of protocol to be sent to Tony Lee by the end of the every month, for December the submission date is the 23rd – to allow selection for Scilly. 
  • Protocols provide data for individuals to track their progress, but also to coaches. Aside from selection, enables identification and adjustment to training activity to improve performance.
  • Risk that athletes train to their strengths and ignore/overlook weakness, data can help address this bias. 

Other training points; 

  • Chris B mentioned the possibility of putting two buoys out 500 m apart, so that crews can measure performance. This offers advantages to help with boat selection. 
  • Focus on data collection and analysis. Ideally squad boats will have at least one smart watch, so that decisions can be objective and based on data. 
  • Some discussion about whether protocol results should continue to be anonymised. Generally men preferred to share named result, to drive competition. Generally women preferred to keep anonymous. Query whether could do both to cater for preferences, but SMT keen to be consistent across squads. Results to remain anonymous. 
  • Criteria for selection discussed. Protocols plus commitment/attendance. Query whether protocol criteria is related to meters or improvement was most important. Confirmed improvement. 
  • Jason reminded all that the regatta crew, quad and training facebook chats have curfews, no messages between 10pm – 7am.
  • Paul suggested keeping a training book/note – what activity, result, how felt etc. 
  • Some discussion about ergos – high heart rate on ergo as compared to on water and disadvantaged for shorter rowers when ergo results determine selection. 


On 4 and 17 December Kevin Sellar will be visiting to coach. Plan to take crew of coxes out. By training coxes, the coxes can then pass the training and techniques on to crews. 

SMT are working on having another option as an alternative to West Bay for on water training during the winter months. The 2 areas being looked at are Portland Harbour and Sutton Bingham Reservoir. This would involve leaving one of the plastic gigs at that site for the duration of the training.

Coaching to include more filming, that will be played back and used to help develop technique. To note that the club technique, as coached, may change slightly following Kevin’s input. 

Selection dates

Availability for Scilly will be asked for by 15 December. 

  • Selection is intended to take place over Christmas, for early January. Crews selected are subject to possible change if it becomes clear someone is in the wrong boat. 
  • Once crews have been selected, strong preference is for crews to train as a boat – even where this means training off water together. 
  • This is part of the committent that the SMT are looking for from crews. 

Scilly – if anyone is not sure about accommodation, and this is affecting decision about availability, Sharon Harding has agreed to try and help. Ideally contact Sharon with groups of people who could share, to avoid inundating her. 

Query – if not selected or not available for Scilly, what happens to training for those individuals? Rowers will not be left out, training will continue. There may be enough rowers not going to form a boat. 

Regatta dates

Lucy preparing spreadsheet to test interest for regattas. If there is a crew, cox and tower – people can go. BGRC do not need to go as a whole club to every event. 

Other points;

  • Focus is on Scilly, Bridport, Newquay, Mixed, Vets and Super-vets.
  • Counties was good fun for those who competed, next year hopefully more will put names forward. 
  • Some discussion about other Events (Tom Jones, Captain) reminder that these are club wide, not just for general rowers. 
  • Simon Binns mentioned that Tom is looking for someone in squad to act as liaison between general and squad on club wide events. 
  • Drone filming, Paul P has a drone and is looking to train up more individuals to help with filming training. Volunteers encouraged. 
  • Masters is getting bigger – more popular. Reminder that selection for Masters will be the same as for other elements of squad. Will Bridport regatta have Masters race? 95% sure it will, but subject to timings and what Jurassic league says. 

Update on row around GB (Dave T)

Huge congratulations on completing the row around GB. 2.88 million meters – 30 rowers and 2 walkers. Thanks to some “big hitters”. Lots of emails and 82 supporters on Just Giving. Many thanks to helpers, donors and rowers, equates to 240 hours of rowing and raised £3,500 so far. 

Presentation to Dave T who has been instrumental in achieving this, providing support and motivation and well as rowing huge shifts. 


  • Noted that the earlier selection can happen, the better for rowers (as per Lyme). Agreed and plan to select for Scilly by early Jan. 
  • Coxes for Scilly will practice with crews, who will be coached by their cox. 
  • If not selected for Scilly, will there be a reserve list? Yes. 


Presentations to the very well deserved winners of the following awards;

  • Ladies Most Improved – Donna McKenney
  • Ladies Rower of the Year – Carol Marsh
  • Mens Most Improved – Sebastian Wells
  • Mens Rower of the Year – Chris Bodycombe
  • Rowers Rower – Lucy Nightingale

Chris Bodycombe then thanked and presented gift to David Lofink, thanking him for all his efforts as rowing captain.