Thursday, 4 May 2017

Minerva Bath RC visit to Alkmaar April 2017

Minerva Bath RC visit to Alkmaar April 21 – 24 2017

Since 1985 the 2 rowing clubs of Minerva Bath RC and ARZV Alkmaar have been exchanging visits twice a year. This year is a special year as it is the 70th anniversary of twinning between the 2 cities.

Minerva took a group of 15 rowers and their families to Alkmaar on Friday 21st April for a weekend of rowing, sightseeing and socialising with friends. The main event of the weekend was the AA race held on Sunday 23rd where rowing clubs from the North Holland area compete over a 4 kilometre course. Minerva and ARZV also raced for the Challenge Trophy and a Wooden Spoon is presented for poor performance, usually something unfortunately funny for the individual concerned.

On arrival in Alkmaar on Friday afternoon the group hired bikes and cycled to the Rowing Club where they were greeted by the ARZV ‘ oorzitter' (President), Bart Udo, welcomed to the City before enjoying a takeaway meal in the Clubhouse and being introduced to and taken home by their weekend hosts.

After a training session at the club on Saturday morning a group from both clubs loaded up four hired motor boats with a picnic and headed for the old Alkmaar tree/plant nurseries, now a lovely park surrounded by canals, for lunch.

Later on that evening a group of around 40 sat down for a delicious meal at IJkgebouw restaurant, housed within a recently refurbished old building, built in 1877 as the head office for calibration (‘ijken') and inspection of weighing equipment !!

Sunday was race day and Minerva entered a veteran mixed 8 and a veteran women’s coxed quad. The mixed 8 came second, beaten by only 11 seconds by a composite crew from ARZV and De Hertog Rowing Clubs and the quad came 6th in their category, which ARZV won.

The day came to a successful end with live music and a barbecue at the club. Due to the successes of the Dutch crews the challenge shield was retained by ARZV and the wooden spoon was taken home to Bath by Minerva member Mike Ashman for a near catastrophic incident (luckily all was fine) involving tropical fish at the home of his hosts.

The Minerva group returned to Bath on Monday morning and were waved farewell by their hosts at Alkmaar railway station on their way back to Schiphol Airport. ARZV will return to Bath between 22 and 25th September 2017 and will race at Monmouth Autumn Head on Sunday 24th September.

You will also find this report on our website ( )

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Jens Hullah - First steps on his way to Olympic Gold

Jens Hullah - Sky Academy Sports Scholarship Application    

Jens has been on the GB Start program since 2014 and was inspired to row as a result of the London Olympics in 2012. He is also 2 times winner of the British indoor rowing championships.

His goal is to join Klaus Riekemann and Helen Glover as a Minerva Bath Olympic medalist.

Please take a look at this inspiring video of Jens on the Vimeo website.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017

Rowing Taster Session - with coffee !

Celebrate International Women's day by trying out rowing.

Wednesday 8th March 10:30 - 12:30 am @ Minerva Bath Rowing Club, Newbridge, Bath.

To register,  please email

(Come in Sports clothes and Trainers. Waterproofs and warm clothes if it's cold/wet on the day)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Inspired by Rio Olympics 2016 ? Come to Minerva and Learn to Row

Inspired by Rio ? Learn to Row.

If you have been inspired by the images from the 2016 Olympics in Rio and would like to get involved in rowing – we at Minerva are here to help! Our Patron, Helen Glover, learnt to row at Minerva, as did her partner Heather Stanning. Whether you are dreaming of Olympic success at Toyko in 2020, aiming to qualify for Henley/Women’s Henley or just fancy spending some time getting fit out on the river Minerva has a squad for you.

If you are already an experienced rower – even if a bit rusty – get in touch with our Men’s Captain or Women’s Captain and tell them what experience you have. They will endeavour to integrate you into the squads as soon as possible.

If you have never rowed and would like to learn, please contact our Chairman. You will be sent a questionnaire asking for information about you to help us identify the Learn to Row course that will suit you best. There are only a limited number of places available on Learn to Row courses this Autumn, and river conditions prevent us teaching beginners over the winter. If we cannot accommodate you on a suitable course in the next couple of months, we will contact you in the New Year for you to enrol on a course in the Spring.

Find out more details....

Monday, 8 August 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning win Gold

Great Britain's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning successfully defended their Olympic title by winning gold in the women's pair at Rio 2016.

The world champions, who won Britain's first gold of the London Games in 2012, led from the start as they finished 1.2 seconds clear of New Zealand in a time of seven minutes, 18.29 seconds.

Watch the reaction at Minerva HQ

Rio Olympics 2016: Katherine Grainger and Victoria Thornley win double sculls silver

Katherine Grainger became Britain's most decorated female Olympian by taking silver alongside Victoria Thornley in the double sculls.
The pair led for much of the race but were beaten to the gold medal by Poland's Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj, who won by 0.95 seconds, with Lithuania in third.
Read More.....

Friday, 5 February 2016

Weekday Sculling Course – Starting April 2016 & Taster Morning - 7th April

Fancy trying something completely different?  Would you love to learn to scull but not available at the weekends?

With support from partners Bath & North East Somerset Council we are running some new Learn to Scull courses at Minerva Bath Rowing Club. Each course consists of a 5 week program of sessions lasting 2 hours. Courses will run on on Thursdays 11.30-1.30pm. You need to be able to attend all 5 sessions in order to sign up.

Course Dates

14th April – 12th May

19th May – 16th June

23rd June – 21st July

28th July – 25th August

8th September - 6th October

No experience necessary, just bring your enthusiasm and energy and we’ll do the rest!

Once you complete the course there will be an opportunity to join the club and continue weekday sculling.

The course costs £110 – we have some bursaries available to help subsidise this cost if you have difficulty paying so please let us know

Limited places available so please get in touch soon! Visit the LTR page on the website to contact us now (Click the Book Now link to email us)

Taster Morning – 7th April

If you want to see what we’re all about at Minerva Bath Rowing Club before signing up then we are running a taster morning on 7th April.  Get in touch and book yourself in to find out more about what the club is all about, sessions running at 9, 9.45 and 10.30.  Contact us through the LTR page.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Trip to Alkmaar 2015

Minerva Bath Rowing Club won back the Challenge Shield on their annual trip to Bath's twin city Alkmaar on 17 April 2015.

They spent three days taking in Dutch culture before Sunday's races against Arzv Roei Club.

First up was the senior men's crew of David, Phillip, Steve and Matt, coxed by Alice, who won their hotly-contested race in a time of 17:19.

Winners - David, Steve, Matt, Phillip and Alice
The mixed eight of Andy R, Kayleigh, Vicki W, Mark M, Elaine, Vicky R, Siobhan and Klaus were unable to hold against a strong crew and lost in 17:57.

The other eight – assembled of Andy H, Mark S, Mike A, Charlie, Simon, Colin, Ian and Dave  – came home in 16:36 for the second win.

Up against two other doubles in the decisive Juniors race, Becca and Lara crossed the line first in 9:36 to win back the Shield for Minerva.

Sports Club of the Year - BANES Council Chairman's Sports Awards 2015

On Tuesday 31 March, we were awarded BANES club of the year 2015!

A delegation of Minerva members attended the Guildhall on Tuesday evening for the awards ceremony which saw Minerva nominated for the award by our very own PR guru Alice.  We won the award against other local sports clubs; presented by chairman, Councillor Martin Veal and paralympic sprinter Katrina Hart.

Press coverage of the event can be found on the chronicle's website here

A huge thank you to Alice for driving our application, and to all the members, volunteers and helpers who make the club what it is.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Road to WEHoRR and What Happened When We Got There

It was 6.30 in the morning and the sun was just beginning to rise over Putney Bridge, casting a tangerine glow across the Tideway. Nine women and one man gathered on the embankment and set to work, going about their task with quiet efficiency and steady hands. This was what they had spent months training for and they were ready…WEHoRR 2015.

Rise and Shine, Sunrise at Putney
The Women’s Eights Head of the River is THE winter racing event for women rowers in the UK. A 4 ¼ mile long-distance course on the Tideway from Mortlake to Putney. This year 300 crews entered. That’s a staggering 2,700 women rowers alone (not counting coxes, coaches and supporters) descending on the Tideway! For every one of those crew members, this was the culmination of months of effort.

For us, training began in the New Year. As I’m sure you can imagine, getting eight women who have never rowed all together before ready to race the Tideway takes a colossal amount of organisation. Before Christmas the next ten weeks of our lives had already been planned out. To get enough time on the water as a full crew, days and weekends off had to be coordinated in advance and each of us had to really commit to each other and to the training… I’m sure no one would say that the journey was a piece of cake, but boy was it ever worth it!

On Friday 13th March (as auspicious a date as any) we loaded our boat onto Bath University’s trailer, entrusting our precious cargo to them. We couldn’t afford to forget or damage anything or our WEHoRR dream would have been over. Brave volunteers packed the seats and wingnuts in a car, determined that not a single washer would be left behind.

In the afternoon we began our travels eastwards, by train, plane and automobile (ok, maybe not by plane, but you get the idea) and converged upon Premier Inn Putney and Il Mascalzone for a pasta/pizza feast. We had our race heads on though, and it was bed by 9.30 to get our beauty sleep ready for the morning.

One Minerva crew ready to go!
Our pre-sunrise start on Saturday was rewarded by the sight of Minerva patron and Olympic Champion Helen Glover and the other half of her gold medal-winning pair Heather Stanning stroking their crew of Olympians past Putney embankment on their warm-up row. Hearing a bellow of “Come on Minerva!” from our 7-seat, Glover pumped her fist in response. Yes, it was going to be a good day.

It wasn’t long before our Minerva supporters (the best in the world, undoubtedly) appeared beside our boat, fresh from the first London train of the day, to wish us last-minute encouragement and collect our wellies as we waded into the Thames and took our seats in the boat.

The row to the start was confident and relaxed until a familiar voice came over the megaphone… “Boat 107, you can cross to the other side of the river after you’ve passed the red buoy.” Nothing in the message gave it away but the voice was familiar… We kept rowing… There was the launch… It was him! It was Matt Pinsent! We just got marshalled by 4-time Olympic gold medallist and all-around rowing legend Matt Pinsent!

Shortly after, we witnessed our patron Helen, proudly wearing her Minerva kit (the same kit as all of us, I hasten to add) whizz by in the winning crew. We gave her a cheer on her way and she later tweeted that her entire crew had sworn they could hear Minerva supporters lining the entire course… I believe it – I told you, our Minerva members and supporters are the best in the world.

Just before 10am it was finally our turn. Expert coxswain Mark Melbourne gave us the word and we began to row, stroke Tammy Crain taking us up to a cool and relaxed 28 strokes per minute just before we crossed the start line.

I’ll admit it, that first half of the race was a slog. A cross-headwind was attempting to upset the boat and blowing the river into choppy little waves. But we could do this. We’d practiced rowing in a headwind at Nottingham Head of the Trent just two weeks before, and as one we kept our cool, sitting back into the wind and holding in the finishes.

By the time we turned a corner and made it out of the wind we still were only maybe a quarter of the way through the course. The next bit, the Chiswick Eight, was the longest part of the race for me. I really felt like Hammersmith Bridge, the middle point was never coming. But Tammy and 7-seat Elaine Hoyes held their rhythm; middle 4 – Vicki Wheeler, Kayleigh Weaver, Siobhan Tuohy-Smith and I – dug in, laying down the power stroke after stroke; bow pair, two of the most experienced rowers in the boat, Hayley Sewell and Hils Strickland, kept their bladework clean, backing us all up from the pointy end.

Finally Mark called the bridge and we rowed through to cheers of “Go Minerva!” Buoyed by the incredible support the boat just sailed as we got our second wind and really hit our stride. Half the race still to go.

Crews were overtaking us but we pushed back at them, we made them work for it. We found our inner steel and kept pushing. As coach Maggie Cooke so often said to us, the only thing we had to do was put the blade in the water together and take it out together. And then do it again, and again, and again, until the end of the race. And that’s exactly what we did. We put our faith in each other and in our cox and coach, and we just kept rowing.

By the time we crossed the finish line and wound down through Putney Bridge we were exhausted but elated. We had a few more hours in Putney to soak up as much of the atmosphere in the Vesta boathouse and on the embankment before it was time to head home to Bath. I’m pretty sure that after this experience most of the crew will be looking to return next year!

It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be an incredible year for women in sport – the 75th annual WEHoRR, Sport England’s #ThisGirlCan campaign and, on Saturday 11 April, the women of Oxford and Cambridge will compete on the same stage as the men for the first time in Boat Race history – and the Minerva WEHoRR crew are proud to have experienced just a small part of it.

Now, bring on the regattas!


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Nottingham Head of The Trent 2015

Minerva Bath took part in the Head of the Trent race in Nottingham on Sunday 1 March, where difficult conditions meant the novice races were scrapped and the timetable was rescheduled.

Eddy, Mike, Rich, Matt and Cox: Chloe
Despite the adversity, all Minerva crews raced well with the senior men's coxed four of Eddy, Mike, Rich and Matt, coxed by Chloe, finishing second in 18:42.0. 
David, Joseph, Steve and Matt, with cox Alice, were sixth in 19:16.0.

David, Joseph, Steve, Matt and Cox: Alice
A strong women's eight of Tammy, Elaine, Liz, Vicki W, Kayleigh, Siobhan, Hayley, Hils and cox Mark M clocked 20:39.6 in their race.