THE HENLEY WHALERS - Some of the older items To Homepage

A New Era for Henley Whalers (6/10/06)

In September 2006 Henley Whalers entered a new era. The Trevelyans moved away from the Henley area in August and Molly left her mooring on the Thames for the last time to compete in the Great River Race on 16th September. After the race we said our fond farewells and returned to Henley with a different boat - Vancouver, kindly loaned to us by Richard (Dick) Wynn.
The following Wednesday, after an onshore inspection, we launched Vancouver in Henley for a delivery voyage under Henley bridge, down river to Temple Island and back to mooring. A dry evening and quite warm, an auspicious start we hope, and we successfully put on her tent-like cover in the dark for the first time.

Rowing Vancouver seems heavy after the light touch of Molly, but we are rediscovering those muscles we had not used so much since saying goodbye to Collingwood. So that we don't feel too discouraged by our performance, new benchmarks are being set for our regular "set piece" focus sectors from the cut at Fawley Court to the white posts and past Phyllis Court Club to the flagpole.
On the mooring

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Vancouver is a splendid Montagu whaler, well maintained and original with much varnished wood and brass; we are fortunate indeed to have the use of her for six months through the winter. We are looking forward to rowing her on Wednesdays and hopefully arranging one sailing outing in her around New Year.

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An Uncertain Future (6/10/06)

Having Vancouver in Henley for the winter is only a temporary arrangement, so the hunt is on for a longer-term replacement. In the absence of another committed single owner we are trying for a boat under collective ownership - but so far our ambition for a whaler to row and sail is beyond our funds if we can't raise more money. Thus we are searching for a boat that we can afford to buy and which will allow us to continue Wednesday night rowing on the river.

Essential criteria are:-
· Must support up to 8 rowers, 10 would be nice
· Fixed seats, no outriggers (to qualify for Great River Race)
· Modern materials for low maintenance
· Traditional style of boat, whaler type preferred

Several of us like to sail as well, so a capability for estuary and coastal sailing is desirable; but this is a significant factor in the cost of a boat, so reluctantly we may have to forego that ambition if we cannot raise significantly more money.

So the hunt continues! Until we find what we require the future of the Henley Whalers is uncertain. Time is limited because Vancouver will go to her new home at Greenwich Yacht Club at the end of March 2007. If someone reading this knows of a suitable boat for sale, please contact us using the email link.

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Lutra-Lutra (common otter) - Henley Whalers' first boat

Thanks to Eric Zon for this picture. He owned Lutra-Lutra after Henley Whalers, and later sold her to a club in Ijmuiden Holland who have been doing her up over the last few years.

Picture of Molly by JM
Seen, unusually with mainsail but no gib, being rowed when becalmed, probably on Loch Ness. This one is courtesy of John Macphearson. His Caledonia gallery is linked from ours

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Molly "Fastest Whaler" award at Eddystone Challenge.
Bad weather forced the organisers to run the race up the Tamar and back, but we all agreed it was an excellent day out, and still a great challenge, with no shortage of exciting moments.

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Sunday brought slightly lower winds, allowing a thrilling sail around the breakwater, with s.o.g. 9.8Kts.
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Here we are with Saturday's trophy.
Vancouver wins "Gold" in first competition!
The Annual Phyllis Court Time Trail, all the warmer for being a few weeks earlier than last year, saw Vancouver winning gongs for "Fastest Whaler".
Rowers, Helmsgirls, and passenger all received "Gold" medals for this precedent-setting result. (See here you disbelievers!)
Do we now have a standard by which to judge future improvement?

(Report supplied by Ton G Ueincheek)
Help The Skipper Define his Job
Honoured by being elected (first)* "Skipper" of our new vessel, I wonder if you each have your own expectations of my role.
*(I realise I could be voted out.)
From purely nautical point of view, I am totally confident of overseeing the safe operation of the ship.
An area in which I would prefer to defer to others, is that of technique and style of oar-handling, i.e. the most efficient use of oars. We've got real rowers for that.
Please tell me
what you expect, and I will aim to deliver.

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