Volunteers Week

1.What is your name and what is your volunteer role?

Darren White – Club Captain

2.What Charity/Organisation/Group do you volunteer with?

Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club

3.How long have you been volunteering with them?

41 years

4.What makes you decide to do volunteering?

Loyalty to the Club

5.What was the best thing about your time volunteering?

Witnessing young people develop a skill they didn’t know they had

6.What was the most challenging part?

Keeping crews together for regatta’s. Rowing is a team sport, typically in crews of four plus cox, when someone pulls out it can be difficult to replace them and keep Herne Bay represented in that particular event.

7.What contribution or achievement are you most proud of?

Winning the Coast Amateur Rowing Association Grand Aggregate in 2018 (winning more races than any of the other CARA clubs)

8.What motivates you to stay involved in volunteering?

Watching crews that I’ve helped coordinate, race for Herne Bay – Doesn’t matter where they finish necessarily, but the feeling of pride when a rower is put in an uncomfortable situation and does well is very rewarding  – It does help when they win !!!

9.What skills you gained through volunteering?

Communicating, problem solving and peacemaker

10.This year Volunteers’ Week theme is about ‘Celebrate & Inspire’. What would you like to say?

There are many things to celebrate in Rowing – Teamwork, friendship, healthy living and the thrill of competition, through all these you will see evidence of Inspiration.

Members and their families helping to load and unload equipment to the various beaches on race day, regardless whether they have participated or not. Support and guidance, from all members to another who may be in need, physically or mentally and the joy from everyone when a crew performs to the best of their abilities.

11.Anything else you would like to add?

I’ve always considered myself a cog in the club, a link in the chain. I am a manager, a coordinator with such a fantastic team of volunteers whom without, the club would not function – every one of them as important as the next!


With Eastbourne’s regatta on Saturday being called off halfway through due to the strong southerly gusts, the club had high hopes for Folkestone regatta on the Sunday with a larger contingency of rowers attending and better weather to look forward to.

The weather was cold, but at least it was dry. The sea looked deceivingly calm but really was a bit lumpy with the wind picking up from about midday onwards. But we carried on making for good old coastal rowing and a fun day out.

Our junior 14 quad crew was up first competing against three other crews from the south coast coming fourth, but a good try in the rough. Well done to Amelia Ward, Teddy Wright, Chris Short and Sophia Pattinson for doing so well.

Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, our club sporting heroes, were up next in the men’s senior pair. Their start was very strong, beating the other crews off the starting line. Managing to keep their strength up to the end beating four other boats to first place.

The junior 16 crew consisted of brothers George and Tom Blunt, Jaden Short and Isaac Wright, coxed by John Cox. They zoomed off the start, finishing about three lengths in front of the second place crew, showing that the boys are a good match and row very well together.

Next up was the Masters 50+ race. Only two boats competed in this race. Liz Taylor, Tony Burrows, John Cox and Darren White coxed by George Blunt raced against a composite crew made of rowers from Dover and Folkestone. Both crews didn’t make it easy for eachother, battling it to the end in the now very rough water, they were neck and neck even around the turn. Herne Bay gave an extra push at the end to beat the composite crew only by a canvas length (a metre).

George, Isaac, Jaden and Dan Botes came first in the men’s novice four race, again coxed by Cox and the men’s senior four with Will Campbell, Luke Towner and the Perry-French brothers took to the water getting third place.

Our senior four ladies consisted of Emily Noyes, Liz Taylor, Natasha Tricks and Georgia Shelton. Going long and strong up the course, the coxswain, John Cox, took the turn very well beating Bexhill to achieve an enjoyable third place out of five entries. The ladies were pleased with that result.

An excellent first place was achieved by Lewis in the men’s junior sculls who took a slow pace back to the finish when he knew he was in a good position.

Next up were our senior scullers. Bradley and Luke Towner, after a re-row took home points with a second place and fifth place.

Last race of the day consisted of combining the men’s junior/senior four with the women’s 40+ four, so five boats were in the race in total. The J/S men’s crew had Mark Jeffries, John Cox, 16-year-old Jaden Short and Tony Burrows coxed by George Blunt and the women’s crew had Noyes, Taylor, Tricks and a lovely addition from Deal Rowing Club, Sharron Mullaney, coxed by the brilliant Mark Mitchell from Bexhill. The J/S crew came a very strong second place but were a canvass length behind first place, which made for an exciting competition and Herne Bay came first out of the ladies crews, well ahead of the second boat.

All of the great races the club competed at Folkestone meant that Herne Bay achieved the Grand Aggregate cup too! This certainly was a great surprise but was definitely well earned.

Coxswain of the day should definitely go to John Cox, who was in and out of the cold choppy sea and steering crews to gain their first place positions.

The day really brought together the whole club and their families. The members showed teamwork and good spirit and was great to see everyone getting along and making friendships. If you want to be a part of a spirited and enthusiastic team then find out more at hbarc.org.uk


Saturday (14 May) saw the club’s first coastal regatta of the year take place in Deal. The weather couldn’t have been better and the choppy waves made for some exciting coastal racing. To top it all off the Perry-French brothers won the senior men’s pair race, which meant that Herne Bay will host the Viking Shield regatta in 2023.

This regatta was the annual Viking Shield, which holds a long history: the shield, presented by two Danish oarsmen rowed across the North Sea and were guests of the Kent rowing clubs in 1925. The shield is awarded to the fastest coastal pair in the annual competition between the Kent Rowing Clubs and the winning club has to honour hosting the regatta the following year.

The day started off on a high with the first race being won by our junior 16s. John Cox coxed Isaac Wright, Jaden Short, Tom and George Blunt and soon after our newly formed mixed junior 14 quad including Sophia Pattinson, Amelie Ward, Teddy Wright and Christopher Short, also coxed by John Cox, achieved second place in their race.

Then the waves started to appear and racing became tougher. With every stroke moving the boats became harder and capsizes occurred, especially in the sculls event.

Not long after the junior 16 race did the boys have to go out again but this time in the novice four. With John Cox steering the way again the boys came a sturdy third.

Next up were our junior ladies who raced against the Deal senior ladies in the pair event, due to a lack of other crews in these events, so by default Scarlett Bates and Georgia Shelton came first in their junior category. And then keeping with the ladies’ events, both Bates and Shelton had to race once again in the junior four. This time they came second along with Briony Care and Natasha Tricks with John Cox coxing in his last race of the day.

The men’s novice sculls had quite a few entries from both Deal and Dover competing. From Herne Bay Manuel Marques and Lewis Perry-French took their places. Lewis headed to the second turn in second place and managed a really good turn to gain a few lengths ahead of the other rower getting a well deserved first place.

Our next men’s event was the junior/senior four, which included Tony Burrows, Darren White, John Cox and Stuart Webb coxed by George Blunt. They had a really quick start, taking the lead and took a strong finish by coming first.

The final event Herne Bay entered was the men’s senior pair: the event that matters and determines which Kent club hosts the Viking Shield regatta the following year. Deal had a few entries, Dover and Folkestone also competed but it was Lewis and Bradley Perry-French who took the trophy home and did Herne Bay proud.

The season has now started with a bang and we look forward to seeing all clubs on the South East beaches throughout the 2022 racing season. For more information on dates, look at the regatta calendar on our website.

Thank you to Deal for hosting this year’s Viking Shield and we’ll see you all in Bexhill and Hastings on the 28th and 29th of May.


Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club named a superb coastal racing four boat on Sunday (3 April), which was generously donated by Paul Iddenden.

We would like to thank Paul for a lifetime of service in many rowing and social roles (too long to mention), and he has given his time to put our club in a better position for the future. 

The boat, named after Paul’s late wife and loved club member Stephanie, passed away sadly due to Cancer. She was a strong, determined and selfless woman who supported others and showed no self-pity. The boat will ensure her memory and strength is carried on for generations to come. 

Mark Jeffries, the club president presented Paul and Stephanie’s two sons, Trevor and Lewis with tokens of the club’s appreciation. They were handed framed photos of their father in his rowing prime and a cutting of an old wooden rowing boat named ‘Paul Iddenden’. 

Mark said “Lewis and Trevor have had successful rowing careers in their own right and are also supporters of our club. He continued to say: “I’d like to thank all who have made this day possible.” 

Paul himself had a few words to say about the new boat: “The sign on the boat had to be different and individual.” The new name is a copy of Stephanie’s signature on their wedding certificate from 1978, “so it holds a lot of memories and meaning.”

One of the sons, Trevor, is taking part in a long-distance running event from Herne Bay to Gloucestershire to raise funds for Cancer research. Please donate to this great cause. https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/trevors-giving-page-1265


This year, for the first time, Herne Bay Rowing Club has recruited two vice-captains to support the captain but essentially to create a bigger and better team for the year ahead.

For a volunteering role, it’s surprising how much is required of the captain of a rowing club, such as forms, forms and more forms but also looking after the club members. The captain needs as much help as possible to make the club a well-oiled machine.

This article finds out more about the two vice-captains and what interested them in taking on this role.

Tom Self, has a lot going on this year: learning to drive, studying for his A-levels and playing hockey for the local club. Our second vice-captain, Emily Noyes, who was thrown into the captain role back in 2017 and then became vice-captain in 2018 and 2019, has been asked again to help out in this role for 2022.

So why choose to be vice-captain?

Tom: I wanted to become vice-captain because I sustained an injury midway through last season bringing my season to a close. But having trained a very eager J16 crew I didn’t want to give up on them so I continued to coach them with the support of many other club members.

I realised at the South Coast Championships (in Netley, Southampton) how big of an ask it was to organise a club and at the time I showed a real passion for helping on the day. Ultimately I thought I’d like to give something back to the club that taught me so much and I felt responsible enough to try for the vice-captain role.

Emily: Having been vice in previous years, I felt comfortable in accepting the role again this year. Darren (the captain) has to be commended for taking on the captaincy role for the fifth year in a row, but with other external commitments planned in his diary this year, will mean that Tom and I will need to step up from time to time and I’m willing to take on the challenge.

I’ve been at the club since 2015 so I feel confident in supporting Darren and Tom in the day-to-day activities and running of all that goes on. But we can’t forget the many other amazing long-serving members of the club who I know will be there for extra support and guidance when needed.

So will you have specific jobs to do this year as VC?

Tom: My role as vice-captain this year will be the club coach as well as managing the post-regatta logistics. I’m very excited to start as the club coach as I enjoyed training a group of new members to row with me. I’m hoping to obtain a club coach qualification to help the rowing club and my knowledge of the sport develop further. I’m also looking forward to being part of the club process and helping out as and when I can like many previous members did with me.

Emily: In 2016 I took on the role of the media manager at the club and I intend to carry that on, helping the club to grow online through various platforms. But my role as VC will be to run through the pre-regatta forms with Darren but also to look after any new members and encourage more people to join up.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Tom: I’m looking forward to seeing all our crews racing again. I really felt last season was very short and this coming season I believe we’ve had more time to prepare as a rowing club for these events. Something else that I feel really makes the season is the regattas on the beach everyone is always willing to lend a hand and I feel the days are very enjoyable for all.

Emily: I agree with Tom, seeing the club on the number of beaches we visit in Kent and Sussex: joking, drinking, eating, supporting and cheering, and running around and helping make the day go smoothly just makes you feel warm inside. That’s one of the main reasons I joined the club, to be a part of a team and you can see that clearly at Herne Bay.

How long have you rowed with Herne Bay?

Tom: I’ve rowed for about three years having joined the club back in 2019 and was introduced to a completely new sport that I’d not really heard too much about. The reason I started was due to a family friend who was a member of the club at the time. I wasn’t interested in much but when they introduced me to the club I felt welcome and the people of the club who were so knowledgeable about the sport really kept me keen on joining.

Emily: I’ve been rowing for seven years now. I hadn’t been living in Herne Bay for long before I spotted John Cox (my neighbour) maneuvering a trailer full of boats in the street after a regatta. He told me about the club’s charity ergathon taking place at the Bandstand that weekend so I went along out of curiosity and the rest is history. I’ve made some great friends in a welcoming and encouraging club.

What do you love about the sport?

Tom: I have a few things I love about rowing. Socially it’s unique. I’ve made friends that I would never have met and the fact we spend many weeks of the year pushing ourselves all for a few minutes brings us closer together.

I also love the fact that the sport has taught me things about myself. Rowing has taught me to become independent, disciplined and supportive. In many traditional sports like football, you have your 15 or so players and they’re the only people you would train with but rowing you can train with a vast group of people of all different abilities and strengths.

Emily: I love the teamwork that takes place all through the year – when we’re training on the water but mainly at regattas when we become a supportive rowing family. I’ve seen lots of members through the years turn from moody teenagers who can’t be bothered to athletic, motivated and pleasant young adults and it’s so nice to know that a club can do that to people.

What’s one thing you’d recommend to people wanting to join the sport?

Tom: Be patient and persistent. Rowing is a tough sport, it’s physically and mentally demanding. Rowing is very unique as there’s such a diverse range of people who have made this sport, their sport. One thing I was told that will stay with me is “in rowing you don’t have to be able to pull a house down” and this still sticks with me today. Rowing is more than just being big and strong, it’s about technique and concentration.

Emily: I’d say just get stuck in. Help to carry the boats or trestles down to the beach, set up the riggers if necessary, but showing that you’re willing to help and join in with the team will give you kudos.

Just one more question: Who’s your idol and why?

Tom: When people ask me who my idol is I don’t really have a definitive answer. I have many idols. Within rowing, I look up to the senior members of our club who were and are very successful but I also look up to my friends within the club. Within the club we have had many successful rowers at all different levels and they really are role models within the sport.

Outside of the sport, I look up to one of my old form tutors who really taught me some valuable life lessons that I’ll carry with me forever. The last people I really look up to are my parents. They raised me to who I am today and helped me develop morals that I’ll have for life.

Emily: My idol has to be my gran. She’s in her 90’s now and still going strong and living on her own. She’s willing to try new things and never gives up. She’s a strong, independent woman who has had to figure things out on her own since her husband, my pop died about thirty years ago. I hope that I’m like her when I’m that age!

Thank you to Tom and Emily for answering these questions. We hope that you have a successful year as vice-captains. Good luck!


Both Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, brothers (and identical twins) have worked incredibly hard throughout their rowing career, which started four years ago when they were only 13 years old.

In the last couple of years they have both really shone and moved to the top of their game. They have achieved great things by gaining a world record, a handful of British records, winning every CARA race in the 2021 Junior/Senior category but also winning the prestigious South Coast Championship race for Junior/Senior by a long shot!

We asked Lewis and Bradley a few questions about rowing and to give us any tips.

What’s your favourite race to compete in?

L: It’s the pair or double with Bradley.

B: I would say my favourite race to compete in would be the pair.

How else do you keep fit other than rowing?

L: I keep fit by weight training, going for the occasional run, cycling and core work.

B: I go on bike rides, long walks and do the odd running. I also build strength with weights. I’m looking forward to getting fully recovered from my back injury and hopefully win some senior pairs and senior 4+ with some hard training during the summer.

What do you love most about rowing?

L: I love being in the outdoors and socialising with people and making new friends.

B: I love the people involved, the team spirits and the overall atmosphere. Rowing can be calming when you have great weather and calm water. I love the thought of being on the open sea and watching the Herne Bay sunsets.

What tip would you suggest to anyone new wanting to start up rowing?

L: Keep the consistency and try to stick to a program that will help you progress with guidance and that helps motivation. Also, as a lightweight, getting the right calorie intake and not starving yourself is very important (which I’ve done before), and remember to drink plenty!

B: If I was to suggest someone wanting to start the sport it would be to not give up! Rowing is a great sport but it takes time to get the best you can be. So be dedicated and hardworking and you will enjoy the sport and try not to overtrain, otherwise you’ll become fatigued and will take the fun away from it!

They’re both looking forward to competing with each other and their crew (Will White and Luke Taylor) again when the racing season starts again in March (look at the 2022 racing calendar for more information). In 2022 they will race the senior category, so watch this space. These young lads are set to go far. Good luck to them both!


On Saturday 18 September the majority of Herne Bay Rowing club members travelled to Southampton (Netley to be specific) to take part in the 64th South Coast Championships.

Herne Bay entered eight crews, competing against about 20 other coastal clubs along the south coast throughout the day.

The water was deceiving from the shoreline and proved to be quite challenging, particularly with the many large freighters going past on the Solent.

However that didn’t deter the Junior Senior crew! Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, Will White and Luke Taylor in Stroke took to the water like any other regatta race, coxed by Maisie Jeffries.

Their first race of the day was the bowl race, which is an important feature in the championships (men’s senior). This was a warm up race to them and they happened to come a super third place, with Itchen coming first and Deal a very close second. 

The boy’s second race however, was the Junior senior race, which they have been coming in first in all of their regattas this season. There was a lot of pressure on the four boys to do well and they didn’t disappoint.

They came a very easy first place beating other crews from Hants & Dorset and Shoreham by at least three lengths.

The evening presentation, as you can imagine, was a joyous occasion. The crew posed with GB women’s eight olympic rower, Caragh McMurtry but overall it was great to finish the season on a high and enjoy a weekend away with our rowing family.

Thank you to John for towing the boats to and from Southampton, thank you to Stuart (and Poppy) for being welcoming hosts, thank you to Kevin for organising the campsite, thank you to our supporters (family and friends) for just being there but above all, a massive thank you to Darren, our captain for being super organised and making sure our races went smoothly. The whole weekend went like a well-oiled machine.

Herne Bay results:


1st Men’s J/S

3rd Men’s Senior

3rd Ladies Junior

4th Ladies Senior

Open races

5th Men’s J/S

5th Master 50+

5th Men’s novice

5th J16 quad

The complete results from the day


It doesn’t happen very often, but today (Sunday 1 August) we christened a sculling boat, in honour of a long-standing and well-respected member of the club, Stuart Webb.

Stuart has been a rower with Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club since 1983, in which time he’s rowed at least 380 regattas and 38 championship races. He’s also a talented boat maker and the club still cherishes those brilliantly made wooden boats. But as well as helping around the club, he’s also helped form some award-winning crews into shape.

Mark Jeffries, club president said a few words about Webb “This is an incredible achievement and we’re all proud of Stuart. He continued to say “it’s also amazing that Stuart has been rowing for that amount of time!”

Thanks to funding we acquired from Canterbury City Council during lockdown, the club was able to put this money towards this pristine Burgashell sculling boat built to take one rower but also a couple of pairs of new sweep oar blades from Concept.

Darren White, club captain explained what it means to name a new boat: “A new boat is a significant investment by the club and a huge honour for the individual who’s name is painted on its bow. It’s a time to recognise the commitment and service that someone has devoted to our club.”

Stuart took a short row out on the water in the new boat just to give it a whirl who had no idea he was the chosen name for this boat “


Like all clubs after lockdown, Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club were very excited to get back to racing and reunite with members from other clubs who hadn’t been seen for at least 22 months.

Folkestone Rowing club was host of the day (11 July) and getting set up on the beach felt like we hadn’t been away at all. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the water was as flat as anything. This was going to be a great day for racing.

During reopening of the club Herne Bay managed to sign up twenty keen and enthusiastic new members for the new season. Six of these new members made their debut at Folkestone.

The club featured in the second race of the day, the Junior 16 quads. Two boats were entered with five of our newest and youngest members.

Both crews did incredibly well with the A crew coming in second place after Dover. The A crew consisted of some of our top J16 members: Will White, Maisie Jeffries, Tom Self and new member, Isaac Wright coxed by Luke Taylor. The B crew, which came in a good third place consisted of a full boat of new members: brothers Tom and George Blunt, Jaden Short and Dan Botes coxed by veteran, John Cox. Even though the B crew caught a crab during their race, they still managed to keep up with the others making Herne Bay proud to have them on board.

Liz Taylor and Poppy Webb were up next in their favourite race, the senior pairs. With a bit of a rough start they managed to get a worthy second place after chasing Deal crew all of the way to the finish line.

The water was changing at this point of the day and started to turn interesting, which meant that the Masters 40+ race was going to be challenging. John Cox, Darren White, Kevin Hall and Mark Jeffries had a brilliant start, pushing away from the other crews nearly ten years younger than them, however they lost their lead and came fourth with Folkestone coming first.

One of the main events of coastal rowing regattas is the senior men’s race, which consists of boats full of pure power and determination. Herne Bay’s Junior/Senior crew (Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, Will White and Luke Taylor) took to the water to give this race a go, ending up coming second place. Out of the five crews entered, the bay boys looked comfortable and enjoyed the 2km course.

The club’s next race was the ladies junior fours. This crew featured another new member to the club, Leigh Okadiegbo who joined Maisie Jeffries, Georgia Shelton and Scarlett Bates. Coxed by John Cox, he charged the girls into a really strong first off the start, looking great together on the water. With two novices in the boat meant that they were racing up a level and coming second did the club proud once again.

Leigh said after her race that “The first 1000 metres were tough but then coming round the turn it just felt great!” 

All of the girls were beaming when they came back on terra firma.

The club gained another second place when Bradley and Lewis Perry-French took part in the men’s senior pairs race. 

The race of the day had to be the men’s junior/senior fours with Bradley and Lewis having to jump into a boat not long after their pairs race, Will White and Luke Taylor. What an incredibly strong crew, even from the start; they kept calm and collected throughout, to come first with about 200 metres between them and the second crew. The boys were also clocked as rowing the fastest that day.

The ladies double sculls were next. Herne Bay entered two boats with Georgia and Maisie and another with our faithful Poppy and Liz.

Georgia and Maisie seemed to have better water being closer to the coastline but the other two seemed to struggle being on the opposite end of the line-up of boats, but they came back, looking good in fourth and the other boat coming in a respectable eighth.

With only two entries in the men’s junior sculls, Bradley took the lead from the start and finished well before his opponent from Deal.

Luke Taylor, having qualified in his heat race at the beginning of the day, took his place for the final and came third in the men’s novice sculls.

The final race of the day was the ladies senior fours. They lined up and shot off from the start like a coiled spring, with Deal always keeping the lead, Herne Bay kept up a fight with Shoreham and Worthing but always staying ahead of them to come in second place. 

The day was enjoyable for the whole club and great for the new members to experience teamwork and comradery and competition throughout the day. Thanks to Folkestone Rowing Club for hosting.

Next Saturday Herne Bay is at Southsea to race against coastal clubs in between Cornwall and Kent.



If you have any questions please call the club’s captain, Darren White 07840738894 or email captain@hbarc.org.uk

Next regattas (subject to weather)

17 July: Southsea (no press release)

24 July: Herne Bay 

25 July: Bexhill (no press release)

31 July: Deal

1 August: new boat christening

7 August: Eastbourne

8 August: Shoreham

18 September: South Coast Championships (Southampton)

Rowing’s Coming Home Again

We’re gradually getting back to normal again since lockdown in March 2020; the club is getting back on the water, we’re welcoming new and enthusiastic rowers to join us and we’ve got a brand new regatta calendar.

So the club members (and some new members) are getting ready for the racing season to start, with our first appearance at Folkestone Rowing Club on Sunday 11 July.

Here is the extensive list of the next few regattas we’ll be at (weather permitting). Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on regattas.

But the regatta we’re most looking forward to is our own event on the 24 July! Hopefully we can have people cheer on the blues (with the maltese cross) when we’re on the water – we always hear the cheering from the sides and it really spurs us on!


Sunday 11       Folkestone, 10am start

Saturday 17    Southsea

Saturday 24    Herne Bay, 10am start

Sunday 25       Bexhill

Saturday 31    Deal


Saturday 7      Eastbourne

Sunday 8         Shoreham


Saturday 18    South Coast Championships, Southampton