End-of-Season Regatta and Boat Naming Ceremony

The Boat Club has acquired six new boats over the past season and all were officially named on Saturday, followed by a Row Past and then the annual, hotly-contested, quad and doubles races.

We welcomed back former Headmaster, Mr Andrew Rattue, back to the Boat Club last Saturday 30 June as he performed the naming ceremony on the coxed quad boat named in his honour. Other guests of honour were Mr and Mrs Whitefoot who named a boat ‘Michelle Whitefoot’ in honour of the Whitefoot family whose sons rowed at RGS and who are great supporters of the Boat Club.

Three legends of Worcester including the best-selling romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland and the composer Sir Edward Elgar, now have their names on boats in the club. Sir Edward Elgar was music master at the Alice Ottley (AO) School, while Dame Barbara Cartland, the best-selling romantic novelist and step-grandmother of Princess Diana, was an AO pupil, and sold 2 billion books worldwide.

Hannah Snell, while not having any known connection with the School, was felt a very worthy name for a boat. Born in Worcester in 1723, she joined the army disguised as a man, fighting in several battles before revealing herself to be a woman. She was given a full army pension and then opened a pub in London named ‘The Female Warrior’. Headmaster John Pitt said he looked forward to seeing the boat ‘do battle’ in the future.  

The final boat was named ‘Butler of Wantage’, after the co-founder of the Alice Ottley School.

Head of Rowing, Jane Sullivan, said: “We had a fantastic turn-out for the launch of our new boats which I hope will inspire our rowers. In rowing we have a phrase that you should ‘hear the boat sing’ so naming our new single after Sir Edward Elgar is entirely fitting!”

The afternoon’s racing saw rowers aged 14 to 16 racing in mixed quads, while the Sixth Formers raced in mixed doubles. Racing was very close and there were a number of blade clashes, and a dead-heat. 

The Pullinger Boat Club,and the Parents’ Association, provided a magnificent barbecue, bar and cake stall, and our thanks go to everyone who volunteered to help.

The day ended with presentations to the outgoing captains Alec Berry, Francine Bath and Matthew Hill (Upper Sixth), and farewell to all our Upper Sixth leavers.