Women's Eight Head of the River Race

Press – Inspired new rowers

Devil’s Elbow Rowing Club welcomes new rowers

The Devil’s Elbow RC opened in August 2012 on the final day of the Olympic Rowing regatta, and was established by three rowing fanatics, Nicola Cheesman, Julie Paillin and Neil Martin.

Initially, the club planned to make its home at the sharp bend in the River Soar, from which it takes its name, but access problems with the site meant that an alternative location had to be found. Devil’s Elbow RC found a base at Trent Valley Sailing Club (TVSC), Trent Lock, Long Eaton where the River Soar meets the River Trent, right in the middle of 3 counties: Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

After initially asking the sailing club whether they had any space for boat storage, Nicola says, “They were very excited about a new rowing club. They not only agreed to us storing boats, they agreed that we could establish the club there as well!” So, a partnership was born between the sailors and rowers. Boat storage is currently outside at TVSC but they were recently awarded a joint grant with the sailing club from Sport England, and work begins later this month on a new boat shed.

Nicola feels that there was a strong need for a new club in the area, “Since British Rowing’s ‘Explore Rowing’ programme began, memberships had been increasing at both Leicester and Nottingham RCs. They had waiting lists even before the Olympics and after a great summer of Team GB success, enquiries into Learn to Row courses were amazing.” All three founder members believe that anyone should be able to row and race and the Devil’s Elbow RC has a fun atmosphere where they welcome anyone from any background. They already have over 50 active members.

The club has two crews entered in the WEHoRR on Saturday and will be racing in cerise and black. The A crew, coxed by Nicola and stroked by Julie is going off 123rd and the B crew, coxed by Neil, is in the Novice Club category and going off 235th. All but Nicola and Julie are new to the Tideway, so if you see them racing, be sure to give them a cheer of encouragement!