Grosvenor RC Chester Celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay
Olympic crew mis-timings don't faze Grosvenor RC Chester celebrating the Olympic Torch Relay!
Wednesday 30th May saw the departure from Chester of the Olympic Torch Relay after a 25,000 seat welcoming event at Chester Racecourse on Tuesday night! Grosvenor Rowing Club Chester have been planning a grand send off for the torch with Cheshire West and Chester Council and other river users for some months, and produced a wonderful display representing the rowing community in the North West and Chester's wider river community!
On the water, a grand flotilla of boats was planned to reach the Queens Park Bridge, starting point for the torch, at exactly 06:56 when the torch was triggered. The flotilla, marshalled and cued by Grosvenor RCC Coach Colin Davies and North West Rowing Council umpire Tim Williams was timed at rehearsal to take 2m 15s from first stroke to impact at the bridge to cue the Torch Relay. As a result, GRCC Vice-Captain John Pearson was looking for a 3 minute warning from the Olympics timing crew to cue the fleet.
"Unfortunately, the crew organising from LOCOG seemed to forget they'd promised to give me a 5 and then 3 minute warning, and when I prompted them that we were getting close they told me they were going in less than two minutes! I called the start of the flotilla immediately but the result was that the boats reached the bridge after the torch had reached the land..."
An ITV camera crew covering the event for Daybreak with presenter Richard Gaisford were similarly disappointed as they had been set up ready to record the crews appearing under the bridge. See the subsequent Granada Reports piece below:
Despite this, the event was a great spectacle and Grosvenor RCC club members had a great time both during and after, when they invited the High Sheriff of Chester back to the Grosvenor RCC Clubhouse for Breakfast! On land, the Blade Arch on the Queens park Bridge was an impressive site, with Explore Rowers from our newly-graduated Learn to Row programme of May 2012 visible in their blue and pink polo shirts!
First Torchbearer of the morning Jenny Moore, daughter of Grosvenor Masters squad member Di Moore, said "The sight of the bridge, the archway of oars and the boats on the river was absolutely brilliant and it made our beautiful city of Chester look even better than it normally does. I am sorry that the timing of the procession was a bit early for the row past of the boats but I still saw all the boats and so did most of the people on the river side and we all thought the sight was amazing. Thank you all for making such a great effort and a great spectacle."
Grosvenor Rowing Club Chester are an Explore Rowing Pioneer club, and are looking for new members to join the next course in their successful Learn to Row program - starting on 13th June at 18:30. For more info, contact us on