Leicester RC reveals Diamond Jubilee Pageant boat
A young mother and a retired furniture maker are among the Leicester RC crew taking part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant next weekend, rowing an Explore Rowing quad in the 1000-boat flotilla.
The June 3rd pageant will be one of the largest in London’s history, and Leicester’s boat has been given a Jubilee makeover to mark the occasion.
The Explore Rowing boat – selected for the pageant along with stable Explore Rowing boats from Twickenham, Royal Chester, Deben, Upton and Weyfarers rowing clubs – will fly Leicester Rowing Club’s Wyvern flag and the Leicester City coat of arms, both of which were presented to the club at its recent regatta.
“I love to row, and to be on the water doing something I love to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee will be an experience I will never forget” said Malcolm Neal, long time Leicester Rowing Club member, who organised the crew. “It’s a long time since I rowed on the Thames, and to be doing it now for the Queen is definitely something to tell the grandchildren!”
The four rowers – Malcolm Neal, John Wilson, Nicola Cheesman and Julie Paillin – and cox Neil Martin will rover more than 10 miles on the day of the pageant, and will be on the water for at least four hours.
“Steering a boat in tidal water is always a challenge” said Neil Martin, cox and responsible for the safety of the crew. “The Thames is long, wide and with an ebbing tide, so it will require a lot of concentration to keep the crew rowing at a constant speed – thinking about tidal flows, with hundreds of other boats all around. And we have to make sure we keep our position ahead of the Queen too!”
The Leicester boat will join hundreds of rowing and paddle boats at the head of the flotilla, followed by the Royal Barge and other motorised vessels. They will be led by Gloriana, a £1m Royal Row Barge to be crewed by 18 rowers including Olympic gold medallists Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, and members of the GB Rowing Team’s current Adaptive Rowing squad.
Find out more about the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant at www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/Default.aspx.
For more information about Leicester RC, visit www.leicester-rowing.co.uk.