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Rowing club celebrates anniversary with three new boats

By Alan Smith

The Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club is 30 years old. To celebrate, club founder and vice president John Clayton named a new boat for the club at the weekend – the Maidstone Pearl.

More than 150 club and family members attended the event on Saturday and heard a speech by club chairman Harry Salmon who recounted the history of the club from its humble beginnings to the flourishing position it has today.

John Clayton christens the Maidstone Pearl

He said: “The club owes a great debt to many of its members for the work they have put in over the years but I would like to single out one person: John Clayton.

“He always had the vision of what he wanted the club to be, a community based club offering the widest access to all while always striving for success on the water.”

The club has just taken delivery of three new boats to add to its fleet, with a fourth on order.

Mr Clayton was invited to name the racing Eight.

Robin Chapman (foreground) watches as a boat is named after himself

A double scull/pair was named by VIP guest, Di Binley, who is the chairman of Ardingly Rowing Club, as the Morgan and Tim, in honour of former club members Morgan Heller and Tim Grant, who have both achieved an impressive collection of medals at national and international events.

The third boat, a coxless four, was named by the club boatmaster Brian Humphris , as the Robin Chapman.

Mr Salmon said that Mr Chapman, a former club chairman, had been a “tireless” volunteer and coach for the club since 2002.

Morgan Heller and Tim Grant with the boat named in their honour
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