Chairperson – Tom
Secretary – Michèle
I originally learnt to row at university. After a hiatus of about 30 years and following a few paddles with friends and family I returned to the sport at Hillingdon Rowing Club. In 2020 we lost our lake to HS2 and in 2021 I found Spitfire. I love the positive can-do attitude and welcoming atmosphere at the club.
Treasurer – Jeremy
I am late in life to rowing but absolutely love the peacefulness and grace (well most of the time) that the Spitfire BC and rowing on the river Stour provide. I am a keen sportsman generally, and whilst I do not row competitively, sitting in any of our boats is like being in a rocket launcher! As treasurer my core role is to safeguard our finances, but my mission is to significantly expand the club providing affordable rowing to the whole community.
Safety Advisor – Lewin
A rower and racer of boats and rowing machines since 2003, Lewin has won, and lost, races in every single type of rowing boat that races are made available for on flat water and has done the same with rowing machines.
Made responsible for Club Safety in 2021 it was probably assumed that due to his reckless disregard for his own safety he would not take the role that seriously but has since been responsible for a passive aggressive poster printing campaign to explain to all club members how not to crash a boat, how to leave the boat club in the event of fire (very quickly) and most of all how not to hurt oneself in the process of rowing a boat. He has ample experience of this having hurt himself in rowing boats on many occasions, most famously when his bowman attempted to board Temple Island at Henley-upon-Thames, in the run up to a race.
Lewin is a British Rowing and CARA member and has both an Indoor and Level 2 coaching qualification.
Lewin is also the posh Southern half of the BrokenOars podcast for rowers who believe the sport was better when they were a dozen years younger. https://brokenoarspodcast.podbean.com/
Captain – Manuel
Level 2 Session Coach since 2016
I have been dabbling in rowing since 2009, having started as a recreational sculler in Sport Club do Porto, in my hometown of Porto, Portugal. Following my move to Kent in 2012 to pursue my studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, I have joined several local Kentish clubs (not all in one go, mind!!), starting with the University’s own club, moving on to Spitfire BC, and later joining Herne Bay Amateur RC (a coastal rowing club) where I have developed a taste for competition, thus not being able to call myself a recreational rower any more!
Currently, I divide my time between my “river crowd” at Spitfire BC and my “coastal crowd” at Herne Bay (with a significant overlap between the two). Being the captain of Spitfire for a couple of years now, I ensure that the boats are looked after and regularly taken out by our club members.
Vice-captain + Marketing Officer – Sarah
I started rowing at the young age of 13 in my hometown Tasmania, Australia. I was thrown into the coxes seat of my older brothers boat at the age of 8 where I was an emergency cox for a club crew. I soon learnt the ropes and my rowing capability developed very quickly. I started off in a single scull and learnt to row every boat class. I have been successful at the Australian National Championships and won state championships in the school girls eight and many other boat classes over a number of years. I moved to England in 2017 and did a short stint of University rowing at Broxbourne rowing club but relocated to Canterbury in 2021. Coming from a rowing family, I am passionate about everyone enjoying this wonderful sport and knowing that you don’t have to be 6 foot tall to be successful.
As the Vice-captain and marketing officer, I am responsible for general workings of our social media channels, assisting with learn to row programmes, being a friendly face that you can always come to for a chat or any rowing specific questions you may have and of course assisting our captain in race entries.
Club Welfare Officer – Tom
Learn to Row coordinator – Mark
Level 2 Session Coach since 2016
I’ve always felt the need for a water sport of one form or another to be part of my life. Having originally learnt to Row in 1992 on the fast flowing River Isere in France, I then took a break from rowing rediscovering it in 2012 and joining Spitfire. It’s an extremely welcoming club and a great way to get away from traffic and computer screens.