Posted: 29 January, 2024

Ruby Do celebrates 40 years of rowing

Alumnae, Alumnae Events, Celebration, News, Past Events, Rowing, RSA Events, Senior School, Sixth Form, Sports

Gala Dinner and Boat Naming

On Saturday 27 January the Rowing Supporters’ Association gathered with members of Putney’s rowing community to celebrate 40 years of rowing at Putney High School.

Rowing was introduced at Putney High School in 1984 when the pupils were based at Thames Rowing Club, coached by the late Pauline Rayner, doyenne of women’s rowing and Putney’s own much-loved rowing coach. In memory of Pauline, whose death was announced last weekend, and in celebration of 40 fabulous years of rowing at the school, we returned to Thames Rowing Club to recognise Pauline’s enormous contribution to rowing at the school and to mark the club’s significant birthday with a “Ruby Do” Gala Dinner.

Earlier in the evening, before guests assembled for the black tie event, there was a gathering at Putney’s Boat Club where Mr Paul Reedy (Director of Performance) and Mr Pete Brewer (Head of Rowing) awarded rowing blazers to a number of senior rowers in recognition for all they have achieved in the sport.

This was also an opportunity to hold the formal naming of the Boat Club’s newest addition, a new Eight organised by FOPHS and funded by parents as a thank you to former Head, Suzie Longstaff and named Atlanta in recognition of Mrs Longstaff’s own Olympic triumph at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. Atlanta is a gift to the school to thank Mrs Longstaff for her many years of service to Putney High School.

Back at Thames, and following words of welcome from Mr Reed and Putney’s Head, Jo Sharrock, alumna Anna Péchon joined Suzie Longstaff in paying tribute to Pauline Rayner and sharing memories of their time at the club.

There was an award for the Putney High crew of the year – our J16 Quad shortlisted for crew of the year at last Thursday’s British Rowing Awards: Honor Parish, Lucy Cara, Emily Peel, Izabella Habdank-Toczyska.

Dinner was followed by a fundraising raffle and auction in aid of the Putney Boat Club.

Enormous thanks to the RSA, the Chair, Kath Chiarotti, former rowing coach, Sallie Malt, Club Captain Ruby Hasnip and all the staff and students involved in this wonderful celebration.




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