[Note : in the archives this note appears as "Elite Women 2002" but the text suggests it is from 1999].

Summer racing. Training in tee shirts. Crop tops. Large drinks bottles. Weighing in. Jumpers for goalposts!! How soon the autumn is with us.

Back to Ghent. Our second trip to Gent in mid May was wonderful. On Saturday Kristel and Emma got the worst of the draw in the pairs, but rowed another cracking race in the four with Sam and Jo to make the final. Bev and Caroline, and Jen and Sue cruised to their final in the Pairs and Fours, so we were set for a busy afternoon.

Wonderfully, after a rotten start in the pairs final, Bev and Caroline rowed a splendid race to win, with Jen and Sue 5th. Even more splendidly they repeated the feat in the Fours, beating the Dutch Under 23's into second, much to their dismay. The other four rather ran out of steam, which persuaded Steve and I to suggest to the girls that they "do" the VIII the next day – I mean what's the fun in repeating something when you can do something new!! Fortunately, the grumpy boatman had put the VIII on and entered a crew – even though no-one had stepped in an VIII since March!! It was a gamble as we'd never raced a Womens VIII in Europe before!! but the paddle went well, so game on.

Sunday was fun. We cruised over in the heat and then completely ruined the Dutch four's weekend by walloping them in an VIII as well in a splendid final. Beating Upper Thames by 12 seconds was the icing on the cake. Game Set and Match to Marlow.

However, God moves in mysterious ways, and to balance the above both the Met and Docks Regattas were blown off the Docks!! Quick quiz question for 2010 – which Marlow sculler won her first sculling race at the 1999? Metropolitan Regatta, one of only four races to be held in the whole regatta?? Answers on a postcard to ….

 

Emma, Sam, Jo and Kristel

As the whole of UK Womens rowing staggered blindly with no form towards Women's Henley Regatta, the gloom for us was lifted by the Commonwealth Games VIII which PT had the honour to coach through June. Jen and Sue settled at 5 and 6 and the Henley draw was eagerly awaited. Bev and Caroline were sucked into the Longridge programme, and the Kristel, Jo,Sam and Emma four prepared to race club coxed fours and prayed for a tailwind!! Unfortunately, Wallingford and a headwind were too strong and we were all left high and dry by mid day on Saturday – failure hurt and was revenged later. The Commonwealth VIII raced with great gusto, beating Boston University in the heat and, very splendidly, Upper Thames /Twickenham (with a few Longridge "guests") by some way the final. Well done Jen and Sue!!

And so to the Nationals. PT had returned to the fold, leaving the VIII to yet more angst ridden seat racing, while Lee and Liz finally arrived from South Africa. So there were 6!! Emma and Kristel were pairing and out for revenge in the Four, so Lee and Liz attacked (literally) pairing with great gusto when the coxed four played, and tried out a coxless four when the little pair played, all the while chasing Julie and her scales – sorry new boat up the river. Jen returned from very unfair seat racing with an even stronger accent and a friend called Nieve or Niamh (depending on your colours) to row a pair for Northern Ireland (which is separate for the Commonwealth Games but not the Home Countries!! – home rule for Bucks??!!).

Saturday - Coxed four heat – joy, we dump on Wallingford, make the final but are too slow for a medal – gloom. Coxless four looks great and makes final with good medal chance. Both the heavy pairs make the final and look good – who needs to train all year in a pair?? The final answered that!! Little pair looked very good.

Sunday – a good day. The heavy pairs row really well, but the lack of time catches up with them. Lee and Liz enjoy many lanes – 2100m is a long way!! Well rowed Northern Ireland who, despite being pipped by Wales for the bronze, get to go to Canada!! The coxless four have a terrific race, defying a charge from Upper Thames (yes them again!!) to win the bronze medal and the club plaque!! Well done Jo, Liz, Lee and Sam. Caroline. Bev and Sue are now the stern 3 of the Commonwealth VIII and romp home 30 long seconds clear of the field!! The best was saved to last. In the lightweight pairs, we were up against the Scottish and English pairs for the Commonwealth Games, the Scots full of confidence after a silver at Lucerne!! After a steady start, Kristel and Emma settled in third at 500m and stayed there for a long time!! On the towpath the Scottish cyclists were getting very excited, but they were to be silenced in the last 500. With a distinct look left and right, Kristel turned the screw and with a devastating push, Kristel and Emma blew everyone away, taking 3 lengths off the Scots in 400m!! Fantastic! Emma has not stopped smiling since, and that's no mean achievement in any ones books!!

The Commonwealth Games saw the VIII get to within 2 lengths of the Kiwis who only beat the full GB VIII in 1998 by a length! A great effort. Charlotte rowed in the four and with Jen finding new South Africans to be very painfully crashed into by Marlow had four girls at the games – Well done all.

The end of the season saw Steve Wills return to sheep worrying down under! His enthusiasm and passion will be greatly missed. Gary and Phil have a tough act to follow. Good on you cabbage.

And so to the Millennium season

The 2005/2006 season has started well for the Marlow Women’s Senior Squad with successes both on and off the water.   Four months in and we have 7 wins to report together with some other notable results.  We have added 3 new members to the squad, bringing the core to 12.  There is also great promise from the newly formed Development Squad (coached by Lisa Knill) who are proving their ability on the water in training and in racing too.

A great start to the season was made at the first attempt at the Rower’s Revenge Triathlon.  Helen, Clare and super-sub Alex Richmond won the women’s team event in a new course record, beating a couple of men’s teams in the process (not naming any names though, eh coach?!).

On the water, the squad notched up three wins at Marlow LDS:  Clare in WE 1x; Helen in WS1 1x and Tash Wase in WS3 1x.  The Development Squad tasted success at their first race with a win in WN 4x. with a 2nd place for Rachel in WN 1x.

 

Also on home ground, the two Tash’s won WS2 2x at Marlow Fours and Pairs Head, a feat which was impressive on two counts – firstly they had both raced at the Sculler's Head on the Tideway the day before and secondly their penchant for detailed bank inspections meant that they spent a great deal of time extracting themselves from the reeds.

 

The Senior Squad have raced three times on the Tideway since September; at the Pairs, Fours, and Sculler’s Heads.  Clare teamed up with Mortlake’s Ingrid Hansen and were placed 2nd equal in WS2 2x, which all things considered was not a bad result (a slight mishap with Chiswick Bridge during the pre-race warm-up paddle had resulted in an unexpected swim).  The squad had three boats entered at the Fours Head, resulting in a fantastic 2nd place in WS2 4+ (Helen, Louise, Sarah and Martina with Lisa Knill coxing).  The Sculler’s Head saw a win in WVet A 1x for Clare and 2nd in WS1 1x for Helen.

Most recently, the squad attended Walton Small Boats Head at the beginning of December and notched up a further 2 wins.  Clare in WE 1x and Helen in WS1 1x.  Tamsin and Bridget narrowly missed taking the WS3 2x title, losing by 2 seconds to local winners Walton RC.  Fay showed off some demon steering in WS2 2x with Clare, finishing 4th fastest Women’s 2x of the day.

The focus is now shifting to bigger boats and after Christmas eights will be formed in anticipation of the Women’s Eights Head in March.

Winter 2004/2005

Training started again in earnest in the second week in September with the first race at Wallingford 3 weeks later.  The whole squad attended, racing in singles and doubles, and whilst we had no wins (except for Emily in WVet A 1x – racing herself!) everyone came away happy with their performance at this early stage in the season.

For those of us who had made foolish commitments at the end of the previous season, the Pairs HORR loomed in the second weekend in October.  A raging headwind round Chiswick Eyot made for very difficult conditions in the last third of the race.  Nonetheless, we all made it and managed 5th place in WS2 2x and 17th & 19th places in WS4 2x.

Illness meant Kev was unable to attend GB trials, leaving Emily the squad’s sole representative who came a very respectable 17th out of 39 in WLwt 1x.

The switch to big boats was then made for the Fours HORR and 3 crews trained for the next few weeks ahead of the race at the beginning of November.  The day itself was really quite calm for the tideway as the crews set off for the start.  We had 2 quads in a very competitive Senior 2 category (over 50 entries) and they didn’t have too long to wait before they raced, both turning in good results.  The first quad over the line comprised of Bridget King, Yolande Wase, Tamsin Knill and Danni Phillips, who came 15th in the category (296th overall), the second being Tash Somers, Fay Beanland, Lisa Knill and Mandy Parr who came 47th in the category (420th overall).  We also had a Senior 2 coxed four entered (Louise Ainley, Helen Selden, Jo Chesney, Kim Wilson and cox Ella Waddingham) who after about 2 hours got their chance to come down the course, managing to come 7th in the category and 355th overall.

The Scullers Head was the next event on the calendar and as a squad we had 8 people racing.  You could not have asked for better conditions to tackle the Tideway in a single scull.  Despite the cold, the water was flat and the dreaded headwind round Hammersmith bend non-existent.  If only we had the benefit of local knowledge, we might have had a couple of wins, but the results proved that the technique we have all been perfecting for the last year has paid off: WE Lwt (Emily) 4th; WS1 (Kev) 3rd; WS3 (Kim) 3rd; WS4 (Bridget King) 3rd; WN (Yolande Wase, Lisa & Louise) 8th, 17th & 18th respectively; WVet A (Clare) 2nd.

And so to last weekend and Wycliffe.  Again, near perfect conditions, great organization and a really relaxed atmosphere made for a good and enjoyable day’s racing and some promising results from the squad.   Clare drew the short straw and raced all 3 divisions, subbing into a WS3 4x with Louise, Dani Phillips and Tamsin which went on to record the fastest women’s time of the day.  A win for Clare in WS1 1x, narrowly beating Kev (silver), added a second squad win, and silver medals in WE 1x (Clare), WS3 2x (Dani & Tamsin), WN 2x (Tash Smith & Mandy Parr), WN 4x (Tash, Mandy, Louise and Lisa) brought the medal haul to a respectable 7.

So, what next?? Some members of the squad are off to race at Burway this weekend, whilst Helen is off to GB trials mid December.  A break in racing for Christmas will be followed by preparation for the Eights HORR in March, and all the fun that will bring …… TO BE CONTINUED!!

Senior Women's Report

The Season 2004 So Far...

As we move forward, through the training camp in Hazewinkle and onward, here are the results for 2004 so far.

ABINGDON HEAD

Abingdon head was not a race for the faint hearted with two very difficult bends to steer but after wise words from Andy and Russ as to the steering plan most banking incidents were avoided!.

In the first division Emily was the fastest woman sculler down the course in a time of 10.48. Kev was second in the S1 sculls with a time of 11.11. Clare was unfortunately victim of someone else’s very dodgy steering, which cost her some valuable seconds in a crash but still managed a time of 11.13 to be second in S2.
Louise won the novice sculls event in a time of 11.50. Catrin and Dani were second in the senior 3 double with a time of 10.41 and Lisa and Tamsin made a small detour into trees in the senior 4 double ending with a time of 12.04.

In the second division Tash won the S3 sculls in a time of 11.26 and Lisa and Louise were third in the novice doubles with a time of 11.11.

In the third division the two quads headed off, the S1 quad with Emily, Clare, Kev and I raced for time only completing the course in 9.15 . The S3 quad of Catrin, Tweaks, Dani and Tamsin were second in their category with a time of 10.14.

WOMENS HEAD OF THE RIVER

WHORR was a good day for the women’s squad, the first eight had a storming row, overtaking Upper Thames who then hung on to push us down the course. The result of 11th (10th after change to results) was a well deserved one and showed great promise for the season ahead. The second eight also had a great row and whilst they were a relatively scratch crew they produced a fantastic result of 89th(88th after change) putting both crews within the top 100. [Picture has been lost]

READING UNIVERSITY HEAD

Reading seemed a perfect opportunity to field the boats for the WHORR (well as close as was possible). The first eight raced in the morning and won S1 putting in a time of 15:35, which made us the fastest women’s crew down the course.
The second eight was a completely scratch crew but managed to pull it together to produced a great time being third in S2 with a time of 16:21.

HENLEY FOURS AND EIGHTS HEAD

Henley was the first event of the New Year and despite the awful weather was a good start. The first eight won the WS2 category easily from the second eight. The S1 quad was second to UTRC and the coxless four suffered the same fate narrowly missing out on wining the event to UTRC again.

Hillbilly

 

With the main racing season drawing to a close the Women’s Senior Squad can look back on mixed fortunes this summer. We have had some fantastic races and some fantastic results but we’ve also ended up on the wrong side of some extremely close verdicts. As expected, with 7 of last year’s squad pregnant at some stage during the winter season, squad numbers were a bit down on the previous year however we still continued to welcome new members who have all enjoyed representing the club at the main races of the season.  

After returning from another excellent training camp in Hazewinkel the start of summer racing for many kicked off at Wallingford Regatta at the end of April. This regatta was used more as an eliminator than anything else – the coaches wanting to establish early on what combinations worked/didn’t work. With the first race shakedown behind them, the following weekend the heavyweights headed to Ghent to try various combinations of double scull and also a quad. Doing a double scull at Ghent always involves a horrendously early wake-up, but despite this Tash Wase & Helen Selden won the silver medal on the Saturday in the double and then joined forces with Katy Williams and Clare Haley to win the bronze medal in the quad. Keen to continue their success on the Sunday, the quad cruised through their heat and beat Saturday’s first and second placed crews in the final picking up the silver medal behind an Irish composite crew.

There was then a lull in proceedings until the Met regatta at the end of May where once again the quad was in action, together with a newly formed lightweight four (Dani Phillips, Tamsin Knill, Susie Wilkinson and Emma Mitchell) and heavyweight double of Siobhan Kennedy and Rachel Finnes. The quad dominated the S2 event on the Saturday, winning despite the fact that they were geared on the same gearing as the GB Women’s Quad [Russ – oops! New blades … :o) ]. Unfortunately this win meant that they were bumped up to race Elite on the Sunday, and despite a valiant effort to the 1000m mark the gearing took its toll and the quad finished third. The lightweight four took their task of “racing to the 1000m” literally and having squeezed ahead of their opposition then allowed their opposition to row through them again in the second half of the race. The double raced well but were unable to proceed beyond the repechage in a strong S2 event.

At Henley Women’s Regatta, in addition to the usual suspects from the squad we also had an Intermediate coxed four racing (Karin Phillips, Sara Scott, Steph Proctor and Amy Bunt coxed by Lisa Knill) and Marlow’s own Sporting Giants racing in Senior doubles alongside Siobhan and Rachel. The four unfortunately failed to get through the qualifying races and although both doubles successfully got through one round they were then both knocked out. The lightweights won their first race against Nottingham University easily, but then came up against the eventual winners, Mortlake Anglian and Alpha. The Elite 4x had a superb scull in the first round, beating Upper Thames convincingly to make the final where they then faced a composite Mortlake, Tideway Scullers and Rebecca crew which included 3 ex-GB squad members. A thrilling race saw both crews put in a very gutsy performance however in the end the Marlow crew just missed out, losing the final by a canvas – the closest verdict of the day in what was deemed by many to be the best race of the day.

The disappointment of losing out on a medal was short-lived as the quad pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta and was a “selected” crew based on the results from the season. Unfortunately illness plagued the run up to HRR and although they had a solid row in their Friday quarter final the boat lacked some of the spark it had in other races and the crew were beaten by ¾ length by Imperial College.  

ws08_quad_in_princess_grace_challenge_cup
4x in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup at HRR 

It was 3rd time lucky on the Henley stretch for Clare and Tash as they raced at Henley Veterans Regatta a week later. Racing in Vet A doubles they won their heat against Auriol Kensington comfortably and their final against a Globe/Avon County composite crew easily. This made up for losing their heat of Veteran B quads (with Jo Chesney and Kristel Ruinet) by 2 ½ lengths to an Upper Thames crew containing Olympic silver medallist Guin Batten.

ws08_tash_and_clare_2x_hen_vets

Tash and Clare Winning WVet A 2x at Henley Vets ...



ws08_smurf_admires_prizes

... The Smurf can see that the Trauma of being looked after by Daddy was worth it

The National Championships were attended by the quad and lightweight four, the latter having a straight final on the Sunday. The quad turned up to race on the Saturday to discover that one of the crews in their event had withdrawn, which dropped the race to a straight final also. Ordinarily this would not have made a difference, however on Sunday the mother of all cross-winds was blowing and from very early on in the day the lanes were seeded according to finish times from the heats with 6 being for the fastest crews and 1 for the slowest. No prizes for guessing what lane the Marlow crew ended up in (1). Notwithstanding all of this, the quad raced extremely well and finished 5th in a blanket finish, only 2 seconds off bronze. Although bitterly disappointed that their last race of the season should be so “unfair”, the crew could hold their heads high knowing that they had done everything asked of them in the race.

The lightweight four had a fantastic race in their final and easily pulled ahead of Nottingham and Agecroft to bring home the silver medal behind the HWR winners, Mortlake. This also was the best result of any crew racing in Lane 1 at the regatta! Special mention should also go to the Sporting Giants who made the final of the doubles event in their first ever 2000m regatta.


ws08_lwt4x_silver_nat_champs


Lightweight 4- Get Silver at the Nat Champs


ws08_dani_tamsin_emma_suzie_nat_champs


Dani, Tamsin, Emma and Susie

Only 4 from the squad attended Henley Town and Visitors Regatta at the beginning of August. Dani and Tamsin enjoyed looking at the back of Mortlake’s one-piece to win S3 doubles, and they were followed down the course by Clare and Tash who won S2 pairs – well, not literally “followed” as the pair did their best to jeopardise their chances by slaloming down the buoys … only saved by the fact that their opposition seemed equally intent on trying out their rudder skills. Determined to redeem their less than impressive pair’s victory, Clare and Tash stormed to victory in S1 doubles notching up the third fastest time of the day, only being beaten by 2 eights. Phew.

ws08_dani_tamsin_ws3_hentv

Dani and Tamsin Collecting WS3 2x at Henley T&V



ws08_clare_tash_hentv

Clare and Tash win WS2 2- at Henley T&V

And so another season ends … Given the number of people actually racing this season the squad had a very decent set of results: 5 wins, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. But there is another set of results worthy of a mention: 7 babies ! Congratulations to Clare & Russ (Ione), Kathy & Soren (Alex), Karin & Ed (Henry), Bridget & Jim (Harriet), Sarah & James (Oscar), Victoria & Mike (Euan) and last but by no means least Andrea & Mark (Riley). Here’s looking to next year …

As ever we welcome any new members (lightweight or heavyweight) with rowing experience, whether sweep or sculling, and we hope that some more of the new MRC mums will come back to row next season. If you want to join please contact Russ Haley on 07770 568761 or russell@rhaley.orangehome.co.uk

Summer 2007

 

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Consequently the river lights are on red

So much for summer

I’ll be at Dorney instead cos

Raindrops keep falling on my head …

 

Ok, ok, ok - the joke is over.  Would somebody please have a word with Him upstairs and do something about this bloody weather?  I thought the idea of slogging up and down the river during the winter in the wind and rain was to make the summer months all the more pleasurable?  Not this year it seems …

Buoyant following wins at Wallingford, Ghent and Bedford regattas the squad continued on its summer campaign.  First up was Twickenham, where the novice and intermediate squads (with new found enthusiasm following the allocation of their own coaches) raced in both sculling and sweep events.  Sadly there were no wins to report, however a number of the girls raced in small boats for the first time and quickly appreciated the benefits of winter mileage as well as gaining some invaluable experience in steering.

 

Coxed Four at Twickenham

Meanwhile the senior squad turned their attention to the Metropolitan regatta at Dorney.  Victoria Parsons amazed the crowd with her boat manoeuvring tricks in WS3 1x – although handbrake turns are probably best practised once you’ve crossed the finish line, not just before.   The tiddler 4x (Emma Mitchell, Bridget King-Cotter-King, Dani Phillips and Tamsin Knill) raced brilliantly on the Saturday in WS2 4x to finish within 1 length of the Mortlake 4x who had beaten them by some 13 seconds at Wallingford a few weeks previously.  Tash Wase joined up with fellow lanky lightweight Athalie Redwood-Brown from Reading RC to form a fairly nifty 2x who coasted through the heats and semis of WS2 2x to come 2nd in the final, way ahead of the rest of the field and any potential Henley opposition.

 

Tash and Athalie at Metropolitan

The novice eight (Sophie Steventon, Elizabeth Gurney, Andrea O’Hagan, Tris Shrimpton, Caroline Buggins, Amy Bunt, Fran Roberts and Sally Denholm, coxed by Lisa Knill) kept the wins ticking over with a 2 length victory over Eton Excelsior at Marlow Town regatta.  Julia Holt nearly secured her first success in a 1x, however unfortunately the red-mist that had so successfully pulled her back from a length down to nearly a length up seemed to affect her vision for she steered into her opposition’s path on crossing the line and was promptly disqualified.  (Note from Ed – the umpire’s white flag waving at you isn’t a good thing).

 

WS4 Quad at Kingston

In preparation for Henley, the tiddler 4x stormed through their first round at Reading Amateur however half way down the course in their second race Emma decided she’d rather sweep than scull and she ejected one of her blades.  Seeing as the opposition had determined that 8 blades would in fact be better than 7, they won.

 

Julia in a Close Finish in WS4 1x at Kingston

But that was ok, because the following weekend the 4x were to redeem themselves and more in a thrilling HWR (aka Henley’s Wet Regatta).   Despite the appalling conditions, Marlow had one of its most successful HWR’s in years. 

 

Tiddler 4x Just Missing Out in Senior 4x Final at HWR (photo from UTRC)

The tiddler 4x exceeded everyone’s expectations, racing strongly all weekend to get through to the final of Senior 4x, which they sadly lost to Nottingham Boat Club by a 1/3L in a fantastic race.  Despite understandably feeling gutted this result proved that technique can triumph over brawn.

The intermediate 4+ (Karin Phillips, Kathy Josefsen, Sarah Walker and Victoria Parsons, coxed by Lisa Knill) successfully got through qualifiers on the Friday but were unfortunately knocked out in the first round to Cardiff in Intermediate Fours.

 

Tash and Athalie Collecting Senior Doubles Medals at HWR

Tash & Athalie’s composite 2x had a fairly easy route through to the final of Senior 2x where they came up against Newcastle University who were by far their toughest opposition.  Despite being down off the start, the girls came through to win the event in a new course record.  Thanks must go to Tash’s boss Mrs Lenton, Head Teacher Slough Grammar School, who kindly allowed Tash to have the Friday off school to race. 

 

Athalie Realises She May Have to Put up With Tash for Another Season ...

 

At this point it is probably worth noting that it is still raining …

The squad entered two boats for the Princess Grace Challenge Cup at HRR (Henley’s now Really Rainy), both of which had to race at Qualifiers on the Friday before the regatta started.  The tiddler 4x were this time outsized and outraced and sadly failed to qualify, however the composite Marlow / Reading 4x with Tash, Athalie, Jo Lyons (Reading Uni) and Carolyn Smith (South Africa) had more success and ended up being drawn against one of the Australian National Squad boats for their first race.  Obviously their training on the Henley reach in the run up to the regatta scared the opposition off; the Marlow composite had a row-over in their Friday race.  In the semi-finals the Marlow composite drew another Australian National Squad boat, however this one wasn’t quite so easily scared and despite our girls holding them to the end of the island the Aussies went on to win the race and the event easily.

The National Championships followed two weeks after HRR, and in action were Tash & Athalie in their 2x and also in another composite 4x, this time with Rebecca Saddler from Upper Thames and Helen Ralston from Reading RC.  The tiddler 4x entered both lightweight and heavyweight quads and made it through the rep in heavyweight to ensure that the squad was represented in the final of each event it entered.  The tiddlers stuck to their plan of racing the first 1000m but saving themselves in the second 1000m for the lightweight event later in the day, whilst the Marlow composite boat successfully picked up the bronze medal.  Sadly neither the tiddler 4x nor the 2x medalled in the other finals, both finishing 4th in their events.

Henley T&V suffered from the deluge that put half of the south of England under water at the end of July, and so the squad’s final sortie was to Maidenhead regatta … at Dorney.  To end the season on a high, Karin Phillips lost her novice status by winning WN 1x and the coxed four of Clare Flannery, Tris Shrimpton, Sara Scott and Sarah Walker, ably coxed by Dani “I nearly had to carry weights” Phillips, triumphed in the final of WS4 4+ after a nail biting heat where they won by just 4 feet.  Strong performances by Julia Holt in WS3 1x, Andrea O’Hagan and Karin Phillips in WN 2x, the WN 4+ (Amy Bunt, Fran Roberts, Sophie Steventon and Elizabeth Gurney, coxed by Lisa Knill) and the WS4 eight (Amy Bunt, Caroline Buggins, Fran Roberts, Julia Holt, Sarah Walker, Tris Shrimpton, Clare Flannery and Sara Scott, coxed by Lisa Knill) meant smiley faces all round and shows great promise for next season.

Off the water people have been quite busy this year too. Congratulations to Tash Wase and Ian Packer who tied the knot on 28th July in North Devon – the happy couple managed to stay unbroken for the whole of the weekend, which must be a record for them.  Congratulations also to Clare & Russ Haley who are expecting their first baby in September, and to Kathy and Soren Josefsen who are expecting their first baby in December (the call for new coxes has obviously been taken literally by some). 

And so, with the rain still p**sing down, another racing season draws to a close and people enjoy some well deserved time away from the club.  The new season starts again in a few weeks, with the first organised coaching session on Saturday 15th September, meeting at 7.15am in the gym. 

New members especially those with rowing / sculling / coxing experience are always welcome at Marlow.  In the next racing year (2007 / 2008) we hope to build on the successes of our small lightweight squad and we are also keen to recruit heavyweights both at intermediate and senior level.  If you are interested in joining please contact

 russell@rhaley.orangehome.co.uk 

Senior Squad Report - Summer 2006

Sun ... flat water ... edible food ... no juniors ... could this possibly be the same Hazewinkel that we have grown to love? Sure enough, a week and a half later than normal seemed to make all the difference to the MRC senior squad training camp. Although only 5 days long, with no water-time wasted due to miserable weather this training camp was hailed by those who were able to attend as being one of the best in a long while. On the water, the men entertained with their secret squirrel seat racing and the development squad amazed with their swimming ability. Off the water, the evenings were whiled away analysing technique and talking race tactics. Yeah right ....

 

Tash Wase picking up Senior Lightweight Singles at HWR

Anyway, it all paid off because at the first regatta of the season (Wallingford) Lou and Helen won WS2 pairs in a cracking race, and then doubled up with Ella, Tash Somers and Sarah Cochrane to row down the field to take second place in WS2 4+. At Ghent the following weekend, the gods were not smiling on Marlow crews - Clare and Ingrid (MAA) were beaten by a bow ball into 4th place in Elite doubles on the Saturday, and on the Sunday Tash W missed out on a medal in lightweight singles in a blanket finish for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Not bad considering it was her second ever 2k race (the first being on the Saturday)....

Met regatta brought with it the usual mixture of sunshine and wind. Saturday morning's extremely strong tail wind had by the afternoon really kicked up the water and made conditions quite unpleasant. Nonetheless, Tash W powered through to win WS3 singles and teamed up with Clare on Sunday to win WS1 doubles convincingly.

Andy and Russ promised that there were nice medals to be had at Reading Amateur and so the squad headed off the week before Henley Women's for some "sharpening". Tash W and Clare continued their winning streak, cleaning up in WE doubles and collecting what really are very nice medals! No other wins for the squad however notable mention must to go the WS2 coxed four (Lou and Clare together with Sarah C and Martina from London RC and Ella coxing) who hadn't rowed together before and, having won their first race, re-rigged and went on to win the next two rounds but were sadly beaten in the final.

 

Composite Marlow / London Senior 4+ vs. Osiris / Thames at HWR

Henley Women's Regatta was held over 3 days again this year, and Marlow was represented in 4 boat classes - Clare & Helen both competing in Elite singles, Tash W in Senior Lightweight singles, Dani and Tamsin in Lightweight doubles and Ella, Lou, Tash S, Martina and Sarah in Senior coxed fours. The (bad) luck of the draw saw Helen and then Clare knocked out of their event by one of last year's World Championships bronze medal lightweight quad - still, both gave her a damn good run for her money. Dani and Tamsin had a fantastic result in their Saturday race to progress to the semi on Sunday where they were beaten by Notts & Union who went on to make up part of the England Commonwealth gold medal winning lightweight quad. The coxed four were the only crew who raced on Friday and Lou managed to squeeze the race in during her lunch hour (or at least that's what she told her boss). Fortunately they were successful and on Saturday had a fantastic race against Oxford/Thames, who unfortunately rowed through to beat the Marlow/London composite by 3 feet on the line.

 

Dani and Tamsin in Lightweight Doubles

However, pride of place for the regatta goes to super sculler Natalia Wase (Tash W to her friends), who annihilated her opposition racking up 1 five length and 3 easily verdicts to win in outstanding style the inaugural Senior Lightweight singles event. This is the squad's first Henley win in 3 years and well worth waiting for.

Sadly, the excitement of a week of being able to eat pies and maybe have a little tipple to celebrate played havoc with Tash's body and she tore an intercostal muscle whilst steering her single in training. This put her out for the remainder of the season and meant she was unable to compete in the Nationals or race off for a place in the England Commonwealth team. Get well soon Tash - the Pairs Head is only a few weeks away!

 

Tash regains 5kg in one sitting

Whilst the youth of today were up in Nottingham battling it out for Commonwealth slots, Clare was at Henley Vets battling it in defence of her WVA single title. The conditions made racing a little "challenging" however having successfully picked off her heat and semi final opposition, she sculled strongly to win the final and pick up her second Henley Vets medal (and nice it is too).

 

Helen vs. Naomi Hoogesteger in Elite Singles at HWR

Only a few of the squad attended the Nationals at Strathclyde Park at the end of July, the rest being laid up with broken bits. No medals were won, but good solid performances were given by Tamsin and Dani in lightweight doubles, Clare in the single and Helen and her partner Laura Gilbert (Tyne) in the double.

 

Clare also vs. Naomi Hoogesteger in Elite Singles at HWR

Henley T&V saw the return of Vic Richmond in S1 doubles with Clare. A lightning start meant that they had clear water ahead of the London and Weybridge doubles, however having not been in a boat for 9 months, a 1000m race was a bit much to ask and London rowed down Marlow in the last few hundred metres. The same London crew raced Helen and Tash S in a very close match in the final but again proved the stronger crew. In S3 doubles however Marlow had more success with a win for returning student Helen Brewer and her partner Rachel Thompson from UWE.

Finally, special mention should go to Lou and Sarah who achieved an amazing feat of cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats in 8 days, averaging 125 miles per day. Keep that up and we will have a lightweight squad to be reckoned with in 2007!

THE END

(for now)

 

MRC WOMEN’S SQUAD – 2005 REGATTA SEASON ROUND UP

Time spent on the water during an unusually sunny training camp in Hazewinkle has paid great dividends this season with wins at almost every regatta attended and international selection for one of the Women’s squad athletes.  Below is a summary of our attendance and results.


Wallingford Regatta – WS2 4+ (Louise, Kim, Clare, Vic, Ella - cox)

The first regatta of the season was attended by a lone squad member.  Clare Haley drove the long road north to Strathclyde Park regatta, a Scottish team selection event.  The trip was worthwhile – Clare won open (elite) 1x (defeating the 2004 GB National Champion) and doubled up with Ingrid Hansen (Thames RC) to win open (elite) 2x.  Not a bad start!
 

Wallingford Regatta – WS2 4+ (Clare, Vic, Ella, Kim, Louise)

The following weekend some of the squad raced at Wallingford, and we had 2 further wins in WE 1x (Clare) and WS2 4+ (Vic Richmond, Kim Wilson, Louise Ainley, Clare & Ella Waddingham).  On a roll, the four (with Sarah Cochrane subbing in for Vic) raced at Gent and despite some shocking conditions won silver at the Belgian National Championships on the Saturday, and came 4th in the final on the Sunday. Helen Selden & Kim proved that there is nothing wrong with slow starts by rowing down the field to win a bronze medal in the 2x on Sunday.

Marlow Spring saw two of the novice squad race for the first time – Rachel Lawrence & Marie Truxler struggled against a strong Oxford crew, however with first race nerves thing of the past things can only get better!

At Twickenham regatta despite steering issues Tamsin Knill won WS4 1x and Louise & Tash Somers won their novices in WN 2x.  Dani & Tamsin nearly made it a hat trick of wins for the squad, but some erratic steering (who said you needed to be on the outside of the buoys??) resulted in a disqualification rather than a pot. 

Peterborough was attended by those we were not racing at the Met regatta, and Dani & Tamsin redeemed themselves by staying in their lane and winning WS3 2x.  Meanwhile over at Dorney, Clare, Helen and Kim were racing at the Met.  Kim & Helen won their heat of WS2 2x comfortably and then finished 5th in the final.  Clare struggled with the conditions early on in the day but in her third and final race (WE 1x) she had a stormer and came in 3rd, ahead of a number of GB squad final triallists.  On Sunday, the 4+ (Vic, Kim, Louise, Clare & Ella) won WS2 4+ in a thrilling final against Oxford.

The weekend before Women’s Henley is not an ideal weekend for a 900 mile round trip but Scottish selection criteria required Clare to race at the Scottish Championships in order to continue to be eligible for selection.  Clare & Ingrid raced the 2x in a borrowed boat, which they attempted to set up with a tape measure and string (Russ would be proud); it must have worked because they won but by all accounts it wasn’t pretty.

Closer to home, Lou & Tash won WS3 2x at Reading Town. 

The women’s squad was represented by 3 boats at Henley Women’s Regatta – Vic, Kim, Louise, Clare & Ella Senior 4+, Helen in Elite 1x and Dani, Tamsin, Bridget King & Sarah Cochrane in a lightweight 4-.  The 4+ suffered the ultimate nightmare of being rowed down in the last 250m by Yale University in the second round.  Yale lost the final to Nottingham University.  Helen had a cracker of a rowover in her first round, and led last year’s lightweight 1x winner for the first half of the semi-final, but was also rowed down by the more experienced single sculler.  The Lightweight 4- were just too little – they had an excellent race and, unlike their opposition, steered a blinding course, however at the end of the day they were beaten by the ultimate winners who were at least 3 feet taller than the Marlow girls.
 
Wins in WS4 2x (Tash & Louise) and WS3 1x (Dani) at Bedford and in WVA 1x (Clare) at Henley Vets continued the squad’s success and acted as a good warm up for the Nationals.  At the Nationals, the luck (or bad luck) of the draw was the pertinent expression of the weekend.  Clare and Helen were drawn in the same 1x heat with the eventual gold and bronze medalists, and Clare & Ingrid suffered the blow of being the 4th boat in the fastest semi final of the 2x on Sunday, having convincingly won their heat on Saturday.  Dani & Tamsin had a superb race in the lightweight 2x, and qualified for the repechage but sadly didn’t make it through to the final.  Helen & Louise showed great promise for next year, racing through the repechage in the 2- to come 4th in the final – not bad for their first race in the pair.  

Clare & Ingrid gained selection for Scotland in the 2x and 4x, and raced at the Home International Regatta in Cardiff on 23rd July.  Rowing in a properly set up boat, with time together, paid off and the Scottish crew were in a comfortable 2nd place with about 500m to go when some wayward steering/cross wind pushed them onto the buoys and they lost a blade.  A quick recovery and strong finish meant they crossed the line in 3rd place, ½ a length behind the English and ahead of the Welsh.  The 4x was a cracking race, and the scratch crew rowed out of their skins to be narrowly beaten by the Irish into 3rd place, with the Welsh in 1st and the English in 4th.

And so to Henley T&V.  The squad turned out in force and the season’s success was boosted with 5 wins – WS1 1x (Helen), WS3 1x (Tash Wase), WN 1x (Bridget), WS2 4- (Vic, Clare, Kim & Louise) and WS2 8 (the 4- plus Helen, Tash W, Jo Chesney, Dani & Ella).  Pretty good result and a great send off for Kim in her last regatta with Marlow for a while …

Maidenhead resulted in Lisa & Sophie finally losing their novice status in WN 2x (hoorah!!), and joining with Tash S & Louise to win WS3 4x.  Praise must go to Louise & Tash however who faced very strong opposition in WS3 2x but somehow managed to pull through and win … hey, if a rowover in the final means you can win HWR then it means you can win at Maidenhead too!!

The final regatta of what seems to have been an incredibly long season was a very wet and windy Peterborough, where those diehard members of the squad (to everyone else - idiots) went up for a weekend of racing, camping and no doubt a little drinking.  On Saturday, Helen & Louise won WS2 2x in an extremely close race.  Unfortunately the WS3 2x and WS3 8 were not so lucky, and despite qualifying well for the final, could not repeat the success.  A similar story unfolded on the Sunday, with final placings for the WS3 8 and WS3 2x.

With a fantastic total of 24 wins / medals from the squad this season, thanks must go to Russ and Andy for their patience, time and effort spent coaching, rigging, trailer driving and everything else they have done for the squad this season.  There is no doubt that it has been an extremely successful season and a great platform to build on for next year.  Who knows what we might achieve if we learn how to steer.

It is with sadness that we say “goodbye” to Kim & Mark, who have returned to New Zealand after 2 1/2 years in the UK.  It just won’t be the same without those Kiwi quips.  At least there is now an excuse to come back to visit in 2012 with Kimmie & Mark jnr!

A reminder for everyone that the new season starts on 10th September, 8.30am at MRC.  See you there!!

2004 Regatta Season

Following the success of the Eights HORR and a somewhat wet and windy training camp in Hazewinkel, the main regatta season for the women’s squad kicked off at Wallingford.  Clare Haley and Kim Wilson successfully defended MRC’s title in WE 2x, beating the reigning National Champions in WLwt 2x from UTRC.  No other wins, but plenty of good racing in singles and crew sculling boats from the rest of the squad.

The following weekend saw a somewhat depleted squad of four (Clare, Kim, Helen “Kev” Selden and Louise Ainley) go across the channel to Ghent for the Belgian National Champs and Ghent International Regatta.  The 4x qualified for the final on the Saturday only to be plagued by ultra bendy riggers which caused no end of steering and sculling problems as the pitch slowly adjusted as the pressure went on!     On the Sunday, Clare & Kim qualified for the final in the 2x, but their form of the week before wasn’t to be repeated and in a strong field came in 6th. 

3 weeks later and the potential Henley crews raced at the Met Regatta.  There were great performances on the Saturday from the 4+ (Emily Booker, Vic Richmond, Tash Wase and Louise, coxed by Ella Waddingham), who came 2nd in WS3 and 3rd in WS2, and the 4x (Clare, Kim, Kev and Caroline Hillaby) who just missed out to Durham in WS2.  On the Sunday, the 4x (with Louise instead of Caroline) came 4th in WE, and Kim (5th in WS2), Emily (4th in WE Lwt) and Helen (3rd in WS1) all had good sculls.

Trials and traumas caused by illness and availability meant the eventual crews that raced at HWR did not have the benefit of racing earlier in the season.  The 4+ (Emily, Vic, Louise, Caroline and Ella) raced extremely well and lost by 1 ¾ l in the second round to the finalists Princeton USA.  The 4x (Clare, Helen, Kim and Tash Wase) were also knocked out in the second round by Henley (verdict: a canvas) – the only consolation being that Henley went on to race (but lose) the final against Durham Uni.  The composite four of Lisa Knill, Tamsin Knill and two girls from UTRC faced the cruelest of fates when a boat stopping crab caught shortly after the start forced them into the booms and sadly out of contention.

The focus after HWR shifted to the Nationals, and en route HRR.  Yet again illness and availability proved a huge headache for coaches Andy and Russ.  The first eight managed to race at HRR qualifiers and got the second fastest non-qualifying time (the qualifying boats all looking suspiciously like HWR finalists and winners). 

In a pre-Nationals warm-up, the 4x went to Bedford Quarts Sprint Regatta for a bit of “sharpening up” – more like frantic paddling but at least they got a win and a fabulous 2 pint tankard out of it! 

Meanwhile, Sally Reay and Catrin Williams-Jones won WS3 2x at Reading Town and raced the 2x again at Henley Veterans Regatta, narrowly losing out by ½ l to Strathclyde Park in round 1.

At the Nationals, the 4x (with super sub Jo Chesney for Tash), 4- and eight all qualified for the finals, with the 4- bringing home silver behind City of Oxford, and the 4x and eight finishing 5th and 6th respectively.

August saw a few die-hards attend Henley T&V (with Emma Mitchell, Louise, Tamsin and Sophie Lutter sculling with grace and pace to win WS3 4x), Maidenhead (a win for Emily in WE 1x over Kev) and Peterborough (2nd place in WS2 eights and WE 1x) regattas, bringing to an end a reasonably successful, if somewhat frustrating, summer regatta season!