12 November 2001

FOURS HEAD WIN FOR MARLOW OLYMPIAN

Marlow crews put in strong performances in the Fours Head of the River Race on Saturday. This is the highlight of the autumn season and the last national event before Christmas. Over 500 crews took part from throughout the UK and tested themselves against the 4¼ mile course from Chiswick to Putney. On Saturday the race was run on as passive a river as you could ask for; bright sunshine greeted the athletes as they boated, and, with the cold wind of the previous few days having all but disappeared, the race was run in perfect conditions.
Marlow athletes Katherine Grainger and Lisa Eyre combined with Elise Laverick of Thames RC and Rebecca Romero of Kingston RC to win the Elite Quads event in a National Squad combination. Their time of 19 min 35 seconds saw off another National Squad crew from Leander by 20 seconds. This is Katherine's first win in the Fours Head and Lisa's third, though Katherine is of course an Olympic Silver medallist from Sydney - this was the only national domestic honour she has not previously won in her career. The continued success of Lisa Eyre and Katherine Grainger brings success to the Marlow club, which they have both represented in domestic events for a number of years. As ever, they produced a top class performance, which is a reflection of their professional attitude to the sport of rowing and their dedication they bring to their training. Their presence at top domestic events sets the standard for British rowers and gives top club athletes a target to aspire to.
In the club events, Marlow's women again put up a strong showing. The club entered two quads in the Senior 2 event and they went off at numbers 131 and 132. With a lot to prove in both boats, the two Marlow crews pushed each other to the limit, with first one crew gaining ground and then the other pushing back. Marlow I was stroked by Kat Ramsay, supported by Lizzy Tinley, Jo Chesney and Fi Johnson. Marlow II was stroked by Emily Booker, with Andrea Hoskins, Caroline Hillaby and Catrin Williams-Jones. With both crews pushing all the way to the finish it was clear to Coach Phil Tinsley that the crews had gone well. In fact, Marlow I finished third and Marlow II fifth, less than seven one hundredths of a second apart! The Senior 2 pennant went to Imperial College by 15 seconds.
The men's coxless four also performed well and finished fourth in the Senior 1 class, behind Oxford University, despite having hit a buoy just before the finish. Miles Sharpe stroked the boat with Richard Aplin, Jim Cotter and Andy Grant.
The second men's boat was a Men's Senior 2 quad who improved their position from 160 to 100 and had a good race. The club will be pleased with the result since the crew is made up entirely of novice scullers. Mike Chamberlin did an excellent job of steering and the crew of Bret King, David Rose and John Froewin can be proud of their performance.
In the women's coxed fours event, the Marlow Senior 2 boat of Tina Fallon, Lucy Ford and Charlotte Winterson, stroked by Claire Hedges, coxed by Kate Tucker, had a good row to come half way up the Senior 2 field.
The Senior 3 four of cox Ella Waddington, stroke Maddie Downey, Mandy Parr, Kath Muskett and bow Nikki Davis had an excellent run and were pushed on by a chasing Norwich Senior 2 crew in the closing stages. The Marlow crew refused to be caught and pushed away from the tiring Norwich boat to come an excellent 8th out of 40 in their division.
With all the club's crews performing to or exceeding expectations it was a good day for Marlow. Coach Phil Tinsley and captain Charlotte Hill were delighted with the performances of all the crews.

Sean Farrelly

5 November 2001

MARLOW ROWING CLUB BAGS MORE WINS
AT HENLEY SCULLERS HEAD

Marlow Rowing Club had another successful weekend at Henley Scullers Head on Saturday. The race is run as a time trial on the Henley reach, from below Temple Island upstream to the finish of the famous Henley Regatta, a total of 3,000m.
Dan Tipney had a double win, taking the Junior 16 Single Sculls in the afternoon, having already won the Junior 16 Double Sculls in the morning with Stuart Heap. Dan is in fine form this year and seems to be building on his success in the National Schools and National Championships in the summer. He was 28th overall on Saturday and well clear of his age group rivals.
Marlow's third win came in the Women's Senior 2 Quad Sculls, in which Marlow tried out a new combination before next weeks Fours Head in London. The crew was stroked by Kat Ramsay, with Junior International Lizzy Tinley in the 3 seat, Jo Chesney at 2 and Fiona Johnson in the bow seat. Covering the course at a strong 32 strokes a minute, they saw off top class London opposition from Tideway Scullers by 9 seconds. Also in their wake were local rivals Upper Thames and Henley RC. The Marlow crew were the fastest women's quad of the day, beating the elite quad from Upper Thames by 15 seconds.
There were other good performances from Marlow athletes. Paul Thomas was third overall in the Men's Single Sculls behind the winter's top performer Guy Pooley. David Rose and Mike Chamberlain both performed well in Men's Novice Sculls and were not far off the pace. Jenny Forrester and Karla Boddy were 2nd and 3rd in the Girls Junior 16 Sculls, which was dominated by Junior International Stubbings from Headington School. Stuart Heap had to settle for 3rd in the Junior 15 single sculls, but only by 8 seconds; he is getting closer each week to King of Maidenhead.
Marlow has a strong presence at this weekends Fours Head of the River Race in London, which is the highlight of the pre-Christmas racing season, raced over 4¼ miles from Chiswick to Putney. Marlow have entered a senior men's coxless four, two senior men's quads, two senior women's quads and two senior women's coxed fours. The Marlow club also has two members of the national squad's composite entry in the Women's Elite Quads. Wins will be hard to come by at the Fours Head as the event attracts the best in the country. However, all the Marlow crews will be looking to finish well in their respective divisions.

Sean Farrelly

30 October 2001

MARLOW SCULLING HEAD BRINGS LOCAL CLUB A STRING OF VICTORIES

The Marlow club celebrated the autumn racing season by taking a hat full of trophies at their annual Long Distance Sculls races on Saturday.
The race is split over 2 divisions, each raced over a 5,000 meter upstream course from Cookham to the Castle house opposite Marlow rugby ground. The course is a real test of boat skills, as it involves finding the best line on a twisting course against the stream and through islands 1,000m from the finish. The race also tests the fitness and stamina of the athletes, as it is one of the longer winter races.
In Division One there were Marlow wins for the Men's Novice quad. The men's double of Miles Sharpe and Andy Grant continued their winning streak to win Senior 2 Double Sculls. Pressling and Lewis won Men's Novice Double Sculls, and there were also wins for Pieper and Hamlin in the Veteran C Double Sculls and Bradshaw and Booker in the Mixed Double Sculls, racing in a City of Cambridge/Marlow composite. The fastest boat in the morning division was the Men's Senior 1 Quad from Bewl Bridge RC.
The afternoon Division featured the single scullers, and like the morning race was held in fantastic conditions - bright sunshine and flat water. Paul Thomas was Marlow's top male performer. coming home in 21 min 14 seconds to win the Senior 1 trophy. Mike Chamberlin won the Men's Novice Single Sculls and is beginning to look confident in his single. The fastest overall man was former international Guy Pooley of Crabtree RC.
Katharine Ramsay was the local club's top woman, winning the Women's Senior 4 Single Sculls. Her time of 24 min 05 seconds also made her the top women sculler of the day. Emily Booker had her second win of the day in the Women's Senior 2 Single. Other Marlow winners included Fiona Johnson, who won the Women's Senior 3 Single Sculls and Helen Brewer in the Womens Junior 16 Single.
Organiser Peter Hunt was delighted with the day, particularly as last year's event was cancelled due to the flooding which effected many events.

Sean Farrelly

15 October 2001

HOSKINS' AND CHESNEY'S GOLDEN DOUBLE

Marlow rowers Andrea Hoskins and Jo Chesney won a golden double over the weekend, winning the Senior 3 Double Sculls title at the Pairs Head of the River Race in London on Saturday and taking the Senior 2 Double Sculls title at the Reading Head on Sunday.
The Pairs Head is the first of the season's National long distance events, and is run on the Thames from Chiswick Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge, a 5,000 metre course. The event attracts the country's top athletes, to race in pairs and double sculls.
Saturday found the Thames at its most benign, with bright sunshine and flat calm water greeting over 600 athletes as they boated for the race. Winter head races are time trials and crews are sent off at 10 second intervals to race over the course. In the Women's Senior Three Double Sculls Hoskins and Chesney had a superb run. They were delayed slightly on the start by the crew ahead who were slow to get going, however once past, they moved quickly to catch and overtake other crews including local hopefuls Tideway Scullers RC. They sculled strongly throughout and came home in the impressive time of 13 minutes 36 seconds. Second were the Under-23 internationals Ledwidge and McNair and third the Welsh squad double of Colley and Backx. Hoskins and Chesney's time would have been good enough to get second place in the higher Senior 2 division and highlights how well the Marlow crew performed.
Both Hoskins and Chesney are inexperienced scullers, both having come through novice single sculls this summer, but Chesney is a highly experienced rower who has represented England on several occasions. Hoskins though relatively new to the sport, having just left Staffordshire University, is an athlete of real potential. Though they have only been doubling together for a matter of weeks the combination of Hoskins' length and power and Chesney's guile and experience has been an instant success. Coaches Gary Phillips and Phil Tinsley have also done an excellent job of getting the crew ready to race. Hoskins and Chesney's win was Marlow's first at this event since 1992. Club Captain Charlotte Hill was delighted with the result, as it shows yet again that the Marlow women's squad can perform and win at the highest level.
In the same event were Johnson and Bishop of Marlow who also performed well and finished a creditable 7th. In the Women's Senior One pairs, Katherine Ramsey of Marlow formed one half of a partnership with Cawley of Broxbourne. They also had a strong race, though their practice time together has been limited. They finished third in this very competitive category, also beating the Welsh squad pair by 2 seconds. In a large field the Senior Two pair of Claire Hedges and Tina Fallon finished 12th. They went off well but suffered in the middle of the race, both having been ill in the preceding week.
In the Men's Junior Double Sculls, Marlow Junior Dan Tipney who is still under 16 raced with Logan of George Watson's in Scotland and came a decent 3rd in their event.
On Sunday the women's and junior squads moved to Reading for the Reading Head. This was a 3,000 metre down stream race over a tricky twisting course. The event runs two divisions, in the morning and the afternoon, which allows the athletes to race twice in one day.
In the Senior Three Double Sculls, Chesney and Hoskins repeated their previous day's win with a strong performance, powering through two Headington school doubles on the home straight to win in 16 min 33 seconds. A re-jigged second double of Kath Ramsey and Fiona Johnson put in a terrific performance in their first race together to chase Chesney and Hoskins home to take second place, only 6 seconds back. Marlow coaches now know they have not one but two top class combinations even at this early stage of the season.
Marlow also put out some experimental coxed fours. In Senior Three and Senior Four Fours, Mady Downey with Mandy Parr, Julie Mace , Nicky Davis and cox Ella... had good runs to come second behind strong junior crews. In particular, the morning run was excellent, with the crew looking strong and confident; their time of 17 min 31 seconds being better than some Elite and Senior 1 crews. In Senior Two Fours Marlow came third, three seconds behind Headington School and beating local rivals Reading.
In the single sculls events Marlow had another good day. Kath Ramsey had her second win in a fortnight in the Senior 3 Single Sculls. Hoskins and Chesney were third and fourth. The three were in their last races of an exhausting weekend, but they responded superbly with all three racing for the line down the last 1,000 meters, each trying to get the best time possible.
In the junior events, Logan from Scotland, but racing as Marlow, won the Junior 18 event, while Dan Tipney won the J16 Single Sculls. The two then combined to win the Junior Double Sculls by over a minute and were clearly in a class above their opposition. In the Junior 15 Single Sculls Stewart Heap continued to show improvement. He dominated local rival Smith of Reading by over 18 seconds, but had to settle for second behind King of Maidenhead. The 6ft 7in, 90kg, 15 year old from Maidenhead was just too strong over the long distance and pipped Heap by only 2 seconds. No doubt Stewart will be out for revenge when the two next meet.
Marlow's final win came in the Women's Junior 16 Single when Jenny Forrester had one of her better races and powered away from the field to win by 20 seconds. Marlow also took second with Helen Brewer, showing the strength in depth of the Marlow junior group.
Marlow's women's squad now begins to gear up for the Fours Head of the River Race in early November. This is the final national time trial of the 2001 season. The race will attract top crews from across the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as top continental crews to compete over the 4¼ miles from Chiswick to Putney.

Sean Farrelly

8 October 2001

NEW SEASON KICKED OFF IN STYLE BY MARLOW ROWERS

Marlow Rowing club athletes had the best possible start to the new season with a hat full of wins at Wallingford Small Boats Head on Saturday.
The Wallingford event is designated a national head, which means it attracts top class club athletes from around the country. The course is a demanding one, running upstream towards Wallingford Bridge over a twisting 4,000m course. Tight bends and overhanging trees make this a real test of steering and boatmanship. The event was made even more difficult by a gusting wind and driving rain, which lashed across the Thames throughout the day.
Marlow's top performance of the day came from Emily Booker who won both the Senior One Single Sculls in the morning and then went even faster in the afternoon to win the Senior Two Single Sculls by some 25 seconds in a time of 17 min 01 seconds. In the Senior 1 event Emily started second and quickly caught local favourite Ainslie of Wallingford. Sculling strongly and with confidence she saw off the chasing pack, including Woods of Henley and Stoker of Avon Country. In the Senior 2 event Emily demolished the field, pulling away along the course and upping the tempo into the finish. Marlow's third win came from a new member to the club, Kath Ramsey. She also demolished her opposition in the Senior 3 Single Sculls. Kath sculled aggressively and overtook a number of other athletes to come home in 17 min 18 seconds. Herbert of Bewl Bridge was over 20 seconds behind in second place. Jo Chesney of Marlow took 4th in the same event.
In the Mens Junior 15 Single Sculls, Stewart Heap of Marlow showed huge potential in winning his event from the nationally ranked Smith of Reading by 2 seconds. Heap looked technically excellent and will now be looking forward to a busy and rewarding season.
In the Womens Junior 16 Single Sculls, Jenny Forrester had a good scull to take second place in her event; also second was Dan Tipney in the Men's Junior 16 event. In the Men's Senior 1 Single Sculls Paul Thomas was third in a high class field.
Marlow's wins continued to come thick and fast with the senior men getting in on the act. Miles Sharpe and Andy Gant made their double sculling début and duly hammered the opposition by nearly 30 seconds, their time of 14 min 31 seconds making them the fastest men's crew of the day. In the Women's Double Sculls, Marlow again produced the fastest double sculls performance of the day with Fiona Johnson and Eva Bishop coming home to win the Women's Senior Two event. The Junior 16 Women's Double Sculls also went Marlow's way with Karla Boddy and Helen Brewer romping away from their opposition to come home in 17 min 15 seconds. Boddy and Brewer also placed 6th and 7th in the Junior 18 Single Sculls which was won by Junior international sculler Lizzy Tinley of Sir Willian Borlaise school.
Marlow's eighth and final win of the day came in the Women's Quad Sculls. This was a new crew comprising Kath Ramsey, Eva Bishop, Jo Chesney and Fiona Johnson. They proved to be the fastest overall women's crew of the day.
Marlow coaches Phil Tinsley, Garry Phillips, Sean Farrelly and Russell Peacock were delighted with the efforts of their athletes. The club has begum the season with a bang and their next event will be the Pairs Head on Saturday 13th October and Reading Small Boats Head the following day. The Pairs Head is one of the top events of the winter and it will give the Marlow athletes a clearer idea of their national pecking order.

Sean Farrelly

3 July 2001

GOLD FOR BRITISH ROWERS IN VIENNA

The third round of the rowing World Cup took place in Vienna at the weekend. Great Britain topped the medal table with 4 Golds, 2 Silvers and 1 Bronze medal. There was Gold for Marlow athletes Cath Bishop and Katherine Grainger and Silver for Liza Eyre.
Bishop and Grainger, a new combination in the women's pairs this year, are improving with every race. In the qualifiers, they were content to progress to the final behind the Belarus top boat. In the final Belarus led to the 500m point but in the second 500m the Great Britain pair were 4 seconds faster and powered through their rivals. They consolidated their lead over the second 1000m and looked a class above their rivals, coming home in 8 min 26 seconds, a good 2 lengths clear of the field. Rumania and Ukraine were left well behind. Both athletes now join the Great Britian women's eight who are racing as Nautilus at Henley Royal Regatta this week. Following Henley their preparations will continue for the World Championships in Lucerne on 18-25 August.
There was Silver for Lisa Eyre in the Women's Quad Sculls. The British crew seemed to have the measure of their Ukrainian opposition in the last 500m until they hit rough water and lost their momentum. The Ukrainian crew were able to hold on to win by 0.29 of a second! Lisa and the rest of the Great Britain quad also race at Henley this week in the first ever women's quads event, again under the name of Nautilus.

Sean Farrelly

2 July 2001

TOUGH DRAW FOR MARLOW CREWS AT HENLEY

Marlow's top boat, the Men's Coxed four have drawn the seeded Imperial College crew in the first round. This is an unfortunate draw, which brings together two of the best crews in the country this year. They have raced each other once, with Imperial coming out on top at the Metropolitan Regatta. However Marlow have changed their line up since, bringing in Marc Furlonger, which has clearly strengthened the crew. Imperial College, which some observers feel could win the event, could well be in for a big surprise in the first round. The Marlow crew is Jim Cotter, Marc Furlonger, Andy Grant, Richard Aplin and cox Fay Beanland.
The B crew, who came through the qualifiers on Friday night, will race the Kingston RC top four. Kingston will start as favourites, but the Marlow crew of Harry Neville, Harvey Craig, Steve Ballentine and Bret King will fancy their chances as they get better with each race.
In the Men's Double Sculls Challenge Cup, Aston and Tetley are drawn against Saunders and Wilkinson. Form is difficult to assess in this event as all the boats pre-qualified. John Tetley has had a great season, progressing from novice sculler to racing at Henley, a fine performance by any standards.
In the Thames Cup for club eights, Marlow have a favourable draw against qualifiers London RC 'B' crew. The London crew has been racing in a lower status this year, and the Marlow crew is felt to be the best the club has put on the water for many years. A win in round one would lead to a race against seeded Club Ghent for Belgium.
The Fawley Cup for junior quad sculls features two Marlow athletes in composite crews. Ben Tipney, who has just been selected for Great Britain, is racing in a Marlow/Maidenhead composite. The crew is seeded and will race Peterborough City in the first round. Chris Mannerings also races in a Marlow/Maidenhead composite which qualified on Friday evening. The crew race local rivals Henley in the first round - this one is too close to call.
In the Henley Prize for Women's Eights, Marlow have Cath Bishop and Katherine Grainger in the Great Britain eight, racing as Nautilus. They have drawn the up and coming Under-23 crew from Oxford Brookes/University of London, but should prove too strong for their younger rivals and will face good class opposition from Odensa, The Australian Institute of Sport and Yale University USA.

25 June 2001

WOMEN DO WELL AT METROPOLITAN REGATTA
& WOMEN'S HENLEY

The Club's women have also been on good form, with Emily Booker winning well in the Senior 2 Sculls at the Metropolitan Regatta. She led from the start and won by 2 seconds from a good field, including athletes from Thames RC, University of London and Eton Excelsior. Emily has been producing a series of strong performances, culminating in her reaching the quarter finals of the Lightweight Single Sculls at Women's Henley at the weekend, where she went out to Hampton of Notts County. Another Notts County sculler to reach the quarter finals was Victoria Richmond, formerly of Marlow and now a student in Nottingham. Vic lost in a close race to the eventual winner and international athlete Eastman of Imperial College.
In the Women's Open Coxless Fours, Marlow, with two of last year's winning club four, lost out in the semi finals to the eventual winners from University of London.

Sean Farrelly

25 June 2001

MARLOW ROWING CLUB'S SUCCESS
AT NEW MARLOW REGATTA

Marlow Rowing Club had a good day at the new Marlow Regatta on the new Eton rowing lake at Dorney.
Marlow's men's four were runners up in the regatta's premier event for coxed fours. The crew of stroke James Cotter, Marc Furlonger, Andy Grant, Richard Aplin and cox Fay Beanland had a good day, qualifying easily for the final at the expense of the University of London and Ross RC. The Marlow crew had a close battle with Durham University in the final, losing out by ½ a length with Molesey and the University of London off the pace The crew were disappointed to lose but pleased that they had got so close, given that stroke man Jim Cotter was suffering throughout the day with food poisoning. It says a lot for the spirit of the crew that they overcame their problems to be so competitive. The Marlow crew, with wins in Elite Fours at the premier Metropolitan and Reading regattas, will be looking forward to Henley next week. The crew have pre-qualified and Richard Aplin, a semi-finalist 2 years ago, will be looking to go one better this year. Coach Paul Cox has done a fine job on the crew; on their day, they know they are a match for any domestic club opposition.
Marlow's sole win came from the Women's J15 coxed quad. Stroked by Karla Boddy of Great Marlow School, the crew of Boddy, Vicky Carroll, Jennifer Forester and Helen Brewer won the first ever women's race to be allowed at the traditionally all male regatta. In a three-boat final, the crews from Marlow, Sir William Borlase's and Molesey Schools Rowing Association were all together at the 400m point. From there Marlow and Molesey pushed on and the two crews were locked together until the last 500m, when Marlow pushed again and stretched their lead to win by 1½ lengths. Coach Graham Warner was delighted with the result and will now fancy his crew's chances of a medal at the National Championships at the end of July.
Henley kicks off next weekend with Marlow represented by the top men's four, an eight in the Thames Cup, which has also pre qualified, as has the Club's double scull and quad. The second coxed four faces qualifying races on Friday night, but should come through to take a place in the main draw. This is certainly the strongest challenge Marlow has mounted at Henley since the early 90s, and given a reasonable draw, all the crews should do well.

Sean Farrelly

13 June 2001

GOLD FOR MARLOW AT DOCKLANDS REGATTA

John Tetley and James Aston had a superb day at the London Docklands regatta on Sunday. Competing in the Senior 1 Double Sculls, they took gold at one of the countries premier regattas. Conditions at Docklands were terrible, with a cross head wind making the lane draw vital as high waves slowed many of the boats.
The Marlow double was down off the start, but determination and good sculling took them back through the field, past crews from Molesey, Upper Thames, Aurial Kensington and Walton.
John and James have just come together in the last 2 months under the coaching of Paul Franklin and this represented their first major win together.
There were other successes for Marlow, with Emily Booker sculling well to take two bronze medals in both women's Lightweight Single Sculls and the Senior 2 Open event. There was also a bronze for the women's Open coxed four, who saw off the challenge of Bedford and the Welsh squad racing as Rebecca, but could not get on terms with Oxford Brooks University and Thames RC.
The clubs new men's eight put up a strong performance through the first part of the Senior 1 event, only to be overhauled by Molesey for the Bronze medal. The crew can take some satisfaction from their first race together, and they clearly have the potential to be one of the strongest eights to come out of Marlow in the past 10 years or so. Their target is the Club Eights event at Henley Royal, and if they keep on improving they should put up a strong challenge.
The club's second coxed four also performed well in their first race together and did well to make the final of Senior 1 Coxed Fours, piling through their opposition in the later stages of the semi- final. In the final they drew lane 7, the worst, and had little chance in terrible conditions.

Sean Farrelly

13 June 2001

WOMEN WIN AT WEYBRIDGE

On the same day as Docklands, at Weybridge Ladies Regatta the Marlow novice squad had a successful day, winning both novice fours and novice eights.
In the first round of the coxed fours event, the Marlow A crew of cox Elaine Caldwell, stroke Mell Waterworth, Lucy Ford, Mandy Parr and Madeleine Downey saw off a strong challenge from Henley Rowing club to win by two lengths over the 1000 meter course. In the semi final they demolished the opposition from Thames RC and were clear and pulling away after a blistering start. In the final they raced the Marlow B crew, who had overcome the local Weybridge Ladies club in their semi. The final went the way of the A crew, but the presence of the two Marlow crews in the final showed the strength of the club's current novice squad, all of whom were new to the sport this winter.
In the women's eights final, Marlow faced Thames RC, who had seen off Molesey in their semi final. Thames have a large and powerful crew, but Marlow pulled out a slight lead off the start. After 20 strokes, a strong push took Marlow clear and they continued to pull away down the course to inflict a heavy defeat on their rivals. The crew of cox Elaine Caldwell, stroke Madalaine Downey, Mandy Parr, Lucy Ford, Laura Leondiades, Jane Mannerings, Mell Waterworth, Jennifer Driver and bow Julie Mace were delighted with their win, which was fully deserved. After a season of committed training the squad has got better with each event.
There was also a good result in the Novice Double Sculls for Kauser Parvin and Kath Lee, who are also improving with each race. They beat Parrs Priory RC before losing out in the final to Walbrook. Most of the athletes will be involved in Marlow Town Regatta this Saturday and will then race at the prestigious Reading Regatta on Sunday.

Sean Farrelly

13 June 2001

GOLD FOR MARLOW FOURS AT METROPOLITAN REGATTA

The Metropolitan Regatta moved to the Dorney Lake at Eton this year and attracted its usual high class field. There were two excellent performances from Marlow crews.
The men's coxed four of Jim Cotter, Steve Power, Andy Grant, Richard Aplin and cox Kate Tucker took gold in the Elite Coxed Fours event, beating crews from a strong field including University of London, Norwich RC and Nottingham and Union. Marlow led off the start and won a good race by ½ length.
They also came second in Senior 1 behind a fast Imperial College crew, but ahead of rivals from Thames and Crabtree RC.
These results show that, under the coaching of Paul Cox, the club has a strong boat which will be a real force at Henley Royal Regatta in the Britannia Cup.
In the Women's Elite Fours, Marlow stormed to an excellent win with Alayne Wilson at Cox, Jo Chesney at stroke, Helen Selden, Julie McCulloch and Tony Truman at bow.
Again this crew with two of last year winning women's Henley crew on board will be serious contenders this year, beating crews from Hereford and Warwick.
On the Sunday they gained two further Silver medals - in Elite Coxed Fours behind Thames RC - and in Senior 1 Coxed Fours behind Imperial College RC.

Sean Farrelly

22 May 2001

BISHOP AND GRAINGER FORM WINNING NEW COMBINATION

Cath Bishop of Marlow Rowing Club and her new partner Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger, also of Marlow RC and Scotland, got their international partnership off to a winning start at Essen International Regatta at the weekend.
On the Saturday they were narrowly second to the German Van Daelen twins. On the Sunday they stepped up a gear to beat a second pair of German twins, the Pyritz sisters. Grainger said, 'Yesterday we reminded ourselves how much we hated losing; today we reminded ourselves how much we like winning'.
The pair are already established as the Great Britain women's squad's top combination under their new Australian coach Marty Aitken. Bishop went on to stroke the Great Britain women's eight to a silver medal in a close race with Germany.
Bishop and Grainger were Great Britain's only winners over the weekend, and will be building up over the next few months to the World Championships in August.
Former Marlow athlete and Staffordshire University student Alaster Hodge competed in his first international regatta for Great Britain in the U23 pairs event and came a creditable 5th with partner James Livingston.

Sean Farrelly

7 May 2001

SECOND WIN IN TWO WEEKS FOR EVA BISHOP

fiona_johnson_and_eva_bishopMarlow Rowing Club athletes continued their winning form at Wallingford Regatta on Sunday 6th May.
There were wins for the club in the Women's Senior 2 Double Sculls, with Eva Bishop and Fiona Johnson, the Men's Senior 2 Single Sculls with Mark Ruinet and the Men's Novice Single Sculls through John Tetley.
Wallingford Regatta moved to the Eton Rowing Lake at Dorney this year to avoid foot and mouth restrictions. The event attracted a high quality field, with many top London crews, local clubs and schools and a strong appearance by Oxford University colleges. The 1000m multi-lane course offered over 500 crews fantastic racing conditions and an exciting day for competitors and spectators alike.mark_ruinet
In the Women's Double Sculls, the Marlow pair of Bishop and Johnson got off to a strong start and led through the first 500m from a junior international combination from Henley Rowing Club and a second Marlow combination. In the strong tail wind, Johnson's game plan was to put in a series of pushes after half way to keep the pressure on the opposition. The plan paid off in great style and the pair romped home clear winners. This was Eva Bishop's second win in a fortnight following her win at the British Universities' Championships last week in the Single Sculls.
In the Men's Single Sculls event, Mark Ruinet was simply too strong and too experienced for the opposition and dominated both his heats and the final. Mark will be looking forward to stiffer international competition in Belgium next week.
john_tetleyJohn Tetley decided to turn his hand from rowing to sculling this season and, though he has had very little chance to get on the water through what has been a difficult winter weather-wise, he powered his way to his maiden victory at the weekend. Winning your novice pot is always one to savour and John put in an excellent performance on the day. He qualified comfortably for the final and, after a steady start, began to push through the field. At the 750 point he was tied for the lead, but a strong push broke his main rival and John came home in some style, moving away from the field.
Other events saw a hard fought second place for the Club's new women's coxless four, who could not quite catch a fast Kingston crew but rowed through good crews from Oxford Brooke's University and Wallingford. Jo Chesney, Helen Selden, Caroline Hillaby and Toni Truman will be encouraged by a good row in the first event of what will be a long hard season. Also coming a close second was Julie McCulloch in her single and the clubs women's novice coxed four of Mell Waterworth, Jane Mannerings, Caroline Clayton-Jones and Jennifer Driver coxed by the experienced Elaine Caldwell.
Also performing well was the women's senior 3 four of Claire Sherfield, Kate Ashton, Kath Lee and Nikki Davis who, with cox Anita Windsor, were beaten by the Oxford University women's crew, and just lost an exciting battle for second by a matter of feet to Bewl Bridge.
Marlow's senior athletes, both men and women, are racing at Ghent International Regatta in Belgium this weekend, against some of the best club and international crews from Britain and the rest of Europe. Wins may be hard to come by, but the experience and the racing should be fast and rewarding.
Meanwhile 20 members of the Club's novice and intermediate women's squad will be preparing to race against the best of the local clubs, schools and universities at Coate Water Park in Swindon on 19th May.

Sean Farrelly

26 March 2001

MARLOW ROWING RECEIVES BOOST FROM LOCAL FIRM

On Saturday, local MP Mrs Theresa May named a new women's boat at a ceremony at Marlow Rowing Club attended by club officials, members and representatives of Barnes DAF. The new women's coxed four was named 'Onyva', French for LETS GO!, a great name for a boat which is going to see a lot of racing this season.
Barnes DAF are part of the F G Barnes Group, a family firm which have been involved in the automobile trade for some 75 years. They generously provided sponsorship, matched by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Sportsmatch Scheme, which effectively doubled the amount available.
The club's novice women's squad is currently one of the strongest in the country outside London, and they cannot wait to try out their new boat.
Club Chairman Peter Hunt was delighted with the deal, negotiated by committee member Bob Thompson, which meant that the club has also been able to upgrade gym equipment this season. Theresa May, MP for Windsor and Maidenhead, christened the boat with champagne and thanked Barnes DAF for their support; she praised the Sportsmatch scheme introduced under the last Conservative government and continued by Labour, which encourages industry to make contributions to sport to increase grass roots participation.
Marlow Rowing Club is extremely grateful to Barnes DAF and LDV Van Centre of Theale for their generous sponsorship.

Sean Farrelly

20 March 2001

MARLOW'S MEN STEP IT UP AT TIDEWAY HEAD

Both of Marlow's men's crews made significant strides at the Men's Head of the River Race in London on Saturday. The second eight improved from a start number of 145 to finish 87th and the first boat moved up from 63 to 49th of over 400 competing crews.
The men's head is over a 4¼ mile course from Chiswick to Putney, the reverse of the classic Boat race course. Just like the boat race, this is the pinnacle of the winter season for all British club and University crews. They are joined by many of Europe's top club and college crews, making this one of the most competitive and exciting events in the rowing calendar.
The Marlow First boat had an excellent race to place in the top 50, a mark of a top-class club crew. Preparation has been better this year despite the difficult winter, which forced the Marlow crews to head for London to train at weekends. A new crop of experienced athletes has also arrived to strengthen the top end of the Marlow squad this season. The Marlow boat has gone well in training, and setting a strong rhythm of 32 strokes per minute, the crew set about catching Nottingham University which they did by Chiswick Eyot. As Marlow pushed past Nottingham the crews came together and Andy Grant at seven needed to keep his head when his blade slipped under the bows of the Nottingham boat. Marlow kept their focus, and driving on, cleared the flagging Nottingham crew. From Hammersmith Bridge Marlow poured on the power and kept working down the last mile to the finish.
The crew were coxed by Kate Tucker with Mark Furlonger a former member of Agecroft's elite crew doing a fine job at stroke. Andy Grant, an ex-Oxford University squad member, has brought a lot of experience to the 7 seat; he was backed up by Marlow stalwart Richard Aplin at 6. Steve Power is another new recruit from Exeter, rowing at 5, and he was backed up by Steve Flower out of retirement this year, and the bow three of Dave Rose and Jim Cotter and Mat Joyce, another new recruit from Southampton. It says a lot for the high standards expected at Marlow that coach Paul Cox was pleased with the result but had wanted a bit more.
The second boat had a superb result, to put aside a period in which the crew changed on a regular basis, to pull out a cracking performance on the day. They stormed from a 145-start number, cutting through the field and overtaking crews from University of Manchester, Merton College and were closing on a pack of crews at the finish. Cox Fay Beanland did a great job, encouraging her crew and steering a fine course to get the best of the stream. At stroke, seven and six the crew had the vastly experienced Paul Hyde, Simon Huntley and Harry Neville, complimented in the bow pair by Neil McCulloch and Mike Chamberlin. Between these athletes sat three of last year's novice crew who had finished in the 300s. It says a lot for their development that they now make a major contribution to a crew, which finished 87th. The top 100 is usually seen as the mark for qualification for club crews aiming for the summer Henley Royal Regatta. On this weekend's results, all of Marlow's senior athletes will be looking forward to being in competitive Henley crews this summer.
The coaching team of Paul Franklin, Paul Cox and Alan Hooker were delighted with the overall results and will now begin to put their summer crews together. The club is still looking to attract athletes who think they might be able to make a contribution to the Marlow squad for the coming season.

Sean Farrelly

6 March 2001

MARLOW CREWS' POSITIVE PERFORMANCES AT WOMEN'S TIDEWAY HEAD

01_women_8headMarlow's rowers had a good day at the Women's Eights Head of the River race. The annual event is the pinnacle of the winter racing season and brings together 240 crews from across the UK and Ireland as well as top crews from Europe. Over 2,000 athletes compete over the reverse of the classic Oxford/Cambridge boat race course. It's a gruelling 4¼ mile race from Chiswick Bridge to Putney. The race is a true test, not just of the crew's strength and stamina but the cox's ability to find the stream and therefore get the fastest line down the testing course. Marlow have been exceptionally successful over the past three years, coming first twice and second last year, with crews made up of Marlow's substantial Great Britain squad presence. The club crews have also performed with distinction, improving from 98 some 5 years ago to regularly placing in the top 30 over the last 3 years.
Marlow's top crew this year should have been made up as usual of the international athletes from the national squad. However, illness and injury meant that Marlow A, who were going off No 1 had unfortunately to scratch. The Marlow B crew was therefore the club crew and this year featured a large number of new young faces who have come to the club this season. With a number of the club's top athletes having retired this year this was very much a new-look crew. The club had high hopes of the top crew in October, but the terrible flooding and dangerous river conditions of the past months have badly affected preparations, giving the Tideway crews a huge advantage this year as they have been able to boat their crews throughout the winter. In addition, for the first time Marlow fielded a novice crew made up of athletes who only began to learn to row in October; they started number 225 amongst the new entries.01_women_eight
The Club crew went off chased by the Cambridge University top crew. Though Cambridge gained over the first 2 minutes, the Marlow crew dug in and held them off through Barnes Bridge. Both crews then battled away around the Hammersmith bend, each trying to get the better stream, each crew countering the other's pushes. Going under Hammersmith Bridge the crews were level and were having a cracking race within a race. From Hammersmith, Cambridge pulled out a length but Marlow held on and came home in the very creditable time of 21 min 26 sec to finish 33rd overall. This was a positive performance from a young crew who will only get better now that the river conditions at Marlow have improved. The crew was coxed by Allayne Mowbray and led from the front by Julie McCulloch backed up by Jo Chesney, a member of the Head winning 1999 crew, Caroline Hillaby, Helen Selden, Eva Bishop, Toni Truman, Fiona Johnson and Emily Booker.
The club's second club crew had a rough day when they lost their stroke and 7 to illness two days before the race. But with Elaine Caldwell jumping in to add her experience to the stroke seat, they gutsed it out and after an unsteady start improved as the race went on, encouraged by their excellent cox, Anita Windsor.
01_women_onwaterThe Novice eight had an excellent race coxed expertly by Paul Shipman. Competing in such a big race was a whole new experience to the crew of Nikki Davies, Mandy Parr, Caroline Clayton-Jones, Lucie Ford, Heather Dickson, Julie Mace, Jules Bartley and Mel Waterworth. The crew overtook Llandaff RC in the first minute and from then on gained in confidence; at a confident 31 strokes a minute they kept the work on from Barnes Bridge to Hammersmith, overtaking The University of Kent and Kings College London. From Hammersmith the crew worked together to catch Furnival RC and the finish in the excellent time of 24 min 11 seconds. They rose over 60 places, to finish 163rd. They finished 8th of 28 novice club crews, and were only beaten by local London clubs who have been able to train every weekend, a huge advantage to beginners. The Novices will now look forward to their next race and are really up for the challenge of beating some of the London clubs in the summer.
The squad coaches Phil Tinsley and Garry Phillips were delighted with the efforts of all the athletes in what is a long and brutal race. The athletes have struggled through the winter months, slogging away in the gym with great enthusiasm, as the river has been largely unusable. All the winter work won't be wasted and the coaches feel there is a lot of potential throughout the current squad and that Marlow's club athletes should have another successful summer. The focus now largely turns towards the sprint season and the club is still looking for additional athletes to add to the strength of the squad from novice through to elite.
The club top crew race Oxford University in a friendly event at Henley this weekend. The result should give the bookies a good form guide to the upcoming Oxford/Cambridge women's boat race which takes place at Henley on April 1st.

Sean Farrelly

29 January 2001

MARLOW CARRY OFF 5 WINS AT STOURPORT HEAD

Marlow Rowing Club's senior women's squad had a cracking day at their first event of the 2001 season. Eighteen athletes travelled to Stourport near Birmingham for their Head race. The event is a time trial, which takes place over a 4,500 meter course on the Severn River and attracts athletes from throughout the Midlands and West of England. Though Stourport has recently been affected by flooding, conditions on the day were good - the sun came out and the Marlow athletes relished the chance to get some racing.
The Marlow scullers dominated the morning division. Julie McCulloch was the fastest woman, winning her event in 13 min 4 sec. Emily Booker, a former Cambridge University lightweight, made her debut for Marlow and won Women's Elite Single Sculls in 13.09, with another Marlow athlete, Helen Seldon, second in 13.17. The evergreen Jo Chesney won the Novice division in a creditable 13.30, followed home by another Marlow newcomer Eva Bishop in 13.33. Marlow women's novice eight made its debut at Stourport and came a creditable second in its event in 12.27 behind Burton Leander. Nikki Baylis did a cracking job at stroke and was well supported by the rest of the crew, who were driven on by cox and coach Garry Phillips. The experience will have done the crew a lot of good as they build up to the spring and summer racing season.
In the afternoon division, Julie McCulloch took her second event of the day in winning the Senior 2 Single Sculls event comfortably, beating Thomas of Stourport in front of the latter's home supporters.
Jo Chesney and Emily Booker took their second events in the Women's Senior 2 Double Sculls. In a great race, Emily and Jo just held off a strong Evesham/Stratford composite by 1 second and Eva Bishop and Fiona Johnson of Marlow by 2 seconds.
Since November there has been no racing in southern England due to the flooding which has affected so many parts of the country. There is no doubt that the Marlow athletes relished being let off the leash for the weekend.
This is largely a new and young squad, but the athletes have been putting in the hours both on the water and in the gym over the winter and that showed in the weekends results. More racing will follow in the next few weeks as the club puts its crews together for the Women's Head of the River Race in London over the historic 4¼ mile boat race course.

Sean Farrelly