Rowing isn't just for the able bodied. Marlow RC hosted a regatta for blind and wounded servicemen in 1919 and ever since there have been rowers with disabilities.

In recent years para-rowing has become a formalised and well supported system. At the Paralympics rowing is split into three categories:

  • SA (Shoulders and Arms) - for those with spinal injuries. Competitors are strapped into a seat in the boat and all the movement comes from the arms and some shoulder movement.
  • TA (Trunk and Arms) - for those with lower limb injuries/amputations. There is no leg bend and the stroke comes from rocking forward, similar to pulling in a fixed seat boat.
  • LTA (Legs, Trunk and Arms) - for those with virtually full movement but some other disability, e.g. arthritis or blindness. 

Naomi Riches post 2012During training para-rowers can either train with our dedicated group or with our main squads: MRC's Naomi Riches rowed with our women's squads but also in the GB LTA boat which won bronze in the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and Gold at London 2012 as well as several World Championships (pictured left, with two members of the womens squad). Jordan Beecher

Marlow RC is in a particularly fortunate position because we have a new (2014) boathouse built to be fully disability accessible with step free access to the river, a lift and disabled changing rooms. MRC has also been selected as a Host Club in British Rowing's new Paralympic development scheme. The scheme is the para-rowing element of the Elite Talent Development Pathway (ETDP) which takes promising individuals from early steps into the GB paralympic team.

We also have a coach, Ella, who is funded by British Rowing, and good contacts with Row2Recovery, the charity which helps wounded servicemen get into rowing. Our first ex-serviceman, Jordan Beecher (pictured) competed at the Invictus Games in 2014 and won three gold medals there.

The para-rowing programme at MRC is a key development objective for us, so if you are disabled, or know someone who is who might want to try rowing, whether competitively, for pleasure or for rehabilitation, please get in touch with Bruce Lynn

 

Jack Dearlove and Shaws BoathouseMarlow Rowing Club was founded on 16th May 1871 - the club records record what happened.

VHORR 2003 - Towing (surely rowing?) without a hitch
Sunday 30 March

And finally the big day had arrived. We had, somehow, managed to get 32 rowers, 4 coxes and 4 eights together, find a tideway club to boat from (thanks to Sean Farrelly's contacts at Quintin) and 03_vets_groupget the entries in (just). We even managed to get the trailer and boats there without collecting any roadside furniture, though we did successfully manage to cut up David Rendall's Volvo on the Hogarth roundabout. To make the parking/rigging that little bit more interesting we were put in the middle of a running race course, right by the start/finish of a half marathon.
The Marlow crews were starting 34th, 60th , 74th and 133rd, so set off in plenty of time for the marshalling point below Putney Bridge. Paddling to the start the Vet B crew were (slightly) concerned to see the bow number of crew 74 floating upstream, but as no other flotsam was spotted they carried on. At the marshalling point the Vet B crew bumped into Woody with his RAF crew chomping at the bit to do their 20th head course in the last 10 days!
View from the 'B' boat (avg age 36) Starting 34th , sandwiched between London RC and Molesey BC, the Marlow Vet B crew were in good company. Crossing the start line with a gap between themselves and 03_vets_bLondon ahead and Molesey only a length behind they quickly hit their race rhythm of 32 strokes per minute. Karla using the tide to perfection grabbed the main channel, forcing Molesey to go wide towards the flats at Fulham. A cracking battle then ensued with Marlow and Molesey rowing side-by-side from the black buoy round to St Paul's, overtaking crew 27 from Belfast before Hammersmith, before Molesey managed to squeeze a length ahead around the outside as both crews overtook crew 31 from Exeter and crew 29 from Circolo Canottieri Imo. With Karla still holding her line, Molesey just missed clashing their stroke's blade with Simon in the bow seat. Following the perfect course through Barnes Bridge, Marlow raised their rate for the finish, crossing the line rating 34 in a time of 19m21s, putting them 21st overall and 7th of 26 Vet B crews.
Bow - Simon Huntley, Neal Skipper, Paul Saunders, John Yeatman, Marc Furlonger, Neil McCulloch, Mike Spencer-Jones, Stroke - Iain Pressling and cox Karla Boddy

View from the 'C' 1 boat (avg age 43) Having had a long, loose paddle about half-way to Westminster in search of other crews starting around 60th position, and having observed the alarming high frequency of GB leggings in the Nottingham crew starting 64th, Marlow Vet C1 wound up a fluid start and settled to a neat 32 past the boathouses. Crew 56, possibly from France, 03_vets_chad arrived late for the battle, moved past, but not before Marlow had picked off another late starter. Into the headwind up to Hammersmith. Nottingham closed, but with a rock solid rhythm at 31 from Marlow, and sustained exquisite coxing from Ella, couldn't get past. They tried the inside, and then they tried the outside, then the inside again. Then they started shouting. Marlow responded with a storming blend of determination and yet more rhythm. Nottingham made it through with a bit more abuse, before having to go round the outside of some Cambridge Veterans in the approach to Barnes Bridge. Ella neatly tucked Marlow down the inside, the Cambridge and Nottingham blades tangled, and then Nottingham had to find their way around the outside again. The wind for home added a pip to 33 for a stroke or two, and a finish time of 19m35s put them 34th overall, and 9th of 30 Vet C crews.
Bow - Ed House, Rob Robertson, David Rendall, Tony Ellis, Ian Packer, Mark Henstridge, Mark Billingham, Stroke - Richard Coles and cox Ella Waddingham

View from the 'C' 2 boat (avg age 43) Starting as far from the start as the marshals would allow, Wandsworth Bridge, gave the Vet 'C' 2 boat plenty of time to warm up on their way from their marshalling point to the start line. Once into the race they enjoyed(?) a running battle with the Quintin BC crew who started behind them. Quintin had managed to get overlap by Hammersmith Bridge, 1/3rd of the way into the race, but Marlow then gradually drew away from them to finish 15s ahead. Final placing was 99th overall and 23rd of 30 Vet C crews.
Bow - Mike Landers, Jonathan Walne, Bob Thompson, Rob Thomson, Kelvin Read, Graeme Hyman, John Kirtland, Dave Faulkner and cox Elaine Caldwell

View from the 'E' boat (avg age 55) Starting 133rd gave the 'E' crew plenty of time to rest after their warmed up, so they quickly overtook two crews early in the race. Rising 23 places to finish 110th overall and 18th of 24 Vet E crews.
Three Warwick athletes - Barry Meatyard, Tim Walmesley and Martin Le Toq, along with Graeme Armstrong, Ian Chamberlin, Ray Swordy , Chris Tipney, Chris Adams and cox Sue Walters from Marlow

 

 

Mike Spencer-Jones

Docks Head - 9 February

Marlow's young Vets ventured out once again to the postponed Docks Head on the 9th of Feb. Racing in the 09:30 division presented the delight of leaving MRC in the dark at 06:30. MS-J having to dodge large puddles and a herd of roe deer in his efforts to be there on time. JY, meanwhile, travelling from the other side of Marlow Bridge still arrived late!
The actual journey to the Docks wasn't too eventful, with a scenic tour of the M40/A40 and central London (oh, and a slight navigational error approaching the regatta centre).
With unusual efficiency for veteran oarsmen the boats were swiftly rigged, though this may have had something to do with the cold and (slightly) damp weather.
Starting off at the dizzy height of 6th and 7th in the first division, the crews were relatively clear of the log jam at the start while the marshals waited for the top boats to arrive.
Once off the start the Vet 'B' 4 (Iain Pressling, Simon Huntley, John Yeatman, Mike Spencer-Jones) headed for the shelter of the airport dock wall to gain the benefit of the completely flat water (even though it was only a slight breeze), with the Vet C 4 (Richard Coles, Mark Billingham, Tony Ellis, Ed House) hot on their tail. It also gave them the opportunity to give the WS2 8o in front a wide berth - a long string of boats following the same course.
Settling into a good rhythm, rating 32 the Vet B crew started to pull away from the Vet C boat around the 750m mark, the knowledge that the Vet C crew had an 18 second handicap advantage pushing them on.
Wary of the narrow gap between the Royal Albert and Royal Victoria dock, Ed steered out into lanes 4/5 early. Mike, being slightly braver (and aware of a quad just in front) left it slightly later.
Entering the channel between the docks, both crews were alarmed to hear a very loud crash in front of them as the Curlew quad ploughed into the wall of the narrower part of the channel, snapping at least one sculling blade in the process. Luckily we weren't following directly behind.
After the buoyed and distance-marked 2km course, the final 1km in the Victoria Dock seemed like a wilderness, with only the occasional large buoy and distant banks to assist navigation. With 750m to go disaster almost struck the B crew when stroke's backstay sheared off just behind the gate. Luckily it fell onto the rest of the rigger, and not into the water, and the crew survived to sprint under the finish bridge by the Excel centre.
Finishing as fastest coxless 4 made up a bit for losing to the 47 second handicap the Vet D crews had!

No

Club

Cat

Act Time

Handicap

Adjusted Time

8

PBDRC

MVetD 4-

12:35.0

00:54

11:41.0

6

Marlow

MVetB 4-

11:56.0

00:07

11:49.0

7

Marlow

MVetC 4-

12:21.0

00:25

11:56.0

77

Sudbury

MVetD 4-

12:59.0

00:54

12:05.0


Now a group of 20, the Vet B/C group is still looking for new members and is currently on target for a Vet B and a Vet C 8o at the Vets Head plus Vets Henley, Nat Vets and the World Masters in Vichy in the autumn.
If you would like to join us contact
Mike Spencer-Jones

Fours Head - 2 November

03_vets_4s_head

The day started off well with JY and van keys at home and MSJ with van at  MRC. That one was easily sorted, but the inability of Rich to wake up was less easily so: JY and Billers had just given him up for dead and set off 25 mins late when he was spotted coming the other way. All this meant that boat rigging and getting afloat at Sons had to be executed in an unusually efficient manner. Creaking under the strain, the single Gent's bog at Sons proved the only real bottleneck. And that was with only 3 crews boating! What was it like the day before we wondered?
Crew 24 VA 4- of Iain, MSJ, James Tong & Ed and Crew 26 VB 4- of Rich, Simon, JY & Billers set off on a still falling tide for the marshalling area below Putney Bridge. Yes, we were racing from Putney to Mortlake, on what we hoped was going to be an incoming tide. Arriving in the marshalling area, the tide still hadn't turned! Yet another Head race committee who can't read a tide table!!! We needn't have worried about Rich's lie in: The inevitable happened and the assembled divisions were informed of a 'delay in the start time of 10 mins'. 10 turned into 20 and the tide eventually started to trickle in.
So off we set: The B crew went off at what felt like a blistering pace (at least 30) and took Crew 25 within about 30 strokes. 'B' caught up with 'A' at about the Mile Post. Steaming up from behind crew 29, UL Tyrian overtook us both. 'B' held onto UL Tyrian until Hammersmith Bridge but then we turned into the headwind and it got a bit rough. The wheels came off a bit and it wasn't until we started getting into the old men's quads from the bandstand on that things picked up again. One hairy moment coming through Barnes bridge, overtaking 2 quads at once. Fortunately they decided to crash into each other rather than us.
Back to Hammersmith and the compulsory squad beer in AKRC.
The result: 'B' 18th overall, 2nd in VB in 24:38 'A' 39th overall in 25:39
UL Tyrian won VB by a street in 23:36 (3rd overall) Rather disappointed to be beaten by the winning C, D, E (!) & F (!!!) 4-s but perhaps some of that can be put down to them starting later and having more tide.
Next up: Marlow Fours and Pairs.

 

JY

Retired Senior Squad

This group consists of ex-men's squad members who have previously raced at Senior 2 level and above and now have various time constraints (work, wives and children) and age against them, but who still wish to compete and train when possible. Both scullers and rowers are welcome to join the group that currently consists of around 16 athletes.

The group meets weekend mornings at 08:00, when those available group together either in rowing crews or sculling groups.

 

Target events.

Marlow LDS (for the scullers)

Marlow Fours and Pairs

Vet Fours Head

Kingston Head

Vet Eights Head

Vets Henley

National Vets

Internationals (Vet Worlds and Head of the Charles)

Primary contacts for the group are
Simon Huntley 07973 488328
Mike Spencer-Jones 07798 604481

2001-2002 Wins

Vet B 8o at Kingston Head
S2 8o at Maidenhead Regatta

Also Raced

Marlow Fours and Pairs Head
The Head of the Charles
Vets Eights Head
National Veterans Championships.

HOLD THE BACK PAGE

If you're not sure who Robert Zimmerman is, and the phrase 'Who loves ya baby?' doesn't bring a certain bald Lieutenant to mind, then you're almost certainly going to wonder what the fuss is all about. For the rest of us at MRC the weekend at Coate Water Park was a memorable one.
Take up rowing in your teens or twenties and you can be confident that, if you apply yourself, it's not so much a matter of if you'll make it out of Novice but when and where. On the other hand, if you've passed the Big 40 with a waistline heading in the same direction, a couple of kids, a job in London and a partner who can't quite understand how anyone could possibly spend 12 hours a week paddling in a boat, then getting through Novice can be seriously formidable.
But let's rewind to last September, when a mixed band of novice and Senior 4 veterans agreed to take on the challenging task of making the transformation from people who row to rowers.
Amongst those present were the usual suspects:
Bob Thompson – Slim, elegant suave – if I look this good at sixty I'll be well pleased.
Rob Thomson – Ageing rocker who spends a lot of time clad in leather and has recently bought a motorbike as a cover story.
Ray Swordy – Old enough, but can't quite remember who Robert Zimmerman is – or how to get on the M4 for 8.30am – but in good shape as you'd expect from a man whose diet in his formative years was defined by his ration card.
Jonathon Walne – A man who looks as if he forgot to say 'when' as he was being poured into his all in one and has a worrying habit of foaming at the mouth during races. We've stuck him down the blunt end where he can do least harm – although we have had a high turnover of coxes as a consequence.
Graham Hyman – How's this for dedication? – Retired (very) early to get out of Novice and puts up with a daily diet of Richard and Judy for his troubles. If you need updates on any of the soaps, this is the man to ask.
Kelvin Read – Has made ultimate sacrifice and moved to low tar in the quest for glory. Determined to add to his previous wins.
Graeme Armstrong – Captain Nemo lookalike who gained a couple of wins in the days when Barbara Windsor was a sex symbol rather than the ageing bag behind the Old Vic bar. Fancies replicating former successes at MRC.
Mark Wells – A youngster in his late twenties  – another ex-boxer in the Nick Hoare mould, but unlike Nick, prefers gardening to winter ergos.
Winning – just, the clamour to coach this pool of tapped untalent was Mike Landers – not so much a has-been, more a never-was, but has the advantage of being able to row neither side and can, using warm spoons and butter, just about get in the cox's seat – although this tends to restrict the bow seat to people with a cool head for heights.
Some of these athletes had been hanging around MRC for half a decade, but had found the first win tantalisingly elusive. Early outings indicated that all they lacked was fitness, flexibility, strength, technique and some half-decent equipment.
The programme started in September with a combination of weekend outings in The Bismark (blue eight), hard midweek circuits courtesy of Jane Mannering and some technique-based work at the rowing tank at Oxford. Like everyone else, we suffered from time off the water due to the flooding but made up with ergo work, Pound lane runs/wades, cycle rides around the triathlon circuits and the dreaded 5k tests. These came as a shock to a couple of people who thought that their lives were flashing by until they experienced the 5k ergo test 'time stands still' phenomenon. What the ergo tests also proved was the important bit that can't be coached – that a willingness to suffer was also present in abundance.
One of the things the group really lacked was race practice, so it was doubly disappointing to cock up the entry to the Vets Head, where we were determined to improve dramatically on the 30th (from last) performance of last year. To prevent any recurrence of this nonsense, Graham H kindly agreed to take time out from an empty diary to be our entries co-ordinator, and improve his selection chances in the process.
We've used a couple of coxes so far this year – thanks to both of them. Crispin, thankfully, prefers women and Jane prefers rowing to coxing, so the dread prospect of having to lug 75kg(ish) of me up regatta courses was enough to kick off a search for a proper racing cox. Thankfully one emerged a month ago in the small but perfectly audible form of Karla Boddy who comes with all the basic qualities (50kg and 120 dB). What she also brought was a great degree of confidence and seemingly boundless enthusiasm for telling people what to do.
Our first regatta of the season was a learning experience to put it mildly – up against Shiplake, Pangbourne, Eton et al over 1000m at Eton. We were second after 250m and last after a 1000, having covered the first 500m at 38 and the second at 34. It was a similar story in the Senior 4 eight, but at least we knew that our start was quick and that 36 was sustainable over a 1k course.
Some fine tuning over the next fortnight and some pieces alongside Paul Cox's eight, where we lost about a length for each minute rowed, suggested that we could give a decent account of ourselves if we learned to relax with someone alongside us and with a better race plan.
So we set off to Coate Water Park in high spirits with a cunning plan – get ahead and stay ahead  - with Nick Hoare, Alex Lovisetto and Dan Tipney filling in for Rob Thomson (on holiday yet again) and Ian Chamberlain, who claimed to have joined the jet set but was actually at some tedious conference in the USA.
Ian, whose son Mike rows in the second eight, and Chris Tipney, whose sons Ben and Dan don't seem to know how to lose in sculling boats, had joined the squad in October and February respectively and, being as flexible as the Tin Man and slightly short of peak condition, had both slotted in nicely.
The senior 4 race was not hugely encouraging with the Marlow eight of Karla, Jon, Bob, Graham, Kelvin, Alex, Mark, Nick and Chris coming in 3 lengths behind a Magdalen College Oxford eight that caught us cold but was also too classy and too clever for us.
With a couple of quick changes we set out to give Magdalen's novices and an eight from Hertford College Oxford a good kicking. Half a length down off the start, we held Magdalen until the enclosure, when the winter's training paid off in some style; rating 38 MRC pulled through both college crews to win by almost a length. Quite as nice feeling, I'm told, rowing through people half your age in the last 200m!
The final was against Exeter RC who had dead heated with Weybridge in their semi and won the rerow by half a length. Exeter had looked worryingly good as well as young and fit and will surely be out of novice in the next few weeks. Marlow took almost a length off them at the start, which was down to about three quarters going passed the enclosure, and held on, or rather were driven on by Karla, rating a lengthy 36 as Exeter pushed hard for the line. At the finish it wasn't immediately clear who had won and a desperately tense 10 minutes passed before MRC were given the verdict by a canvas.
Winning sculling races is routine stuff for Dan Tipney (bow), but it's unlikely he'll race too often in the same boat as his dad. Certainly winning anything is, or rather was, far from routine stuff for some of the other crew members Ray Swordy, Chris Tipney, Alex Lovisetto, Mark Wells, Graham Hyman, Bob Thompson, Jon Walne and Karla Boddy. At least a few of these gents must have wondered if it was ever going to come their way. Nice to win in style over 850m as well, beating 5 other club and college crews, most of whom were half our crew average age of 39 years old – 43 if you exclude Dan.
Many thanks to Karla for some excellent coxing; I mistakenly thought it might take her six months to get to this standard, but amazingly it took only one. If Dan keeps it up and goes on to represent England or GB I can see a few 'mature' gents telling their grandchildren how they once rowed with him.
There's still some unfinished business to attend to – Rob, Ian and Graeme were away whilst we were at Coate and Kelvin deserves a win this season. Having come this far it would be a mistake not to capitalise on the crew spirit, fitness and technique that have been carved out over the last nine months. 
That having been said I'm pretty sure that even if the crew goes on to register other wins in the months and years to come, as some surely will, this one will still linger long in the memory.

 

Mike Landers

PS. Many thanks to those who rowed with the crew this year – Paul Hyde, Ali Hughes, Charlotte Hill, Roger Martin-Fagg, Nick Hoare, Alex Lovisetto and Dan Tipney.

 

Senior Women's Squad
 2012 Summer Season Report

The 2012 regatta season got off to a promising start  - blue skies, light winds, calm water  - lulling us all into a fall sense of security that this would be the year of perfect racing conditions. The Women's Squad turned out in force at Wallingford Regatta to race in various combinations, many of which had been put through their paces on training camp a few weeks earlier. The W IM2 4+ narrowly missed out on a place in the final putting in a strong performance in their first race of the new season. Injury forced a change to one of the squad's three entries in W IM2 2x; Anna Brazinova and Ruth Naylor put their winter training to the test with a solid row in the heat but sadly they were unable to overcome strong opposition in the final. 


 A bit of "fun" was called for next and the girls headed over to Twickenham for a spot of good old-fashioned river racing. Once again, we were blessed with near perfect conditions and the promise of some great racing. First up was the W IM1 2x of Clare Haley and Dawn Thomson who had a straight final against a strong 2x from Sport Imperial. The Marlow boat fought hard and in the end lost by a length; a promising performance for the lightweight crew.

 Anna and Ruth continued to show their form by winning two rounds of W IM3 2x but then unfortunately lost the final against a good crew from the University of Surrey. The W IM1 4- struggled in their light-weighted-ness against a heavyweight crew from Molesey containing a number of aspiring internationals. Dawn met her opposite number from the 2x race in W IM3 1x and lost by only 1 length (narrowly avoiding re-landscaping the riverbank in the process) and Victoria Parsons had a great scull in W Mas A/B 1x, winning her heat but sadly losing the final to a TSS sculler. Tuba Islam and Kerry Clarke tested their mettle in W Mas A/B 2x and put in a great show to lose by only 2 ¾ lengths again to TSS.

The last race of the morning session was in W IM2 4x and our hopes were pinned on the relatively scratch crew of Dani Phillips, Hannah Cumming, Fay Beanland and Emily Broadley. They did not disappoint and rounded off what could have been a day of near misses with a win - much to the delight of the crew and coaches!

A WC IM3 4x- consisting of Lisa Knill, Kerry Clarke, Amanda Rice and Catrin Jones, attended the British Rowing Masters Championships; their first test of racing together as a crew. Against some tough opposition, Marlow stayed in the pack holding on to the second placed Mortlake crew for the majority of the race. It was a positive start giving the crew the confidence to enter the 4x- at Henley Masters a few weeks later.

With the crews for HWR fixed, the squad turned next its attention to the Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake, arguably one of the most competitive regattas of the season. The squad were represented well - Dawn and Clare raced W IM1 2x and W Senior 2x on both days and were joined in W IM1 2x on the Saturday by Anna and Ruth and also Dani and Tamsin Knill; the 4+ raced in W IM2 4+ on the Saturday; and Dani and Tamsin raced a 2- on the Sunday. Clare and Dawn continued to show their form, coming 2nd in W IM1 2x (a length behind the winners and some 19 seconds ahead of the next boat) and 3rd in W Sen 2x on Saturday and 4th in W IM1 2x and 2nd in W Sen 2x on Sunday.

In preparation for more river racing, some of the squad ventured upriver to Reading Amateur. Here the W IM2 4+ put up a fantastic show winning all their races convincingly and taking the honours in the final over a good crew from Henley RC.

The 25th Henley Women's Regatta was the next port of call for the squad and it was clear from early on in the week that this was not going to be an ordinary regatta. Unprecedented rain (so much for the drought) and strong winds left the organisers with a difficult of task of trying to allow the regatta to go ahead whilst ensuring the safety of the competitors in what proved to be very challenging conditions. The outcome was that a number of events were raced as a time trial to whittle the competitors down to the fastest eight in each event, who then raced side-by-side as normal.

The only Marlow boat affected was the W Sen Lwt 2x of Dawn and Clare, who duly raced their time trial on Friday lunchtime and then their first heat later that afternoon. With an "easily" verdict going into Sunday's semi-final, they had a tough race against Mortlake Anglian Alpha but pushed on to win by 2 lengths. The girls had the benefit of knowing they had beaten the other finalists, Wallingford, already this year but the times of the heats showed that it would not be an easy race. A poor start meant the Marlow girls were trailing Wallingford by 1 ½ lengths coming out of the island, but they did not give up the fight and continued to push all the way down the course but unfortunately were unable to pull back a victory. A great race and some comfort in knowing that the lightweight final's time was 11 seconds faster than the heavyweight final's time in the immediately preceding race.

The 4+ had a great victory against Agecroft on Saturday meaning that they met a very good crew from Upper Thames in the semi-finals of Senior 4+. Another dodgy start left the Marlow girls in the wake of Upper Thames but again they did not give up and the race remained a close one through the Enclosures, until Upper Thames began to sneak away from Marlow eventually winning by 4 lengths and ultimately winning the final.

The Senior 4x of Dani, Tamsin, Louise Cox and Anna Smart from the junior girls' squad had a bye into the semi-finals on Sunday where they met Guildford RC. Guildford had raced Oxford Brookes the previous day and won the race by only 2 feet thanks to Brookes not only hitting but causing serious damage to one of the posts on the course. Guildford must therefore have thought their luck was in when one of the blades in the Marlow boat broke as the crews entered the Enclosures, causing a huge disappointment for the Marlow girls. To conclude the bizarre sequence of events, the other finalists (Reading Uni) also suffered a broken blade during their final.

Although not wins, these performances at HWR were probably the stand out performances of the season for the squad.

With a preference developing for shorter distances, some of the more "experienced" members of the squad braved more wind and rain at Henley Masters Regatta at the beginning of July. Once again, the organisers faced the challenge of constant weather-watching to determine what steps needed to be taken to ensure the regatta could proceed. The main problem however was not the stream or wind (indeed the conditions were relatively favourable for racing, if you ignore the downpours) but the extremely muddy conditions in the boating area and car parks. Not to be deterred, the Marlow old girls stepped up to the mark and brought home victories and beautiful shiny medals in W Mas A 2x (Clare and Dani), W Mas B 1x (Clare) and W Mas B 4 + (Ruth, Anna, Victoria and Jo Chesney, coxed by Lisa Knill) with a good solid performance from the W Mas C 4x (Lisa, Kerry, Amanda and Catrin) too.

The penultimate regatta of the season was not to be outdone in its oddness. This year only a small number of Senior events were on offer at the British Rowing Championships, namely heavyweight and lightweight 1x and 2- and heavyweight 4+. Both the 4+ and Clare in W Lwt 1x made it to the repechage but failed to qualify for their respective finals. Dani and Tamsin had a straight final in W Lwt 2- but sadly failed to medal.

The ultimate rowing event kicked off on 27th July in Berkshire and it
did not disappoint. Henley Town and Visitors wrapped up the year on a
positive note, with Victoria just being pipped in the final of W IM3
1x, and a win for Tamsin, Ruth, Clare and Anna in W IM2 4x.

So looking back, although the season has been frustrating at times, for a small squad we have had some high quality wins from many fantastic performances. Training will resume again on 15th September 2012 - new members are especially welcome, please contact Russ Haley on 07770 568761 for more details.

Senior Women's Squad
 2012 Summer Season Report

The 2012 regatta season got off to a promising start  - blue skies, light winds, calm water  - lulling us all into a fall sense of security that this would be the year of perfect racing conditions. The Women's Squad turned out in force at Wallingford Regatta to race in various combinations, many of which had been put through their paces on training camp a few weeks earlier. The W IM2 4+ narrowly missed out on a place in the final putting in a strong performance in their first race of the new season. Injury forced a change to one of the squad's three entries in W IM2 2x; Anna Brazinova and Ruth Naylor put their winter training to the test with a solid row in the heat but sadly they were unable to overcome strong opposition in the final. 


 A bit of "fun" was called for next and the girls headed over to Twickenham for a spot of good old-fashioned river racing. Once again, we were blessed with near perfect conditions and the promise of some great racing. First up was the W IM1 2x of Clare Haley and Dawn Thomson who had a straight final against a strong 2x from Sport Imperial. The Marlow boat fought hard and in the end lost by a length; a promising performance for the lightweight crew.

 Anna and Ruth continued to show their form by winning two rounds of W IM3 2x but then unfortunately lost the final against a good crew from the University of Surrey. The W IM1 4- struggled in their light-weighted-ness against a heavyweight crew from Molesey containing a number of aspiring internationals. Dawn met her opposite number from the 2x race in W IM3 1x and lost by only 1 length (narrowly avoiding re-landscaping the riverbank in the process) and Victoria Parsons had a great scull in W Mas A/B 1x, winning her heat but sadly losing the final to a TSS sculler. Tuba Islam and Kerry Clarke tested their mettle in W Mas A/B 2x and put in a great show to lose by only 2 ¾ lengths again to TSS.

The last race of the morning session was in W IM2 4x and our hopes were pinned on the relatively scratch crew of Dani Phillips, Hannah Cumming, Fay Beanland and Emily Broadley. They did not disappoint and rounded off what could have been a day of near misses with a win - much to the delight of the crew and coaches!

A WC IM3 4x- consisting of Lisa Knill, Kerry Clarke, Amanda Rice and Catrin Jones, attended the British Rowing Masters Championships; their first test of racing together as a crew. Against some tough opposition, Marlow stayed in the pack holding on to the second placed Mortlake crew for the majority of the race. It was a positive start giving the crew the confidence to enter the 4x- at Henley Masters a few weeks later.

With the crews for HWR fixed, the squad turned next its attention to the Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake, arguably one of the most competitive regattas of the season. The squad were represented well - Dawn and Clare raced W IM1 2x and W Senior 2x on both days and were joined in W IM1 2x on the Saturday by Anna and Ruth and also Dani and Tamsin Knill; the 4+ raced in W IM2 4+ on the Saturday; and Dani and Tamsin raced a 2- on the Sunday. Clare and Dawn continued to show their form, coming 2nd in W IM1 2x (a length behind the winners and some 19 seconds ahead of the next boat) and 3rd in W Sen 2x on Saturday and 4th in W IM1 2x and 2nd in W Sen 2x on Sunday.

In preparation for more river racing, some of the squad ventured upriver to Reading Amateur. Here the W IM2 4+ put up a fantastic show winning all their races convincingly and taking the honours in the final over a good crew from Henley RC.

The 25th Henley Women's Regatta was the next port of call for the squad and it was clear from early on in the week that this was not going to be an ordinary regatta. Unprecedented rain (so much for the drought) and strong winds left the organisers with a difficult of task of trying to allow the regatta to go ahead whilst ensuring the safety of the competitors in what proved to be very challenging conditions. The outcome was that a number of events were raced as a time trial to whittle the competitors down to the fastest eight in each event, who then raced side-by-side as normal.

The only Marlow boat affected was the W Sen Lwt 2x of Dawn and Clare, who duly raced their time trial on Friday lunchtime and then their first heat later that afternoon. With an "easily" verdict going into Sunday's semi-final, they had a tough race against Mortlake Anglian Alpha but pushed on to win by 2 lengths. The girls had the benefit of knowing they had beaten the other finalists, Wallingford, already this year but the times of the heats showed that it would not be an easy race. A poor start meant the Marlow girls were trailing Wallingford by 1 ½ lengths coming out of the island, but they did not give up the fight and continued to push all the way down the course but unfortunately were unable to pull back a victory. A great race and some comfort in knowing that the lightweight final's time was 11 seconds faster than the heavyweight final's time in the immediately preceding race.

The 4+ had a great victory against Agecroft on Saturday meaning that they met a very good crew from Upper Thames in the semi-finals of Senior 4+. Another dodgy start left the Marlow girls in the wake of Upper Thames but again they did not give up and the race remained a close one through the Enclosures, until Upper Thames began to sneak away from Marlow eventually winning by 4 lengths and ultimately winning the final.

The Senior 4x of Dani, Tamsin, Louise Cox and Anna Smart from the junior girls' squad had a bye into the semi-finals on Sunday where they met Guildford RC. Guildford had raced Oxford Brookes the previous day and won the race by only 2 feet thanks to Brookes not only hitting but causing serious damage to one of the posts on the course. Guildford must therefore have thought their luck was in when one of the blades in the Marlow boat broke as the crews entered the Enclosures, causing a huge disappointment for the Marlow girls. To conclude the bizarre sequence of events, the other finalists (Reading Uni) also suffered a broken blade during their final.

Although not wins, these performances at HWR were probably the stand out performances of the season for the squad.

With a preference developing for shorter distances, some of the more "experienced" members of the squad braved more wind and rain at Henley Masters Regatta at the beginning of July. Once again, the organisers faced the challenge of constant weather-watching to determine what steps needed to be taken to ensure the regatta could proceed. The main problem however was not the stream or wind (indeed the conditions were relatively favourable for racing, if you ignore the downpours) but the extremely muddy conditions in the boating area and car parks. Not to be deterred, the Marlow old girls stepped up to the mark and brought home victories and beautiful shiny medals in W Mas A 2x (Clare and Dani), W Mas B 1x (Clare) and W Mas B 4 + (Ruth, Anna, Victoria and Jo Chesney, coxed by Lisa Knill) with a good solid performance from the W Mas C 4x (Lisa, Kerry, Amanda and Catrin) too.

The penultimate regatta of the season was not to be outdone in its oddness. This year only a small number of Senior events were on offer at the British Rowing Championships, namely heavyweight and lightweight 1x and 2- and heavyweight 4+. Both the 4+ and Clare in W Lwt 1x made it to the repechage but failed to qualify for their respective finals. Dani and Tamsin had a straight final in W Lwt 2- but sadly failed to medal.

The ultimate rowing event kicked off on 27th July in Berkshire and it
did not disappoint. Henley Town and Visitors wrapped up the year on a
positive note, with Victoria just being pipped in the final of W IM3
1x, and a win for Tamsin, Ruth, Clare and Anna in W IM2 4x.

So looking back, although the season has been frustrating at times, for a small squad we have had some high quality wins from many fantastic performances. Training will resume again on 15th September 2012 - new members are especially welcome, please contact Russ Haley on 07770 568761 for more details.

03_women_squad_photo

 

Senior Women's Report

New Season 2003/2004

We started this season with a new coach to replace Phil who has retired from coaching the women after many years of patience and hard work. Russ Haley joined us from Scotland where he has spent many years coaching athletes at both club and Commonwealth level. Russ and Andy are now the women's squad coaches and are developing their own form of sarcasm to help us through those lovely freezing cold morning outings in the rain below the lock. We have a good group of athletes this year and anyone wanting to join us is always welcome.

Results for 2003

Pairs Head of the River Race

Three crews from the women's squad competed at this event at the beginning of October. Kim and Tash produced the best results and a great time to be 4 th in the very competitive WS3 2x division. Kev and I had not such a special race in WS1 2x and perhaps a two-week holiday in Sri Lanka may not have been ideal race preparation (I did have a nice tan though!). Sally and Catrin raced as a veteran double and had fun navigating around the other crews.

Trials

Emily, Kev and Claire all trekked off to Boston for the first set of trials and returned that evening with a few weary faces. Emily was 7th amongst the skinnys. Claire was 32nd in heavyweights after unfortunately managing to clip a bush in the water. Kev was 53rd in heavyweights after her back went midway through the race. Not a lucky day for all concerned.

Marlow Long Distance Sculls

The rest of the squad stayed on more familiar territory to compete in the Long Distance Sculls. Kim sprinted up the course to be the fastest woman sculler and win the WS4 1x division. Tash also stormed up the course and was 2nd in the WS4 division and the 3rd fastest woman sculler. Catrin had a good row and came home with a pleasing time in the WS3 division. Dani and Louise also put in good performances and made a good start to the season.

Fours Head

November saw the Fours Head race and luckily enough this year it did not rain. Clare, Kev, Emily and I ventured out in the W4X category and had a good row with great steering from Kev (I am sure I heard her volunteer to steer crews for the rest of the year!). Tash, Kim, Maddy and Catrin were in the WS2 4x and had a reasonable row, coming just above middle of their category. Finally Ella coxed a crew of Louise, Lisa, Tamsin and Dani in the WS2 4+ category.

Walton Head

As we did not manage to make it to Wycliffe, some of the slightly madder members of the squad took racing into their own hands and attended Walton for the day. Emily and Vic had a good row in the WE 2x, but unfortunately there was no competition. Emily also ventured out in her single but suffered the timing differences between the divisions.

Hillbilly

Until there were none……………

Well we have finally reached the end of the 2002-2003 season with no more regattas in the programme left to race. So here is a round up of the final few attended…drinking certainly seemed to be the theme moving into the last couple.

National Championships

The quad and Emily headed off north and it really was north, up to Strathclyde for this event. As promised the winds arrived making the water a bit too reminiscent of the tideway. Anyway we had a reasonable time, Emily and Shelley took a Bronze in the lightweight doubles event. Emily did very well to get into the final for the lightweight singles in an event that seemed to have dragged every lightweight in the country to enter.
The quad had the easier draw in the heats getting straight into the final after finishing second. In the final we had our best row of the weekend and although we didn't come home with any medals after finishing fourth we all felt it was worth attending. Big thanks to Andy who travelled all the way to Scotland as our Coach (and of course to watch Crispin).

Henley T & V

Best result of the day came when the S3 eight consisting of Ella, Maddy, Louise, Catrin, Lisa, Kim, Bexs, Tamsin and Dani won against Henley in the final. The coxed four also had a good row but got beaten in the semi by Henley, all members of the crew were in the winning eight, so one all was a reasonable result.

Peterborough

As promised for this weekend the weather was rather hot, Sunday managed to top the record books.
Racing on Saturday didn't get the smoothest of starts with Maddy having to be super sub and jump into the S2 quad at the last moment as an un-named person thought that Peterborough was on the M1 and not the A1(M). An easy enough mistake if you had never been there before but no, said unnamed (welsh muchkin) had in fact attended Peterborough on numerous occasions. Dani and Bexs in the S4 2X had a convincing win in their heat but decided to scratch for the semi as this would have clashed with the eights final. The S3 eight had a good row but unfortunately were knocked out in the semi. Maddy and Tamsin also both ventured out in their singles, with Maddy reaching the rep.
Sunday racing featured Tamsin in her single, Lisa and Louise in the novice 2X sculled well getting into the repechage. Finally Emily, Kev, Maddy and Catrin had a storming win in the S2 quad.

Finally the very last….City of Oxford Regatta

Catrin had a great win in the WS 1X event. Dani and Bexs won in the W4 2X event. Maddy, Louise, Bexs, Lisa and Ella were awarded the win in the WS3 4+ after the Cambridge boat was disqualified due to some fighting on the bank (an interesting way to coach!). Catrin and Maddy also competed in the double and Tamsin ventured out in her single.

Hillbilly

Bedford Quarts Sprints - Sunday 13 July

An excellent day, with a good number and standard of entries producing some excellent racing. Seven Marlow crews raced, made 4 semi finals and 2 finals. Dani Phillips and Becs Skinner raced well in their WS4 2x to make the final, but lost in a close race by ½ length against some big girls from Peterborough.
WS3 4+. Lisa Knill , Maddie Parr, Louise Ainley and Maddy Downey (stroke), cox Ella Waddingham, raced well throughout the day, producing better performances in each round. They beat Curlew in the first round and City of Cambridge in the second, to meet Bedford Star in an exciting semi which Marlow won by ¼ length. In the final against Barnes Bridge Ladies, the four took off to an excellent start to win by 2½ lengths and thus collect their much sought after quart pewter tankards.

Andy Knill

Women's Henley - The Club Quads Final

The Club Quads final was the first race after the afternoon tea break. We were made to wait about 6 terrifying minutes on the start because race control at the start line couldn't get in contact with the finish line personnel. The umpire was going to start the race anyway, but was told she couldn't, so we were told to relax.
I have never felt SO nervous!! I've had adrenaline pumping before other races, and the sort of nerves you get before an exam, but never these nerves - when I felt I could have thrown up over the side of the boat - apologies for graphic details. However, when we were told to relax by the lining up people, we did and I felt a lot more in control of my feelings, as I think everyone else in the boat did.
Finally, were called to start. It's horribly hot and muggy, but a strong head wind has picked up and the water is a bit bobbly from all the cruisers going up and down the river.
And we're off....our aim to sit back and give strong finishes in the head wind.....rating 41 off the start, good first stroke.....but oh dear, both Hillbilly and I miss the second stroke on bowside - what a disaster, or is it? I look at the stern to check if the boat has gone off course, it hasn't, thankfully. We get it back OK. Strong start, not one of our best. Unfortunately the two practice starts we did above the course we very good, so that's probably why our real one wasn't up to much.
Aberdeen Boat Club (my old club, and the opposition, many of whom I used to race with) gained the lead on us because of the poor second stroke, but not as much as they could have, because we were with them rating 37. We were prepared for the gust of wind coming out from behind the island and sure enough it was there. We held it together and ploughed on, rating 34 and a half. Not long after, Kev called for our first push (push 10, hold 10, push 10) at the 500m mark. It didn't feel spectacular, but people said afterwards that it was effective and we moved up on them. Being at stroke it's harder to tell because I can't look round to see, but it must have worked because Kev gave a call for level - we pushed 10 and got level with them. She gave another call for half - we pushed and got half a length on them. She called yet again for length; we pushed and got a length. One last call for clear and we got a bit of clear water, just as we were passing the barrier into the enclosure.
We plugged on, the pain tough but much more bearable than it had been in the first race of the day. The cheers for ABC were strong and I think it helped fuel our aggression to win (it certainly did mine). Tetley, Andy K and Phil were on their bikes with us the whole time. Their cheers were excellent and they battled well through the enclosures, so we didn't lose them at all. Tetley had cycled from Tring that morning and later told us that he had sweated more following that race than cycling the 27 miles from Tring!
Towards the end of the enclosure, they did a push and gained on us a little, but with no overlapping. Now the exhaustion and aches were settling in. We did our other push out of the enclosure so they didn't gain any more on us. Jo's steering was superb. We got one warning near the start and I think that was just round about the time of the gust of wind when the water conditions were worst. My hat off to Jo, she was superb!!
70 strokes, I reckoned from the end of the enclosure, that's all we had left....we can do this. Still sitting at 34, with power in every finish. 300m to go, Kev calls for sit up. We all sit up, driving the legs down sharply, catches sharp and quick, finishes strong. A call for rating up one. We power on well, but it's only half a point we go up. Power still on and strong, ABC trying to push back at us. Kev calls for us to sit on them; we do. Another call for up one; it doesn't happen, but that doesn't matter because the power is still there. Ooops, the boat falls to stroke side at the start of our last 20 strokes. It's OK, we get it back and move on.....10 strokes left.....pain......the finish gun goes.
We've done it - we've just won Henley Women's Regatta as the first Club 4x ever!! That means we've set a course record, probably not that fast because of the head wind and not rowing our best. It still hasn't really sunk in properly, even today. What an amazing feeling!! It's strange. People asked after if it was a good row, apart from the pain. I said honestly, no it wasn't. In that final, technique went out of the window, for both crews, because Russ Haley said his crew lost technique too. It was a case of who was the gutsiest crew on the day, able to get it from start to finish in that head wind the fastest.....and that happened to be us. I was sorry to have beaten my old club mates, but they gave us a good challenge.
Hillbilly complimented me one my stroking, so maybe it wasn't as bad a row as I had thought. Stroke is always difficult because you don't get to see as much as the others. But I knew I had 3 fantastic girls backing me up and that they would be with me the whole way down the course. It will be interesting to see Jo's Dad's video of our final - he was in the umpire launch and recorded the whole race.
Many thanks to all who have supported us, cheered us on, and especially to Phil and Andy for their guidance, expertise coaching and faith in us - it was a real pleasure to win this for them too!!!!
I think we're all rather exhausted today, but no rest for the wicked, it's back to training for Henley Royal now.

Lorna Ferguson

The Regatta Season

Wallingford Regatta marked the beginning of our regatta season, and did we get a lovely flat lake at Dorney to utilise the technique we have been practising all winter?….Did we b***ocks! We got a howling head wind, which meant it was a day for the big birds!
Those brave enough to venture out in their singles put in good performances. Dani sculled well in her first novice race to come 5th in her heat and Maddy was 2nd in her heat to get through to the novice final, where unfortunately the wind proved somewhat of a hindrance. Maddy also competed at S4 in her single, along with Catrin. Maddy was 4th in her heat and Catrin did well in the heat getting through to the final. Even Emily suffered the small bird syndrome in head wind conditions, managing to get into the final of the Elite Singles, but being beaten there by those with more body mass.
Those of us in doubles had a reasonable day with all three doubles getting into the final, where Kev nearly fell over as she was still ill. Kat and Catrin suffered in the windy conditions, but Lorna (now in full cake eating mode after joining the big birds) and I managed to see off the competition to win the event (least said about brute force and ignorance the better!). Finally the S3 4+, a nearly scratch crew of Louise, Sally, Mandie, Lisa and Ella, put in a good performance to be 4th in their heat.

The next day was Marlow Spring Regatta, which resulted in a good haul of pots. Maddy won her novice single, Dani and Becs won the Novice Double event and the 4+, from Wallingford with Charlie as cox, won the S3 event

Ghent Regatta followed, which as well as providing a very good excuse to stock up on Belgian chocolate, also saw two good days of racing. Lorna and I got the Bronze on Saturday in the double. We then also got the Bronze in the quad with Kev and Jo.
Emily had a great final in the Lightweight 1X, getting the Bronze in a very competitive event (we won't mention her lane changing antics during the race. . it really is faster Emily if you go down the course in a straight line!). Sunday started well with Catrin and Maddy having a storming row in the Lghtweight 2X to get the Bronze. Emily was 4th in the LW 1X again in a very competitive event. The quad finished the day with another Bronze.

And on to Metropolitan….

Catrin and Maddy were unfortunately blighted in the double by Maddy being ill, but Catrin together with three Scottish girls on Sunday put in a good performance in the quads as a scratch crew.
The quad had a frustrating day on Saturday, coming 2nd in both the S1 and Elite events. Emily produced the best result on Saturday, winning the S1 1X event, making it all look a bit too easy. Later she took second in the double with Shelley.
Finally on Sunday, after another 2nd in the quad, we managed to win the S1 event after a very tough race. Emily was 4th in the 1X after a slow start.

Hillbilly

Spring 2003

Wycliffe

January started off well for the squad with the first race of the year at Wycliffe, luckily this time it was slightly warmer. The S3 eight comprising of Kat, Andrea, Maddy, Louise, Lisa, Michelle, Dani and Vickie won their division, as did the S3 quad of Julie, Jo, Helen and Lorna. The S2 quad, S2 eight and S3 four all did well coming in second. Vicky provided entertainment by taking a somewhat over keen interest in seeing close up the wildlife of both banks whilst steering the quad down the course.

Worcester

Emily as part of a black prince composite did well at Worcester head to win the S1 4+ event.

Women's Head of the River

Whilst the water was not as smooth as we would all have liked with a head wind blowing for the first half of the course the crews had a good day. The first crew rowed in a vacuum for their race but did well to move up places starting at 27 and finishing at 24. The crew rowed well in the smoother water, taking advantage of the good rhythm set up by Lorna at stroke. Sally set up the second crew from stroke and they battled their way down the course overtaking quite a few crews. The result of 111th - weirdly enough the same number they started at - was a good result.

Abingdon

The squad came back from Abingdon with quite a haul of wins. Helen and Jo won the S2 Double, Catrin and Kat won the S3 Double, Emily son the S1 Single and Lorna, Helen, Jo and Kat won the S3 Quad. Dani and Becky were second in the Novice Double and Emily and Julie finished second in the S2 Doubles. Bonus points go to Julie for steering an interesting course but still managing not to swear at anyone, Emily later questioned if this was some type of sacrifice Julie had given up for lent?

Hillbilly

End of 2002

In early December most athletes braved the cold (and it really was cold!) to compete at Wycliffe Small Boats Head. Results for the Women's squad were impressive, Emily was second in Elite Singles to Page of Worcester who also won the J18 event. In Senior 2 Julie was 4th and Jo 6th; Lorna produced a great result winning the Senior 3 division in her single, with Kat getting the silver. Catrin won the bronze in the Vet A Singles and Sally was 4th in the same division. Maddy sculled well to get the bronze in the Novice Singles followed in 4th by Martina and in joint 5th by Sophie and Dani.
The afternoon's division also produced great results for the women's club boats. Emily and Julie got the silver in the Senior 1 Double, Lorna and Jo won gold in the Senior 2 Double, bringing Lorna's medal win to two Golds in the same day!. Kat and Maddy did well in Senior 3 to get the silver and Dani and Sophie sculled well getting the bronze for Novice Doubles. Amusement of the day was kindly provided by Mandy who managed to steer the quad into the umpires launch on her way down the course (one might suggest Mandy is putting an early bid in for the broken rigger award!).

Later in the month saw Boston Trials. After achieving the required 2K erg times to be allowed to attend, a group of us merrily trekked off to Boston in December. Being greeted with a head wind for the first 2K of the 5k race was not my idea of a good day out, but I'm sure some people enjoyed it!. Anyway the day produced a brilliant result for Lorna who was 9th in the lightweight section. The rest of us faired OK in the pie eaters division, Helen Raine was 14th, I was 22nd and Helen Selden was 39th.

Hillbilly

Off to a winning start

October started very well with Jo and Kat being the joint winners with Furnivall in the WS3 2X category of the Pairs Head. Other slightly madder members of the squad did the Marlow Triathlon - well done to Helen Raine and Tash who both did well.
Six members of the squad went off to the first set of trials up at Boston (luckily for us it was dry and not too windy). Emily continued to impress with her 5th position in the Lightweights. Kat was 13th and Lorna 22nd in the same group. The cake eaters amongst us were up in the Heavyweight section. Helen R put in a good performance coming 8th, I was 15th, Helen S was 45th - an improvement from her last venture up to Boston in her single and we all know how she loves sculling!.
The same weekend saw most remaining members of the squad take part in the Marlow Long Distance Sculls. Maddy and Mandy sculled well, coming 2nd and 3rd respectively in Novice Singles.
The Fours Head at the beginning of November was a good result for the club. Helen Raine and I, together with Claire Vincent and Jane Fisher from Worcester coxed by Ella, won the W+ event in a time of 21 mins 15.71 seconds, beating very strong Oxford University and Oxford Brookes crews in our division. Kat, Lorna, Jo and Vicky also had a good result finishing 6th in the very competitive WS2X division, with a time of 21 mins 8.69 seconds. Sally, Maddy, Martina and Mandy`s quad had a bit of a tussle with another crew on their way down the course, the new overtaking rules not making it any easier.  Danni`s quad steered a good line and had a reasonable row.

 

Hillbilly

Gone Swimming……

Saturday 7th September was the start of the 2002/2003 training season for the Women's squad, and judging by the turnout we should have a strong and healthy group to go through the season. First outing on Saturday saw everyone scrambling to get onto the water and avoid tripping over all the obstacles on site due to the bridge repairs. Second outing was slightly more eventful with Lucie deciding to check out the Eskimo roll situation in a single…. very amusing for those lucky enough to be passing at the time.
Sunday started pretty foggy so we had to stay up on the top reach, which ended up being quite a slalom, sculling in between the divers and then the raft race people.
Onto week two and it seems Lucie may well have started a trend for swimming this season, Mandy managed to tip Sally into the water on the bottom reach in a vain attempt to stop Sally passing her (by fair means or foul I suppose).  Sunday was the first timed piece and in a cunning attempt to avoid having to race I managed to go for a swim just off the landing stage aided by Ms Booker's placement of her single….yes Emily I did see that smug grin!. Apart from the swimming adventures, training has begun in earnest and we had our first circuits session last Wednesday.
Finally a plea for help, please can people keep me updated of results and funny stories this season so that I can attempt to keep this up to date.

 

Hillbilly

2002 Roundup

Emily in the composite quadFudge's group celebrating a win 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well as we have already started training for the 2002/2003 season it's time we had a review of the highs and lows of the 2001/2002 season. Quite a few of these have been mentioned in Sean's press releases so bear with me if you already know all about them.
The season finished on a high note with Emily winning a GOLD medal at the Commonwealth Games, representing England. Kat also did well getting a Bronze in her Scottish double with Lorna, who will hopefully be around Marlow this year.
Peterborough featured Jo and Andrea winning in the double, Jo also won S3 in her single on the Saturday and Andrea won S3 single on Sunday. Star of the weekend was Martina who managed to provide entertainment and get herself a mention on the Slug by capsizing halfway down her novice singles race, nicely timed in front of the supporting onlookers. Slightly drier on the Sunday Martina did well to be third in the final of novice singles.
Kat and Lorna in the doubleNational Championships featured Emily in the composite quad winning the Lightweight Quads and then getting Silver in the Heavyweight Quad, being beaten only by Nautilus. Kat and Lorna managed to collect a Bronze in their Lightweight Double and then Silver in a lightweight four composite with Thames. Finally I picked up a Gold in the pairs event with Carla from Oxford Brookes (least said about the number of pairs entered here the better!).
Henley T&V saw Andrea and Jo winning convincingly in the double at S1, and Jo even managed to get Andrea above that magic 30 rating! The Senior 3 eight did well to get through to the finals.
Henley Royal was attended by Emily, again in the composite quad, who did well against the lightweight GB quad. Jo, Vicki, Kat and Lorna also put out a quad that unfortunately drew the GB heavyweights in the first round.
Women's Henley - Emily did very well in the composite quad to win the LW4X (it would appear some people spend most of the season pot hunting!!!). Catrin (no race too short) Williams Jones produced a very fast start in her Lightweight Singles race. Kat and Lorna had a great first round race to beat the UL double. Finally, Charlotte, Tina, Clare and Mel appeared briefly in the Club Fours event.
Birmingham and Leicester were good events to collect pots for the women. Tina, Clare, Charlotte and Maddy won S2 4+ on Saturday, and Tina, Clare, Catrin and Mandy won S3 4+ on the same day. Sunday at Leicester produced a win for Mel, Charlotte, Catrin and Mandy in S3 4+.  Catrin also picked up a S3 1X pot on both days bringing her total haul to 4 pots in one weekend! Top marks to Clare for steering the pair……….into a bridge!!!! Apparently they are really tricky to see and appear out of nowhere! Earlier in the season Clare also proved her unique ability to steer at Bedford when she mounted the rowing club's landing stage.
Women's crews at Metropolitan included Jo and Andrea in the Double and their Singles, both did well to get to the final. Kat and Lorna won S1 Double on the Saturday. Emily et al won in their quad. I subbed into the composite 8 which won on both days, while Docklands was another win for Emily and the composite quad.
At Reading Town, Kat beat Andrea in a straight S3 Singles final.  Fudge's Novice 8 won S4. Sally won in her single at Weybridge Ladies, after being disqualified from one event for not turning up on time. Fudge's Novice/S3 group also won S3 4+ and S4 4+ here.
Well that's about all the results I have been given. So if you won and didn't get a mention, remember to mail me next time, I am not psychic!

 

Hillbilly

GIRLS IN GHENT

It was certainly up with the larks for the girls who went to Ghent. With the trailer leaving at 5am the rest of the gang were very close on their heels.
The day was to be the start of a good 3 days away for all Marlow crews and coaches, the weather was sunny and hot from the off and the sea was calm for the crossing of the English Channel.
The first problem for the whole Marlow squad was a major accident on the M20, which saw map books out in the truck and phone calls to the following fleet to turn hard a-port at junction 7.
With the exception of one this proved to be no problem at all, but to get to Dover around the busy M25 proved too much for the sleek crew of the blue Mercedes.
Never mind though, you can always be assured that if you miss one bus (or ferry), another will be along shortly.
The only close encounter for the towing crew was a large sign at Calais explaining that sandwiches with meat in were not to be taken into France. The decision had to be made, ditch the sandwiches lovingly made by Mrs Phillips or smuggle them in……
Once in France the new truck soon found itself cruising at a massive 60 MPH in the direction of Belgium.
We reached Club Ghent at last, and the Marlow posse set up the nerve centre (Phil's Gazebo - B&Q - £19.99)02ghentclubTrestles were strewn around awaiting the squad and Mrs Phillips sandwiches were eaten.
The Hotel yet again proved excellent value, even if it was under refurbishment and dust covered everything. The management had moved the bar but failed to beat Russell, who found it with the ease of a true veteran.
Saturday was the start of racing and as usual when you have lightweights in the squad it was an early morning call. The FISA scales proved to be inaccurate (or at least Julie and Emily thought so) so it was a day's heavyweight rowing to look forward to.

Jo (Terissa) Chesney, Helen (Kevin) Seldon, Caroline (Billy) Hillaby & Toni (Food processor) Truman had a great first race and, after a week of practice starts at the club, came out in front and pushed away to win their first heat.02ghentw4
It was soon realised that the opposition was of top quality as shown by the Oxford Brooke's crew who consistently won races by large margins. But battle on they did and built strongly on each race, taking the good parts and looking how to carry them forward to the next.
Julie McCulloch and Emily Booker fought hard in the double sculls event but were up against some right big birds nonetheless, neither of them gave up in any of their races and, although they may not have won, produced some excellent races against crews not at the front.

After a hard day's racing there really is nothing better than to go shopping, and as coach to a bunch of shop-aholics, Phil 02a_ghenthasbindustbinneeded little encouragement to go looking for a present for Mrs Tinsley.
Sunday was another new day and again required an early start to confirm that the scales were still not reading correctly. Why, oh why, can't they buy a nice cheap pair like Emily has in her bathroom? They seem to read ok. . . . . .
Anyway breakfast was great and all crews were ready for another day's battle. Once again the four showed great guts and determination, only narrowly missing out on winning their heat again, but did produce the fastest time to go through again to the final. Sadly it was not to be the same story for the Marlow/Avon County composite.
02a_ghenttonybillyThis boat was made up from the Avon lightweight pair and Marlow's Booker and McCulloch. After Avon's success from last year in light fours, it was a real bonus to put our two girls into this boat, and as a scratch crew they raced well against the heavyweight opposition. Let's see what the future holds for this boat.
All in all the weekend was a success for the women's squad, as they boldly push forward towards Henley Women's and the Nat 02a_ghentsquadtruckChamps. All athletes produced hard gutsy rows and the following weeks will see them working ever harder towards their goals for this season.
This weekend was also a great team builder as men's and women's squads crammed into the truck to cheer and scream at our crews; Alan Hooker made his unusual noise, which sounds like a drunk yodelling with a kebab in his mouth.

Well done to all Marlow crews.
Gary Phillips