Spring 2007


“…on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” Genesis 7:10-12

Yeah, well some of us wanted to go rowing …

On the Marlow reach the early part of the year was, to put it mildly, damp.  Very, very damp.  And as a result, for the Women’s Squads it meant weekends at Dorney Lake and ergos.  Oh joy …

Not only was training on the water somewhat curtailed, but racing really suffered as Henley Head and then Reading Head fell foul of the foul weather.  The senior squad only managed one race prior to the Eights Head; at Dorney’s Thames Valley Trial Head the first eight picked up a win in Womens’ Open and the second eight in Women’s S3.  The Eights Head itself saw mixed fortunes, with the first eight having a comfortable row which lacked aggression (finishing 33rd) and the second eight having an aggressive row which lacked comfort (finishing 125th).  The winning crew was a composite Marlow, Rebecca, Tideway Scullers and Thames boat containing various current and ex-GB squad members including Marlow’s Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop, out of retirement for the day.

The day after a somewhat blustery Men’s Eights Head [Note from Editor:  you won’t find much about it on the Men’s Squad page because most of them sank], four of the squad joined forces with rowers from 3 French clubs (Caen, Port Marly and Soisy sur Seine) to race at the Veteran Eights Head.  It was generally agreed that practice in this case would not make perfect – noone could understand each other anyway - and despite all this the girls (or should that be ladies) had a great race to finish a very respectable 5th in Women’s Vet B.

The senior and development squads went on training camp in Hazewinkel for a week after Easter and all who attended thoroughly benefited from the 6 days of paddling and side-by-side racing.  With enough coaches for almost one-on-one coaching, huge improvements were seen in everyone’s core fitness and technique.   The camp also helped foster relationships with the Men’s squad, which is always a boost when you need a strapping lad to carry your boat for you.

The senior squad’s first major regatta of the summer season was a wild and windy Wallingford (at Dorney).  Despite most boats getting through the heats to the finals, we only achieved one win - Tash Wase in Women’s S2 singles.  However, undeterred the lightweight members of the senior squad headed to Ghent the following weekend for the International Belgian Rowing Championships and Ghent International Regatta.  Despite some initial weigh-in traumas, this small but perfectly formed squad of lighties picked up 2 Golds (WLWT 4x on Saturday and Sunday; Dani Phillips, Tamsin Knill, Bridget King-Cotter-King and Emma Mitchell), 1 Silver (WLWT 2x on Sunday: Bridget and Emma) and 2 Bronzes (WLWT 2x on Sunday: Dani and Tamsin; and WLWT 1x on Sunday: Tash W).  This is one of the best sets of results the squad has had at Ghent in recent years and a tremendous start to the new season.

Not to be outdone, whilst the lighties were inhaling rice cakes in Ghent the remainder of the squad headed to Bedford Regatta to race in Women’s S3 eights, Women’s S3 fours and Women’s Novice coxed quads.  The eight was knocked out in the heats, however both the coxed four (Karin Phillips, Kathy Josefsen, Steph Proctor and Tash Somers, coxed by Lisa Knill) and the coxed quad (Tris Shrimpton, Sara Scott, Julia Holt and Rachel Lawrence, coxed by Fay Beanland) had a more successful weekend returning to Marlow with their first silverware of the summer season and bringing the total tally of wins for the squad to five – not bad after only three regattas.

The senior and development squads are now starting to settle into boats for the rest of the season, with a view to racing at Twickenham, Peterborough, Metropolitan, Marlow Town, Reading Amateur, Henley Women’s, the Nationals, Henley T&V and Maidenhead.

Finally, congratulations go to two times World Champion Naomi Riches who has been selected to row for GB in the adaptive squad again this year.  We hope you get the hat-trick, Naomi!!

It's a Long Way to…..Stourport?

Training started in mid September, and we all looked forward to a mellow autumn of warm evenings and happy sculling. Well that was a real daydream! Rumours abound that the Vet F's are putting animals in the Wooden Empacher in twos! I bet even Noah did the Fours Head!
Someone, somewhere must be having the most debauched and depraved time imaginable (perhaps in Russ Herbert's imagination?) to balance this lot up! We haven't been below the lock at Marlow since the 15th October – I mean that's the last century!
With many of the old guard 'retiring' after the summer - anyone seen Emma and Kristel? On the water! But it's dark and 07.00! that's not retiring! Grotty in a moment of extreme weakness/drunkenness agreed to be Captain – I mean how relaxing is that! Even Hodgy celebrated her retirement by getting married - and isn't that the most stressful day of your life? Worse than that she married Gary, who is either on the river, talking about it or up at 04.30 to do a job too secret to even think about! Happy retirement one and all.
Putting up with all this weather have been 8 returnees from last season – now down to 7, with poor Biffy's back giving out. In fact with Mrs McCulloch naffing off to New Zealand for October (of course I can do trials two weeks after I get back! – not on the flooded Thames you can't!) and Hillbilly being posted to Tampa Bay (yes perennial student (soon to be Dr Hillaby) was posted to TAMPA BAY to do her computer training. What ever happened to two months in Cleethorpes on pie and chips? They made them tough in our day! Anyway we were down to 5 actual scullers in mid-October (and we're not actually sure that Kate counts as a sculler yet!)
Fortunately a steady trickle of new bugs has bolstered our numbers, despite the steady rain, and we are now a happy band of - well - 15! Those who are coming to terms with being in the second eight are to be seen eyeing up the Novices erg scores very closely for a suitable candidate to make 7 into 8.
Talking of Novices, a couple of Saturday mornings in October got very silly – I mean even God would be pushed to teach 26 girls to row all at once! Gary, Phil and Sean aren't slapheads by accident! Stress is a joy to watch! Very fortunately the steady rain and plunging temperatures have reduced the numbers – although we are braced for the spring surge! Oddly there are no novice men at the club – obviously Mike Landers' leadership skills are more widely known than we dare think! However, having 26 new women in the club has dragged all sorts of veteran men out of the woodwork – I mean there were 3 Vet Eights out the weekend before last! There's a Leslie Phillips in everyone – HEEELLOOOO ladies! However a few well placed 'piss off Grandpa's' have cooled even the Carry on Saucy types.
Racing – nice idea but very hard to do in wet England. The cancelled events read like our normal racing calendar! Eventually Phil plucked Stourport Head out of the Almanack/Rowing service. Despite a tense week of steady rain, Saturday the 28th dawned bright and sunny – bit of a shock. After tea break, PT took the call from Carol Hough to say it was on! Hurray – better still we are 'club of the month' for Regatta mag! And so every move was being photographed by John Shore! Look – we're taking off riggers 'cos we are going to a race! All very novel.
Sunday started badly as the truck wouldn't start (06.30 already!), but jump leads are a wonderful thing and Mrs Rawlings (our neighbour at MRC) thinks we are all bastards anyway, so in a great roar the diesel fired up and we are off. Smoke everywhere! Marvellous conversation in said truck – conducted at a hoarse shout as ever - 'where is Stourport?', 'somewhere near Kidderminster Maurice said', 'Where's Kidderminster?', 'Get the map out!'
By 09.00 we were trundling down a slope, over a bridge and we were there! A very nice man wondered if we could park 'over there' – even PT struggled to reverse back and around 'over there'. Soon the troops arrived, riggers and numbers were put on,  and it was time to race! Much flapping from the support crew later, all were afloat and it was time to watch the eights boating which was a sport in itself. Gary was driving the Wonder Novice Eight, who boated very efficiently. Some of the college crews were a scream! Unfortunately a four managed to turn over at the start - I mean where do they find these muppets?! This inevitably delayed the start, but after much further shouting from the bank– we were off! The Novices celebrated their first ever race by rowing over all by themselves – welcome to head racing! Nevertheless they beat a crew (thanks Hereford) and were only 7 seconds behind a senior 2 crew! Great stuff.
Mrs Mac did the business winning Senior 3 and the head pennant! Emily in her first ever sculling head (kept that v. quiet) won Elite! Easy this sculling lark! And Jo (who Sean described probably very foolishly as 'evergreen' in the local paper today – Sean, she's not a tree! and NEVER even hint at a girl's age - EVER) won Novice by a heart stopping 2 seconds from 'Cath Bishop's big sister' Eva.
As the senior group were 'entered 3, won 3' after the morning, spirits were high (if cold) for the doubles clash in the afternoon run. Mrs Mac won again pm, winning Senior 1 and overall. Jo and Emily won the doubles by a second, from an Evesham/Stratford crew and they beat Fiona and Eva by one second – so Jo had beaten Eva by 2 seconds again – spooky! The only hiccup was Helen who was done out of the Senior 2 pennant by 2 seconds! 5 out of 6 wins was a great day – and Helen got her own back by stuffing everyone in the Erg tests on Tuesday night following, recording a PB of 7.10!

Rumours abound we might do this racing thing again – what's the chance of Wallingford being on ? – Oh miracles only once a year!


Phil Tinsley

Autumn 2006

MRC Women’s Squad Report

Oh my god is it just me or is the rest month of August getting shorter and shorter??  It seems that in no time after Henley T&V we are off again: slogging up and down on the river, avoiding wayward Borlase quads and developing some beautiful blisters.

The Women’s senior and development squads have both been boosted by a huge number of new members, much to the delight of Andy, Russ and Lisa - not to mention those who were envisaging a season in a single.  Last year’s development squad have all moved up to play with the big girls and are proving their worth both on and off the water.  The development squad has 8 new members, most of who have come from the First Row Challenge held in the summer.  In total there are approximately 30 women actively rowing in the two squads – not bad for a non-Tideway club!

The autumn head season got off to a good start with the Pairs Head on the Mortlake to Hammersmith stretch of the Tideway.  The squad was represented by 3 double sculls, and the notable performance of the day was from Dani Phillips and Tamsin Knill who finished 4th in WS3 2x.

Marlow LDS saw only 3 members of the squad race, the remainder being struck down by illness or injury, however there was a better turn out for Henley Scullers Head at the beginning of November.  Helen Selden, Sam Hammond, Emma Mitchell and Clare Haley finished 2nd in WS2 4x, and 3rd fastest women’s crew overall.  Two crews raced in WS3 4x: Sara Scott, Karin Phillips, Andrea O’Hagan and Rachel Lawrence in one boat and Fay Beanland, Tash Somers, Tamsin and Dani in the other.  Fay’s boat had a neat and tidy race but with all bar one suffering from colds the result wasn’t commensurate with their training performances.

Two weeks later and the senior squad ventured once again to the Tideway for the Fours Head.   Despite battling (and bashing) with Molesey for two thirds of the race (Sam showing off aggressive steering she learnt whilst on the lower Thames reach) Sam, Kev, Clare and Emma finished a respectable 10th out of 40 in WS2 4x.  Steph Proctor steered her novice 4x (entered in WS2) down a superb line and she, Rachel, Lisa Wilhemy and Julia Holt were all pleased with their first foray onto the Tideway in a coxless boat.

Special mention also goes to the WS3 4+ crew of world champion Naomi Riches, Cara Doran, Sass Willis, Tris Shrimpton and cox Lisa Knill, who despite being thwarted at every turn to get outings in their race-day crew, managed a decent 26th out of 48 in their first go at the Fours Head. 

It seems that when rowers get over a certain age they become more forgetful, or how else would you rationalize racing the Tideway course twice in one weekend?  Better still, when they get really old they forget that they have retired and not been in a boat for a number of months.  This could explain why the old birds crew of Sam, Clare, Tash and Jo Chesney raced in WVetB 4x on the Sunday following the Fours Head, coming 3rd in their division and 5th fastest women’s boat overall.  Bodes well for their third outing at Henley Vets in July next year!


Since the Fours Head the weather has turned a bit damp and the Thames has been unrowable at Marlow and elsewhere.  The senior squad’s last race before Christmas was due to be Walton Small Boats Head however this event was one of many cancelled due to unsuitable river conditions.  Assuming all returns to normal soon, we will be ditching 2 oars for 1 and moving to sweep boats in anticipation of the eights heads in February and March.  In the meantime, we will continue our assault on the ergos.


Marlow Women’s Squad is always open to new members who have rowing (sweep and / or sculling) experience.  If you wish to enquire about joining please contact Russ Haley on 07770 568761 or Andy Knill on 07833 703338.

If you start with the premise that boys generally know where they are on the river (except coxes!!), try to pull hard and think technique is for poofs, and that girls NEVER know where they are (except Dot and Sue), try to pull hard a bit and totally concentrate on technique, you understand the following!!

It all started on calm Autumn morning, when Jen Woods discovered what she had let herself in for. In the ruck just below the island, she paddled off slowly!! Wrong!! Jo Chesney in full combat mode piled into Jen, but got her come uppance as she slowly and gracefully slide over and out. Welcome to "below the Lock". I believe Jen was chilled to the core by the complete lack of concern – she was naturally mortified to pitch Jo in, while the Emma/Kristel assassin squad were completely unmoved – "should keep clear" being the general theme from the cement faced ones.

Next to join in was Julie McCulloch who was soon to be come a star. Kristel (who WILL have the inside) was harrying Julie from behind and not getting her way at all, continued to force through a gap full of Julie's sculling boat, caught Julie's blade and over goes Julie. Charmingly, Kristel managed a quick "sorry" (Sorry - my arse - quote Julie, later), and was gone – cue PT doing his International rescue bit (it is now December and a tad chilly). Quick whiz to Chez Wilson, and one wet girl in all PT's scare gear is in the Wilson shower – offers to warm up with Mike (still sensibly in his pit) in bed are politely declined. Even better - Julie gets a lift to MRC while PT rescues the boat. Thanks Wilson once again.

Julie's also fallen out for Britain, while in Ghent she collected a buoy and gracefully rolled in – much to Johnny Foreigner Fisherman's amusement, compounded when Julie attempted to swim to the bank. It appears Julie now knows the Flemish for "Stand up you daft bint, it's only four feet deep!!". How red were her cheeks!!!!

Top prize and triple play award was completed by Julie in January on a very flooded weekend. PT had pushed his luck on Saturday and stayed in singles. However the river had risen overnight even more; the EA had bent the Captain's ear over supper and he had promised big boats only, full safety mode etc!! PT being a rampant early riser, had the troops out before Rigsby had the first coffee on board, and was just about to start the last piece upstream when a pus Leader appeared in his "Quo Vadis" chariot, insisting PT bring in the singles before Paul was barbecued alive by the EA/ARA safety goons. PT, diplomatic as ever, was in full flow pointing out that Rigsby was in short trousers when he started coaching/PT taught PC all he knew etc etc as any power mad ego maniac of course reasonably does!!!! With the timing of a Carry On film, PT sees out of the corner of his eye the telltale sign of a sculling blade arcing over the water – OOPS big time!! While still in full flow, PT hit the throttle and with "And another thing" hanging in the air, hared off to rescue unknown wet person as his embarrassment reached melt down. Hello Mrs Mac – nice timing pet!!!! PT got his own back "unwittingly" (likely story) by attempting to remove Julie's wet gear prior to putting on dry clothing – standard rescue procedure – getting carried away and trying to remove Julie's All in One. Julie was so cold that PT cannot understand "I've got nothing else on!!" through frozen lips. News of the World????

Fortunately the baton has been passed on for 2000; the "South Africans (do you really row in the rain?!)" have both fallen out in/warming up for competitions, and "Bob" signalled her return with an early bath. As for Catrin's steering – watch this space!!!! Julie will also be back for more – no doubt


Marlow men's squad had a very successful 2006 at all levels.

World Championships at Dorney lake

Marlow Member – Zac has won Gold in the Lightweight singles and with it the World record – WELL DONE! 

Nat champs

Nat champs saw some (ok wholesale) changes to the boats from Henley. The coxless crew had a single change of Clive Kennedy-Burns (Molesey) replacing Dan Tipney (who had committed to drink that weekend). This combination had been together for the commonwealth trails where they had come second in both the coxed and coxless events. With conditions in lane one worsening in the last 750m the plan was to front end the race and maintaining the lead over the rest of the course. Getting out of the blocks well even with a substantial steering wobble they covered the 1st 500 in 1.23, well head of the field building an 8 second gap at half way. Then came the pain which saw them holding on to win by only 2 seconds. To celebrate we had a Mexican wave in the boat of Paul at stroke heaving over the side, setting off 3 and then tom at 2, the lake has never looked nicer.

Miles and Matt in the open doubles were fighting hard for the bronze medal, even though Matt had leapt of his seat at the 750m mark. This unleashed the monkeys, which saw them pull back a 2 length deficit to having a canvass in front coming into the last 500. Going for home they decided to release their secret weapon, jettisoning the boat and swimming for the line. Although their transition was near perfect the swimming skills is where they lost it. As Andy Grant commented after the race “You have to be in it to swim it!”. 

The Britannia coxed four changing all but one (and that one being officially the lightest member of a coxed four at Henley) namely Matt, Miles, Dave (Goblin) and Rob McMc. Their first row together up to the start excited them all with the possibilities (they don’t get out much) having a great row down to qualify for the rep with ease. They had a very good chance of reaching the final all that stood in their way was finding a cox. After a few frantic calls to identify a cox all that remained in their way was to find the cinema that the cox was in. Long story cut short and a lot of tyre rubber around Glasgow they reached the 500m mark heading for the start to see their race heading the other way! 

Commonwealth trials 

Trial saw two Marlow boats travel to Nottingham to experience rowing offshore on a lake. Both Marlow crews did well with the coxed four ranked first and the coxless third after the first set of races. The afternoon was cancelled due to mini tsunami’s on the course. Forcing the final races to be held at Caversham two days later. With the coxless four already decided by racing at Nottingham the race was on for the coxed four spot, the four of Paul, Clive, Tom and Jim came second with the original coxed four in fourth. All in all a very strong showing for Marlow men’s squad. 


This year saw three Marlow boats at Henley from the senior men’s squad. 

A Britannia four containing from stroke: Daisy, Richard (heaviest squad member), Rob and Dave (lightweight) with Lynnsey coxing. The first round saw a nice easy race squeezing past Thames to get Thursday off (slackers) and then return for a race against York City on the Friday. In previous races both boats had carried the same speed winning or losing by only a second or so. York started strong and had the advantage at the end of the island which they never conceded winning by 3 lengths

A Wyfolds seeded four brought together just before Marlow regatta from stroke Paul, Dan, Tom and Jim. The curse of Cotter threatened them from the off (losing to a seeded crew on the 1st day on the Bucks station for the last five years) – however this year as last year Marlow were the seeded crew. As each day/race passed the confidence of the crew built, as did their fatigue. Not helped by the fact Paul wound down mid race without telling anyone else (now we know why the boat got so heavy)! Saturday against London saw the peak of their racing week with what seemed like thousands of people lining the bank to watch Marlow dominate from the end of the island posting a 6.51 at the finish even though England were playing in the World Cup at the time. Finals day came with a real chance, Thames fresh as their only race was on Saturday against Leander (who had been taken out by a pleasure boat on the way to the start and made to swap boats), Marlow still on a high from the Saturday. All was tight until the barrier where some decidedly dodgy steering from then on in saw Thames move away. Next year will be the year from the Marlow coxless four! 

A Double Sculls Challenge Cup crew consisting of Miles Sharpe and Matt Baker were always focusing on the commonwealth trials, but performed well during the regatta. Starting well they were up against the composite double of Bristol and Bath uni who only pulled away at Remenham. They continued to push hard all down the course and only lost out by only one and three quarter lengths. 


Marlow saw the first outing for the coxless four of Jim, Tom, Dan and Paul. A strong display in their first race not only ruined their lungs and made Tom look and sound like an eighty year old on 20 a day but gave them a path straight to the final of S1 4-. Come the final with replacement lungs for Tom and a stupid hat that Jim insisted on wearing the race started with Thames making all the running. Marlow holding on all down the course were down by two lengths at the 500 to go mark put in a large push for the line only to loose out by half a length (if only it was another 112m!). 

The coxed four of Daisy, Rich, Rob and Dave showed that they were up with the best in the heat losing out by 0.48 of a second in a blanket finish. This let them paddle down the course for the Rep, struggling to get the worlds laziest man (Daisy) whom was at stroke to actually work hard. In the final a hard fought race they pushed the Army (4th) all the way coming 3 seconds behind but beating York into 6th. Mile and Matt had a strong field to compete with in the double, their first race was a new experience for them in the combination. Made the final with a good race but as ever they improved each time they went out on the water and made the final where they were slightly off the pace of the winners. 


The Met regatta saw the Coxed four and a pair competing. The coxed four had the hard heat and pushed London all the way coming second and going straight to the final, the final was a repeat of the heat with Marlow going out strong but not quite getting London in their sights losing by under 1 length. Due to illness the Jim and Paul were forced into a pair, with Jim on bow side after a week of blood poisoning the headed off for the first round. After 250 meters it became clear that Jim was about to keel over as his body rebelled. Dropping the rate to 24 and with a few steering issues the somehow made the final, which they scratched. 


Sunny Gent regatta brought the German and Belgium internationals out in force, obviously trying to keep some of the wins from British clubs. Saturday saw Jim and Dave in the pair, off the start they pushed hard to get into second holding their position to the 1000m mark. Dave and Jim held the other pairs pushes well and were surprised when the pair in the next lane around a length down looked oover and then gave up. Coming into the last 500m they obviously wanted to make a point of their wind and took it up over 40 seriously increasing their boat speed to proving to the coatches that they could…unfortunately the coaches had stopped watching at the 750 to go mark…oh well. 

Saturday for the four (Daisy, Rich, Rob, Tom) saw a boat stopping crab by daisy scupper their chances of reaching the final, while the coxless (Daisy, Rich, Jim, Tom) put in a good showing but failing to make the time to reach the final. 

Tetley was out in force on the Saturday in his single showing promise, until at 750 to go he caught a bouy and went for a swim. 

Sunday saw a reshuffle in the coxed four and pair, the coxed four (Daisy, Rich, Jim, Tom) eased out to an early lead and brought the heat home to reach the final (due to Daisy newly found skills at not catching a crab), In the final it became a race between 2 boats Marlow and Molesley, with less than a length in it from start to finish the Marlow boys had a great race with Molesley (holding above 39 for the entire course) winning by ¾ of a length. Marlow Open coxed four Silver medal. 

The pair of Dave and rob had a good race but did not get the required time to reach the final. 

Eights head

The first eight coming home in 46 position Marlow’s best result for 7 years. The second eight also had a storming row coming in at 153.

Fours head of the river report 2005 

The senior men’s squad put in an outstanding performance at the Fours Head of the River race recently. The event which is the biggest race of the pre-Christmas rowing calendar is run on the tideway over the 4 and a quarter mile boat race course but in reverse, starting at Chiswick Bridge and finishing at Putney. All of the crews entered came second in their event! 

The coxless four stroked superbly by Matt Baker with Tom McGibbon, Jim Cotter and Rob Macalister steering were entered in the senior 2 event and came second out of 55 fours! They completed the course in 19 minutes and 21 seconds coming 54th overall, just 10 seconds behind the winners from Oxford Brookes University who had two Under 23 Great Britain athletes on board, and only 4 seconds behind the winners of the harder senior 1 event. Rob had an eventful race, not only making sure he was taking the best line but also having to steer around crews as they powered past them, apparently losing count after they’d gone through 10.  
Some photo’s  
Nature's Images 
Big Blade  
Jet Photographic

The coxed four stroked by Paul Oboyle with Paul Addy, Rob Downie and Dave Vernon, coxed by Lindsay Wilson also came second, competing in the senior 3 event against 50 other crews. Their time of 20 minutes 6 seconds placed them 123rd overall only 14 seconds behind the winners from Auriol Kensington. Another outstanding performance which saw Lindsay very busy with the steering as they overtook lots of the opposition! Maurice Hayes on behalf of the coaches said” both boats did outstandingly well. The success was even more rewarding as we didn’t prepare that seriously for this race as all of the athletes have been training and racing in single sculls recently.”
From BigBlade 
Nature's Images 
Jet Photgraphic

Also competing for Marlow at the weekend was Reigning Under 23 lightweight World sculling champion, and senior world sculling Silver medallist Zac Purchase who was sculling in a composite quad with other GB representatives from Wallingford and Cambridge University in the senior 1 event. Their impressive time of 18 minutes 24 seconds saw them also finish 2nd behind the very powerful Molesy quad stroked by World Champion Andy Triggs-Hodge. Zac’s quad was the fourth fastest boat of the day!

Welcome to the Mens Squad

The Marlow Men’s squad are looking to go from strength to strength in the 2005/2006 season and build on their recent achievements. With two very strong fours (and a composite club quad!) pre qualifying for Henley in the coxed and coxless club events and the Wyfold four (seeded) making the semi finals and picking up a bronze medal at Nat Champs as well, Marlow is staking a claim to be one of the premier clubs of the Upper Thames. Not bad for a club that three years ago couldn’t put an eight together for the HoRR!

I’m pleased to say that we have managed to hang on to our prized assets this season and I’m very happy that Maurice Hayes is able to commit to another year on the coaching team. He will again be joined by John Stevenson and Paul Franklin whose inputs have been invaluable over the last couple of years! Sadly Rob (The Guns) Mcallister will be joining the Para’s in January but I’m sure the training he has endured over the last couple of years will set him up nicely for the inevitable punishment heading his way! Other than that the squad remains strong and confidence is high at the start of the new season.

The programme for the autumn season will be based around single sculling with some outings in larger crews for the second water session at the weekend. All athletes should expect to race at the Marlow and Henley long distance sculls events as well as the Fours Head. After that we will be moving into pairs and doubles in the run up to Christmas. Circuit Training resumes Tuesday 12th September and will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm. Mondays and Wednesdays will consist of water work while it is still light and then ergo training / running. There may be the potential for coached early morning weekday outings with prior arrangement with the coaching team.
Of special note there will be a sculling technique seminar by Rosie Mayglothling (ARA Technical Co-ordinator) on Thursday 22nd September from 7pm at the club – thanks to Maurice for arranging! Hopefully food will be provided, to be confirmed nearer the day.

For any non MRC members who are seriously interested in joining the squad please do not hesitate to contact me for further information. Email tom@tulkas.co.uk mobile 07886 777561
Tom McGibbon – Men’s Captain 

National Championships 2005

The Marlow men’s senior squad had two crews competing in the National Rowing Championships of Great Britain, with the Wyfold Semi-finalists set to race in the Open coxless fours event and two members of the Brittania four (Tom McGibbon and Rob Downie) racing in Open coxless pairs. In the fours event, Marlow (Paul Oboyle str, Paul Addy, Dave Vernon and Rob Mcallister steers) powered through their heat in first place taking a commanding lead by the 500m mark and were never seriously challenged. In the final against Loughborough Students, Thames, Worcester, Nautilus (Junior Worlds Great Britain 4) and Reading University the top three crews Nautilus, Thames and Marlow forged ahead and were side by side at the 500m mark, Nautilus had pushed away to lead at 1000m with Thames 1 and a half seconds behind and Marlow in close third less than 1 second behind Thames. By 1500m Nautilus had extended their lead to 2.5 seconds over Thames with Marlow 3 seconds down on Thames. In the last 500m Marlow put in a huge push to narrow the Margin to 1.5 seconds down on Thames and 5 seconds down on Nautilus thus getting the Bronze medal. Fourth place was 15 seconds behind. 

In the Open pairs heat Tom and Rob had a flier of a start taking a two length lead on London A and Henley by the 500m mark. They maintained this lead through the halfway stage and while Henley dropped off London put in a spirited charge for the line almost drawing level but the boys held on to win by half a length and avoided the rep. The final was a high calibre affair with three of the pairs competing well in the goblets at Henley recently (Worcester, Auriol Kensington and Cygnet) and the remaining pairs half of the crews pushing for home country selection (Molesey and IC/Scullers). The boys went of hard again and were in the pack at the 500m mark but found themselves in last place at the halfway stage despite all there efforts. A spirited third five hundred saw them push through Cygnet into fifth which is where they remained at the line. Not a bad effort for a crew which had been training together for less than two weeks.

Henley Royal Regatta 2005

The Marlow Semi-Finalist Wyfold Four, from left Paul Oboyle, Paul Addy, Dave Vernon & Rob Mcallister

The men’s squad avoided the pitfalls of qualifiers this year with three crews pre-qualifying for Henley Royal. The first four consisting of Rob Downie, Jim Cotter, Tom McGibbon, Richard Aplin str and Liz Stubbs coxing had a slight dip in form in the run up to Henley and as a result failed to get seeded in the Brittania, drawing the highly fancied Thames four in the first round. The recently formed Wyfold four of Rob Mcallister, Dave Vernon, Paul Addy and Paul Oboyle str raced extremely well at the Met and Marlow and as such were one of four seeds with a favourable draw to the weekend semi. The composite quad of Matt Baker str and John Tetley joining forces with ex MRC member Miles Sharpe and Richard Blagrove from Leander also pre-seeded.

First up for Marlow was the Brit four racing early on the Wednesday morning. They always knew it was going to be tough racing probably the second best crew in the event and they knew that a win could well see them going all the way to the final on Sunday. Despite stroking 51 strokes per minute through the island Marlow failed to get their noses ahead of Thames and the crews were virtually level coming into the barrier. Thames then slowly inched ahead taking a three quarter length lead coming into Remenham. As the crews came into the enclosure Marlow pushed hard reducing the deficit to half a length but failed to capitalise – the final verdict ¾ Length. A spirited performance for their coaches Maurice Hayes and John Stevenson but sadly not enough on the day. 

Thursday saw the first heats of the men’s quadruple sculls with the Marlow composite crew up against very tough opponents in Tideway Scullers / Newcastle University. The crew was put together at the last minute and ably coached by Matt’s father Geoff Baker racing well enough at Marlow to get pre-seeded. In what was always going to be a hard race, Marlow did well to remain in contention with a quad which housed potential stars of the future but went down fighting, the final verdict 3L in one of the fastest times of the day.

Undoubtedly the best performance of the regatta from a Marlow crew was that of the Wyfold four. Seeded after an impressive performance at Marlow regatta in the Senior 1 coxless event they proceeded to beat Cambridge 99 “A” by an easily verdict on the Wednesday, London D on Thursday by 2 1/4 lengths, and Star Club by 3 ¾ lengths on Friday. Saturday of Henley this year saw all four seeds racing in the Wyfold’s with Marlow racing a very experienced and heavier crew from Thames. The boys raced exceptionally well taking a canvas lead by the end of the island and they were only 1/3 of a length down at the barrier and still in contention at Fawley. Unfortunately passing Remenham the head wind picked up and Thames took full advantage. The final winning margin was 3 ½ lengths. This was however the best result the club has had at the regatta since 1998 when the Britannia Challenge Cup four reached the Semis. Well done chaps!

West of England Challenge Vase - May 2005

May Bank holiday Monday saw the Marlow 1st four travel to Hereford to contest the highly coveted West of England Challenge Vase for Elite coxed fours. The solid silver vase which dates back to the 1830’s moves between five venues annually and this year the hosts Hereford Regatta offered side by side racing over 1000m on the river Wye. The Marlow four consisting of Rob Downie, Jim Cotter, Tom McGibbon, stroke Richard Aplin and Ella Waddingham coxing were looking for their first win of the season after putting on a good performance at Ghent International Regatta in Belgium a few weeks earlier.

The first round saw a comfortable victory over Ross Rowing Club stroked by ex Marlow rower George Smith. The Marlow crew showed no mercy on their former stroke man as they romped home to an easily verdict. In the semi final Marlow were up against much tougher opponents from Nottingham and Union, half of the crew were losing finalists at Henley Royal Regatta last year. Marlow flew out of the blocks with stroke man Richard Aplin striking an impressive 47 strokes per minute. After 6oo meters and still striking at 40 strokes per minute the Marlow crew had a commanding 2 length lead over the crew from Nottingham and were able to cruise home striking 32 while saving some energy for the upcoming final.

The final race saw Marlow up against the Legendary Four from Worcester rowing club, a crew who had won the Wyfold Challenge Cup at Henley Royal and were current holders of the vase having won it six times in succession! Both crews started at an incredible pace and after 200 meters Marlow had edged out to lead by a canvas. After one minute Marlow pushed hard on Worcester and increased their lead to 1 length. As they came through the 700 meter mark there was definite clear water between the two crews as the Worcester crew attacked for home. Marlow kept their heads though and held on to win by just over a length. It was a great victory for both crew and their coaches Maurice Hayes and John Stevenson. Maurice viewing this as “a very positive step forward – we beat crews of a good pedigree and we’re now looking forward to the Metropolitan Regatta.”

The 2004 Season

The Men's Squad had mixed success' during this season, with some excellent performances in tough races.

The winter season saw a number of wins at all levels, and the crop of ex-Novices' showed some exciting promise.

The summer season, was tough. All the major regatta's in the South East were attended - some fierce racing indeed! There were wins at regatta's throught the season from S1 down.

On reflection, the season was a great start for a fresh squad and new coaching staff. It bode's well for the next season...

Dave Vernon

Marlow men prepare for summer after a wet winter

As previously reported on this site, despite the weather, the squad has been training hard. With reduction in rainfall, the squad has been able to get on the water at Marlow more than earlier on in the winter (though still not as much as we would like or as much as is possible on the Tideway).
We therefore spent more time than usual on the Tideway in preparation for the Head of the River Race. The senior squad entered 2 eights in the Head, coming 49th and 87th.

The results showed we have a solid squad with more depth than in many earlier years. Comparison with results of other upriver clubs shows Marlow to be in a good position. The team is now preparing to transition for the summer, the first major event being the training camp after Easter.


Paul Franklin  020 7362 0026

Update - January 2001


With the gradual improvement in the weather, the squad has been able to return to training on the river at Marlow again. Disappointing though the high river conditions were, the squad has been training regularly during the floods - some time in the gym but mostly a good amount of time on the Tideway and at the Eton Lake.
As a result of the Tideway sessions we may be better prepared for the Head of the River than in many years. We'll be back there soon too!
As a result the squad is still growing in size and strength (and of course enthusiasm).
The sweep group has been a regular sight on the Tideway over recent weeks, mostly in eights, getting some good work done. Most recently, one of the best pieces of work was a ding-dong between two of our eights, overlapping all the way for about 4km, blade for blade.
Moving forward, we are planning to be at Peterborough, Wallingford and Reading University Heads plus of course the Head of the River Race and the Scullers Head.


Paul Franklin  020 7362 0026



Update - September 2000

The mens squad has got off to a strong start, being back in training from 15th September.
The squad is currently some 25 strong and growing, catering for all levels of experience, both rowing and sculling.
The clubhouse is thriving with activity throughout the week, with circuit training underway to re-energise the team and build strong team spirit. Some members of the group have been in competitions already - Paul Thomas entered Wallingford Head and won the Senior 1 category.
The whole group also strongly supported the Marlow Rowing Triathlon this weekend.
In view of the strength of the squad growth, the coaching team has been strengthened and the group now has no less than 5 coaches to give input to the athletes.
All the signs are that it is going to be another great year; come and see for yourself!

Marlow Men's Squad Preparations for the New Season

Following the election of our new Captain of Boats, Charlotte Hill, the club has lost no time in setting up its plans for the squad for the forthcoming season.
Following last years' strong group, which is looking to grow again this year, the number of coaches looking after the men will be increased.
The training programme (which has been updated to reflect feedback from last year's performances) has been produced and will be ready for all athletes at the beginning of the season.
This season's training will be restarting on the weekend of the 16th/17th September. One of the things we will be doing during the first three weeks is an assessment of everyone's technique. This will enable every athlete to have individual feedback on his strengths and opportunities for improvement to give him some focus for training sessions.
The other feature of this season's training is that we will have more emphasis on physiological testing (Conconi etc) in order to track the effectiveness of the programme on individuals.
The group, which will be overseen by Paul Franklin will have coaches with the following focus:-


Sculling Group                                       Paul Franklin

w Senior Sweep Oar Group                      Paul Cox and Alan Hooker

w Development Sweep Oar Group          Mike Landers

Having said this, we want a feeling of "one big team" so while these may be the guys looking after each part of the group, athletes will find themselves being coached by more than one coach.

July 2000


Following a (very) short breather after the main Henley Royal Regatta event, the squad is continuing to work on with training and competition.
Mark Ruinet in his heavyweight single, Paul Thomas in the lightweight single and Iain Pressling and Neil McCulloch in the lightweight pair entered for Nat Champs at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. The weather on Saturday was average - cold and windy as it often is - but the cross/tail component made conditions fast. All boats made it through the Saturday to give strong performances on the Sunday, which ended with better weather and a near straight tailwind giving very fast conditions.
The rest of the group, having expanded considerably, with several new members and student members returning for the summer, took to the water at Molesey Regatta and won the Senior 3 Eights.
Now that the Nationals are over, the squad will be racing at several of the main weekends in the rest of the summer season.
See us there!


June 2000

The Marlow men's squad is ready for one of its best Henley entries yet. All the coaching groups entered have now qualified for the regatta. The squad is currently running with 3 coaching groups:

  • a sculling group looked after by Paul Franklin
  • the Wyfolds Four (also competing in pairs) coached by Sean Farrelly and
  • the Eight being coached by Mike Landers and Charlotte Hill.

The squad has qualified entries in the Diamond Sculls, the Double Sculls, the Wyfolds and the Thames Cup – one more event than last year. The club pre-qualified in the Thames Cup Eights event and the Wyfold Fours event. At the qualifiers, Mark Ruinet in the Diamonds and Miles Sharp and Paul Thomas in the Doubles demonstrated further progress by coming through to the main event next Thursday.
Earlier on in the season the group has raced at Ghent, Bedford, Metropolitan, Peterborough, Docklands and Marlow Regattas.
Although the weather was poor during April and May, the squad has made good use of the excellent facilities at the Eton Rowing Lake. Indoor tuning on the 01_mark_r_and_paulclub's Rowperfect equipment has also been turned to advantage.
So far we have seen improvements in performances as we go through the season. The squad attended a big weekend of racing at Peterborough 1000m Regatta on Saturday and Docklands Regatta on Sunday. The squad was represented in most events, both sweep oared and sculling.
Mark Ruinet showed good form in confidently winning the Senior 3 Single Sculls at Peterborough and again winning with Paul Thomas a fiercely competitive final of the Senior 2 Double Sculls, snatching the lead from Oxford and District Sculling Association in the last 100 metres.



All the squad boats were finalists at the Docklands Sunday. Mark Ruinet showed his promise over the 2000m racing distance with a Silver medal in Senior 2 Sculls, having moved up through the field after a difficult start in the choppy water. The eight also received a Silver medal in the Senior 3 Eights, a close second after a closely fought battle with Oxford Brookes.
01_men_s3_docksThe squad moved on again at Marlow. Mark Ruinet upped his game in Senior 1 Singles, winning his heat well within his capabilities, and came second in the three lane final, coming through James Walker of Leander in the second half and moving up on Smith of Leander as they reached the line. Miles Sharpe and Paul Thomas finalled in Elite Double Sculls after a fierce heat. The eight finalled in Senior 2 Eights and also did well in the Sprint Eights events.


Paul Franklin  020 7362 0026