Eight Project Oarsome pupils competed for the first time at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in Birmingham on 17 November. These are the first pupils from Great Marlow School since the rowing programme was relaunched 18 months ago with the help of the National Lottery and the support of former pupil Sir Steven Redgrave.

The eight pupils represent the tip of the iceberg, where around 70 year 8 and 9 pupils regularly attend the schools indoor rowing club. All eight produced personal best performances on the day and we will undoubtedly be back next year with a bigger team.

The British championships are a huge event, attracting over 3,000 competitors between the ages of 12 and 70+. Britain's top Olympic athletes pit themselves against the best domestic talent from rowing clubs and the world of fitness and leisure. National teams from America, Italy, Denmark and Holland were also present to produce some thrilling racing.

First up were the Junior 13 girls Lauren Humphry, Nicola Dinsley, Sophie Steventon and Elizabeth Gurney. This was a tough event with over 50 competitors and many from the top rowing schools. Each event was raced over 2,000m, the Olympic rowing distance and is a gruelling test of strength, fitness and will power. The athletes have to push their bodies to the limit to achieve the best possible scores. The machines are set up in the hall in rows surrounded by the spectators, which makes for a superb atmosphere, with a giant screen showing every agonising pull of the athletes, as they strive to win. All the Marlow girls got off to strong starts and looked good through the first 1000m. Lauren and Nicola were pushing hard with the rate up around 32/33 strokes per minute. Elizabeth and Sophie really kept the power on to the finish and were delighted to see so many other girls still going. After an agonising wait we got the result. Sophie and Elizabeth had done excellently, finishing 17th and 29 th; both pulled personal best scores. Elizabeth was the second fastest 12 year old. Nicola and Lauren had fantastic last 500metres, raising the power and sprinting home. Overall, Lauren was 6th and Nicola 7th - fantastic results. The two girls were split by less then one 10th of a second, coming home in 8 min 29.7 and 8min 29.8, showing massive improvements on their personal bests.

In the Boys Junior 13 event we had two competitors, Miles Noble and Jack Hockley. Marlow RC also had Matthew Best of Wye Valley School in the event and he sat one machine up from Jack as the race started. The athlete to catch was going to be Daniel Bream of Peterborough; at 6ft 2 and 14 stone, he towered over the other boys in the event. Jack and Miles both got off to strong starts and then settled into their mid race pace. Miles held his form well and produced a good time to finish 22nd out of over 60 competitors. Jack and Matthew were racing hard, pushing right to the limits; both produced great times, Matthew taking 6th place and Jack a superb 9th in his first ever competition with a personal best time of 7 min 50.9.
In the Junior 14 Boys event the two Oarsome competitors were up against much more experienced opposition from the traditional rowing schools. However Steven Evens and Nick Kirkham both pulled out great performances. They held their form well, kept the power on right to the end and both were rewarded with personal bests. Nick came a very strong 22nd in 7 min 50.9 and Steven just behind him in 26th in 7min 58.7.
Coach Sean Farrelly and Head teacher Clive Ricks were delighted with the pupils' performances and parents, relatives and friends provided vocal support throughout the day. All the pupils performed to the best of their ability and all finished in the top half of their events, with 3 in the top ten positions. They had a great day mixing with top internationals and Olympians such as James Cracknell.


Sir Steve Redgrave named eight boats on 10th March which will be used to support junior rowing at Marlow Rowing Club for his old school, Great Marlow School, and John Hampden Grammar School.

The event included demonstrations of newly acquired rowing skills from pupils and indoor rowing machine races. Sir Steve named the boats after the venues of his Olympic triumphs - Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. The boats are designed for 11-16 year old pupils and will be used to encourage participation in the sport of rowing for children who might in the past not have had that opportunity.

The boats come as part of a £55,000 lottery package following a joint bid from the schools and supported by Sir Steve. Marlow Rowing Club contributed £12,000 towards the costs, which also supplied the club with a new trailer, a coaching launch and rowing machines which are located in the schools themselves.

The Amateur Rowing Association launched Project Oarsome in 1999 to encourage rowing at schools with no traditional rowing background. Hitherto, the traditional hotbed of British junior rowing has been principally with public schools.

The idea of participating in the scheme came when the new head teacher at Great Marlow School, Mr Clive Ricks, and rowing coach and school librarian, Sean Farrelly, were looking for a way to relaunch rowing in the school in the wake of Sir Steve's 5th gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. This coincided with the Rowing Club's committee deciding that they wanted to encourage rowing from a wider circle of junior rowers than the traditional sources of Sir William Borlase's and the Royal Grammar School. Peter Hunt, the Marlow RC chairman, saw the long-term future of the club as being dependent on encouraging young people into the sport, while Project Oarsome seemed to answer the needs of both the schools and the Club. With support from the Amateur Rowing Association and in particular their Thames 'up-river' representative Nigel Weare, the Club and the schools put together a 'partnership' bid for funding in the spring of 2001. This was accepted and with the boats delivered in the late summer, the school started on the water in the September of 2001.

Great Marlow School had over 40 Year 8 pupils complete indoor rowing awards in 2001 and in the autumn term 20 pupils have progressed to the river. 140 of this year's Year 7 have just completed a charity indoor rowing fund raising event and 49 pupils are now participating in an indoor rowing club. The Summer Term will see a further 20 Year 7 pupils join the club on the water. At John Hampden GS, the indoor rowing club started in 2002 and over 40 pupils are taking part, where they also will take 20 pupils onto the water for the first time in the Summer Term.

Both schools have produced a series of top international athletes, including 3 times World Lightweight champion Tom Kay, currently Great Britain's top Lightweight sculler and formally a pupil of John Hampden GS. In addition to Steve Redgrave, former Great Marlow School teacher Francis Smith, helped to encourage other Great Marlow School Olympians, Steve Turner and Mark Buckingham to take their first strokes in rowing at Marlow Rowing Club.

With rowing on this scale never having been offered at either school, the Project Oarsome scheme offers pupils a wonderful chance to participate in Britain's most successful water sport. The rowing club benefits from acquiring purpose built equipment for juniors and by taking a long-term view hopes to gain skilful, keen members to progress through to the senior squads. The scheme will have a significant and beneficial long-term impact both on the range of sports offered to pupils at the schools and the future success of Marlow Rowing Club.


Great Marlow School pushed off their Red Nose Appeal by hosting an attempt on the World Ergo Record for 100,000 metres, held by Royce's Gym in Wigan in a time of 4 hours 40.40minutes.

A head to head challenge was set up in the assembly hall of Great Marlow School. This is the school which started Steve Redgrave rowing, and which has just joined Marlow Rowing Club under the Project Oarsome scheme to begin feeding youngsters into the Marlow Rowing Club junior programme.

Leander set up their ergometer on the left of the stage and Royce's gym set up theirs on the right. They started at about 10.00am this morning at a blistering pace - look at those 500m splits, and finished just after 2.00pm. It was a closely fought race with Leander leading from the outset and gradually pulling away to finish 4 minutes 23 seconds ahead of their opponents, in a time of 4 hours 23 minutes and 33 seconds.

Well done Leander Club and well done Great Marlow School!!

Click here to contact Project Oarsome at Great Marlow School.

14 February 2001

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1st VIII stroke 2025!


Sam was born on Thursday 4th October 2001 at 1035am. Weight 7lbs 13oz - more than Gary now. Caroline and Sam are both well.
Congratulations from Marlow Rowing Club to both parents.


It has been a long year for everyone at the club, the river and water state getting to all levels from novice to senior, junior to veteran, but all the work has paid off as the Marlow women head home from Maidenhead, the last regatta of the year.
As at Henley, 12 entries were accepted for the 2001 Maidenhead Regatta. This has always been a favourite for Marlow as we walk away year after year with the Wilkinson sword for the most successful club on the day. Sadly this year we did not have the usual Senior men's crews along to make up the numbers, but those that were there were unlucky to not come home with the Victor Ludorum, losing out by 1 point.
Seven finals were to be contested by women's crews even if they did have a bloke in one of them. Those not luck enough to make finals were Kauser Parvin who took on the windy and bouncy conditions in novice sculls to lose in her first round, as did Andrea Hoskins in S3. Both novice fours were expected to make the final but it was not to be. The 'A' crew of Caroline CJ, Jane Mannerings, Julie Mace, Nicky Davies & Claire Sherfield were steered into off the start, and after returning to the stake boats, fought as hard as they could against the strong stream only to lose by 3 feet to Weybridge Ladies. The 'B' crew of Jules Bartley, Helen Lloyd, Jen Driver, Laura Leondiades with yours truly at the helm failed to get the start that would have made the difference and although Molesey never pulled away by more than a length we were unable to claw it back by the finish line.

And so to The Finals

Jo Chesney had some easy wins on her way to the final of the S3 sculls, but as she came off the water after her semi win she noticed that her boat had taken on the appearance of a sieve and was leaking. The decision was made to use Andrea's boat for the final, and as with most things that are not yours, they never quite feel as good as your own. But this loss was not the end of the day for Jo.

What a difference a day makes

03_jo_garyThe Senior 2 eight, four and Senior 3 four were all on a high after outings in the week. Side by side pieces had shown that the two fours were more than ready to do battle on Saturday and the eight should have been able to take on the best that Maidenhead could offer. All three boats raced as hard as they could, and with an upset in the eight and only four hundred and something meters, it was too much for them to get back at HSBC.

Step forward you winners













 In the mixed doubles it was to be an all Marlow final as Jo Chesney and John Tetley took on the might of Ben Tipney and Hannah Faux. It was to be a great race, which experience won over youth, Jo and Tetley winning easily over the younger double. 03_tetley_jo_pots

Catrin Williams-Jones (Zeta to her friends) has had a tough time this year, always coming up against the winners in early rounds of novice sculls, but this was to be her regatta. Winning two heats over her favourite distance, on a course that wasn't straight and had lots of things for her to hit, Catrin went to the final with everything crossed. We've all been there and that elusive first novice win can take so long to get - Guin Batten took three seasons to win her novice sculls.

As it was, this was truly Zeta's day and she was not troubled at all by her opposition in the final, coming home with the biggest, cheesiest grin of the day.03_catrin_podium















Attention, GO

As the Senior 4 eight went to the final it had 2 points in the boat and 6 novices. Claire Sherfield and Tamsin Knill had both the points, while Julie Mace, Jenny Driver, Caroline Clayton-Jones, Laura Leondiades, Jane Mannerings and Nicky Davies were the wannabies. Cox for the day was Kate Tucker from the men's squad who had kindly agreed to get up early and help out as Maidenhead had put a limit on coxes doubling up.










If ever a crew was pumped up and badly wanting to win, this was it. After re-rows last week at Henley in a four, determination was never questioned. It was just down to getting away quick and powering away from the opposition for that short sprint to the line. If you are going to win, then do it in style - and boy did they do it in style.
From the moment the flag dropped it was going to take a clash, or an act of God to stop the charging Marlow eight. As the crew went past us supporters, it was apparent from the huge beaming smiles that they knew it was their day and  no one was going to take this win away from them. As they crossed the line you would have thought they had all been offered a date with Robbie Williams (or in Jane's case Andy Williams) from the screaming and shouting that came from the boat.


The Boy's Done Good

For the men's group the only win I saw was for Bret and Alex in the men's four. This was another drama, as off the stake boats Marlow's rudder got caught in the anchor line and allowed Maidenhead 03_men_4sto pull out to a length and win. BUT NOT SO FAST. As Bret began to curse in a whisper about the standard of the start umpire's ability (a Nat West Man), as noticed by Bret, who was heard to say under his breath BANKER, the crews were ordered to the start for a re-row. Realising that this was their chance, the Marlow boys made good and scorched down the course to take the youthful Maidenhead boat by one length.


03_roll_onAs I finish this tale I want to thank 03_nice_doga few people for their help in the last 12 months. Firstly Sean Farrely and Phil Tinsley for helping to make the intake of a new bunch of novice women such a success. The club starts the new winter training period with a fantastic group of women to add to our established seniors and new members from other clubs. Those who are unable to commit or don't get pushed on to the next level are all able to go and compete after the last year. Fingers crossed for 2002.
Mike Landers and his men, who have helped out the girls on several occasions throughout the season and John Gill for his help coaching from his sculling boat on the odd occasion that we have been unable to offer words of wisdom.


Gary Phillips

4 August

The Swans Are Gone, Here Come The _________

The sun shone as I opened the curtains and said goodbye to Hodgy and the bump, and that was the best start to the day. Driving a minimal 15 minutes to a regatta really is the way to go. It was to be an unusual day for many reasons as we all turned up for Henley Town and Visitors Regatta. On arrival we had the choice of where to park and began setting up  Marlow camp.
Along with the 12 women's entries, who were to make 9 finals and come away with 3 wins, a senior men's crew and a senior citizens crew joined us. (No not really, there were a couple of youngish blokes in the crew).
This is how it all happened.
Catrin and Jo were in novice singles. Catrin went first and, true to her race plan for the day, took an early lead off the start. Sadly her lead was steadily eaten up and that was to be Catrin's day in her single. Jo however led from the start, which was a relief for her, as sitting at front stops in a single is not her favourite position. In the final, Jo was to get one back for Catrin when she flew out of the blocks and again led the field in fashion, to pick up that long awaited novice win that we all remember so well, even if it was a few years ago and at the much more prestigious Egham International Regatta.
In Elite and Senior 2 sculls Emily Booker raced hard, and after beating Caroline Hockin of Henley in the Elite race, failed to win through in the Senior 2 race. Sadly it was not to be her day in the Elite final either.
Senior 3 singles were contested by 3 of our girls, namely Caroline Hillaby, Eva Bishop and, new girl on the block Andrea (Bob) Hoskins. Sadly Eva was not to get through to the final, which would have been great, 3 Marlow scullers. However this was to be another of the great races of the day as Hillbilly and Bob raced off, leaving the other sculler way back to keep the umpire company. It was also a fine balancing act for the 3 coaches on the bank; not wanting to give one ounce of favouritism to either sculler, they spent the whole race shouting, 'Come on Marlow'. Nothing could separate the 03_s3_4plustwo girls in this race (unlike their last meeting when they kept crashing into each other), but as the enclosures came to life it was to be Caroline who squeezed ahead to claim her point.
Senior 3 & 4 fours were well contested by both crews, but at the end of the day, better crews beat us and there is nothing anyone can do about that.
In Novice fours it was to be a different story and another page in the learning book as a novice. Off the start it was soon evident that there was to be only  two crews in this race, Marlow and Thames. Out of the blocks at 37, Nicky Davies soon had her crew out to 2/3rds of a length and settled into her steady racing rhythm. Backed up by Julie Mace, Jane Mannerings and Caroline Clayton Jones, they held onto this lead until the enclosures, at which point Thames slowly clawed them back. At the line it was not clear to either set of supporters who had won - in this day and age all regattas should have a video on the line to check close races. Henley did not, and those two dread words rang out around the enclosures 'DEAD HEAT'. This was a first for the Marlow girls and as they turned and started the long paddle back, it was clear they had raced as hard as possible and were feeling the pain. Thames however looked ready for action and with supporters lining the banks, the crews turned at Remenham for the showdown. What can you say to a crew at this point? 'Let's make it short and sweet?' 'This is why we do 8x500, it's all down to how badly you want it, it will hurt, but won't kill you, get out fast and keep going'.
As the flag dropped all hell was let loose on the bank and both crews went off like whippets after the hare. But Marlow wanted it badly, very badly and they inched ahead until they were a length up and hung on. This win was one of the best this year and both crews deserved medals. Everyone on the bank realised that this was a show of women's novice rowing at its best.
The final, however was not to be the crowning glory of the day, as the girls were beaten by a very good J14 crew from Henley, who rowed beautifully to the line.
Typically for Henley T&V, we had bright sunshine in the morning followed by  rain, rain and more rain in the afternoon.


Sean and Phil still dry and happy in the sunshine

In Senior 4 Eights, we again moved through to the final, beating Wallingford and Reading on the way, who were coxed by our old friend Paul (Shippy) Shipman (this was to be his first defeat of the day at the hands of his old club mates). In the final Marlow, (Mace, Knill, Mannerings, Bartley, Leondiades, Davies, Sherfield, Downey & Beth Porter coxing) got off to a superb start and were running level to 250 metres when HSBC (formerly Midland Bank) put in a push. This was like no other push, in that the crew sat up, shortened up and sprinted for about 15 strokes - and in so doing took ½ a length off the girls. At Upper Thames they did the same again, we had no answer to it and another final did not go our way.

And so to Senior 2 Eights.

03_boat_at_landing_stageIt was a real pleasure to see Marlow putting out a senior Eight and, with the help of some of the more senior seniors, a couple of the 0-pointed old novices and the two new girls we had an eight that looked OK.
First heat was against Vesta 'A' and Parrs Priory; this was the unknown for the Marlow crew who had plenty of outings on paper but not on the water. In 5 strokes Caroline had pulled out a canvas lead and slowly increased this as the crew got into full flow behind her. At Remenham, Parrs were out the back door and Vesta were clinging on, ½ a length down. By the enclosures it was a length and Marlow were in no mood to give it up now. And so to the Last Final. This was to be the day Paul Shipman asked himself, 03_women_8Should I have stayed in bed or at Marlow?', because no matter how hard he tried, and he tried very hard, his Reading girls could not get back, and in a nail biting finish, Marlow pulled off its first Senior Women's Eights win (senior as in above S3 or 4) this year.
Now with one more regatta to go before we all take a break for a few weeks, it is time to prepare those mixed doubles for the mighty Maidenhead 400-and-something metres, staggered start, staggered finish Regatta.
Will Harry race his upside down pair again? I think not.


Gary Phillips

10 June

Weybridge was a first for all members of the women's squad who attended on Sunday. The weather was threatening all day, and so were the club crews. Rowed on a 1000m cut from bridge to bridge, this was to be our first race two abreast with buoys, banks and other crews to contend with. The day was relaxed from the normal turmoil of trying to get out of one boat and into the next in time to get to the start for the next race. First up was the Novice A crew of Mell Waterworth at stroke, Mandy Parr, Lucy Ford and Madalaine Downey backing her up. In the steering seat was Elaine Caldwell.
03_novice_4The draw threw up Henley as the first round opposition, which as I well know means strong fit juniors who are more than capable of rowing well. Off a staggered start, Marlow were slow and found themselves a length down. Settling to 32, the crew slowly started to pull through the Henley crew who, although rowing well as a unit, didn't quite know how to respond to the Marlow fight back. Halfway up the course, Lucy and Maddy decided that to make the race even more exciting they would throw in a couple of shrimp-sized crabs. This had the desired affect of slowing the boat slightly and Henley thought they had been let off the hook. What has been proved over the last few months is that all the hard winter training had produced fit fighting crewmembers and this was to be Henley's downfall. Gathering themselves after the short fishing trip, Elaine kicked the girls up a gear and away they went, slowly but surely overhauling the opposition to power away to a win by 1 length.

B for By The Rules

Marlow B drew the home club for their first race, a crew that had dispatched Molesey on the way to 03_picture_8_posingthis race. Off the start it was apparent that the Weybridge cox was not happy with the draw and wanted to be on our side of the river. Cool steering by Crispin Knill was the order of the day, and although he avoided a clash, he found himself being washed down for the whole 1000 meters of the course. Although rowing slightly short, the crew fought hard to get back on terms but found the constant puddles unsettling on the boat. The constant warnings from the bridge umpire fell on deaf Weybridge ears and as they went through the finish it was a cool objection by Crispin that resulted in the cheering Weybridge crew being disqualified to throw up our first Marlow finalist.

Next Please

And so to the semi final for the A crew against Thames, who as those of us know, always put out plenty of horsepower in their boats. This was to be no exception and I can only say I was glad to be on the bank 'cos they were big girls and I was scared. With the stagger against them, Marlow had to be quick out of the blocks, and they were. Quickly they moved out to a half-length lead, which by 500m was 2 lengths. Thames never really looked as if they were going to trouble Marlow A, who 03_mell_waterworthsettled to a strong 30 rating and, keeping one eye on the opposition and in fact the other eye as well, (they are not that clever) rowed home to give us our first Marlow/ Marlow final.
As a coach it was fantastic to know that one of your crews was going to win and lose its novice status, but it also meant that one would lose. But rest assured Marlow members, we had nothing to fear, both crews went on the water feeling they had a chance of winning this race, whilst also glad that it was their squad mates they were racing. All that was asked by Sean Farrelly was that both crews raced hard and showed just how professionally Marlow women took their rowing. The question from Lucy of, 'What happens if it's a dead heat?' was not to be answered on the water. Both crews raced hard at matching rates of 32 and technically looked excellent, but it was to be Marlow A's day as they slowly pulled out a lead which took them over the line first.

Double Trouble (An apt name indeed)

Kauser Parvin and Kath Lee found themselves up against Parrs Priory in the heat of the Novice double sculls. As with most people they were wondering how two monks got the time to row and enter a women's regatta. After explanations they were much clearer and found the opposition to be Nat West Bank under their new name. Off the start Marlow were strong and drew out to an early lead.03_kauser_kath Rating 34 they held Parrs off until about half way, when they started a push back and closed the gap to half a length. Sculling well the Marlow double found that the boiler needed stoking, as steam was starting to run out. Hanging on it was to be a lucky day for Kath and Kauser, as the Parrs stroke caught a lobster from hell, which stopped the boat and aimed it towards our crew. They quickly gathered themselves but found that the Marlow girls had seized the advantage and pushed hard. As they fought back the Parrs crew closed, but now had a major navigation failure and collided with a quad making its way to the start.
In the final Walbrook was to be the opposition, and it was apparent they were no slouches in the sculling game. Again the fight from the Marlow double was to the line, but sadly it was not to be. They will now try their luck at Marlow Regatta against the world famous Sally Tinsley/Catrin Jones crew.

Marlow v Thames VIII Final

03_vthames_potsHow many times have we seen that heading over the years? The difference this time was that it was not the national squad racing each other at Henley Royal Regatta, but the women's novice eights final at Weybridge 2001.
Against a much larger Thames crew, five was 6 foot plus I'm sure, Marlow had no idea what to expect from the crew, which had dispatched Molesey on route. Both coaches thought they knew what to expect from a club which has three novice eights to race. But boy, did the girls from Marlow show them how it's done! Jules Mace. Jennifer Driver, Laura Leondiades, (spell check queries this) Jane Mannerings, Mandy Parr, Lucy Ford, Mell Waterworth, Maddy Downey & Elaine Caldwell (cox).03_happy_squad
Marlow attached first time and sat as cool as a cucumber on the stake boat whilst the first crack in the Thames armour showed itself. Getting onto the start was proving a problem, which eventually was overcome. With Elaine's hand in the air and Julie Mace correcting a small alignment problem it came as a shock to hear the umpire call ATTENTION, GO. Luckily weeks of training starts and procedures again paid off, and Julie quickly got into position and took the eight off the start like a steam train. With the Lucky 69 on her back (lucky for some), Jules and the girls were not giving this up for anyone, and rating 34/35 for 1000 metres, Maddy and the gang showed what novice rowing can look like as they pushed further and further away. As the finish beep sounded the stopwatch went on and 18.45 secs later Thames came over the line.
03_lucy_potBoth crews chatted after the race and the Thames girls tried hard to find out the Marlow girls' secret diet!

But the secret is safe.



Graceful Swans Disguise Mean Killer Below

Gary Phillips




So Near and Yet So Far. . . . .

It was yet another early morning start for the novice women's coaching team as they set out from the club with a full trailer towards the fantastic setting of Coate Water Park near Swindon.
It was however to prove a prudent move, when shortly after 8 o'clock an accident occurred on the M4, closing it to traffic wanting to go west. Some got through, but others started on a journey that was not only going to be long but also very frustrating.
Those who got through and managed to prepare for the day's racing were the Novice fours.
03_group_with_seanHeat 1 kicked off just after 8 o'clock, and found the Marlow B crew up against Clifton College and City of Oxford A. Marlow had a good start and found themselves a canvas up. They quickly moved this out to two lengths, before pushing it on once again to win by a verdict of three lengths.
Next up was Marlow A, who had the pleasure of Reading A and City of Oxford B. With the slight disadvantage of the older, heavier boat, the Marlow crew raced well. Stroke Jennifer Driver, having been moved from 2 before the race, coped well with the pressure and allowed the rest of the crew to get on with the hard work that was to be their race. Reading pulled out to an early lead over both Marlow and Oxford, but by halfway Marlow had changed gear and were pulling away from Oxford in their efforts to catch the Reading boat. With 03_w4_in_boatdetermination the Marlow girls tried everything to get back on terms, but were beaten by a respectable opposition. The final verdict was Reading A by 2 lengths over Marlow A by 2 lengths over City of Oxford.

Minutes to Spare

It was a close call for Claire Sherfield and Nicky Howarth even to get to the start of their race on time. Caught in the M4 saga, they arrived just in time to grab the boat and get to the stake boats for their Senior 4 Doubles event. After what looked like a decent start the girls raced well, but were totally confused by bad umpiring. This was due to the insistence of  the rules to call port and starboard racing 03_clare_plus_one_in_boatinstructions. As an ex member of Her Majesty's fleet, port and starboard are great when you are stood on the bridge (nautical term for where it is steered from) and looking where you are going (port=left, starboard=right). But when you are in a double, facing in the opposite direction to that which you are going and the umpire is shouting go to port, who's port does he mean? Of course it would be to easier to shout go to Bow or Stroke side. Anyway, they steered halfway across the lake before it was evident that he meant the other port. By this time it was too late and the race had been won. HOORAY, (by another crew).


This was the race time for the semi-final of the Novice fours, but the regatta was running half an hour behind; trouble was the regatta kept demanding that crews boat at normal times.
The best race of the day was about to start. All crews struggled with steering off the stake boats, but Reading A managed to pull out to 1 length over Marlow and Monkton School. At halfway, Marlow again changed gear and started to pull back steadily on Reading's lead. This proved to be a battle of nerves and the Marlow crew kept theirs as the Reading boat, not knowing what to do against the Marlow  push, began to buckle. The final result was another win for the Marlow B crew. It was also a win over Paul Shipman, who had decided to go back to Reading after coxing the Marlow squad earlier in the year.

The Final

The opposition was Maidenhead, who looked good as soon as they pulled away from the staging. The fantastic rows of earlier in the day meant that the pressure was on Marlow to race even better - which they tried very hard to do. Sadly the Maidenhead crew were as good as they looked and Marlow had to accept second best on this occasion.
03_w8_on_waterOther crews racing were a senior 4 Eight which again had people caught up in the traffic onboard, 2 senior 4 fours and a scratch novice double of Kath Lee and Kauser Parvin.
The eight did very well and came second in the straight final, coxed by Anita Windsor and her child. Stroked by Jules Bartley, Jane Mannerings, Lucy Ford, Laura Leondiades, Kauser Parvin, CJ, Sarah Robinson & Kath Lee.
The 2 fours had tough races. All in all it was a great days racing from all the women.
Next Stop Peterborough Regatta and could it be that first win?



Gary Phillips The Swans Do Battle on the Mighty Thames


01_women_eightAfter many months of build up from the club, the Marlow novices finally boated for the mighty Women's Head Of The River Race. The day was cool, and after dragging themselves from the nest for a 7.00 meet at the club, it was take off and head for the great smoky city.
The girls had only ever trained on the Chiswick stretch of the course, so Hammersmith Bridge was an impressive site as they arrived at ARA Headquarters. Boats were rigged in record time - due to much practice in rigging and de rigging to go to Eton throughout the flood periods.
As they watched a steady flow of boats head upstream from 01_women_onwaterPutney, they could only marvel at an event with so many other clubs in it. They watched the full rage of the event from their holding position, as Elite crews ahead of them thundered downstream. After what seemed a long wait, jittery nerves were controlled and racing heads were switched on.
Having raced only once before, and never having overtaken another boat, it was magic to find the crew immediately into battle. After what seemed like only a few yards they had taken their first scalp. The approach to Hammersmith Bridge was met with huge volume from the hundreds of supporters - this was to prove a memorable moment, as we who have raced before them know. Two and a half more overtakes and it was all over. Having started at 223, they had risen to finish a mighty 163, placing them
8 th of 20+ Novice boats in a time of 24:11.17.03_abba_hill
After de-rigging Captain Hill then introduced the squad to the Dukes Head for a swift celebration drink or two. Hope now is that we can go on to race at the Abingdon and Bedford Heads before the first regatta of the season at Wallingford (foot and mouth allowing).


Gary Phillips

The Swans Spread Their Wings In Anger

After a quiet introduction to the sport of rowing, Marlow's new novices saw 2001 in with more than a few beers and a bang!
From gentle 9.30 lay-ins, one outing and being talked to nicely by the coaches it all changed to 7.30 starts on Saturdays and Sundays, two outings with Ergos and circuits during the week.
The initial squad of 20-something has now depleted to 15. Some never really started and others tried really hard and for some reason, whether it be work or ability, were not selected to move into the racing squad.
Sadly owing to water conditions, most Thames clubs except those on the Tideway reach, have failed to put in the normal amount of water work. Eton has been a great facility and the novices have gone from looking like a drugged up centipede in an eight to racing for the first time at Stourport Head.
Sickness took its toll on the squad for this first head, but with a couple of subs onboard, and the Pop up Pirate at the helm, the crew pushed off for their first taste of racing (at Senior 3 thanks to the subs).

03_poor_quality_picConditions were tricky coming from Eton's still flat water to a very strong stream at Stourport. On the plus side, the sun shone all day. Arriving at the start, the crew attached themselves to a tree and a four attached itself to the eight. From this prime location the crew learnt how important it was to get themselves out of the stream and connected to a branch. They watched a junior four almost capsize followed by another, and others paddle continuously to hold station. When the time came to turn, everyone was ready and itching to get stuck into the race.
Sadly, owing to poor marshalling, the opposition set off too far ahead and behind, resulting in us racing against the clock. After a lazy start and some strong words of inspiration from the Pirate, Nicky Davies wound the crew up to 30 strokes per minute and we were OFF. With the cheers of the Marlow seniors ringing in our ears, and clearance from Air Traffic Control for a few high catches, the boat accelerated like a Skoda firing on two cylinders. The race became pretty mundane, apart from Bow side attempting a synchronised crab, and searching the bank for the finish line, the crew came home knackered but jubilant with cheers all-round. Lord help us when they win for the first time!

03_w8_from_sideWith only three novice eights in the draw, Marlow coaches were happy with the result. Burton Leander won 17 seconds ahead of us, with a big Hereford crew trailing in 15 seconds behind. Warwick's Senior 2 eight only just managed to hold the Marlow crew off by 10 seconds.

Bow    - Mel (Deep sea diver) Waterworth
2         - Sarah (1 point) Robinson
3         - Jennifer (See how red I go) Driver
4         - Jules (My feet are cold) Mace
5         - Mandy (I think I am going to be sick) Parr
6         - Heather (Why should I sit still) Dickson
7         - Nicky (Who's idea was this) Howarth
Stroke - Nicky (Listen to me grunt) Davies
Cox     - Gary (The Pop up Pirate) PHILLIPS

So we now move forward at full steam towards the Women's Eight's Head. Keep watching this space for the further exploits of the Motley Crew as they continue the hunt for that novice win.



Gary Phillips

Like Swans to a Lake

As the last few warm days left Marlow behind, a joint recruiting drive for men and women, to replace retiring worn-out athletes, began. For the women's section it was hoped to get about twelve new faces and maybe, just maybe by the end of the winter, four or five would remain.

How shocked were we to have twenty two new recruits to the women's squad alone! Straight into the senior group went an ex-GB Junior, and I'm sure she will be followed by women from other clubs and Unis who have been out of it for a while and moved to our area.
First taste of competition was to come very soon for some of the novices, who attended a very exciting Olympic club night to watch the Marlow athletes perform in Sydney. The competition was beating off the Senior men who were also impressed with the number of new novice women. Many could be heard telling tales of hard-fought races at prestigious regattas - such as Maidenhead. Whether it was the late night or the sheer excitement of the stories that made them yawn, we will never know.
03_rowing_in_foursSo some weeks on, we still have our twenty plus athletes. They have endured their first taste of Ergo tests, outings in torrential rain, blisters and sore bums.
The question now is how many will stay through the cold and early mornings that we all know are to come? It makes winter training slightly more acceptable when you have an idea of what it's all for.
It is hoped to be able to boat at least two fours before the New Year, maybe more. Long term we should at least have a novice eight for the 2001 Women's Head, and we could be looking at a possible three or four novice fours next year, depending on how well they all come on.
Thanks to all the girls for picking Marlow Rowing Club, and to everyone who has helped coach them over the past weeks.
03_sean_demonstrates_in_mondegoIf you would like to lend the occasional hand coaching this highly excitable group of women, then please let me know. Permission will be required from partners and wives as a pre-requisite.


Gary Phillips

Men's Novices - Winter 2006/7 and Summer 2007

The novice men, like everyone else, have been affected by the continually poor weather throughout both (!) the winter 06/07 and summer 07 seasons - in the winter 6 of the 8 head races entered were cancelled before boating because of poor weather, and another got cancelled because crews were sinking during the race.

Nevertheless, the "Marlow Magnificent 7" have acheived some good results with wins at Maidenhead, Twickenhamm, Marlow Town and Marlow Spring Regattas, giving a successful start to the men's novice squad.

Maidenhead Regatta - 11th August 2007

Another busy day for the squad. The S4 4+ crew (Matt, Ed, Stewart, Neil, coxed by Ben) was being filmed as part of a Channel 5 TV programme, so were hugely relieved to win their race for the camera, although they were knocked out shortly afterwards by a crack squad of Marlow juniors! 

(Photo: Matt and Ben getting a pre-race briefing while the TV crew gets background shots)

The N4+ (Matt, Stew, Andy, Neil and Ben) lost by a tiny margin - just 4 feet. Martin and Terry (as a Vet 2x) were hampered because the boat they expected to race had been snapped in half by the trailer drivier so were racing in an undersized boat. Ed continued to refuse to share pots, by winning the S3 category in his single.

(Photo: Stew, Neil, Matt, Ben and Andy enjoying the view)

Kingston Regatta - 14th July 2007

A full turn-out from the squad: Matt, Chris, Andy and Martin (Ben coxing) as a Novice 4+; Stewart, Phil, Tom and Neil (Ben again coxing) as the S4 4+, Ed in a Novice 1x and the full crew in the S4 8+. The S4 cruised through their first round but struggled in the final, and the Novice 4 hit problems just before the end of the first race. Ed won the N 1x, and was rewarded with an oversized pot, as it was the 150th Anniversary of Kingston Regatta.

Ed wondering why the offical pot is smaller than the take-home one

Marlow Regatta - 23rd/24th June 2007

The 8 got an outing on the Saturday and posted a faster time than at Met over the 2,000m. The 8 got another outing on the Sunday over 1,000m - Matt, Martin, Stewart, Phil, Andy, Neil R, Tom and Ed cox: Ben, but struggled against a fast university crew.

Marlow Town Regatta - 14th June 2007

Ed sat in as stroke in an all Marlow final for the S4 4+ category, and collected a winner's pot for his trouble. The Novice 4 also had an outing.

Metropolitan Regatta - 2nd/3rd June 2007

We raced the 8 at Metropolitan on Saturday - with the same line up as Twickenham. The Met is a quality regatta and we were racing above our status at Senior 3 so there was no risk of us winning, but we recorded a respectable time and raced the RMA Sandhurst all the way to the line.

(Photo: Phil, Neil J, Chris and Charlotte)

Twickenham Regatta - 26th May 2007

We entered two boats - a novice 4+ with Chris (s), Matt (3), Martin (2) and Terry (bow) with Charlotte coxing. They won their heat and then lost in the semi-finals.


Then we had a straight final in the 8 at Senior 4 level with Charlotte (cox), Ed (s), Phil (7), Neil (6), Stuart (5), Chris (4), Neil (3), Martin (2) and Matt (bow). We got about 1000m before there was a clash which the umpire declared to be in neutral water, so we had to re-row from the start. We still lost by half a length, but ending up racing 2250m to do it. 


Marlow Spring Regatta - 7 May 2007

The Men's novices entered two crews. The first crew consisting of Matt, Chris, Martin and Tom with Ben coxing won their heat of the Senior 4 coxed fours competition, but were beaten in the final. 

The other crew (Stuart, Neil, Phil and Ed, coxed by Charlotte), having made a complete mess of their start at Senior 4 level went out in their heat. 

Both crews won their heats in the Novice coxed fours, so there was an all-Marlow final between the two boats. Charlotte's boat, rested by their previous defeat, turned that to their advantage and won, beating the other crew by half a length.

Head of the River - 31 March 2007

The squad boated for the Head of the River 2007 (a large race with 420 boats held on the Thames on the same course as the Oxford/Cambridge boat race), but due to rough weather the race was called off before we raced. As some consolation, we did witness the senior men's squad sink in front of us.

Father and Son Anchor Marlow Novices to First Win

Marlow men's novice eight had their first win at Coate Water Park Regatta on Saturday. Coached by Mike Landers, the crew of Cox Carla Boddy, stroke Jonathan Warne, Bob Thompson, Graham Hyman, Mark Wells, Alex Lovisetto, Chris Tipney, Ray Swordy and Dan Tipney beat off opposition from club crews and Oxford colleges to gain their first win.


The crew comprises mature athletes who have taken up the sport recently and were helped on the day by Dan Tipney, at 15 one of the clubs up and coming junior athletes. Alex Lovisetto also brought his strength and experience to the crew as a member of the club's senior squad.. Chris Tipney only took up the sport 3 months ago after his sons Dan and older brother Ben (a GB Junior International) persuaded him to have a go.
On the day, the crew raced with real commitment to gain their novice win. In the first round they chased down college crews from Hertford College and Magdalen College, Oxford. The Marlow crew put in a big push in the last 250 meters to come through in the middle lane and win by half a length. In the final they faced Exeter Rowing Club. Driven on by Karla Boddy, Jonathen Warne powered them along at 36 strokes per minute and was ably backed up by his crew. Marlow took ¾ of a length lead coming into the last 200meters, at which point Exeter threw everything they had at Marlow and began to pull them back as the line approached. Both crews crossed the line having given their all and had to wait for 10 minutes in their boats before the announcer gave Marlow the verdict - by ½ a length. Bob Thompson at 7 reckoned it was a lot closer then that!

Marlow also had a win for Helen Brewer of Altwood School in Maidenhead who won the final of the Junior 15 single sculls against club mate Jenny Forrester of Reading Abby School. Both girls had excellent first round wins, dominating the opposition. The final was a tough battle, which Forrester led until the later stages, when a push by Brewer was enough to take her through to a narrow victory.

The women's novice four of Maddie Downey, Mell Waterworth, Mandy Parr, Nikki Davies and cox Elaine Caldwell had an excellent day and showed a real turn of pace to take second overall in a field of 20 boats. They dominated their first round and, in the semi-final, their final drive for the line was too much for Reading RC who cracked under the pressure. The final was also a close affair, though a mistake on the start allowed local rivals Maidenhead to slip clear. The Marlow crew fought back, but just ran out of river to lose by half a length against a worthy winner. No doubt the two crews will meet up again later in the season.

Coming Soon To A Damp Patch Near You - Marlow's Henley Crew for 2001

At stroke, and looking like he's having one, we have Ermintrude (Alex Lovisetto) a fine figure of two men who as you can see is battling bravely with anorexia and who is in danger of dropping below the medically critical level of 17 stones.

At 7 we have another athlete who arrived at Marlow boasting an impressive collection of chins – meet "Crimewatch". Things are looking up and Bret's flexibility and fitness have now improved to the point where he can see and touch his knees.

Keeping the six seat warm is the man who drinks like a fish and has the charm of a Wildebeest during the rutting season. Amazingly Mr John Tetley recently pulled and now has a dusky and attractive girlfriend, whose bark is worse than her bite.

At 5 we have a special guest appearance by Ravanelli (aka Sir Mark Hamilton). Who needs £50k per week when you can appear for Marlow for nothing? Mind you he hasn't scored all season so maybe you do get what you pay for. Pulled 18.05 for his last erg' test, pretty good for 2k but he could struggle over 5k.

At 4 we have the intimidating presence of Keith "Blow Dry" Knaggs who appears to have modelled himself on Lionel Blair and is following a particularly uncompromising training schedule – he simply refuses to do any. Currently threatening the world 2K ergo record in the WJ12 Category.

Harvey, or "Lurch" as we know him on account of his awesome posture, is currently holding down the big 3 seat and a rather unhealthy 4-course lunch from the look of it. He is improving quickly though and recently managed to sit the ergo level.

Paul "Silky" Hyde looks deceptively athletic but is currently languishing at 2 and reckons that he once came 66th in the Eights Head, but forgets to add that that was back in about 1951 and he was actually second last.

Mike Biggs decorates the bow seat . Powerful, stylish, graceful - Mike's none of these but he makes a great windbreak and with Paul and Michelle's steering we couldn't persuade anyone else to sit in the "crumple zone".

Waiting in the wings in case any of these athletes should either get injured brawling with Marlow's 1st Brownie Pack or have a coronary during training is Mr Ben "Chugger" Chapman who, in a determined quest for glory recently made the ultimate sacrifice and moved from B&H to Silk Cut.

Attempting to keep this rabble in check we have the beauty and the beast. First up is the small but imperfectly formed Paul Shipman, the crews mascot. Additionally we have Ms Michelle Bordenave more shapely and with a deeper voice, whose steering is only marginally better than her English which in turn is better than Paul's English.

The has been, or to be more accurate, never quite was who spends his weekend dispensing the wisdom of Solomon: "pull harder" "you're crap" and "row better" etc etc and who hopes to take the credit for any flukey wins this lot may somehow generate is "coach" Mike Landers. There's two advantages to having this guy in the launch – firstly it means he can't upset the balance of the boat and secondly with a mouth the size of his the club can save a fortune on megaphone batteries.

PS – Don't be deceived we're coming to kick ass.


2001 Novice Mens eight from Marlow Rowing Club


Marlow Rowing Club – Senior Men’s Squad Report 2012

After the highest place finish at HORR for a couple of years the men’s squad set about by trying to continue the results into the regatta season.

Early on it was decided that we would target qualifying an VIII for the Thames Challenge Cup at HRR and so we set about trying to finalise the crew.

As for most clubs, Wallingford was the first regatta of the season, and the beginning of the Dorney 1, 2, 3 that would make up our summer schedule. In IM1 VIII’s in the morning division we were showing promise by being ahead until the 500m mark, before ultimately being rowed down and coming home in a disappointing 6th and not making the final.

IM2 VIII’s in the afternoon got off to a better start when we finished 2nd in our heat, but still had to make it through a rep to reach the final. A top two finish was needed and even though we ended up in 4th we had a hard fought race with City of Oxford all the way to the line.

Although not a perfect start, we took comfort from the fact that the IM2 final was exclusively school crews, who we would not be facing come Henley.

A few weeks later saw our return to Dorney, this time for the Met regatta. Our heat was a close run affair, with only 0.37s separating us from the 2nd placed crew from UCL.

The 3rd place took us through to the semi-final and brought its own excitement, as racing in a Southampton University VIII in the same semi was the brother of our stroke man. This was the first time they had faced each other in opposing crews, and it ended with Southampton (and the younger brother!) ending up on top, and us missing out on the top three placing that was required to make the final.

The Sunday of Met was another opportunity to have a go at IM2 VIII’s. Although we set ourselves up well from the heat with a second place, ultimately we could not convert this and ended up fifth in the final.

Whereas Wallingford had seen us losing out to schools, universities ended up being the main opposition at Met.

The final warm up for Henley was at the once local Marlow regatta, now of course held at Dorney.  Owing to the fact that Locog had taken over the venue for the Olympics the whole regatta was a rather different set up than it had been previously.

All crews had to boat from the top of the warm up lane, and as there were no pontoons this had to be done Tideway-style by wading in to the water. The other major difference was that spectators were not allowed in the final 500m of the course, which the crews ended up racing through in silence!

With the crew set, we saw Marlow as a chance to get some good racing time in before the main event at Henley. Unfortunately, the weather did not appear to have taken any notice of this and was blowing an absolute gale, which made for interesting conditions.

Arriving at the start, we were informed by the umpires that it would be a free start and we should try and get ourselves vaguely straight and in the middle of our lane. After a number of alignment attempts, and with half of the crew not looking at the starter, we were set off down what proved to be a very rough course.

The 3rd placing was not enough to see us through to the final, so now we just had to wait until the next day when the Stewards were releasing the list of crews required to attend the qualifying races for HRR.

In the event, the Stewards deemed that we had done enough and spared us the delights of the Friday afternoon qualifying time trial.

With all of pre-Henley regattas completed the boat was moved to the Henley tents for a week of training on the course. This was our opportunity to take in our surroundings and get used to the large differences between multi-lane regattas and side by side racing.

Most of the crew went to watch the Friday qualifying races and we were all very glad we had been spared them; heavy gusts meant that some crews were grinding to a halt going past Stewards – not something we wanted to do!

The draw took place on the Saturday and saw us paired up against one of the selected crews – Potomac Boat Club from the USA. Although an unknown entity, we still fancied our chances.

Our evening race time on the Wednesday meant that there was a tense afternoon waiting around in the boat tents before we could get on the water, but eventually our boating time arrived.

The race plan was to go off hard, get ahead and hope we could hang on until the finish. We had drawn the Berks station, which, owing to heavy rain a few weeks before, had the benefit of the stream at the start and finish, which we would try and capitalize on.

The plan went well as we lead the race until Fawley, where Potomac put in a mighty push to get ahead, where they stayed for the rest of the race, ending with a margin of 2 ½ lengths.

Although disappointed with the result we were happy with the overall outcome of the season, especially given the relative inexperience in the crew, and look forward to building on the success next year.


I am pleased report that, following long distaJ16 4x at Schools Head Stroke Richard Hewitt, 3 Nick Fox, 2 Stuart Heap, Bow Jon Worboysnce trials at Boston and Peterborough, 4 of our athletes have been invited to attend the Great Britain Spring Trials in April; they are Dan Tipney, Adam Pennock, Jenny Forrester and Helen Brewer.
At the Boston trials, Dan had a good weekend by coming second in his single on the Saturday and winning with Andrew Walker of Leander on the Sunday in the doubles. Jenny and Helen came 6th and 7th on the Saturday in their singles and came second in the double on the Sunday. Adam did not have an invitation to spring trials after Boston, where he finished 16th on the Saturday and 5th on the Sunday in his single, so he had to go to trials at Peterborough. There he earned his invitation to Spring Trials by finishing fourth. Also at Boston, Nick Fox was invited to trial in the J18 event; alongside Dan and Adam he come a creditable 20th and 10th.
WJ 4x - Schools Head Stroke Emma Mitchell, 3 Jenny Forrester, 2 Annie Pace, Bow Helen BrewerIn December, the juniors travelled to Wycliffe and came back with 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals. The Golds came in Novice Doubles for Stuart Heap and Richard Hewitt and in Women's J18 doubles. The Silvers came in J18 4x, J16 2x and Bronzes in J15 1x, J16 2x, Novice 2x, J16 1x and WJ18 1x.
There was no racing in January or February, but we were back for the Schools Head in March. We had entered 6 crews, but only 3 were accepted due to the large number of entries. The WJ18 4x came third in their event, only a couple of seconds behind second place, the J16 4x were second by 8 seconds to Kingston GS, and the WJ16 4x came 12th.
The juniors are now looking forward to their training camp in Belgium from 19th April to 25th April, and a good summer of racing.


Russell Peacock

AUTUMN  2002

The year has started well with wins at some of the long distance sculling heads. At Wallingford we had a big entry and came away with 3 wins. Jenny and Helen started from where they left off by winning the WJ18 double. There was also another win for Stuart and Nick in J16 double and a win for Richard Hewitt, Dan Wicks, Ed Griffiths and Tom Rendell in J16 quads. Wallingford also saw the first race for Ed Barber in the second J16 4x; he sculled well for somebody who had only been on the water for about 20 outings.


The next race was the pairs head, with Dan racing with Chris Logan in J18 Doubles, which they won. Also Jenny and Helen teamed up and came a creditable second to a fast Wycliffe double.


The Pairs Head also saw Nick, Stuart, Sam and David putting in and excellent performance by coming 6thin the J18 event.

Marlow Long Distance Sculls brought 2 singles wins for the juniors, Helen in J18 and Nick in J16. Most of the boys and girls raced in their singles.




Henley Sculls saw another win for Stuart and Nick in J16 Quads with Sam and David. They won their event by 30 seconds.

This weekend sees Dan in the Marlow 1st quad with 3 seniors, Nick, Stuart, Sam, David. Also Helen, Jenny, Emma and Annie are racing in the Fours Head.

The weekend  of 16th and 17 th will see Dan, Nick, Stuart, Otto, Jenny, Helen, Emma, Annie, Sam and David at GB Trials and the rest of the group racing at the Marlow Fours and Pairs Head.


Russell Peacock


Let us start in April with the annual junior training camp. This year we were unable to get a booking at Ghent and so looked around for a new venue. It came in the shape of Hazewinkel, also in Belgium. Following the success we had last year with mixing with George Watson's College, we again asked if they would like to join us, which they did.
The final number on the camp was 45, of which 33 were athletes and 12 coaches. The coaching team was made up of Russell Peacock, John Gill, Bret 'Gasoil' King, Alistair Hughes, Ollie Cruickshank, David Rendell, Ian Hewitt, Andy Barron, Jim Ferguson, Evelyn Ferguson, and the Irish World Lightweight Gold medallists Tony O'Connor and Gerold Towey. I would like to thank the coaches for the work over the week and remind them that we have booked again for next year.
The camp was a great success with the boys and girls working hard and getting a lot useful work in crew boats. The coaches worked very hard on and off the water from 6 in the morning till 11 at night. I would also like to say a big thank you to Jim Ferguson for allowing the boys and girls to use his boats.
The first event of the year was the Junior Inter-Regionals at Nottingham and the GB selection regatta at Dorney. The club only had two representatives at the inter-Regionals; Jenny Forrester was selected for the WJ16 single, where she collected the Gold medal. Stuart Heap was asked to combine with boys from Maidenhead to form a J16 coxless four which collected a silver medal; also Stuart at the last minute was asked to race in the J16 single, even though he is only a J15. He raced well but was beaten into 4th place by a good field.
Whilst Jenny and Stuart were in Nottingham, Dan Tipney was racing at the selection regatta. Dan finished 7 th overall, which was a great performance as he had not been able to train coming up to the regatta due to an infected arm. This performance got Dan an invitation to final trials in July.
On the May Bank holiday weekend we entered 3 regattas - Wallingford, Strathclyde Park and Marlow Spring. Starting with the event across the boarder in Scotland, Dan and Nick Fox travelled to Strathclyde Park to row with Watson's College. Dan came home with 4 Golds but Nick could only manage Silvers. Dan won in Open Quads, J18 Quads, J18 Eights and J16 Fours whilst Nick was second in J18 Quads, J16 Quads and J15 Doubles.
At Wallingford, which was being held at Dorney, we entered the juniors girls in quads and doubles at School/Junior (J19 event) level; though being J16's the girls did well by coming 2nd and 5th in the quads, 3rd and 5th in doubles. We also entered in Women's Novice Quads were unable to race the final due to boat damage.
On the Bank holiday Monday it was Marlow Spring Regatta. Here we collected 3 wins in J15 doubles (Nick and Stuart), WJ18 2x (Helen Brewer and Jenny Forrester) and WJ15 4x+. There were also wins for RGS in J15 4x+ (Jon Worboys, Richard Hewitt, Richard Boarder, Tom Rendell and David Quinell).
The first major event we attended was Ghent in Belgium were we came home with 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medal. Dan was asked by the GB selectors to race in a GB select combination. The regatta was a great test for possible crews for the National Schools. On the Saturday Dan won a Silver medal in J18 singles and a Silver was also collected in WJ18 4x (Helen, Jenny, Annie Pace, Emma Mitchell). On the Sunday we won the Gold that was Dan with his partner from Evesham, Andrew Walker in J16 doubles. Dan also collected a Silver in J16 single and the final medal, Bronze, came in WJ18 double of Helen and Emma.
The results for the rest of the group, were on the Saturday, J18 2x (Dan, Andrew) 4th, J18 2x (Nick, Stuart) 14th , WJ18 1x (Annie) 21st, WJ18 2x (Sophie Hughes, Emma) 25th, WJ18 2x (Helen, Jenny) 5th and WJ18 2x (Tora Thompson, Karla Boddy) 20th . On the Sunday WJ16 1x (Jenny) 4th, WJ18 1x (Tora) 22nd, WSB 2x (Helen, Annie) 4th, J16 1x (Nick) 5th, J16 2x (Nick, Stuart) 9th and WJ18 2x (Tora, Jenny) 4th. All crews raced well and gave the coaches food for thought regarding combinations for future races.
Coate Water Park was next. The event was a shambles, with the regatta was running over an hour late by mid-afternoon. We only collected 1 win, the WNovice double being Victoria Carroll and Sophie.
Then came the second major event in the shape of the National Schools Regatta at Nottingham. The athletes built on their success at Ghent, bringing home 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals, making them the most successfully organisation rowing at the event, beating the likes of Headington School, Radley, Hampton etc.
Dan with his Gold at Nat Schools He also won a £4250 sculling boat Picture courtesy of Natures ImagesThe Golds came in Championship Single Sculls (Dan), Girls J16 Double Sculls (Helen and Jenny), Girls J16 Single Sculls (Jenny); Silver in Boys J16 Single Sculls (Dan); Bronze in Boys J15 Double Sculls (Stuart and Nick) and Boys J15 Single Sculls (Nick).
So Jenny came home with 2 Gold medals, on the Saturday in the double sculls with Helen beating the favourites Avon County. The Avon County crew have beaten the Marlow girls in their last 2 meetings but this time Jenny and Helen got their own back and with an excellent scull beat them to the Gold medal. On the Sunday Jenny, racing in her J16 single, dominated the heats and Final to collect her first Gold in this event (hopefully the start of many more).
The final Gold came from Dan in Championship Singles. Dan who is still only J16, lay in second for most of the race but pulled though in the last 100 meters to win by 0.6 of a second. Along with the medal and trophy he also won a sculling boat to the value of £4250.
On the Sunday Dan won a silver medal in J16 singles; the winner was Zac Purchase from King's Worcester who at that time was ranked number 1 in the GB system.
Also on the Saturday Nick and Stuart won a Bronze medal in J15 doubles and Nick followed this with a Bronze medal in the J15 single.
Helen & Jenny with their Nat Schools WJ16 Gold medals Picture courtesy of Natures ImagesMarlow Town Regatta was the next event that we raced, where we collected 4 wins in J15 Double Sculls (Stuart and Nick); WS4 2x, WN 2x and WJ18 2x, and, sculling under RGS colours, Jon won J15 Singles. Dan for a change rowed with in a Senior 4 coxed four that also won
The squad then split for Henley Women's and Marlow Regatta. The Junior girls crew of Helen, Jenny, Annie and Emma raced at Henley, the crew unluckily losing in the first round to a strong Wycliffe Scullers quad.
At Marlow the rest of the crew also did not have any luck with the Girls J16 quad of Karla, Victoria Carroll, Nick & Stuart with their J15 Bronze at Nat Schools Picture courtesy of Natures ImagesSophie and Tora losing to Henley. The Junior quads of Stuart, Nick and 2 Henley boys (Hugo Wiseman and Michael Bennett) and senior quad, which included Dan, also losing out on silverware.
Henley qualifiers were next, with the two quads that raced at Marlow requiring to race in their event, Dan quad sculling in the senior event with Andy Barron and Jonny Logan, Iarla Lewis from Watson's qualified for the regatta, but the Junior quad was unluckily to miss out by just under a second.
At Henley the senior quad was drawn against a strong American crew and lost to them by 2 lengths.
Trials were next with Dan looking for a place in the Worlds or Coupe team. Also Jenny and Helen and Stuart and Nick hoping for places in the GB team for the GB v France match. Dan was selected for the first boat at the Coupe being the quad. Jenny and Helen had an excellent scull in their time trial and were selected to do the double; they beat the nearest crew by 13 seconds. Stuart and Nick were not so lucky coming 4th in their race, but for J15s racing as J16s it was a great performance. So Dan is off to Portugal and Jenny and Helen are going to France.
Jenny and Helen with their Nat Champs WJ16 Gold Picture courtesy of Natures ImagesBecause of the rule that athletes selected for the Coupe or Worlds cannot race at the National Championships, we lost Dan. But it shows the depth of ability in the junior group that we won 2 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medals.
The Golds came from Jenny and Helen in the WJ16 Double Sculls and Stuart and Nick in J15 Double Sculls, a Silver was picked up by Jenny in her single and Emma and Annie won bronze in WJ18 Double Sculls.Dan came up to watch the racing at the Championships on Sunday and due to illness in the senior quad was asked to race, coming home with a Silver medal!
Stuart and Nick winning J15 Gold at Nat Champs Picture courtesy of Natures ImagesFollowing their success at the National Selection Trials, the Marlow Rowing Club J16 double of Jenny Forester and Helen Brewer travelled to Nantes France with the GB J16 squad to represent Great Britain in the annual match against the French.
The match was preceded by a three day training camp, which gave the girls the opportunity to acclimatise and train on the course on the Loire. The event consisted of two series of races, the first a 1500 m event with cups for the overall winning team, and for girls the second event was raced over 500m for the new Bon Accord trophy.
In the 1500m event the Marlow girls were beaten by one length by the French crew in a race in Jenny sculling to Silver at Nat Champs Picture courtesy of Natures Imageswhich they never quite achieved the pace which we know they are capable of. The second race over 500m was a very different affair. Fired by the defeat in the previous event, they took the lead off the start and extended it confidently, finishing comfortably ahead of the French double.
The Great Britain squad subsequently won both matches, winning three of the four available trophies. The magnitude of this win can be gauged by the fact that this was the first time in twenty two years that the French had been beaten on home waters. Clearly the UK policy of starting juniors in sculling boats is beginning to pay off.Annie & Emma WJ18 Bronze, Nat Champs Picture courtesy of Natures Images
Dan travelled to Portugal for the Coupe along with David Read of Henley, Sam Dixon of Sudbury and George Vazey of Dulwich College. After an intense period of training at Henley and Dorney the crew felt they were going fast enough to collect a medal, but this was not to be. They reached the final with ease, but were unlucky on both days to get lane 2, finishing 4th and 5th . Most of the medals came from sheltered lanes 5 and 6.
At Maidenhead Regatta we put together some fun crews, and with the help of the veteran squad came home with a cheque for £250 for being the most successful visiting club at the regatta. We had wins in WJ 2x (Helen and Karla), J15 2x (Nick with Sam Ashburner of Maidenhead), S3 4x (Nick, Stuart, with Sam and Tom Jost from Maidenhead) and S1 4x (Dan with ex Marlow Juniors Ben Tipney, James Wright and Andy Barron). Karla was unlucky in the WJ18 1x and Stuart lost in the semi to a Kingston Grammar sculler both by only 3 feet. The Chris Tipney, Dan, Ben, James Wright and Jenny) S3 4+ also lost by only a few feet.
The summer season's racing ended with a small group travelling to Abingdon, where we came home with 4 wins. First was Helen and Emma in WJ18 2x, followed by Stuart and Sam (from Maidenhead) in J18 2x, Jenny and Karla in WS3 2x and finally Stuart Tim Foster presents the Bursary to Dan in front of the Redgrave Statueand Nick in Novice 2x. Nick lost in the final of Novice 1x and Jenny and Helen lost in the final of WS2 2x.
Dan was awarded the Steve Redgrave Bursary by Wycombe District Council (sponsored by 'The Michael Shanley Group') Tim Foster presented the trophy. Dan also received a cheque £1000 towards general training costs.
Steven Redgrave sent Dan the following message:
"I would like to be one of the first to offer my sincere congratulations to Daniel, and not only because his chosen sport is rowing! As he will know only too well, he has a long, hard journey ahead of him - though hopefully not as long or as hard as mine - and I trust that tonight's award will go some way towards helping him make that journey."


On behalf of all the coaches I would like to say well done to you all for all the hard work you have put in this year on the water and in the gym, to make Marlow Rowing Club Junior Group a force to be feared.

Let's make 2003 even more successful.

Remember Marlow junior coaches expect academic work to take priority, but both academic and training can compliment each other.

Here is a quote from the website of a rowing school in South Africa called St Benedict's College; they are one of the most successful in South Africa:

"It is significant that rowing has not impacted negatively on the high degree of academic success at St




.Benedict's - despite the time-consuming nature of the sport.  Year after year our rowers obtain outstanding success in their matriculation examinations. In 1999, besides winning the First Eights, First Fours and First Quad events at the SA Championships, our First Eight produced a total of 17 "A"s in their final IEB matric examinations!  This was followed by a total of 14 matric A's from the 2000 First Eight crew!  - and 18 in 2001!"

Russell Peacock, John Gill, Bret King, Ollie Cruickshank, Ian Hewitt, Dave Rendell

Golden Marlow at the Golden Jubilee Weekend

Over the Jubilee weekend Marlow Rowing Club juniors travelled to Nottingham for the National Schools Regatta. They returned with 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal and 3 Bronze medals, this haul putting them at the top of the medal table and beating all the top schools and clubs in the country.

Dan Tipney won Gold in Championship Single Sculls, after being in second place for most of the 2000 meter race; he came through in the last 50 meters to win by only 0.6 seconds. This is an outstanding performance as Dan has just turned 16 and was racing in the 19 year old age group. Along with the medal, Dan has also won a boat to the value of £4000 - the last Marlow member to win this trophy was Sir Steve Redgrave. Dan also collected a Silver medal in Junior 16 Single sculls on Sunday; he was beaten by the top ranked sculler in Great Britain from Kings Worcester.

The other Gold medals came in Women's Junior 16 Double Sculls, with Jenny Forrester and Helen Brewer on Saturday. To follow this success, Jenny won her second Gold on Sunday in Women's Junior 16 Single Sculls.

The Bronze medals were won in Junior 15 Double Sculls by Stuart Heap and Nick Fox, with Nick also collecting a Bronze on Sunday in Junior 15 Single Sculls.


Success at Trials

At the Thames-West Regional trials, Marlow was represented by Helen Brewer and Jenny Forrester trying for selection as WJ15 in both singles and double sculls.
With thirty scullers taking part, Jenny finished fifth and Helen in eighth position, a very creditable performance as their outings this weekend at Dorney were only the second in singles since the beginning of November. This was the first occasion that Jenny has beaten Helen, probably because she managed to get from the start to the finish without colliding with the bank!
But the best was yet to come. They were the fastest double at the trials, beating Juniors a year older.
There will be no rowing on Sunday 29 April when all the Marlow Junior Women will be at the Inter-Regional Regatta supporting Helen and Jenny.


The aim of the women's junior squad is to provide the foundation for the senior women's squad so that they may continue to be the most successful women's club in the country.

Whilst achieving this objective we will:

  • develop athletes and race at all junior levels;
  • have fun
  • stuff Borlase

N.B. Sir William Borlase's School Boat Club uses MRC as their base. There is friendly rivalry between the two.


Squad Members

Junior rowing at Marlow starts after new recruits have completed their training in the Cadets.

Competitive rowing is based on age, defined as the age at 1st October, thereby ensuring that girls of the same age compete against each other. Classification is referred to as "Jnn" where the nn is the age; for example, J16 is the age classification for an athlete who was under 16 years of age on 1st October 1999 for competition between 1/10/99 and 30/9/00. Sometimes it is necessary for girls to race in an older age group either because there are insufficient entries for their age, or the Coach decides to include a member in an older crew. The later situation is likely to happen quite often when there are small numbers in the squad.