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!!