Senior Squad Report - Summer 2006

Sun ... flat water ... edible food ... no juniors ... could this possibly be the same Hazewinkel that we have grown to love? Sure enough, a week and a half later than normal seemed to make all the difference to the MRC senior squad training camp. Although only 5 days long, with no water-time wasted due to miserable weather this training camp was hailed by those who were able to attend as being one of the best in a long while. On the water, the men entertained with their secret squirrel seat racing and the development squad amazed with their swimming ability. Off the water, the evenings were whiled away analysing technique and talking race tactics. Yeah right ....


Tash Wase picking up Senior Lightweight Singles at HWR

Anyway, it all paid off because at the first regatta of the season (Wallingford) Lou and Helen won WS2 pairs in a cracking race, and then doubled up with Ella, Tash Somers and Sarah Cochrane to row down the field to take second place in WS2 4+. At Ghent the following weekend, the gods were not smiling on Marlow crews - Clare and Ingrid (MAA) were beaten by a bow ball into 4th place in Elite doubles on the Saturday, and on the Sunday Tash W missed out on a medal in lightweight singles in a blanket finish for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Not bad considering it was her second ever 2k race (the first being on the Saturday)....

Met regatta brought with it the usual mixture of sunshine and wind. Saturday morning's extremely strong tail wind had by the afternoon really kicked up the water and made conditions quite unpleasant. Nonetheless, Tash W powered through to win WS3 singles and teamed up with Clare on Sunday to win WS1 doubles convincingly.

Andy and Russ promised that there were nice medals to be had at Reading Amateur and so the squad headed off the week before Henley Women's for some "sharpening". Tash W and Clare continued their winning streak, cleaning up in WE doubles and collecting what really are very nice medals! No other wins for the squad however notable mention must to go the WS2 coxed four (Lou and Clare together with Sarah C and Martina from London RC and Ella coxing) who hadn't rowed together before and, having won their first race, re-rigged and went on to win the next two rounds but were sadly beaten in the final.


Composite Marlow / London Senior 4+ vs. Osiris / Thames at HWR

Henley Women's Regatta was held over 3 days again this year, and Marlow was represented in 4 boat classes - Clare & Helen both competing in Elite singles, Tash W in Senior Lightweight singles, Dani and Tamsin in Lightweight doubles and Ella, Lou, Tash S, Martina and Sarah in Senior coxed fours. The (bad) luck of the draw saw Helen and then Clare knocked out of their event by one of last year's World Championships bronze medal lightweight quad - still, both gave her a damn good run for her money. Dani and Tamsin had a fantastic result in their Saturday race to progress to the semi on Sunday where they were beaten by Notts & Union who went on to make up part of the England Commonwealth gold medal winning lightweight quad. The coxed four were the only crew who raced on Friday and Lou managed to squeeze the race in during her lunch hour (or at least that's what she told her boss). Fortunately they were successful and on Saturday had a fantastic race against Oxford/Thames, who unfortunately rowed through to beat the Marlow/London composite by 3 feet on the line.


Dani and Tamsin in Lightweight Doubles

However, pride of place for the regatta goes to super sculler Natalia Wase (Tash W to her friends), who annihilated her opposition racking up 1 five length and 3 easily verdicts to win in outstanding style the inaugural Senior Lightweight singles event. This is the squad's first Henley win in 3 years and well worth waiting for.

Sadly, the excitement of a week of being able to eat pies and maybe have a little tipple to celebrate played havoc with Tash's body and she tore an intercostal muscle whilst steering her single in training. This put her out for the remainder of the season and meant she was unable to compete in the Nationals or race off for a place in the England Commonwealth team. Get well soon Tash - the Pairs Head is only a few weeks away!


Tash regains 5kg in one sitting

Whilst the youth of today were up in Nottingham battling it out for Commonwealth slots, Clare was at Henley Vets battling it in defence of her WVA single title. The conditions made racing a little "challenging" however having successfully picked off her heat and semi final opposition, she sculled strongly to win the final and pick up her second Henley Vets medal (and nice it is too).


Helen vs. Naomi Hoogesteger in Elite Singles at HWR

Only a few of the squad attended the Nationals at Strathclyde Park at the end of July, the rest being laid up with broken bits. No medals were won, but good solid performances were given by Tamsin and Dani in lightweight doubles, Clare in the single and Helen and her partner Laura Gilbert (Tyne) in the double.


Clare also vs. Naomi Hoogesteger in Elite Singles at HWR

Henley T&V saw the return of Vic Richmond in S1 doubles with Clare. A lightning start meant that they had clear water ahead of the London and Weybridge doubles, however having not been in a boat for 9 months, a 1000m race was a bit much to ask and London rowed down Marlow in the last few hundred metres. The same London crew raced Helen and Tash S in a very close match in the final but again proved the stronger crew. In S3 doubles however Marlow had more success with a win for returning student Helen Brewer and her partner Rachel Thompson from UWE.

Finally, special mention should go to Lou and Sarah who achieved an amazing feat of cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats in 8 days, averaging 125 miles per day. Keep that up and we will have a lightweight squad to be reckoned with in 2007!


(for now)