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 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.”