Marlow had three crews racing at this years regatta, a Thames Cup eight, a Fawley quad and a Diamond Jubilee quad. Two crews came through the qualifying race, while the Diamond Jubilee crew of Rosalind Wilson, Heidi Long, Erica Holmes and Molly Harding were pre qualified, and selected following their success at Nat Schools earlier this year.
The Thames Cup crew drew Twickenham, another qualifier, on Wednesday and were lined up for a close race. In the event the opposition proved too strong and despite battling hard our eight lost by 1 1/4 lengths, a sad end to a disrupted season. The men's squad now need to regroup and start laying plans for the new season.
The Fawley quad had a tough act to follow after the success of last years crew. The boys, Ted Treasure, Chris Tebb, Jason Burnap and Alex Haynes, showed their resolve by leading from the start against their first round opponents, Claire's Court School who had shown themselves to be of equal speed at Marlow Regatta. The hard work put in by their coach Jack Hockley over the intervening two weeks paid off and the boys won their race by 1 3/4 lengths. On Thursday they battled hard against the Grange School, a selected crew, but their opposition proved too strong and despite leading through the first half of the race the boys regatta ended when they were unable to sustain their effort through the enclosures, finally losing by 2 1/4 lengths.
Marlow's hopes then rested on the girls quad whose regatta started on Friday against Ridley College, a Canadian crews who finished second in their national championships. The Canadians were no match for our girls who smoothly moved through to the next round against Headington School, half of their Nat Schools winning eight. In an impressive display of crew sculling the Marlow crew powered through the race, winning by 3 1/4 lengths to claim their place in the final.So for the third year running, Marlow were represented in a Henley final. Sadly the fairy tale ending was not to be as the Gloucester crew, winners of Women's Henley and an old rival, were just too good on the day. However our girls did themselves, their coach Bret King, and the club proud having made the final following a highly successful season. The crew will be eligible to race again next year and their future surely looks bright.
A final mention to our president, Steve Redgrave, and to Katherine Grainger who took time out from their Stewards duties to support our crews and whose input was very well received especially by our younger competitors.
Thank you to crews, coaches and supporters for all the hard work which went in to representing the club at Henley 2014.