Summer 2007

 

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Consequently the river lights are on red

So much for summer

I’ll be at Dorney instead cos

Raindrops keep falling on my head …

 

Ok, ok, ok - the joke is over.  Would somebody please have a word with Him upstairs and do something about this bloody weather?  I thought the idea of slogging up and down the river during the winter in the wind and rain was to make the summer months all the more pleasurable?  Not this year it seems …

Buoyant following wins at Wallingford, Ghent and Bedford regattas the squad continued on its summer campaign.  First up was Twickenham, where the novice and intermediate squads (with new found enthusiasm following the allocation of their own coaches) raced in both sculling and sweep events.  Sadly there were no wins to report, however a number of the girls raced in small boats for the first time and quickly appreciated the benefits of winter mileage as well as gaining some invaluable experience in steering.

 

Coxed Four at Twickenham

Meanwhile the senior squad turned their attention to the Metropolitan regatta at Dorney.  Victoria Parsons amazed the crowd with her boat manoeuvring tricks in WS3 1x – although handbrake turns are probably best practised once you’ve crossed the finish line, not just before.   The tiddler 4x (Emma Mitchell, Bridget King-Cotter-King, Dani Phillips and Tamsin Knill) raced brilliantly on the Saturday in WS2 4x to finish within 1 length of the Mortlake 4x who had beaten them by some 13 seconds at Wallingford a few weeks previously.  Tash Wase joined up with fellow lanky lightweight Athalie Redwood-Brown from Reading RC to form a fairly nifty 2x who coasted through the heats and semis of WS2 2x to come 2nd in the final, way ahead of the rest of the field and any potential Henley opposition.

 

Tash and Athalie at Metropolitan

The novice eight (Sophie Steventon, Elizabeth Gurney, Andrea O’Hagan, Tris Shrimpton, Caroline Buggins, Amy Bunt, Fran Roberts and Sally Denholm, coxed by Lisa Knill) kept the wins ticking over with a 2 length victory over Eton Excelsior at Marlow Town regatta.  Julia Holt nearly secured her first success in a 1x, however unfortunately the red-mist that had so successfully pulled her back from a length down to nearly a length up seemed to affect her vision for she steered into her opposition’s path on crossing the line and was promptly disqualified.  (Note from Ed – the umpire’s white flag waving at you isn’t a good thing).

 

WS4 Quad at Kingston

In preparation for Henley, the tiddler 4x stormed through their first round at Reading Amateur however half way down the course in their second race Emma decided she’d rather sweep than scull and she ejected one of her blades.  Seeing as the opposition had determined that 8 blades would in fact be better than 7, they won.

 

Julia in a Close Finish in WS4 1x at Kingston

But that was ok, because the following weekend the 4x were to redeem themselves and more in a thrilling HWR (aka Henley’s Wet Regatta).   Despite the appalling conditions, Marlow had one of its most successful HWR’s in years. 

 

Tiddler 4x Just Missing Out in Senior 4x Final at HWR (photo from UTRC)

The tiddler 4x exceeded everyone’s expectations, racing strongly all weekend to get through to the final of Senior 4x, which they sadly lost to Nottingham Boat Club by a 1/3L in a fantastic race.  Despite understandably feeling gutted this result proved that technique can triumph over brawn.

The intermediate 4+ (Karin Phillips, Kathy Josefsen, Sarah Walker and Victoria Parsons, coxed by Lisa Knill) successfully got through qualifiers on the Friday but were unfortunately knocked out in the first round to Cardiff in Intermediate Fours.

 

Tash and Athalie Collecting Senior Doubles Medals at HWR

Tash & Athalie’s composite 2x had a fairly easy route through to the final of Senior 2x where they came up against Newcastle University who were by far their toughest opposition.  Despite being down off the start, the girls came through to win the event in a new course record.  Thanks must go to Tash’s boss Mrs Lenton, Head Teacher Slough Grammar School, who kindly allowed Tash to have the Friday off school to race. 

 

Athalie Realises She May Have to Put up With Tash for Another Season ...

 

At this point it is probably worth noting that it is still raining …

The squad entered two boats for the Princess Grace Challenge Cup at HRR (Henley’s now Really Rainy), both of which had to race at Qualifiers on the Friday before the regatta started.  The tiddler 4x were this time outsized and outraced and sadly failed to qualify, however the composite Marlow / Reading 4x with Tash, Athalie, Jo Lyons (Reading Uni) and Carolyn Smith (South Africa) had more success and ended up being drawn against one of the Australian National Squad boats for their first race.  Obviously their training on the Henley reach in the run up to the regatta scared the opposition off; the Marlow composite had a row-over in their Friday race.  In the semi-finals the Marlow composite drew another Australian National Squad boat, however this one wasn’t quite so easily scared and despite our girls holding them to the end of the island the Aussies went on to win the race and the event easily.

The National Championships followed two weeks after HRR, and in action were Tash & Athalie in their 2x and also in another composite 4x, this time with Rebecca Saddler from Upper Thames and Helen Ralston from Reading RC.  The tiddler 4x entered both lightweight and heavyweight quads and made it through the rep in heavyweight to ensure that the squad was represented in the final of each event it entered.  The tiddlers stuck to their plan of racing the first 1000m but saving themselves in the second 1000m for the lightweight event later in the day, whilst the Marlow composite boat successfully picked up the bronze medal.  Sadly neither the tiddler 4x nor the 2x medalled in the other finals, both finishing 4th in their events.

Henley T&V suffered from the deluge that put half of the south of England under water at the end of July, and so the squad’s final sortie was to Maidenhead regatta … at Dorney.  To end the season on a high, Karin Phillips lost her novice status by winning WN 1x and the coxed four of Clare Flannery, Tris Shrimpton, Sara Scott and Sarah Walker, ably coxed by Dani “I nearly had to carry weights” Phillips, triumphed in the final of WS4 4+ after a nail biting heat where they won by just 4 feet.  Strong performances by Julia Holt in WS3 1x, Andrea O’Hagan and Karin Phillips in WN 2x, the WN 4+ (Amy Bunt, Fran Roberts, Sophie Steventon and Elizabeth Gurney, coxed by Lisa Knill) and the WS4 eight (Amy Bunt, Caroline Buggins, Fran Roberts, Julia Holt, Sarah Walker, Tris Shrimpton, Clare Flannery and Sara Scott, coxed by Lisa Knill) meant smiley faces all round and shows great promise for next season.

Off the water people have been quite busy this year too. Congratulations to Tash Wase and Ian Packer who tied the knot on 28th July in North Devon – the happy couple managed to stay unbroken for the whole of the weekend, which must be a record for them.  Congratulations also to Clare & Russ Haley who are expecting their first baby in September, and to Kathy and Soren Josefsen who are expecting their first baby in December (the call for new coxes has obviously been taken literally by some). 

And so, with the rain still p**sing down, another racing season draws to a close and people enjoy some well deserved time away from the club.  The new season starts again in a few weeks, with the first organised coaching session on Saturday 15th September, meeting at 7.15am in the gym. 

New members especially those with rowing / sculling / coxing experience are always welcome at Marlow.  In the next racing year (2007 / 2008) we hope to build on the successes of our small lightweight squad and we are also keen to recruit heavyweights both at intermediate and senior level.  If you are interested in joining please contact

 russell@rhaley.orangehome.co.uk