Weather fails to dampen competitive spirit at Marlow

Boating at Marlow Regatta

Early morning rain cleared to provide near perfect racing conditions for Saturday’s racing at the 2008 Marlow Regatta. Crews from South Africa, Australia, Argentina, USA, the Netherlands and Ireland were competing against crews from all over the UK.

Leander RC crews provided the three fastest times of the day as they recorded a 1st and 2nd in the Elite eights and also won Senior 1 eights with a third crew. In the Elite eights final the Leander crew in lane 3, stroked by Nick Clark, took an early two second lead at the 500m mark, with Tideway Scullers and the 2nd Leander crew half a second apart behind them. It wasn’t until the third 500m that Charles Burkitt’s Leander crew edged in front to cross the line 1½ seconds ahead in 6 minutes 6.75 seconds.

The Leander Sernior 1 eight, stroked by Ray Poulter, had a hard fought battle with Durham University and Agecroft over the first 1000m, but pulled away in the second half of the race to win by 2½ seconds in 6 minutes 15.51 seconds.

Abingdon School took the honours in Senior 2 eights. A Balliol College/Exeter College composite crew won division A of the Senior 3 eights while Westminster School won the B division. The Senior 4 eights title went to Kingston Grammar School after a closely fought race with Oxford Brookes and Eton College.

Eton College won the J15 eights, while Bedford School won J15B eights. Abingdon School added a second title in winning the J14 Octuple sculls. The GB Women’s quadruple scull took on the men in the Elite quads. In their heat they pipped Reading University on the line by 0.04 seconds to qualify for the repechage, where they came 5th out of 6 but failed to qualify for the final.

In the final Tees Rowing Club beat the Royal Dutch Rowing Federation by 1½ s in 6 minutes 30.26 seconds. A second Royal Dutch crew won the School/Junior quadruple sculls.

Sunday, in contrast to Saturday, was dry and sunny, but with a strong gusting wind. This was initially blowing across the course, but later swung round to a tail wind, which made it difficult for some crews to get attached. Sunday morning was run for Elite, U23 and lightweight events. The Sunday Elite eights was won by Tideway Scullers over crews from Henley and Kingston.  Durham University took the U23 eights ahead of Abingdon School.

The Royal Dutch Rowing Federation got their revenge on Tees by 0.3s in the elite quads and also won the U23 quads for good measure. Henley RC took the Elite coxed fours title, the Combined Services the elite and Commercial RC, Ireland, the U23 coxless fours. Jonny Logan of Clyde ARC recorded a double, winning lightweight singles on both Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday afternoon saw the turn of the Senior club oarsmen to compete over 1000m. This also included the GB Adaptive coxed four, fresh from their triumph in Poznan, Poland, who took part in Senior 2 coxed fours. The races included two divisions of S4 singles due to competitor numbers. The Senior 3 and 2 eights were also split into Club and Student events. Durham University beat Witwatersrand University, South Africa, by less than a second to win the S2 Student event, while Commercial RC Ireland won the club event ahead of Vesta.

Marlow Rowing Club won the S3 Club eights in a close race with Cygnet while Stellenbosch University, South Africa, beat Birmingham University to the line in Senior 3 Student Eights. The prize for the Senior 1 eights also went overseas to South Africa when Witwatersrand University beat the National University of Ireland Galway by 2.5 seconds.

Full results can be viewed at www.themarlowregatta.com

Race report from Marlow Regatta