Competitors and spectators of Marlow Regatta at Dorney Lake will see some significant changes in June 2014. The event which has, until recently, been held over two days will revert to one day, Saturday 21 June, as Eton College is holding its own event on Sunday 22 June.
The regatta committee is committed to offering the highest quality racing for as many competitors as possible and maximising the opportunity for all competitors to race. In 2014, rather than a traditional “Heat / Repechage / Final” progression system, the first race in each event will be run as a Time Trial and then crews will be seeded into finals (A, B, C etc) based on their results.
This system will ensure that nearly all crews get more than one race and will create some exciting races as competitors are pitted against crews of a similar speed. It will also enable the race committee to allocate lanes more fairly should weather conditions favour one lane over another. This is the approach favoured by the British Rowing Championships and has been endorsed by a questionnaire recently carried out by the regatta.
Marlow Regatta has always offered crews from home and abroad the opportunity to meet some of their rivals ahead of Henley Royal Regatta which takes place two weeks later. It is intended in 2014 to split what is usually a large entry in IM3 Eights, by Club, School and College. We have heard from clubs that crews currently feel disadvantaged by their reduced training opportunities compared with those from Colleges and Schools.
Commenting on the changes for 2014, Marlow Regatta Chairman Peter Blaseby said:
“Although it is disappointing to be reverting to a one day regatta as a result of Dorney Lake’s availability, the committee are confident that the new format will offer competitors and spectators the opportunity to compete in and see top quality racing.”
“Opportunities to race at the height of the regatta season on world class facilities are limited. By offering a time trial and seeded finals, competitors will get more chances to race and 2014 promises to be an exciting racing schedule. We are disappointed that we are unable to offer dedicated Masters events, but welcome entries from this growing sector of the sport in this new Time Trial / Final format.”
The Committee will review the spread of events and format in 2015 and welcome feedback.
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Details for the 2014 Thames Valley Trial Head have now been published and are available here.