Quality Racing at Marlow Regatta

23rd June report from British Rowing

A new format brought some nail-biting, high-quality racing at a blazingly sunny Marlow Regatta on Saturday. The usual system of heats, repechages and finals was replaced with a morning time trial for all events, followed by a seeded afternoon final for every one of the 380 entrants, with approximately 1,900 athletes.

With a few days to go until Henley Royal Regatta, the country’s top men’s crews took opportunities either to make sure they pre-qualified or to polish their preparations for the biggest domestic event of the summer.

In a light tail wind, Leander Club were recorded as the quickest crew of the day, winning the elite eights in 5 minutes 32 seconds - although there were complaints about the veracity of some timings - and they will hope their form carries into the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at Henley Royal.

Griffen BC – the old boys’ club of Abingdon School – were second, demonstrating their credentials to defend their Thames Challenge Cup title in a fortnight’s time. Thames RC – another of the favourites for that event – were absent on Saturday but Mercantile RC of Australia started their UK trip with victory in senior eights, just ahead of Molesey and Sport Imperial.

Several of the top school crews, including Abingdon and St Edward’s, were missing but Radley College impressed to finish third in IM1 eights. King’s Chester and St Paul’s led home the B final of that event.

Newcastle University look strong for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup after winning Marlow’s elite coxed fours. Upper Thames RC, two seconds behind them, will be eyeing the Britannia Challenge Cup.

Leander’s crew for Henley’s Visitors’ Challenge Cup won elite fours, with Wyfolds rivals Molesey and Rob Roy a length apart in third and fourth respectively.

Unlike previous years, though, the close racing was not restricted to A finals. In the B final for IM3 school eights - the penultimate race of the day –– just five seconds separated all seven crews, with four crossing the line 0.8 seconds apart.

The event’s new format brought some teething troubles for organisers in implementing the changes, including problems with timing, and technology issues. Some crews complained at having to wait over six hours between their time trial and final.

Regatta chairman Peter Blaseby issued a statement afterwards saying: “We regret that, in some cases due to infrastructure issues, we did not achieve the standards for competitors and spectators that we had aimed for.”

Among changes the regatta committee will consider for next year are a series of waves of time trials followed by side-by-side races, to avoid complaints from spectators that the regatta only came alive once the finals began in early afternoon.

“We learned quite a bit in the heat of battle,” entries secretary Mike Spencer-Jones admitted. 

“One of the main areas to improve is communication – we didn’t publish times quickly and when there were problems with timing we didn’t communicate that well.”

View full results here: http://reports.regattamaster.com/Pages/Races.aspx?regattaID=1114

By Martin Gough

By Mike Spencer-Jones
6th Jul, 5:48pm
Message from Marlow Regatta Chairman

Thank you to everyone who came to our regatta yesterday and we regret that, in some cases due to infrastructure issues, we did not achieve the standards for competitors and spectators that we had aimed for. The racing format was a first for a large British domestic regatta, offering a Time Trial and Final for all crews. We will carry out a thorough review of how that was planned and implemented.

Some coaches expressed concerns about the possibility of time trial times affecting the decision by Henley Stewards on crews being asked to qualify. All I can report is that the times of crews racing in both the side-by-side races and the time trials have been passed to them for their own assessment.

I invite you to email me at chairman@themarlowregatta.com with your comments which will be taken into account when our committee meets in early July.

We look forward to seeing you all again next June and hope that you understand that we are all volunteers whose aim is to run a safe and fair regatta. If we fail in some areas we regret that this may have spoilt your own enjoyment this year.

Peter Blaseby

Chairman,

Marlow Regatta

By Mike Spencer-Jones
22nd Jun, 10:39am
Results

Results for the 2014 Marlow Regatta are available from the Regatta Master results pages. Click on the Results link against each race.

Apologies that we are still resolving a few gremlins with some times and hope to have these fixed soon.

We would appreciate any feedback on the day to chairman@themarlowregatta.com - what went wrong, what went well, did the TT & Finals format work?

By Mike Spencer-Jones
22nd Jun, 9:21am
Regatta Radio Marlow Regatta commentary

Commentary will be live on Regatta Radio 87.7 and also online from 08:00 tomorrow morning. Tune in for all the latest from Marlow Regatta.
 

By Mike Spencer-Jones
20th Jun, 6:11pm
IMPORTANT: Parking on local roads

It has been drawn to our attention that at the Metropolitan Regatta, many cars were parked in local roads in Boveney. Local Planning prohibits this and several residents and businesses were severely affected. Police are now alert to this problem and will be patrolling and take action. So please don’t park off site, on roads or verges. You will be in trouble if you do.

All crews should have received their car park passes, 3 per eight, 2 per four and 1 per double/single. So please use them and park in the designated area at Dorney Lake.

By Mike Spencer-Jones
19th Jun, 9:57am
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