Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
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Wins at Marlow Town Regatta

At the Marlow Town Regatta, GMSBC won both the Challenge Eight races. The event may have been without the usual enclosures and funfair, but it had plenty of exciting racing.

Our Year 9s raced only in the first division, in order for the majority of them to head off on their Duke of Edinburgh assessment expedition. Good races took place, but the boys sadly lost to Borlase, which is the first time in their four encounters this term.

The Year 10 Boys’ Quad had a great semi-final, rowing through a strong Marlow crew to win and progress to the final. Here they had another good race coming second to the gold medallists from National Scullery Regatta.

Despite some good racing and a number of finals, GMSBC had yet to take its first outright win, as we lined up for the Marlow Schools’ Challenge Eights race. This is the main event for us at this regatta. A straight race in eights against Sir William Borlase. In previous years this has proved a major crowd puller with crescendos of cheering from the enclosures as the crews approached the finish line.

For the boys’ race Great Marlow had the Bucks station, which gave them a slight advantage on the first half of the race, but a definite disadvantage over the second half. They had a good start and immediately took the lead. By the church, our crew had just over half a length on Borlase. With the bend against them over the rest of the race they needed to put something more into the boat speed, however, there was never any doubt it could be done. The eight gained in strength and became more fluid, as the opposition started to slip away, despite the bend Great Marlow won with clear water.

The girls’ recent results, despite their dominance in the autumn time trials, had suggested the Borlase girls had improved substantially. The Borlase Eight had a slight advantage at the beginning as they started from the Bucks station and were leading by a quarter of a length at the church. Due to the congested towpath, Mr Murison could no longer follow alongside the teams, but says he would happily have put money on the result at this stage. The GMS sixth form girls may not be the most powerful of rowers but they can race, so with the bend turning in their favour there was no doubt they would pull ahead. It was a very close race the whole way but from the church to the finish line the Great Marlow boat crept inch by inch in front of the Borlase boat. The spectators, and some of the crew, had to wait for some time for the official verdict to be sure of the result:  Great Marlow won by 1/3 of a length.

Later in the afternoon, the Boys J18 Four won in a good final against Bryanston to bring our tally to three medals overall.

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