Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Reading Town Regatta

Mr Murison writes about this delightful river regatta.

“This regatta is held the weekend before Henley Royal Regatta at Thames Valley Park. As a result, there are always a number of international crews using it as a bit of a warm-up for the main event. This all adds to the colour and competitiveness.

Early on we had our Year 9 boys in a Double and Year 9 girls in a Quad. Both crews competed well, winning their first couple of rounds. The boys looked very impressive and met very little to trouble them until the final. The conditions were very windy and against the rowers and in the final against Radley College the boys were giving away about 15 kg a man. As much as I try to argue, in head-winds, size does matter. It was a good start from GMSBC, taking half a length of the Radley crew, who then had a few steering issues. There was a near-miss with the boats colliding, which caused disruption to both crews. Around halfway the opposition’s size started to take its toll and they edged through our crew. Both crews had to work to their limit in very tough conditions but Radley held onto their gain and won by a length. There was some concern that Radley’s poor steering had unfairly interfered with the GMS Double, however, although there had been a clash it was felt that the outcome was not changed because of it.

The Year 10 boys were again split between the Quads and the Fours with both crews sailing through initial rounds. The Four had a very tough semi-final against Radley, and having lost ground initially, they proceeded to row through the Radley crew to win. They next faced another crew from Radley in the final. Again an epic race with Radley in the lead for most of the race but the GMS four hung in all the way. They did not make it to the front but they gave it their all.

Next , was our Year 11 boys in Open Pairs and a Double Scull of Noah Grottrup and Lewis Sloan in Open Doubles. Both crews had rather easy rides in the semis, with a pair steering into the bank off the start against Sal Dunn and Will Clayton and the opposition missing their race time against our Double. In the final, the pair were up against Radley J18 crew, but with a flying start they had clear water after 100m and from there could control the race, which they won by a few lengths.

The Double adopted a similar strategy to the Americans from Brooke College. Max Watts off the start, took a lead and hoped for the end to come soon enough. As it was the Americans took a slightly wayward route, which only added to the GMS’s lead. A great win for our Double, although the bow was looking somewhat strained by the end.

Into the J16 Girls’ Quads, we entered our Year 10 Girls to  row a year up. In the heats, they looked powerful and well together in demanding conditions. In the semis, they met a well-drilled Sir Williams Perkins crew. Our girls took an early lead and at halfway were still up by half a length, but  in the stormy conditions, the better drilled older crew started to creep through.  A great race to the finish but SWP won by ½ length.

The finale to the morning’s racing was an Alumni crew racing as GMS Swans, made up of three of our England crew from 2018. They had a straight final in Open Coxless Fours. While they had not been training together for some time, they were all in reasonable shape and excited to have a race.

They took off at pace and rather intimidated their opposition who were left in their wake. They proved they still had it, coming home to win easily in this premier event.

The afternoon saw Noah back in action in Open Singles, where he rowed back through his first opponent in a very determined style. In the semis, he was up against an American sculler, who had qualified for the Diamond Sculls at HRR and had to accept this was not one he was coming back on.

The Year 10 girls were back in action in their own age group and looked dominant in the heats. In the semis, they met an extremely powerful crew from Molesey who they could not quite hang onto. The Molesey crew went on to win the final comfortably against Henley, so a very promising result for these girls.

The Year 10 boys were back in their Eight and drawn against Radley College. Having lost to a lesser Radley crew at Marlow town, this was going to be a big test. The Eight got off to a great start and were neck and neck with Radley for the first 200m. The boys dug deep and pushed harder gradually inching out a small lead. By half way they had ½ length, but then Radley launched a counter attack and really raised their rating coming into the line. The result was close, Radley had definitely been gaining on the chase for the line. A canvass  (6ft) to Great Marlow was the result. A truly great race from the team. Sadly, the final was cancelled due to thunder and lightning so they could not bring home the silverware.

Our last race of the day was our WJ18 Girls’ Quad against Green Lake, Canada. The girls had a fantastic race at Henley Qualifiers, coming 8th out of 35 crews and we were in fine form. The girls powered off the start and led from the first stroke. The Canadians did not really get a look in. A fantastic result to end an exciting day’s racing.

We came up against Radley a total of 8 times, with the final tally 6 to GMS and 2 to Radley, something I had fun pointing out to my sons who both rowed there.”

Another fabulous weekend rowing for our rowers. Thank you to all participants and their coaches, we’re proud of you all.

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