To view the Great Marlow School Boat Club Newsletter: "All Together," please click on the following links:
Successful Here W'Ergo Night
Friday 28th April 2017:
We have finally counted the proceeds from the recent Here W'Ergo Night and are delighted to confirm that we raised almost £5000. A week before the event we had sold 23 tickets and it was looking like it would be one of the quietest events we had organised. How wrong were we!! With over 130 people on the night, the school hall was alive with the noise of cheering and support as teams battled it out on the ergos. The winners were 5 members of the Year 9 boys squad: Harry Weaver-Poole, George Holder, Joel Hammond, Lewis Watts and Cathan McMahon-Tynan.
Before the evening we had raised almost £1000 alone from the online auction and on the night further bids were taken and over £800 worth of raffle tickets sold. Thanks to everyone , both within the boat club community and further afield, who took part and supported the club.
Plans are already underway for the Annual Awards Dinner on the 11th July at the Crowne Plaza so please save the date!! We have one of our best raffles this year with every prize worth between £100 and £400 so look out for the raffle tickets that will be coming home soon! And before that there is the small matter of some key competitions for the rowers ,so GOOD LUCK to all and thank you once again!!!!
GMSBC Success at Local Regatta
Saturday 11th June 2016:
On Saturday over 80 Great Marlow students in over 20 crews raced at the Marlow Town Regatta. GMSBC crews reached an impressive 14 finals winning 6 events. This represents club's most successful regatta to date.
The day got off to an exciting start with our top senior boys eight racing Marlow and Sir William Borlase. It was always going to be a battle to the finish for all three Marlow clubs, particularly at their local Regatta. The Borlase crew took an early lead and were up by 3/4 of a length at half way. True to form, however the Great Marlow School crew started to build for home and won by 1/2 a length. Some great racing from all three Marlow crews.
In the race beforehand, supporters were treated to another cause for celebration when the top girls four beat Falcon Rowing club in the final of their event. In an action packed morning the third and fourth finals for GMSBC were raced with the two year 8 boys quads taking 1st and 3rd in their events. For many of these younger crews it is the first Regatta season and with some poor river conditions over the last few months many have had little water time. This didn't seem to phase them though as they celebrated their respective finals.
Every year 9 rower from GMSBC made their final. The girls raced in both the quad and the Octo and the boys in the doubles. While not picking up medals, they all gave impressive performances.
Similarly all the year 10 crews made their finals. The girls only narrowly coming second to Marlow, but the boys B quad won in convincing style. The boys yr 10 A quad raced in a heavily competitive field in their final narrowly missing 2nd place to Henley by half a length who only beat Marlow by a canvas.
Last but far from least, the year 11s both won their events. The Girls four, trailing at half way, put in a sustained push which took them past Marlow to take victory by 1/2 length. The boys eight built an early lead and then took the stroke rate lower and lower to maintain just a sensible distance in front.
A delighted Head Coach, Fergus Murison said " Every local crew wants to represent their school and their rowing club well at their home Regattas and Great Marlow School certainly achieved that this weekend. Every year group raced in finals and I am very proud of the way in which they represented the school at Marlow Town Regatta. The enclosure seemed to be full of vocal GMSBC supporters which always helps the crews in the final push to the finish."
Great Marlow School's Boat Club Make History with Maiden Shawcross Cup Triumph
Friday 27th - Monday 30th May 2016:
Great Marlow School’s Boat Club (GMSBC) made their mark on the history books after becoming the first state school to win the Shawcross Cup.
The National Schools Regatta and Junior Regatta took place at Dorney and saw over 500 crews from schools and rowing clubs across the country compete.
While GMSBC had a number of teams taking part at the event, head coach Fergus Murison saved particular praise for the history making J16 boys crew.
“For the school boat club to achieve the gold medal in the J16 first eight race is a great accolade and every member of that crew thoroughly deserves the success,” he said.
“The National Schools Regatta is always the highlight of the junior rowing calendar and I am immensely proud of every crew that represented Great Marlow School Boat Club.”
GMSBC were up against stern competition throughout the event as they took part in an impressive 18 races across the J14 to J18 age groups.
A number of teams achieved personal bests over the four day competition but the J16 crew undoubtedly stole the show with their showing.
The school came into the event among the favourites for the title and did not disappoint as they set about advancing to the final of the eight A category.
The semi-final saw them produce a disciplined row to out-think and out-race their opponents who set off at a furious pace they were unable to maintain.
GMSBC’s controlled start allowed them to keep an even speed and move away from the chasing pack to secure safe passage to the final.
A slow start in the tournament decider left the school’s eight some way back after 250m and with work to do heading into the latter stages of the race.
By halfway GMSBC were beginning to move to the head of the race though, and an excellent final 500m saw them take the lead and secure their gold medal by a comfortable margin.
The J16 side’s success did not end with the Shawcross Cup triumph and they won a further gold in the quad sculls.
Meanwhile, the WJ14 girls were also in good form and a strong display in the coxed quad earned them a bronze medal, on a day which attracted a vocal Marlow fan base.
Fergus Murison said: “I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support that we had from parents, governors and 45 budding and new rowers from Year 7 and Year 8 who joined us to swell support.”
There were also notable performances from the school’s Year 9 girls who finished eighth in their octo event.
Meanwhile, the Year 10 boys produced a stunning row to turn around a 10 second deficit and finish fifth in their race.
2 x Gold, 1 x Bronze, 8 top 6 places, 1 record a very good weekend.
GMSBC Back on Top Form
Saturday 14th May 2016:
After a couple of frustrating weekends, Saturday saw a clutch of victories.
The senior boys and girls went to Nottingham, for some six lane racing over the 2000m course at Holme Pierpoint, while the majority of the club descended on Bristol for two horse, multi round knockout racing over 1000m.
At Nottingham , the Year 11 Boys’ Eight were the first to compete: they won their heat comfortably. In their final, they established a fast time to half way, giving them options to consider in the second half. At 1000m they had three lengths of clear water between them and the team in second place. Moving into cruise mode they maintained their dominant lead through to the finish.
Next came the Junior 18 (sixth form) girls, whose last regatta at Wallingford, had not turned out so well. Solid training in the interim made them hopeful of a better result. From the start of the final, the girls were clearly on better form and the first 500m passed with little between the crews. After that Bedford Modern and GMS started to move ahead of the field. With 500m left to go, BMS lead GMS by just over 1 length. Holly Hammond at stroke, lead a blistering charge, building on each 100m which, slowly at first, started to eat away the deficit. With spectators and coaches screaming, the two crews crossed the line, no one was sure who had won. The photo later identified GMS as winner by 0.02 secs. Their time was some 14secs per 500m faster than three weeks earlier.
Later in the afternoon the Boys Eight, our Year 11s, strengthened by the addition of three sixth formers, lined up against some of the top 1st Eights in the country: Shrewsbury, Eton , Radley and King’s Chester. GMS knew they were up against a top class field with a significantly under aged crew, but the Eight were keen to test themselves against the best. At 1000m GMS were in 4th place but only a length down on King’s Chester. The boys pushed hard, knowing they were actually doing an amazing job, and before long King’s Chester had slipped behind them: achieving third place at this level was a real achievement for the Eight.
Meanwhile at Bristol, the girls of Year 10 and 11 were racing in the morning and managing to win a round or two of their events.
The afternoon saw the Year 9s in action in Quad Sculls. Both the boys and the girls raced exceptionally well and won their respective events. The Girls Eight racing in an adult class also won.
Alex Hardy, Ryan Argyll, Jake Cornwell, Josh McKenzie, Carl Smith, Jamie Jack Westfold, Olly E-B, Oli Peace, Lottie Hughes
Holly Hammond, Emily Paul, Leanna Beswick, Laura Cook
Lizzie Harper, Pippa Young, Olivia Lester, Alice Armes, Devon De Winter, Millie Watts, Millie Turner, Aurianne Jobaggy
Toby Lassen, Toby Holden, Toby B-F, Hugo, Thomas
Hope Smith, Lucy Peace, Rebecca Galbraith, Jessie Macauley, Flo Braybrooke
Silver for Year 8 Boys at the Ball Cup
Sunday 8th May 2016:
A weekend with plenty of action with both Bedford Regatta on Saturday and the Ball Cup on Sunday,
The highlights from Saturday were the Year 10 boys reaching the final in the Coxed Quad event. In their 6th race of the day they faced Windsor Boys in the final. This was a repeat of last year’s final, and a tight race ended with Windsor winning by a length. The Year 9 girls also looked very strong and were leading when their steering broke causing them to crash and be knocked out of the competition. This was a shame because they were odds on favourites to win.
Sunday at Dorney lake started gloriously sunny and calm. Both the Year 8 and Year 9 boys raced well in the semi-final to qualify. In the final, the Year 8 boys had a very poor start and were towards the back of the field, but by half way they had found a strong rhythm and were moving fast towards the Bronze medal position. The crew alongside buckled under the pressure and shipwrecked, putting GMS in third place and with 250m to go they continued to close on the crews in front. With less than 50m until the line, another shipwreck in the second place crew took GMS into silver medal position.
The Year 9 Quad, gold medalists from last year, started off slowly, languishing in 5th place for the first 500m. However, over the last half of the course they suddenly found some speed and moved quickly into fourth and were closing on third. However, their deficit from early in the race was just too great, and although they caught up some two lengths they missed the bronze by a few feet.
By now the wind had become strong, so sadly racing for the rest of the day was cancelled for the younger years meaning the girls did not have the chance to show what they could do.
GMSBC win at Gloucester Head
Sunday 6th March 2016:
For the second week running, GMSBC headed down to the West Country to race in a time trial on the Gloucester Sharpness canal. The club took fifty rowers from year 8 to year 13 to compete and won three events and came second in five others.
The senior women's eight, somewhat depleted by illness, won the IM3 (an adult event) and the J15 Girls won the Novice Eights in the morning, over 1750m. Four of them, Millie Watts, Millie Turner, Mia Taylor and Auriane Jobaggy, then raced in the afternoon over 4000m in the year WJ16 category and won that too.
The younger crews all did exceptionally well, but lack of time on the water in 2016 (their first outing of the year for many), meant that they could not quite win the medals but did manage 4 second places and a fourth.
GMSBC win at the Reading University Head of the River and at Avon County Spring Head
Saturday 27th February 2016:
Saturday 27th Feb, saw our Year 8 crews racing for the very first time at an external event. Two girls quads and two boys quads went to race on the Avon near Bath. This very enthusiastic group have had a frustrating winter with no water time since December, meaning not only were they keen to race but also desperate to get back in a boat. A cold but clear sunny day made for good racing conditions and our crews excelled themselves. Not only did they come first and second in their respective events, but they also beat most of the Year 9 opposition along the way. A great start to their racing careers which bodes well for the future.
Meanwhile closer to home our more senior crews were racing at the highly competitive University of Reading Head. In the morning division the Year 10 boys had an excellent race coming 5th in a large field and losing only to Winchester College in their specific category for the upcoming Schools Head.
In the afternoon, the Year 11 boys went a few better. Rowing in the brand new eight, they had a middle of the field starting position which meant they got held up for sometime not being allowed to overtake Dulwich College however even despite this, they still came second.
The girls however had the last say with an outright win in their eight. A just result from the hard training the crew has put in over the winter months.
Hampton Head Race
Saturday 6th February 2016:
GMSBC took a large squad to the first race of 2016 on Saturday 6th February 2016.
Recent fast streams have made getting on the water difficult so the squad were excited to be rowing and racing, even if not as well prepared as some of their competitors who have had more opportunity to actually row.
There were some extremely strong performances by a number of GMS crews.
The girls J14 team were unlucky to miss out on a top three finish as they finished fourth, just two seconds behind their closest rivals.
The J15 girls coxed four went one better as they picked up a bronze medal which they then followed up with a fifth place finish in their eights race.
The J16 boys again highlighted their quality as they finished second in their coxless fours and quad events. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of their displays was the fact they out raced two of the medallists from last year’s British Championships.
Fergus Murison said: “The conditions on Saturday were tough with high winds gusting at times, but the first race of the year is always exciting. With the fast flowing river recently preventing the crews for training on the water, everyone was keen to be back in the boats. We had some solid performances on Saturday that bode well for our 2016 season.”
Two GMSBC rowers called up to GB training camp
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February 2016
On the 20th and 21st February 2016, Great Marlow School Boat Club took four boys from the J16 squad to GB trials in Boston, Lincolnshire.
In order to qualify for these trials, the boys had to achieve a 5km ergo test rate capped at 26 with a target score of 18:20. At the trials, all the rowers performed extremely well.
We are delighted to announce that Oli Peace and Ollie Emmett-Bird have been invited to the GB J16 Crew Sculling Camp over the Easter weekend. This is an exciting development for them, as the camp is aimed at developing scullers to compete at the Junior World Championships, and the Coupe de Jeunesse, in 2017 and 2018.
Great Marlow School Boat Club row one million metres in fundraising effort
Thursday 4th February 2016:
Students from Great Marlow took on the daunting challenge of rowing one million metres in an effort to raise money for much needed equipment last week.
The distance is the equivalent to that between Marlow and Norway and all members of the Great Marlow School Boat Club, as well as year seven students, completed the task on rowing machines.
After reaching their original target, the rowers continued to put in the hard yards to finish on a grand total of 1.2 million metres travelled, leaving head coach, Fergus Murison, delighted.
He said: “This event always raises a lot of money for the club which is so very important for the purchase of new equipment."
“More importantly, it manages to bring together all those who row as well as so many younger students who are experiencing the thrill of competition rowing for the first time.”
The rowing machines were in operation from 9am-4pm and the club had raised just over £4,000 at the last count, with the final figure expecting to rise beyond that.
Wallingford Head Win at Rowing
Sunday 29th November 2015:
This pre-Christmas time trial rowing race is surprisingly well attended with a significant number of the top schools and clubs competing. Due to its popularity, entries closed almost as soon as they had opened and our entries for the morning division were bumped on the excuse they had yet to receive our cheque. Sadly, it meant many of our crews couldn’t race.
The focus shifted to the afternoon when the Year 11 Boys’ Eight were in competition with the top crews in their age group. A junior rowing on-line gossip column apparently had GMS tipped to upset the apple cart and win. I am not sure where they got their information from, but win they did! Any win is good, but against half a dozen of the top private schools in an eight is very pleasing indeed.
The sixth form boys were competing against an exceptionally strong field of championship level fours. The J18 crew came second behind Winchester but ahead of St Pauls and many more.
Sadly, our very strong senior girls eight, a combination of sixth form with Year 11 top girls, did not get to race due to an accident on the way to the start in the very stormy conditions. Had they done so, and having watched their competition, I am sure there would have been more to celebrate.
Great Marlow School rowers win again at Upper Thames Autumn Head
Sunday 25th October 2015:
In their second competition this season Great Marlow School rowers once again showed their passion for winning. The Upper Thames Autumn Head was held on Sunday 25th October on the famous regatta course at Henley. Competition was of a high standard from clubs such as Henley rowing club, Lady Eleanor Hollis (LEH) Girls school and a number of university crews and London rowing clubs.
In the morning division the J16 boys eight won the Novice Eights crossing the finishing line ahead of the crew from Southampton University with the J18 boys pair racing as the fastest pair just beating the crew from hosts, Upper Thames Rowing Club. Fine racing from all the girls fours and quads gave them all second place in their respective events, with a particularly strong performance from the WJ14 quad that convincingly beat a strong squad from LEH.
In Division 2 further success came with a mixed WJ15/WJ16 eight who were up against a significantly more powerful Thames rowing club women’s crew. Initially the result was announced as a draw but after a nervous wait the win was given to the girls from Great Marlow School Boat Club.
The last win for GMSBC was almost certainly the most impressive with the J15 boys coxed quad beating the silver medallists from last years National Schools Regatta by over half a minute.
Over the last two events entered this season, Great Marlow School Boat Club has achieved 12 wins. Fergus Murison, Head Coach said "We have grown in strength as a rowing club over the last few years and this breadth of talent within the squad together with the generous support from Sport England who helped the club purchase a top class quad this summer bodes well for a successful year to come."
Bluefriars Small Boats Head
Saturday 17th October 2015:
On Saturday, GMSBC made its annual trip down to Bath, to race on the Avon. We took 55 students who raced in a total 35 crews making us the biggest club entry, other than the hosts, Avon County. Our fastest crews in all but 1 category were the fastest or second fastest in their events. While a number of GMSBC crews had to compete against others from our own club.
At the prize giving ceremony, we won more events than even the hosts with 9 of our crews winning events, including our 6th form quad scull with Dave Read, our senior boys coach, subbing in, who won the fastest overall crew being over 30 seconds faster than the next crew.
The list of event winners is below, but special mention should go to the year 9 girls quad who did a faster time than the boys, who came second in their event. Also noteworthy were the year 11 girls coxed four, who were the fastest overall female crew.
Year 9 Girls 2x Hope Smith and Lucy Peace
Year 10 Girls 2x Alice Armes and Kerreth Magnussen
Year 10 Boys 4x+ Lewis Honey, Tom MacIntyre, Blaise Ivers-Dreux, George Setford and Callum Duguid
Year 11 Girls coxed 4 , Laura Cook, Olivia Lester, Amelia Loretto, Pippa Young and Lottie Hughes
Year 11 Boys 4x- Ryan Argyll, Jamie Jack Westfold, Oli Peace and Oli Emmett-Bird
Year 11 Boys 4+ Carl Smith, Henry Wheal, Jake Cornwell, Josh McKenzie and Georgina Agar
Year 11 2x Oli Peace and Jamie Jack Westfold
Year 11 1x Oli Emmett Bird
Year 12 Boys coxed 4 Sam Money, Alex Hardy, Henry Grant, Will Cunningham and Lottie Hughes
Year 13 Boys Ross Honey, Ed Nunn, James Wheal and Dave Read (Coach)
A Silver Hat Trick for GMSBC at British Championships
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July 2015:
GMSBC took three crews to Strathclyde in Scotland to compete in the British Junior Championships; the boys J18 pair of Ross Honey and James Wheal, the girls J16 coxed four of Amy Pyle, Leanna Beswick, Hannah Brown and Pippa Young coxed by Lottie Hughes and the boys J15 coxed quad of Oli Peace, Oli Emmett-Bird, Carl Smith and Jamie-Jack Westfold, also coxed by Lottie Hughes.
The Saturday of time trials and eliminators were touch and go as to whether racing would go ahead, with strong gusting winds, but racing in tricky conditions both the pair and the girls four progressed into the top seeded lanes for the finals on Sunday.
The boys’ quad first race with their main rivals saw them qualify comfortably for the semi-finals on Sunday morning. Sunday dawned a different day, with still a discomforting amount of rain, but much more favourable wind conditions, making racing fast and fair. The first crew to race was the boys quad in their semi and again, they qualified comfortably in second place for the A final. Very shortly afterwards came the final for the boys pair. They moved smoothly off the start and came through the 500m mark just in second place, but sticking to the race plan they maintained a smooth long rhythm and the early leaders soon dropped off the pace. All looked extremely good for the next kilometre with most of the field falling further and further behind and the boys maintaining about a length lead over the Thames pair in second place, however in the last 500m the opposition launched a blistering attack and the GMSBC pair could not hold them. Silver medal meant the boys missed out on selection for England but still an amazing achievement.
The boys quad then went into their final, with their biggest rivals, the Windsor Boys School and Royal Grammar School, HIgh Wycombe. 1500m gone, only one length covered the top four boats. The build in the last minutes of the race left the crew from Gibraltar in fourth place, and GMSBC boys, having already secured bronze, were moving closer to silver with every stroke. Our boys finally crossed the line, gaining our second silver of the day. The first three crews all beating the course record!
The very last race of the entire weekend was the girls final, where they were up against Henley who had beaten then at Women’s Henley and a number of other regattas during the summer. There were also a couple of strong composite crews in contention. A shaky start saw them in third position at the first marker but soon after they had moved into second position by a small margin. The margins stayed reasonably static for the next 500m but from 1000m onwards the GMSBC crew started moving further away from the field and over the last quarter the medals looked fairly clear with GMSBC in silver.
Three crews = three silver medals, a fantastic day for GMSBC!