Less than two weeks before Henley Royal, and just shy of a week before Henley Qualifiers, Marlow regatta is a crew's final chance to test themselves against the opposition. It also offers rowers a chance to prove themselves and vie for a Henley pre-qualification spot. Last Saturday Imperial's four Henley crews made the trip down to Dorney Lake for just that.
The event saw the first appearance of a newly comprised 8 with the base from Metropolitan regatta and upgrades including Milford KD and a double bucket. Keen to break a string of average time trial performances, the 8 went out with intent and this was rewarded with a 4th place finish behind a 2 Ladies Plate boats from Leander and Brookes as well as another Brookes 8. We also put time into Newcastle, Edinburgh and Radley who finished off the top 7 progressing to the A final. After a 6 hour wait, the final arrived and all crews had strong starts. We managed to hold on to the Brookes and Leander boats till the 750, at which point we also started to gain a sizeable margin on Newcastle, Edinburgh and Radley in the lanes to our right. A strong push through the 1250m saw us take our advantage out to a length on Newcastle with Radley close behind them. We maintained this till the final 250m where a strong push from Radley overturned Newcastle and took a few seats back on us. Overall, a solid 4th place with work to be done in the coming one and a half weeks before HRR.
After a week of focused training Imperial’s 2nd 8 really capitalised on their strong progress made since Reading Regatta. At Marlow Regatta, the 2nd 8 completed a good time trial, finishing 8th out of 17 university crews and missing out on the A final by less than a second. Following a debrief, the crew boated for their B final with intent. Despite a good effort by the crew in holding Nottingham from the start to finish, Nottingham managed to finish first by 0.8 seconds ahead of Imperial. The Imperial crew made sure that Nottingham weren’t going to win easily. Overall, the event remains to be a valuable piece of preparation for Henley Qualifiers, towards which the crew now turn their focus in order to continue to build on the excellent progress made so far.
The 1st Men’s 4+, featuring guest cox Charlotte, raced well in a competitive event placing third in the time trial, losing to Exeter’s top four and the University of British Columbia. After a strong start which saw IC with a canvas lead at the 500m mark, the final split into two halves during the middle. British Columbia, Exeter and IC moved away from the other four crews, and despite the best efforts of the bowside power cubes, BC and Exeter moved away from IC resulting in a third place finish. The Imperial College Second 4+ managed to exceed their own expectations at Marlow regatta and make it into the A final of the University/College category along with IC’s first 4+ crew. After the good performance in the time trial the crew went on to push themselves in the final and stay with the pack. A strong start kept the 4+ up with the six other crews for the first 250m and by 500m they were holding 5th. The rest of the race was hard fought, and the four finished 7th just behind Edinburgh’s A boat.