Marlow Spring Regatta kicked off the UK’s adaptive regatta season as the first major event of the calendar this past bank holiday weekend. It was the first time the event was held in 3 years with the pandemic lock-down cancelling both 2021 and 2020. And what a glorious return with a sparkling sunny day and a record number of adaptive races (14).
Despite the diligent organization and the beautiful weather, the ambitious field and the long lay-off presented a number of challenges which were all opportunities for learning.
- 2 Lane Racing – In reaction to some guiding issues faced at the event a few years ago, the umpires decided to make the adaptive events 2 lane only to provide more leeway in the steering and to reduce the risk of collisions. Even without guide considerations, adaptive boats do tend to have more issues with steering (eg. impairments can reduce control). Also, Marlow is a relatively narrow stretch with a frustrating bend right at the finish. We are looking at how the event ran and are hoping to re-instate 3-lane racing for future events for Supported Adaptive racing which naturally has much fewer steering issues. One major problem with the 2-lane approach is that any scratch (and given the prevalence of medical issues in the adaptive community, scratching is a relatively common occurrence) means the opposition is left without a race entirely.
- Learning Impairment Communication – A few confusions occurred at the start with a couple of the AR3-LI rowers. City Of Oxford adaptive veteran, Rachael Lunney that with LI races umpires refer to the athletes by their NAMES, not their clubs.
Congratulations to the medal winners:
- PR3 1x A – Ben Marsden, Marlow
- PR3 1x B – James Burrows, Norwich
- PR1 1x – Lee Cairns, Stratford Upon Avon
- Open Ada 1x – Valerie Igham-Boor, Sudbury
- Mx Supp Ada 2x – Emily Whitley and Chris Young, Marlow
- W Supp Ada 2x A – Rachael Lunney and Hannah Germain, City of Oxford
- W Supp Ada 2x B – Matilda Greenwood and Anna Verrier, Marlow
- Supp Ada 2x A – Chris Boys and Lucy Wilson, Guildford
- Supp Ada 2x B – Chris Boys and Dave Jillings, Norwich
- Supp Ada 2x C – James Burrows and Mike Burrows, Norwich
- Mx Junior Supp Ada 2x – Elijiah Watson and Hannah Germain, City of Oxford
- Mx Junior Supp Ada 2x – Harvey Wintle and Grace Owen, Marlow