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Thefts of engines hit young rowers in Marlow

Thieves stole the engines of launches belonging to two school boat clubs earlier this month.

Great Marlow School Boat Club found – for the third time – that its boats had been damaged and their engines taken from its riverside mooring at Longridge in Quarry Wood Road on the last day of term, on April 5.

The boat club of Sir William Borlase’s School also had two of its launch engines targeted.

After a previous spate of thefts, the Great Marlow School’s vessels were not covered by insurance due to the mobile nature of the equipment. The club does not have a boathouse and so keeps them in the open.

The club has now turned to crowdfunding to replace the engines on the launch boats, used by coaches to support the rowers.

Nearly £2,000 of the club’s £6,000 target has been raised.

Meanwhile, Sir William Borlase's will be holding a ceilidh to raise money towards buying a new boat.

The event is taking place tomorrow (Friday) at 7.30pm in the school hall in West Street.

Fergus Murison, director of rowing at Great Marlow School, said: “We are looking at ways of removing the engine on a daily basis which will make us much more secure.

“It has happened twice before over the last few years. This is the third time.

“It has been a year since the last incident. There seems to be a spate.”

Mr Murison, who teaches maths at Great Marlow School in Bobmore Lane, said the engines were mounted on a metal frame which was cut.

The engines from five boats were then stolen – two from Great Marlow and two from Sir William Borlase’s.

Mr Murison did not know who owned the fifth.

He is now talking with suppliers of the sort of engines which can be easily transported from the boat to a more secure location.

“The last few times it has been a huge nuisance but because we were insured, we survived,” he said.

“This time, I can’t just replace the system, I have to look at different set-ups.

“We have to repair the damage they did to the boats.

“It costs money and a lot of time. Going back to what we had before isn’t going to work.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gmsbc and to attend the ceilidh, visit yourboxoffice.co.uk/swbgs/530-borlase-rowing-club-ceilidh.

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