Stratford In and Outdoors!

The head racing season for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club continued with the young athletes of the Junior 15 squad competing in the Wycliffe Big Head. This event, held over 4500m on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, always proves a tough challenge with quality opposition from clubs and schools across the region and beyond. This year was no exception with crews including Radley College, Kings School Chester and Ross Rowing Club.

A damp and grey scene greeted the Stratford crews on arrival, however the two boats took to the water with eager anticipation of the race ahead. As the event got underway, the gathered spectators’ cheers lifted the performance of the athletes and both crews delivered a superb sculling display.

First across the course was the mixed coxed quadruple scull of Dan Cox, Mili Wilcock, Max Griffiths, Fred Tyler and coxswain Jasmine Mountney. Rowing their own race and well in control, they finished a creditable fourth in their event.

Next up was the women’s coxed quadruple scull of Maiya James, Nixie Brunt, Mya Kenny, Alice Baines and coxswain Naomi Sergeant. Their bows scythed through the water in pursuit of the crew ahead with a final push granting them fourth place in their event also.

In warmer conditions but nonetheless just as energetic were Stratford’s J13 and J14 squads competing in the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships arranged and run by Hinksey Sculling School in Abingdon. Said J13 coach Abi Terry, “All of Stratford’s J13’s achieved Personal Bests and said they would like to compete there again next year, having all had a great day!”

In total, Stratford had two Golds, two Silvers and one Bronze medals:

Honour Keil – WJ13B 3 minute 754m

Charlotte Syson – WJ13A 3 minute 717m



Harriet Hodgson – WJ14A 4 minute 998m

Sophie Elstone – WJ14B 4 minute 1001m



Amelie Sartain – WJ14A 4 minute 991m

Millie Hodgson WJ12 2 minute also managed to achieve a great Bronze medal for Stratford Girls School achieving 489m

Said J14 coach Trevor Tiller, “We achieved some great four minute improvements from the J14 squad, everyone with a new Personal Best: we now need that inner confidence to gently coax out some more success! We’re looking forward to a good season.”

Meanwhile back in cold and damp Stratford, the Senior squad continued their Henley Royal Regatta training and WJ15 squad had trials to select the best crew combination for the upcoming the Junior Sculling Regatta.

For media coverage, please see Stratford Observer online and Stratford Observer p14 and Stratford Herald page 14

For more great pictures of Wycliffe Big Head, see Stuart Baines’ selection at

Shipston Rotary Dry Indoor Boat Race

Stratford upon Boat Club


Shipston on Stour Rotary Club


The Indoor Dry Land Boat Race

on Sunday 18 March 2018

at Stratford upon Avon Boat Club

from 14.00 to 17.00hrs


Competitive crews of four ‘rowers’ race

over a timed/distance course

on ergos on rails

to raise funds for Shipston Rotary charities


Entry £150 per crew of four


Please support the rowers or take part


For details and entry form, please contact

Stratford Come In From The Cold!

Competitors from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club and King Edward The Sixth Grammar School braved miserable January weather conditions to enjoy a successful day at Northampton Head of the Nene raced over a 1.8 km course.

Stratford’s Junior squad came home with several winners’ pots and medals.

WJ18 rowers Theo Mordaunt, Claire Teakle and Sofia Ward came home with victories in both the coxless quad and coxed fours event. With fourth crew member Lauren Willis they recorded a ten second win over a strong Wallingford crew in the quad and went on to win the coxed four category with Isobel Marsden switching into the stroke seat and Charlie Waters steering an intelligent course against a strong stream.

Lauren Willis and Issy Clarke also secured a winners medal in the WJ18 double sculls despite suffering with the extremely cold conditions.

Boys J18 (Howard Gould-Yates and Dominic Furey) and J16 (Geoffrey Flambert and Joe Hodson) double sculling crews both put in strong performances. Despite an excellent time Geoffrey and Joe narrowly lost out by eight seconds to Wallingford.

Joe Hodson later went on to claim victory wearing King Edward The Sixth colours in the J16 single sculling event with an impressive time.

Stratford’s J14 squad had an excellent day achieving wins in the WJ14 coxed quad of Julia Zampronio Gurden, Martha Usselmann, Elisabeth Edwards and Sienna Rawlings with cox Mary Walton and the WJ14 double sculls, Sophie Elstone and Harriet Hodgson. Amelie Sartain and William Clarke teamed up to row in the J14 open double sculls category and produced an impressive row to win by fourteen seconds from the quickest of two all boys crews from Falcon Rowing Club.

Said Trevor Tiller, J14 coach, “All in all a very good day!”

Stratford Masters’ squad joined up with the Junior squads to add a wealth of experience to the Northampton Head of the Nene. The event is renowned for its cold character building weather conditions and lived up to expectations with steady continuous rainfall only alleviated by showers of sleet to test even the toughest competitor!

Stratford Masters lead the event off at the start of the day with the first two crews in division 1. Leading off from the start was the Masters D/E/F (age groups 50-60) mixed eight of Dave Edwards, Richard Field, Richard Anderson, Helen Helliwell, Linda Hansen, Hugo Happel, Dave Howe, Graham Cann and cox Elida Fidler, closely followed by the coxless Masters E (age 55-60) crew of Simon Beard, Gary Clay, Richard Nelson and Tom Doherty.

An inter-club battle ensued to determine who would be the first crew of the day over the finish line which was won by the coxless four in a time of six minutes an twenty seven with the eight finishing in a time of seven minutes and thirty three seconds.

Another early riser to compete in the morning division was Tim Lunel in the Masters C/D (age 50-55) single sculls: Lunel almost stole bragging rights over the eight completing the course in a time of seven minutes and thirty two seconds to finish a close third in his event.

A quiet second division saw only Kjersti Woolley racing in a composite crew with Derbyshire club Derwent in a quad scull finishing in a time of six minutes and forty seconds, a mere five seconds behind the winners from east of England club Oundle Town.

In worsening weather with heavy sleet now falling, Simon Beard and Richard Nelson braved the conditions to race their Masters E (age 50-55) coxless pair against old adversaries Milton Keynes. In a close fought race, they completed the course in seven minutes and twenty three seconds only to be pipped by six seconds from a win.

Division 4 saw an incident packed  stage with Stratford’s Masters D/E/F second eight of Richard Nelson, Simon Beard, Tim Lunel, Stephen Haighton, Neville Hand, Gary Clay, Tom Doherty, Wallace Brown and cox Elida Fidler scrambling around for a replacement boat following a collision in a previous race which left a large hull hole and their eight unusable. With local hosts Northampton coming to the rescue, the crew were able to race and despite being held up by a slow Milton Keynes eight, recorded the fourth fastest time of the day finishing in under six minutes and one second. However this was not enough to win with honours going to Oundle Town who completed the 1.8 km course in a wafer thin faster time of five minutes and fifty nine seconds!

With no wins to date for the Masters’ squad, it fell to Kjersti Woolley in her single scull to claim glory in her Women’s Masters E event with a well deserved win in a time of eight minutes and fifty one seconds.

The final events saw two women’s double sculls of Christine Goodwin and Naomi Macdonald and Becky Smith and Lucy Kelleher finish their respective events in times of nine mins and thirteen second and eight minutes and fifty seconds respectively to record creditable performances.

Said Tom Doherty Masters Men’s Vice Captain, “It was great to see competitors from across the club ranging in age and ability coming together to put in some creditable race performances.”

Meanwhile, back at Stratford and keeping no warmer were the remainder of the Club with the elite Senior Men undergoing ‘seat racing’ for their places in crews for Royal Henley Regatta. Said Senior squad coach Bill Sullivan, “Seat racing is a grueling process but it ensures the best selection of athletes in the ideal crew combinations. The following day’s circuit training rounded off a hard weekend!”

Whilst the J14 and J17/18 crews were battling it out at Northampton, the J15 crews went upstream with guest coach Camilla Hadland (2010 World Rowing Junior Championships Gold medal winner and Stratford Boat Club member) and Will Horrocks (former HSCT coach with Scottish Rowing). Said Junior Co-ordinator Steve Wellstead, “We welcome experienced guest coaches from other clubs as it often brings a different perspective to the coaching and sometimes highlights areas for improvement!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online at and for videos see, and

Perfect Conditions to Blow Away Christmas Excess!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s annual Scratch Regatta took place early on Boxing Day morning and over fifty members managed to leave their beds after the overindulgence of the Christmas festivities. The crews were supported by friends and relatives who came down to the river to watch the spectacle and cheer

“This year the scratch regatta had each crew racing in two races. The crews were selected from Junior, Senior and Masters squads to ensure close and exciting racing”, said coach Helen Smith, joint organiser. “All races were over a short sprint course from the Ferry to the Club grounds on the Town stretch of the River Avon”

The racing provided great interest to early morning sightseers and visitors watching from the Recreation Ground, The Royal Shakespeare Terrace, Bancroft Gardens and The Tramway Bridge. Said Dawson Curnock, Chairman for Stratford Boat Club, “The scratch regatta caught the imagination of all that came down to the river and gave us added impetus to move further ahead for fundraising in 2018 to achieve the funds to refurbish and replace our fleet and equipment”

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club will be back on the river this week and after the New Year training hard for the 2018 head season, the Senior squad’s entry at Henley Royal Regatta and their own regatta in June

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald online  and p14 and Stratford Observer online

For more excellent pictures of the Boxing Day Scratch Regatta, see Stuart Baines’ great selection!AiW2DAyn9tg9jItWian0uMO6VCC78Q

Stratford Triumph Indoors and at Walton!

Saturday 9th December saw Junior members of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club compete in the 2017 British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) at the Olympic Velodrome in Stratford, London. This year saw a record number of entries from both home and abroad with all spectator tickets sold out before the event.

Sophie Elstone, Harriet Hodgson and Will Clarke from the J14 squad and Nixie Brunt from the J15 squad competed in front of a crowd of well over a thousand cheering spectators, performing magnificently against such high calibre competition.

In the Year 9 500m events, Sophie Elstone came third in her heat to be placed finally in tenth position with a time of 1:50.4, with Harriet Hodgson in twenty first place with 1:54.8 out of a field of sixty eight competitors. In the boys 500m heat, Will Clarke fought hard for a well deserved twelfth place in a field of twenty four with a time of 1:42.1.

Nixie Brunt won a very well deserved Bronze medal in her Year 10 500m event alongside fifty two fellow competitors. With an amazing time of 1:40.9, Nixie narrowly missed Silver by less than half a second and was only 2.5 seconds behind the Gold medal position.

The afternoon saw the age group timed events, with the J14s competing over four minutes and the J15s five minutes. In the Y9 four minute races Sophie came thirteenth with a distance of 1008m with Harriet thirty seventh with 962m in a huge field of ninety two competitors. Will Clarke finished well, in nineteenth place rowing 1065m against fifty two competitors.

Nixie in the Y10 five minute race finished in tenth position with a field of seventy one, with an outstanding distance of 1305 metres.

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Junior Squad Coach Trevor Tiller competed in the Men’s Open 2000m event: this was against members of the Great Britain rowing squad along with newcomer to the sport Sir Bradley Wiggins. Clearly pleased with gaining a new personal best of 7:32.1, Trevor was also surprised to discover he was only seventy seconds behind Sir Bradley.

Further local entries included recent Stratford upon Avon Boat Club learner Millie Hodgson winning the Silver Medal in the Year 7 500m event with a time of 2:01.8 and just missing out on a Bronze in the Y7 two minute time event by a mere three metres!

Harriet and Millie’s father Ed Hodgson also raced in the Masters 40-49 age group, pushing fantastic times in both his 2000m and 500m events with times of 6:50.3 and 1:28.6 respectively.

Said Stratford’s coach Trevor Tiller, “The day’s events and results have shown what great progress our own members are making and how in parallel with the water based side of the sport, indoor rowing has developed to be so inclusive with Junior, Senior, Masters and Adaptive events and competitors ranging in age from eleven to those  well into their nineties! A successful, promising and enjoyable day for competitors, spectators and families alike … with training plans already in place for next year!”

Unfortunately, the Club’s attempts to compete on Sunday at Monmouth Christmas Head were thwarted by the weather as the event was cancelled

However, a cold but otherwise beautiful day saw the potential for throbbing frost bitten fingers as Walton on Thames Rowing Club held their major small boats head race on Saturday on a beautiful three kilometre stretch of the River Thames in London

The event one of the biggest of its kind in the country for singles and two person crew boats and attracted well over six hundred entries with a huge contingent from across all the London clubs ensuring a very high level of competition throughout the day with crews determined to squeeze one more competitive race in before the Christmas festivities begin

Racing was spread across three divisions with boats starting every ten seconds throughout the day providing an excellent spectacle to onlookers and lively competition on the water for crews. Stratford upon Avon Boat Club was represented at the event in three crew categories during the day

First off was the coxless Masters E age category crew of Richard Nelson and Simon Beard. A solid race rating thirty two stokes per minute saw them up against National Champions Tyrian Boat Club and although they were unable to overcome them, Stratford pushed them very hard to secure a well deserved second place in a time of twelve minutes and three seconds with less than a minute and a half separating all four crews in the event

Following close behind was Gary Clay and Tom Doherty in the double scull Masters E age group race. A field of nine crews containing National Championship medalists lead to some hard but very close racing with only one minute and nine seconds separating the entire field. National Medalists and home crew Walton put in an excellent performance to win the event in a fast time of eleven minutes and thirty eight seconds. Stratford finished in a very creditable mid table position in a time of eleven minutes and fifty nine seconds in a dead heat with Molesey Boat Club and beating Bentham Boat Club by a mere one second over the three kilometre course!

Women’s representation for Stratford Boat Club saw Christine Goodwin competing in Women’s Novice single sculls in a large field of twelve competitors. Racing towards the end of the day in rapidly dropping temperatures, Christine nevertheless put in a solid performance to finish in a very respectable time of fourteen minute and thirty eight seconds

Said Tom Doherty, Masters’ Vice Captain, “It was a great experience to come to such a high quality event for the first time and see all of our crews put in some very competitive performances.” 

Those members who stayed Stratford based over the weekend were involved in the Club’s Clean Up Weekend. Said Laurie Flintoft, Committee Member responsible for Land and Buildings said, “A lot was achieved over the weekend with all squads working together to tidy and clean the premises.”

For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online and Stratford Herald p20 and online

Stratford Successes at Hampton and Evesham

Last weekend saw the 2017 Hampton Small Boats Head which attracts the finest young athletes from rowing schools and clubs throughout the South East and further afield. This year was no exception with over 770 crews competing.

A frosty Saturday morning greeted Stratford upon Avon Boat Club athletes as they arrived at the Thames in Hampton: the white heat of Stratford junior sculling however soon thawed the ice as racing got underway!

The women’s junior 15 double sculls event saw an excellent performance earning ninth place from Nixie Brunt and Mili Wilcock with Mya Kenny and Maiya James also in the mix recording 19th of the 33 crews entered. In the women’s junior 16 double sculls, Molly Gill-Swift and Emily Browne were 12th fastest and an equally impressive combination of Mimi Hill and Talei Dunn arriving 16th across the line.  The latter performance being notable with Talei still in her early years of rowing and Mimi more usually seen in the coxswain’s seat.

The single sculls is often seen as the gladiatorial event at any sculling competition with athletes pitching their technical skill and physical fitness against one another. In the autumnal sun of East Molesey the battle raged. In the women’s junior 15 single sculls Alice Baines registered a superb 11th position biting at the heels of a good number of junior 16 scullers. In the junior 16 single sculls Khloe Curnock, Katie Wellstead and Jess Weisheu showed their class with 18th, 21st and 24th places respectively in a high quality 50 strong entry list.  Said Steve Wellstead, Stratford Boat Club’s Junior Co-ordinator, “The result of the day however went to Emily Browne who once more opened the taps and unleashed her formidable power to take second place in the junior 16 single sculls. An extremely good result indeed!”

Meanwhile at nearby Avon Masters & Evesham Senior Head, Stratford’s Women’s Novice 4x+ had a pleasing win on a sunny, cold morning but otherwise perfect conditions for four kilometre course. Stratford’s opponents were Ross and Evesham.  Stratford finished two minutes ahead of the Ross ladies and a satisfying four minutes ahead of Evesham on their own home water. Stratford’s crew were Alfie Nash cox, Clare Nash, Helen Helliwell, Rona Fitzpatrick and Rosie Stone.

Crew captain Rosie Stone commented, “A solid performance maintained over the distance and excellently coxed throughout by Alfie Nash!”

Stratford Men’s coxless four also bought home some silverware from Avon Masters & Evesham Senior Head after winning the race for IM1 crews. The crew contained three new rowers to the Club plus Stratford’s Captain of Boats Oli Smith who stroked the winning boat. Max Marcus, Mark Tarrant, Patrick Hourigan and Oli won their race by over a minute from a crew from Bewdley and ended up as the third quickest crew of the day.

Said Bill Sullivan, Stratford’s Senior Men’s Squad coach, “Stratford men’s squad has grown rapidly this autumn with the addition of eight new rowers and the squad will spend the next few months getting in some hard training before next summer’s regatta season and hoped for entries for Henley Royal Regatta.”

Saturday also saw Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Masters’ squad make the short trip to local neighbours Evesham Rowing Club also for the Avon Masters and Evesham Autumn Head. The event held on the picturesque River Avon over four kilometers made for some challenging steering on a meandering and in places narrow course. A beautiful sunny but very cold day saw a number of crews braving the weather in coxed and coxless fours, and quad, double and single sculls.

Stratford’s Masters were lead off in division one by the Masters’ D coxed four crew of Richard Field, Richard Anderson, Graham Cann, Dave Edwards and cox Jane Connolly. The crew competing in their first ever long distance head race were looking for a steady performance and although unsuccessful in winning their event, recorded a very respectable time of twenty minutes and thirty three seconds.

Closely following on their heels were the Masters’ E crew of Richard Shepherd, Richard Nelson, Simon Beard, Tom Doherty and cox Lucy Breakwell. Maintaining a steady rate of thirty two strokes per minute, they were able to make up ground on the preceding event crews from Worcester, Warwick and Stratford. Despite being held up on a very narrow section of the course by a slower crew, they were still able to record a very good time of seventeen minutes and forty seconds to win their event by almost two minutes over Warwick Boat Club, a time which would also have won the Masters’ D younger age group event!

Division one racing now moved to the small boats and Stratford were represented by the Mixed Masters E double of Gina Fusco and Phil Marshall. The crew were up against a very good National Championship medal winning crew from Derwent but nonetheless put in a very good performance to finish second in their event in a time of twenty minutes and forty two seconds.

Bringing up the division were the single sculling races .The competitors who had been waiting in the very cold conditions for some considerable time were eager to race and thaw out. First off for Stratford was Stephen Haighton competing in Masters F/G single sculls. Haighton in his first ever single sculling event produced a very creditable performance to win his event in a time of twenty minutes and forty three seconds over competitors from Ross, Pengwern and Bristol clubs.

Last but not least was the Women’s Masters’ E single scull of Kjersti Woolley. Starting at the rear of the field after a long wait on the start, Kjersti soon made time up on the field in front of her to finish in a very respectable time of twenty four minutes and ten seconds to finish in second place in her event.

With most competitors deciding to thaw out in the afternoon, the second division contained only one Stratford crew. Sian Maher and Tom Doherty in a last minute partnership competed in IM3 mixed double scull. Despite never having been in a boat together before the race, they recorder a very respectable time of nineteen minutes and nineteen seconds to finish just over a minute behind the winners from Warwick Boat Club.

Said Tom Doherty, Masters’ Vice Captain, “It was great to see a range of masters, senior and junior crews braving the winter chill to compete and record some very impressive results.”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald p15 and online at and Stratford Observer online

For more great pictures of Hampton Small Boats Head, see Stuart Baines’ selection!AuJoEG1Fov50hNBqDdT3z9IYSK91ZQ

The Fleet Increases!

In addition to an eight, two new doubles/pairs have been added to Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s fleet. This goes someway to both remove a ‘pinch point’ in the availability of heavier hulls and gives Stratford Boat Club the flexibility to refurbish some of their lighter doubles during the year without significant detriment to the running of the club

The Club has a long standing tradition of naming Club boats after ladies, elves, sprites and spirits who appear in Shakespeare’s plays. A brief ‘internal’ naming ceremony took place on Saturday so that the boats could be put into immediate use. It is hoped that there will be a more ‘civic’ ceremony when the weather is more clement and the Club can thank the donors more personally

The new boats include:-

8+ (80-90kg): Titania

2x/2- (70kg): Hermione

2x/2- (95kg): Cordelia

The introduction of the boats into the fleet requires quite a big shuffle of racks, blades and rigging within the boathouses themselves which is already very tight for space

Said Oli Smith, Captain of Boats, “The addition of three boats, ten pairs of sculls (oars), the riggers and trestles represents a massive expenditure for the Club in the last two months on equipment alone! This is something that we could not have done without the huge support of the Town Trust and our own collective fundraising efforts in combination with the Club’s regattas and lettings

Dawson Curnock, Club Chairman, commented further, “This clearly demonstrates that Stratford Boat Club can invest in the fleet at this high level, mixing new and second hand as required but only if we continue to work hard on fundraising, sponsorship and, most importantly, look after equipment we already have!”.

Cordelia is a name already familiar to Stratford Boat Club as this is the name of the coxed pair which was found in the loft during the recent refurbishment and now adorns the ceiling of the Club Room. It is believed that Cordelia was put into the loft just after the Second World War

Dawson Curnock also gave a ‘libation to Poseidon’ pouring a small amount the champagne used for naming the boats into the river to ask for rowers’ safety and good luck!

For media coverage, see Stratford Observer p36

We Shall Remember Them

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club observed a two minutes’ silence on this Remembrance Sunday to honour those who fell in the World Wars and other conflicts. The Club’s thoughts were led by the Club’s President, Paul Stanton

Wreaths were laid at the memorial in the Club grounds by the youngest member Toby Sartain and Peter Wyatt, the oldest member: seventy six years separate their rowing experience! Peter Wyatt narrowly missed being selected of Britain’s Olympic rowing squad in 1948 and 1952 and ran with the Olympic torch into Stratford upon Avon prior to the London Olympics in 2012

All the crews and rowers came off the water during a busy Remembrance Sunday to attend the act of remembrance. Said Steve Wellstead, Stratford Boat Club’s Junior Co-ordinator, “The memorial is literally at the heart of the Club and our sporting life goes on around it: this was an opportunity to stop, reflect and remember those Stratford Boat Club members who had died so that we can live in peace and enjoy our sport.”

For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online and and Stratford Herald p2

Henley and Stourport in One Weekend!

On Saturday 4th November, a large Junior contingent from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club competed over 3km in the Henley Long Distance Sculls. Raced over an extended Henley Royal regatta course, the event is attended by many of the top clubs and schools in the country. Junior athletes ranging from J14 to J18 represented Stratford over two divisions with a strong headwind early on presenting challenging conditions for competitors.

The event, a major competition on the pre-Christmas winter racing calendar attracted almost 600 entries primarily from the London and the south east areas of the country, providing very high levels of competition for Stratford crews throughout the day.

This event was a step up on anything the Junior Squad have done before especially for two Stratford J14 quadruple sculling crews who enjoyed a good row and gave a good account of themselves. The J14 girls’ crew of Elisabeth Edwards, Sienna Rawlings, Sophie Elstone, Abbey Meggeson coxed by Mary Walton finished sixth of twelve boats and in the Open category, a mixed crew of Amelie Sartain, Harriet Hodgson, Will Clarke, Conar Aitchison coxed by Julia Zampronio Gurden produced a good time to finish third against four other all boy boats.

J14 Coach Trevor Tiller said, “It’s great to see our young athletes developing their technique and stamina to the point that they are able to come to Henley and compete with the best young rowers in the United Kingdom.”

There were some strong performances across the older age groups with both J15 (Dan Cox and Max Griffiths) and J16 (Fred Tyler and Joe Hodson) boys’ double sculls achieving good results with each finishing sixth in fields of sixteen and seventeen respectively. J16 girls also produced some excellent sculling with Emily Browne, Jessica Wiesheu and Katie Wellstead finishing fourth, eighth and ninth respectively in single sculls and Molly Gill-Swift and Khloe Curnock achieving a very good time to finish fourth in large high quality field of twenty one double sculling boats.

Stratford boats competed well in other categories including J16 Geoffrey Flambert (24th) and WJ15’s Nixie Brunt (8th) and Jasmine Mountney (10th) in single sculls and Maiya James, Mili Wilcock, Mya Kenny. Alice Baines and Naomi Sergeant in a J15 girls quadruple scull (13th) and Theo Mordaunt, Claire Teakle, Maddie Griffiths and Sofia Ward in a J18 coxless quad (10th).

Meanwhile, a change in the weather from a glorious late autumnal week of sunshine and mild temperatures to cold and continuous rain greeted Stratford’s Masters’ Squad as they also competed in the Henley Long Distance Sculls Head.

First up for the Masters Squad saw a head to head between Neville Hand and Gary Clay against Kjersti Woolley and Thomas Doherty in Masters E double sculls .With no mixed event Kjersti and Tom were rowing in the Men’s event but still gave Neville and Gary a good fight just being overtaken at the finish.

The good row by Gary and Neville saw them just fail to take the overall winner’s prize by seven seconds to Bradford on Avon in a time of thirteen minutes thirty eight seconds with Kjersti and Tom finishing in fourteen minutes and twenty eight seconds.
The afternoon division saw Tim Lunel competing in the very competitive Masters D single sculls event in a field including former Olympian Guy Pooley. Tim produced a very good row to finish in a time of thirteen mins and fifty six seconds and an overall midfield position of sixth.

It remained for Christine Goodwin to complete the Masters’ entries racing in Open Women’s second level sculls. In a strong field of eleven competitors, Christine put in a greatly improved performance from last year to finish again midfield in a time of fifteen mins fifty two seconds in seventh position.

Said Tom Doherty, Masters Vice Captain, “It was great to see Gary and Neville racing together for the first time and to also see continual improved performances from Christine and Tim”

A change of river for the Masters’ Squad on Sunday for Stourport Small Boats Head saw a much needed improvement in the weather with sunshine, higher temperatures and local competition making for a good days racing over a 4km stretch of the Severn. With a following wind and a positive stream fast times were the order of the day.

Stratford were represented by their mixed Masters’ crew of Kjersti Woolley and Thomas Doherty in Masters E division who put in a much improved race from the previous days effort at Henley to beat a number of the men’s and women’s crews. Said Kjersti Woolley, “Although no official times have been released, we were very pleased with our improved performance.”

For more great pictures of Henley Long Distance Sculls, see Stuart Baines’ selection!AiW2DAyn9tg9jIIGqT0pAxsBXLuLNA.

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald p15 on our successes and online and Stratford Observer online

Stratford Triumph on the Trent

While most of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Senior crews were at Gloucester, Stratford’s Masters’ squad had a successful outing at the Trent Head in Nottingham.

The day got off to good start with Tim Lunel winning the Masters D category in strong headwinds in the first division despite a “tactical” Nottingham Union sculler refusing to give the racing line to the faster crew meaning that Stratford rowers had to take a long way round the outside of the windiest bend on the course. All good for building experience!

This was followed a much better technical row in the double with Chris Straw and Tim Lunel coming second to a really good Holingworth Lake crew (National Champions earlier in the year!). Stratford were a full minute ahead of the other Masters D crew from Nottingham Union and the Masters B/C crew from Newark giving Stratford plenty to build on for the future.

Said Tim Lunel, “All round, a good day of “big river rowing” in challenging headwind conditions.”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald p16 and Stratford Observer p30.