The Perfect Exercise

Rowers from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club led by Chris Straw visited Helen Ley Care Centre in Royal Leamington Spa last week as part ofSuABC Parkinson's 1 a club instigated outreach programme. The aims of the programme are to take rowing into the community to present the beneficial effects of rowing as a means of helping to alleviate the symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. At the same time, the programme provides an enjoyable means of exercise which is suited to the condition.

Chris who is himself a suffer from Parkinson’s is keenly interested in research studies into the effects that regular repetitive exercise may have in improving a patient’s balance, gait, tremor, flexibility and motor co-ordination.

As part of the visit, people of all levels of ability and condition were able to try rowing on state of the art indoor rowing machines and experience an enjoyable means of exercise tailored to their own level of condition. All the participants really enjoyed the experience and are keen to continue with the programme in the future.

Said Chris, “The clear star of the show was Thomas Harland (pictured) who, despite being quite immobile, was determined to try rowing: we discovered that notwithstanding his condition, he was able to row with an excellent technique as a result of having been an Eton schoolboy rower but having never rowed since school over half a century ago! The look on Thomas’s face as his rowing memories came flooding back was absolutely priceless!”

Norwegian on The River Avon!

SuABC Norwegian 3Stratford upon Avon Boat Club found itself in the limelight last Wednesday with a visit from Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK.

A production team from the broadcaster saw Stratford rowers provide film extras for a documentary on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Norway’s famous actor Christian Greger Strøm took to the water with Stratford Boat Club to explain to Norwegian viewers the significance of Holy Trinity Church and its famous grave.

Fortunately the weather stayed fair for filming enabling Norwegian Television to complete a wrap! The episode will be a part of a programme broadcasted in all the Scandinavian countries in April, showing the link between Shakespeare’s plays and Scandinavia.

Said Kjersti Rogneflaten Woolley, Regatta Secretary, said, “It was most interesting to be on the other side of the television camera for a change and to see their genuine interest in all things Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon and the Boat Club: who knows, perhaps we’ll get regatta entries from Norway on Saturday 18 June!”

Saturday 17th October – Evesham Junior Head

Division 1

J16A.1x   Conrad Bird   3rd of 5   8.15

J16A.1x   Max Beishon   4th of 5   8.38

W.J16A.1x   Issy Finch   5th of 5   9.52

W.J15A.2x   SUA-Davies   1st of 10   8.19    WIN

W.J14A.4x+   Gracie Mitchell, Autumn Keil, Jessica Wiesheu, Katie Wellstead, cox Mimi Hill   1st of 11   8.10    WIN

W.J16A.4x-   Izzy Rosso, Liv Hansen, Claire Teakle, Sofia Ward   2nd of 5   8.05

Division 2

W.J18A.4+   Lamorna Jarvis, Jessican Cann, Laura Tiller, Niamh Mackey, cox Jasmine Key   4th of 4   8.45

J18A.4+   Conrad Bird, Isaac Herring, Khalid Ahmad, Ben Evans, cox Mimi Hill   4th of 5   8.00

J18A.4+   Ben Clark, Harry Forty, Ed Beighton,  Joe Taylor, cox Josh North   2nd of 5   7.23

J18A.4+   SUA-Savage   5th of 5   8.25

J18A.4+   Pieter Skuse, Sam Casement, Kit Gallagher, Hamish DeNett, cox Izzy Underwood   3rd of 5   7.52

Division 3

J16A.2x   Isaac Herring & Max Beishon   1st of 3   7.16    WIN + New Course Record

W.J18A.1x   Rachel Stratton (KES)   6th of 6   9.42

W.J18A.1x   Esme Booth   1st of 6   8.41    WIN

W.J18A.4x-   Imogen North, Lucy Weston, Cassie Bird, Phoebe Winter   1st of 5   7.40    WIN + New Course Record

W.J16A.2x   Jasmine Key & Katie Evans   12th of 15   9.28

W.J16A.2x   Lois Battersby & Issy Finch   15th of 15   9.41

W.J16A.2x   Liv Hansen & Sofia Ward   7th of 15   8.45

J14A.2x   Geoffrey Flambert & Joe Hodson   1st of 4   8.41   WIN

W.J14A.2x   Emily Browne & Katie Phillips   1st of 8   8.30    WIN + New Course Record

J15A.1x   Nathan Wiesheu   8th= of 12   9.26

W.J15A.4x+   SUA-Marsden   3rd of 5   8.23

W.J15A.4x+   SUA-Willis/Dwyer   5th of 5   8.33

Saturday 26th September – Wallingford Long Distance Sculls

No wins over the full course in Divisions 1 and 3 but our W.J14.4x+ crew were the fastest crew of the day over the short course with a win in Division 2.

Division 1

W.J15A.4x+   SUA-Willis, 3rd of 11, 19.17.9

J16A.4x-   SUA-Evans, 2 of 5, 16.53.7

W.J16A.2x   SUA-Cherry, 6th of 14, 20.59.3

W.J16A.2x   SUA-Finch, 13th of 14, 22.54.5

W.J18A.1x   Imogen North, 3rd of 35, 20.35.1
Division 2

W.J14.4x+   Katie Wellstead, Gracie Mitchell, Katie Philips, Emily Browne, cox Mimi Hill    WIN – fastest crew of the day over the short course

W.J14.2x   Jessica Wiesheu & Autumn Keil

J14.2x   Jeffrey Flambert & Joe Hodson

Division 3
J16A.1x   Isaac Herring, 5th of 8, 19.45.0
J16A.1x   SUA-Ahmad, 3rd of 4, 19.04.0
W.J17A.1x   Esme Booth, 3rd of 19, 20.40.3
W.J18A.4x-   SUA-Mackey, 7th of 7, 19.10.8
W.NOV.4x+   SUA-Ward, 2nd of 3, 19.57.9


Sunday 30th & Monday 31st August – Ross Regatta

The last Regatta of the season and held over the bank holiday weekend, it is always a fun one which includes dragon boat racing as well as the usual junior, senior and masters action.  Stratford had 3 wins and 6 crews into finals on the Sunday with a further win and 2 runners up on the Sunday.

Sunday 30th

Division 1

W.J18A.1x   Lucy Weston   WIN

W.J13A.4x+   SUA-Phillips   WIN

W.J18A.1x   SUA-Ciepalowicz   Lost in final

W.J14A.2x   SUA-Davies   Lost in final

Division 2

W.J16A.1x   Laura Tiller   WIN

W.J18A.2x   SUA-Lodge   Lost in final

J15A.2x   SUA-Buckley   Lost in final

J16A.1x   SUA-Herring   Lost in final

W.J13.1x   SUA-Keil   Lost in final

Monday 31st

Division 1

IM1.1x   Ed Lewry   Lost in final

Division 2

Mx.IM1.x   SUA-Lewry   WIN

W.IM3.1x   Sofia Ward   Lost in final

Saturday 15th August – City of Oxford Regatta

A great day’s racing despite only the one win for the W.J15 quad.  A very close call for the J15.2x, losing by just 1/3 length and two W.J15.2x crews into finals as well.

WIN   W.J15A.4x+   Claire Teakle, Liv Hansen, Izzy Rosso, Sofia Ward, cox Emily Brooks

Lost in final   J15.2x   Conrad Bird & Isaac Herring, W.J15.2x   Liv Hansen & Sofia Ward,  W.J15.2x   Izzy Rosso & Claire Teakle

Saturday 20th June – Stratford Regatta

5 wins for Stratford at our own Regatta and a further 8 crews into the final.

Division 1

Win for J13A.4x+   SUA-Keil

Lost in final   J14A.1x   SUA-Wiesheu & W.J13A.4x+   SUA-Mitchell

Division 2

Wins for W.NOV.1x   SUA-Ciepalowicz & W.J14A.2x   SUA-Neville

Lost in final   W.J15A.2x   SUA-Teakle & J15A.2x   SUA-Evans

Division 3

Win for W.J16A.1x   Esme Booth

Lost in final   W.J18A.2x   SUA-Buckley & W.J14A.4x+   SUA-Winsper

Division 4

Win for W.J13A.2x   SUA-Wiesheu

Lost in final   J13A.2x   SUA-Flambert & W.J13A.2x   SUA-Browne


The fantastic folk at Stratford upon Avon Boat Club managed 1,327,644 metres with four teams of eight rowers going right through the twenty four hours and a couple of Junior teams for a few hours on the Saturday. That’s just under 825 miles or 31.5 marathons!

Organised by Dr Ben Twiney and Gaby Walker who both did their three hour stints as well and through the night. Their reward was to sneak off at Saturday lunchtime to Twickenham to watch the rugby. Massive thanks to them for doing all this on top of their day jobs. We hope that they feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction of a job really well done!

There were some magnificent Club teamsters who volunteered to row straight through the small hours of the night: James Reeder, Jen Carey, Tom Doherty and Tom Coles who all did straight two or three hours at very unsociable hours in the dark as the fog was descending. Also there were some helpers that stayed on to supervise, especial note here for Trevor Tiller who managed to help out for all but a few of the twenty four hours and also supplied some very tasty cakes.

The weather was really good with an absence of rain throughout which meant we could keep the ergos set-up outside the clubhouse: the temperature was perfect once the rowers got erging although it did get somewhat chilly at 4am especially as the fog descended around 2am and stayed until around 7am.

The Senior Men’s crew were mostly keeping sub-two minute splits for hours and rowed considerably more distance than any of the other crews.

There were a number of people who managed to do personal marathons (42,195 metres) in their three hours which requires split time of less than 2 minutes 7.9 seconds. Tom Doherty had the unique distinction of doing his marathon over a single three hour sitting with one minute and twenty seconds to spare. This almost defies belief!

The Google Doc booking system threw up some anomalies with spaces where there should have been people so a number of folk volunteered to row to fill the gaps. Thanks to Ruth Winter and Will Macleod who stepped in to ensure we kept the four teams rowing for the full twenty four hours. Their reward was to set off rather late for Twickenham! Stephen Haighton also stepped in to cover gaps meant he ended up rowing for five hours and twenty minutes in total and covered 72,617 metres which is just over 45 miles or 1.72 marathons: everyone has their personal stories and achievements!

Although there were no Junior crews rowing for the twenty four hours, a good number rowed during the day on Saturday including their coaches and some parents. This helped boost our overall distance and hopefully we have recruited some willing volunteers for the next Ergothon. A number of the Juniors and their incredibly helpful parents also went onto the Tramway Bridge to rattle collection buckets and such was the interest of the public in what we were doing (they could hardly ignore the great music supplied by Lucy Weston!) that these impromptu fund raising activities netted over £300!!! Literally thousands went past voicing their support and we certainly got ourselves noticed.

Christine Goodwin, as a warm up for the ergothon, did a10k time trial in 41 minutes and 16.4 seconds which gives her a world ranking of three in her age category and was a PB from her last year’s PB of 41 minutes 18.0 seconds. Christine is now training for a 5k time trial in four weeks before the build up to The Indoor Championship.

A number of club members came down to show their support throughout the Saturday and this was very much appreciated by the rowers.

The general view of all those taking part was that it was brilliant fun, very challenging but very enjoyable. We are now collating sponsorship results and hope this has really pushed our Pavilion Fund skywards.

Big thanks to all who took part – organisers, rowers, helpers and supporters. It was a great new thing for our Club to do and although many don’t want to see another ergo for some time, we feel sure we will be doing that again sometime in the future.

For more pictures, see and For press coverage, see Stratford Herald p4 (In Brief) and Stratford Observer p30.SuABC Ergothon DSuABC Ergothon BSuABC Ergothon ASuABC Ergothon CSuABC Ergothon 421899201632_244b88ed64_c21723128240_226d2e102e_c21911199525_3ed2eed239_cSuABC Christine ergo 1    SuABC Christine ergo 2