Saturday saw Stratford upon Avon Boat Club and their sister club, King Edward VI Boat Club, compete at nearby Evesham Junior Head. Racing over 1900 metres, the racing was truly pulsating.
The KES boys won a great victory in the J18 coxed fours; KES girls’ performance was tremendous finishing just in front of the Stratford WJ16 4+.
Lara Davies, sculling in the WJ16 event for Stratford Boat Club, was outstanding and secure first place in the event of fifteen competitors: Lara then secured a second victory sculling in a double with Lauren Willis.
The WJ15 double of Molly Gill-Swift and Gracie Mitchell finished a creditable fourth whilst Katie Philips and Emily Browne rowing up an age group would in time have dominated the event.
Many of the athletes raced in two events and after racing already, the girls’ J15 quad scull lost by five seconds to Headington. Said Steve Wellstead, Junior Co-ordinator, “Headington is a high quality girls’ rowing school from Oxford: we’re coming up on them fast! Headington, look out for the future!”
Many of the fourteen and fifteen year olds also rowed in single sculls: a great performance by all but topped by Joe Hodson outstanding win in the boys’ event.
But the day was to be given over to the thirteen year olds, a mixture of two boys (Fred Tyler and Max Griffiths) and two girls (Nixie Brunt and Maiya James) coxed by Sophie Neville who won the boys’ event, a truly tremendous achievement. Two crews of girls in double sculls also gave an impressive performance.
Stratford upon Avon rowers also took part in the first national rowing event of the new rowing year, The Pairs Head of the River Race held annually on the River Thames in the middle of London .
The event raced over 4.8 kilometers attracted a full field of over 430 crews competing in a range of two person crews raced over a slightly shortened Varsity Boat Race course.
One of the first crews competing over the course was Stratford’s IM2 double scullers Ed Lewry and Ben Gittus Smith who started fifth in the large field. In difficult conditions with high winds and choppy water they recorded an impressive finishing time of 15 minutes 33 seconds to finish third in their event.
Stratford upon Avon’s Mixed Masters C double scullers of Fiona Carmichael and Thomas Doherty were next off in the middle of the field. The pair who hadn’t raced for several months together were faced with a stiff task against a high quality field but still recorded a creditable time of 17 minutes and 21 seconds.
Stratford’s final crew entry in Masters D pairs of Richard Nelson and Simon Beard had to contend with a last minute boat substitution due to equipment damage, but still managed a fast time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds in a highly contested division.
Said Tom Doherty, Masters’ Vice Captain, “This is the first time for some years we have had so many crews in a diverse range of classes in such a prestigious event and we hope to build on this performance for next year.”
Stratford can now also look forward to hosting the final Explore regatta of the season which will take place on Sunday 30 October.
See also Stratford Herald p20
For more great pictures of Evesham Head, see David Phillip’s stream https://www.flickr.com/…/135872444@N…/sets/72157671741014063