Saturday saw many from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club compete in the Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta. The regatta provides an unique opportunity for scullers and rowers to compete in three-lane racing on the Henley Reach. Races were run over 800m of the famous Henley Royal Regatta course, much of which was also used for the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games.
From Stratford Boat Club’s Junior Squad, Geoffrey Flambert and Joe Hodson executed their race plan perfectly to beat Wallingford in the semi-final of the J14 Doubles. In one of the closest races of the day, Wallingford led for most of the race by half a length until Geoffrey made the call to pick up the rating with 250 metres to go and the Stratford crew powered through to take the win by a canvas. They came second to Henley in the final. Joe rowed a strong race in the final of the J14 singles again coming second to Henley.
In the Intermediate Single Scullers’ category, Imogen North won her division by beating a sculler from Upper Thames Rowing Club by a length and a half in a time of 3 minutes 49 seconds. Imogen and Ed Lewry also got through to the final of the senior mixed double scull: their opposition included Louisa Reeve a two times Olympian who represented GB at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics only narrowing missing out on selection for Rio. Following an explosive start the Stratford boat lead the way for the first 300 metres but the power of the Olympians came through and they went on to win by two lengths. It was a valiant effort by the Stratford crew and a race of which to be proud.
Stratford’s senior men had formed two quadruple sculls for the event and ended up head to head in the final along with Quintin Boat Club. Not being used to the larger vessels on the Thames, the wash from a passing river cruiser outdid the Stratford scullers and the Quintin boat won out over both crews.
A special thanks must go to Jaguar Land Rover’s CSR team who managed to provide the club with a tow vehicle at the last minute following an unfortunate shortage at the club. Said Will Bird, who towed on the day, “The Discovery 4 is such a capable vehicle, it effortlessly towed our fully loaded 2.6 tonne trailer even with the car full of rowers and kit. A big thanks to JLR for the letting us borrow the Discovery: it’s great to see a big business supporting local community groups. Without the car lent to us, we wouldn’t have been able to get the club to the event at all!”
Many of Stratford’s Junior Squad also spent the week improving their rowing and sculling techniques at the 2012 Eton Dorney Olympic Rowing Lake with accommodation at Eton College. Stratford’s own weekly Summer Camps for juniors started 01 August for the whole month of August: there are still places available 22/26 August.
For media coverage, see Stratford Herald p16.