What a great day! Excellent racing: great participation from crews as far afield as Bewdley Rowing Club, Cardiff & Vale Schools Rowing Association, Evesham Rowing Club, Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Stowe Sculling Club and Warwick Boat Club and newcomers from Becket School Rowing Club, Cotswold Rowing Club, Holloway Scullers, Leicester Rowing Club, Merton College, Monkton Combe School, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Northwich Rowing Club.
Said Glyn Hawkins, lead committee member for the Club’s refurbishment, “It was a great opportunity for Stratford Boat Club to show off our newly refurbished and expanded Club and how we will be continuing to provide sport for all ages not only for Stratford itself but also the greater Warwickshire area. We also had the opportunity to talk to local visitors on completing the finance for the project.”
Kjersti Rogneflaten, Stratford Boat Club’s Regatta Secretary said, “We were very heartened by the huge turn out from local and distant clubs and the interest from the public. A massive thanks to all our sponsors especially the Rosconn Group, hard working Stratford Boat Club members, visiting crews, umpires and officials and especially the public for supporting the event.”
Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club’s President commented. “It was a long day’s racing from 08.30 to 18.30hrs: 350 beefburgers, 40lbs of sausages, 20lbs of bacon, 25kg of sliced onions and 700 buns all from local suppliers were consumed as well as dozens of cakes and snacks: what a magnificent day topped by great racing! The weather during the week running up to the regatta was not kind, river levels came up and so we decided to shorten the course to ensure the safety of all the competitors and river users. We were especially grateful for the help and tolerance of those operators who work and make their living on the river.”
Said Paul Hazelwood, the Club’s Treasurer, “Stratford Boat Club’s next event is the Fun Regatta on Saturday 09 July: this is a much more ‘relaxed’ event with scratch teams from local Stratford, Warwickshire and area companies and organisations. We give them three hours coaching, a boat and cox and organise a regatta for them! There are bound to be thrills and spills! Come and see the ‘other side’ of rowing!”
Whilst Stratford crews were competing hard at their own regatta, last weekend saw Esme Booth
(J17) and Imogen North (J18), rowing for King Edward VI School and Stratford upon Avon Boat Club respectively competing at Henley Women’s Regatta. The racing took place over a distance of 1500 metres upstream on the famous Henley Royal Regatta course. Both athletes took part in the Junior Women’s singles division. The category saw a high-class entry of scullers from both the U.K and from overseas.
A total of twenty nine competitors took part in an initial time-trial, eliminating all but the top sixteen athletes. Both Stratford athletes progressed comfortably, ranking in the top ten overall. Racing against extremely tough competition, unfortunately both Esme and Imogen were knocked out in the following rounds not being able to progress to the last eight and last four respectively.
Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Junior Coach Alfie Nash commented, “Both Esme and Imogen had rowed exceptionally competitively against the highest ranked competition nationally at junior level, many of whom currently represent British Rowing internationally. It is always great to see King Edward VI School and Stratford represented in such prestigious events. This is truly a reward for the time and effort put in by athletes, coaches and supporting members of Stratford Boat Club.”
Commenting further on the weekend, coach Mark Holden said, “Henley Women’s Regatta attracts not only the strongest crews in the United Kingdom but also considerable international interest with crews competing from the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. Esme came up against a tough opponent from Cambridge 99 but gained very valuable experience for the future in this premier event. Imogen North won a close race against a sculler from the United States to repeat her success of last year and progress to her second Henley Women’s Quarter finals. Imogen was beaten by the eventual winner from Reading but both Stratford athletes can be very proud of their achievements in the company of such strong international competition.”
There was more good news for Stratford crews as the Club’s Men’s Seniors coxed four has pre qualified for the Britannia Challenge Cup at Royal Henley Regatta in less than a week’s time and the coxless four will be going through the qualifying round this coming Friday.
For media coverage of the regatta, please see the Stratford Herald p20 and p4 and Stratford Observer online http://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/stratford-regatta-hailed-huge-success
To see David Phillip’s great photographs of the regatta, please click onto http://bit.ly/28VujpF
To see Mark Williamson’s (Stratford Herald), excellent photographs and The Herald’s online report, please see http://bit.ly/28VvghY