Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s J13 squad travelled on Saturday to the Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta which was threatened with severe disruption due to storm Miguel being forecast to bring with it heavy rain and gusting strong winds which is not the best conditions for junior scullers. However, Stratford’s J13 squad rose to the challenge admirably.
First to test the conditions was a double boat of Charles Happel and Louis Beason recording a very competitive time of two minutes thirteen seconds finishing in sixth place. The next race for Stratford saw our first success: the girls’ quad crew of Amalia Richardson, Maddie Hall, Millie
The next success saw the girls’ quad of Grace Beason, Ruby Brooker- Collins, Uche Nwachukwa, Kate Richardson and coxed by Emily Stobart also win a bronze again only eight seconds away from first place. Next up was the mixed quad crew of Charles Happel, Louie Beason, Uche Nwachukwa, Grace Beason with Ciara Wilson finishing in joint second place with Marlow only three seconds behind the winning Radnor House crew who won in one minute fifty six seconds: a stunning row by Stratford.
Conditions were deteriorating and the double crew of Amalia Richardson and Millie Hodgson battled on to finish in fifth place but only two seconds from a medal place. Maddie Hall and Emily Stobart finished in fifth place in their double again in very difficult conditions an admirable effort.
The day concluded with the delayed singles races with Imogen Hill and Ruby Brooker – Collins struggling through the wind to complete their races.
Said Steve Marsden, J13 coach, “Even after really poor weather conditions all the athletes had at least one medal and some two medals creating very smiley faces and a great amount of parental pride having faced up to some of the most successful rowing clubs in England!”
Also out in the foul weather was Heather Hayton taking part in her first singles race at Bridgnorth Regatta. Coping well with a strong stream, Heather put in two good races against opponents from Birmingham University and Bewdley in a round-robin event. Said Helen Smith, Women’s Vice Captain, “A good start to Heather’s single racing career.”
Last weekend, Mark Sanders from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Adaptive Squad took part in racing at Hereford Rowing Club regatta. The squad’s aim was to support Hereford’s first steps into adaptive racing and compete in supported doubles against Brendon, a student from Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford.
The squad undertook two 500 metre sprint races, the second using the club level adaptive time handicap system. Both competitors won a race each and were presented their pots by the Mayor of Hereford.
Also at Hereford last weekend were Heather Hayton and Tom Doherty racing in Mixed Masters’ Double Sculls category where they attempted to emulate the very good junior performances on Saturday. Racing an older but very competent Upton crew, Heather and Tom had to contend with chasing down a sixteen second head start over the 1000m course. A good start saw them make steady progress drawing to within three lengths of Upton by the 500m mark. A big push saw them close on Upton with 250 metres to go with a final push taking the win by two lengths.
Said Tom Doherty, Masters’ Vice Captain, “This was Heather’s first regatta win since taking up rowing eighteen months ago and she was given the traditional ‘first win’ river dunking by the junior crews!”
For media coverage, see Stratford Herald online http://www.stratford-herald.com/99534-stratford-juniors-brave-storm-miguel-blenheim-palace.html and page 15 and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowers-battle-storm-miguel-at-blenheim-and-bridgnorth