Stratford upon Avon Boat Club stayed local on Saturday 22 August with a short trip to rival neighbours at Warwick Boat Club. The rivalry was intense as Stratford won five finals in all with Esme Booth (WJ16 1x) winning two finals; Isaac Herring (J15 1x) and a WJ14 1x win for Amy Neville.
The other notable win was Stratford’s Mix IM1 4+. Said Ruth Winter, Stratford’s Recreational Squad Co-ordinator and crew supporter, “In the first heat, the four raced against Cardiff and Vale and we were easily the better crew. Shortly after, Stratford raced local rivals Warwick. We were in control of the race right from the start and we moved ahead just after coming under the bridge. Stratford continued to widening the gap right up to the finish.”
Commented Victoria Ward, rowing at two position, “We had one short training session before our races: we clicked really well and we were feeling happy going into the race even though we were racing up a category as IM1. Events got a bit stressful when Harriet our cox was pulled off the water just as she was about to race in her doubles final when the organisers thought thunder and lightning was imminent. As a result, we boated late and had to get Harriet out of her boat as soon as she had raced. However, we composed ourselves and won our semi-final against Derwent comfortably. We then had a quick turn around and race the final against home crew Warwick and we didn’t even have time to get off the water before our final! We had a much better start for our final and the boat really started to move so we managed to pull clear of the Warwick crew and win by a good margin.”
Stratford’s Mix IM1 4+ crew was composed of stroke: Oli Smith (Captain of Boats); 3: Ben Gittus Smith; 2: Victoria Ward; bow: Phoebe Winter and cox: Harriet Buckley. The Club will be out in force at Ross on Wye Rowing Club Regatta over the Bank Holiday weekend
Events entered at Warwick included:-
Open Masters Double Sculls.
Mixed Intermediate Double Sculls.
Open Junior 16 Double Sculls.
Open Junior 14 Double Sculls.
Women’s Junior 14 Double Sculls.
Women’s Senior Intermediate II Single Sculls.
Open Junior 15 Single Sculls.
Women’s Junior 18 Single Sculls.
Women’s Junior 15 Single Sculls.
Women’s Junior 13 single Sculls.
Mixed Senior Intermediate I Coxed Fours.
Open Masters A Coxless Pairs.
Open Masters D/E Coxless Pairs.
Open Intermediate I Double Sculls.
Women’s Junior 18 Double Sculls.
Women’s junior 15 Double Sculls.
Open Master’s G single Sculls.
Open Junior 16 Single Sculls.
Open Junior 14 Single Sculls.
Women’s Junior 16 Single Sculls.
Women’s junior 14 Single Sculls.
Alfie Nash, Stratford’s Junior J16 Lead Coach said, “On what was a very hot and humid day, racing took place over a challenging 500 metre course: the start having the wonderful backdrop of Warwick Castle, whilst the finish, adjacent to St Nicholas Park, proved to be a great draw and focal point for the spectators. Although shorter than many of the events in the rowing calendar, successfully completing the narrow windy course required both speed and a high degree of steering competency.”
The club was represented by men and women with a wide range of abilities and ages, some of whom were competing in their first regattas in their chosen event.
Whether successful or not, all of the Stratford members contributed to what was very hard-fought and exciting racing. The high level of competency and competitiveness of the Stratford members highlighting the breadth and depth of the talent at all levels within the club. Stratford members competed in more than twenty separate categories during the regatta and were represented by more than one athlete in many.
Stratford Boat Club will be competing over this weekend’s Bank Holiday at Ross-on-Wye in what will be the last event of the current rowing year. However, unlike other sports, it is straight into a new rowing year where the club will be focusing on competing in Head races – timed events raced over much longer distances – over winter and into next year.
For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online http://bit.ly/1KlcGK5, Stratford Observer back page and Stratford Herald p17