Conditions at Wycliffe on Saturday were challenging for all the Stratford upon Avon Boat Club junior crews with a head and cross wind gusting as the athletes in all age groups raced down the 2.5k course on the Sharpness Canal.
Autumn Keil, Matilda Watts, Molly Gill-Swift and Katie Phillips put in a strong performance to finish sixth in the WJ18 coxless quad event. Considering they had not sculled together as a crew before the event it was a very good result.
Joe Hodson representing King Edward The Sixth School in his single scull demolished his opposition to take the Gold Medal. The Women’s Junior 18 coxed four, Katie Wellstead, Emily Browne, Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift coxed tremendously by Mimi Hill and also racing in the Women’s Senior event left all the completion in their wake to win Gold Medals in both events. Racing over the course for a third time was Katie Wellstead partnered by Emily Browne in the Senior Women’s Double Sculling event: a great race developed with Wycliffe College with Stratford coming over the finish eight seconds ahead of the opposition to take another Gold Medal.
The morning division saw the four J15 girls’ singles of Amelie Sartain, Elisabeth Edwards, Harriet Hodgson and Sophie Elstone race strongly against a constant headwind and competitive opposition over the 2,500m course. Just over two minutes divided the race’s fourteen competitors with Elstone gaining Bronze position, closely followed by Sartain, Hodgson and Edwards.
The J14’s had a fantastic start to the day with the WJ14 coxed quad of Harriet Holmes, Freya Watts, Fleur Griffiths, Honour Keil and cox Toby Sartain finishing in third place and gaining themselves the bronze medal out of ten crews and less than thirty seconds behind the winners.
Next up was the J14 double racing against five all boys’ crews: Will Beattie and Lucy Browne had a fantastic row again finishing less than thirty seconds behind the winner and just 1.2 seconds behind Ross to pick up the bronze medals.
The weather for Division Two maintained its constant headwind with bouts of sun and drizzle now thrown into the mix. Not put off by this, the boys’ double of Conar Aitchison and William Clarke firmly pressed on into sixth place against a large field of stiff competition.
The WJ14 doubles raced against a strong field of six crews to finish in a very respectable fourth place for Lucy Browne and Fleur Griffiths and fifth place for Harriet Holmes and Anne Mynors.
Thefinal division’s racing saw the squad’s four girls’ doubles compete in an eighteen boat field with the headwind still playing its energy sapping part. Due to a last minute illness in the squad, J14 sculler Lucy Browne despite already having competed twice in the day, bravely stepped in to row up an age group in the bow seat and partnered Sophie Elstone. The remaining boats in the day’s final division being crewed by Amelie Sartain and Harriet Hodgson, Abbey Meggeson and Julia Zampronio Gurden and Elisabeth Edwards and Emma Harrison.
As the light began to fade, the remaining headwind failed to diminish the crews’ resolve as they vigorously made their way down the course. Sartain and Hodgson finishing in bronze medal place, Browne (J14) and Elstone only sixteen seconds behind them in an outstanding fifth place. Slightly further down the field, Meggeson and Zampronio Gurden, Edwards and Harrison finishing less than two minutes from the medals.
SaidJ14 coach Abi Terry, “Given the conditions, the WJ14 singles did a fantastic job to complete the course let alone to finish so well in the field of eleven scullers. Freya Watts and Honour Keil both out in amazing performances to finish in fourth and sixth respectively.
The J14 coxed quad raced against three all boys’ crews. The crew of Will Beattie, Bella Chappelhow, Anne Mynors, Toby Sartain and cox Harriet Holmes finished just 6.3 seconds behind the winners to bring home the silver medals. This was a fantastic way to end the day for the J14 squad at only their second head raceever.
Commented J15 coach Trevor Tiller, “Good performances all round from all on a very demanding day.”
For media coverage, please see StratfordObserver online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/stratford-juniors-take-on-and-beat-seniorsand Stratford Herald page 23 and online http://www.stratford-herald.com/93720-stratford-youngsters-enjoy-medal-winning-performances.html