Stratford Masters Excel at Evesham

SuABC Evesham November 2016Stratford upon Avon Boat Club Masters’ squads descended on local club Evesham for one of the last head races of the pre Christmas season on Saturday for Masters of the Avon & Evesham Senior Head.

Held on a cold but otherwise perfect day for rowing, the event was run over two divisions with the morning division of four kilometer length of the River Avon attracting a Masters D/E (average age 55), coxed four of Jen Cary (cox), Simon Skillings, Glyn Hawkins, Tim Lunel, and Wallace Brown. After a steady start the crew, marshalled expertly by Jen Cary, powered away from their local opponents Evesham to win their event in a time of 18 minutes and 34 seconds, beating Evesham by 45 seconds.SuABC Evesham November 2016 Explore 2

Following them closely down the course was the Mixed masters E (average age 55 years) double scull of Kjersti Woolley and Thomas Doherty. Competing against a high quality Derwent crew, they completed the course in a creditable 19 minutes and 47 seconds but had to settle for second place.

In the afternoon division, raced over a shorter two kilometer course, the masters F/G (average age 60 to 65 years) Men’s double scull was an all family affair with the Moore brothers, Joe and Simon, taking on local crews from Evesham and Bewdley. Rowing a tidy race the brothers completed the course in 11 minutes and 3 seconds to finish in second place.

SuABC Evesham November 2016 Explore 1The next Stratford racing crews saw a head to head between single scullers Mike Atkins and Chris Straw in Masters E/G division ( average age 55 to 65). In a competitive field Mike Atkins came a well deserved second in a time of 11minutes and 15 seconds just beating training partner Chris Straw by only three seconds to secure bragging rights!

Hot on their heels and not to be outdone by the men, came Kjersti Woolley having recovered from her morning exploits and now in a single scull to record a very good time of 12 minutes and 11 seconds.

Said Tom Doherty, Masters’ Vice Captain, “It was great to see so many of the Masters’ squad competing across a range of events: with more crews in training we hope to have additional crews competing across the region at events in the New Year.”

Following on their amazing season’s success and having only been rowing for slightly over a year, Stratford’s Explore rowing section was invited to enter a crew into the Women’s Primary 4+ event in Division 2 to provide some friendly competition for a Bewdley crew. Definitely up for the challenge but last of the day to set off, the Stratford crew of Rosie Stone, Clare Booth, Rona Fitzpatrick and Becky Smith nevertheless strode out well over the start line and increased their rating to catch up and overtake the Bewdley crew by the half way mark, maintaining a good lead for the rest of the course and finishing just under two minutes ahead. Said Rosie Stone, the Explore section organiser, “The Stratford Explore crew gave a stylish performance throughout much aided and encouraged by cox Esme Booth who did a sterling job of motivating and keeping the crew together! Thanks as always go to our great coaches who provided enthusiastic support and advice whilst training and on the day.”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald p16 and online… and Stratford Observer p30 and online…/stratford-masters-excel-a…

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