Gutsy determination was certainly on the cards for Stratford men this weekend as they stormed their way to success at Henley Town and Visitors regatta.
Whilst all eyes were focussed on the Olympic opening events Stratford’s senior men proved they could show just as much commitment to win their coxed four event.
Henley is well known as rowing Mecca and so the crew knew they would be up against some stiff opposition when they realised they had to race a higher division than normal.
The 3-abreast side-by-side racing uses part of the Henley Royal Regatta course and to begin with Stratford was at a disadvantage as the crew of Peter Molson (bow), Ben Twiney (two), Simon Picken (three), Ben Gittus-Smith (stroke) and Jenny Kneeland (cox) found themselves in the middle of a fast on-coming stream.
Stratford had a solid start and pushed past Oxford Academicals within the first 10 strokes. Wolfson College Oxford saw this as an opportunity to push against Stratford and attempted to match Stratford’s call, Stratford responded and emptied the tank striding past Wolfson at rate 35 and continued in this vain to the finish line and first place.
Being the highest category coxed boat (IM 2) the Stratford crew were presented their pots by Henley-on-Thames Mayoress Elizabeth Hodgkin. The crew was also presented with the Henley Town Trophy and is the first British crew in three years to have won.
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