International Competition for On Form Stratford Crews

On Saturday Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s athletes young and old travelled to Henley on Thames to compete in the Town and Visitors Regatta. With athletes from Las Vegas, the East India Company, Holland and the Royal Air Force this is truly an eclectic and fabulous event.

The double scull with the Masters Neville Hand and Gary Clay on board won a very hard fought heat against Bentham Boat Club: in the final they took on Guildford Rowing Club with a crew in an older age group who were given a generous ten second advantage from the start. Stratford again piled on the pressure but by the finish failed to overhaul their opponents to lose by less than two seconds.

The 17 year old girls raced both senior and junior women’s events: Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift raced a Dutch coxless pair in the senior event. After a most grueling race the Dutch ladies finished three feet in front of the Stratford girls. Katie Wellstead and Emily Browne racing in junior double sculls were just unable to overhaul a double from Upper Thames Rowing Club. All four girls were joined by their cox Mimi Hill to race in the Senior Women’s coxed four event. After winning their heat by over three lengths, they took on Warwick Boat Club in the final. In another amazing and closely fought race, the Stratford girls won by half a length to bring home the trophy and a wodge of pewter.

The J16 squad were represented on Henley Reach by Fred Tyler, Mya Kenny and Alice Baines. First up was Alice entered in the Senior Women’s single scull event where the competition was strong and a sculler from Greenbank Falmouth Rowing Club triumphed. Next off the stake boats was Fred Tyler in the J16 single scull winning his heat in style over Henley Rowing Club. Unfortunately the final did not follow the same pattern and a miss-timed final push cost Tyler the silverware by just two feet. The space on the mantelpiece will have to wait for now. Finally Alice returned to the water undaunted with Mya in the J16 double scull. A race proven combination, the girls ran sisters from Henley Rowing Club (both National Schools Gold Medalists) hard just losing out by less than one length in a crowd pleasing race. In the last race of the day for Stratford a late entry from Sophie Elstone in the J15 single scull event delighted the spectators as the bar opened. Unfortunately, it was not to be Sophie’s day as she lost out to a young sculler from Wallingford Rowing Club.

Commenting, Steve Wellstead, Stratford Boat Club’s Junior Co-ordinator, said, “An excellent day’s racing with an international flavour and pleasing results for Stratford as we stay in form ready for our own rescheduled regatta on Saturday 21 September.”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page fifteen and online http://www.stratford-herald.com/100990-international-competition-form-stratford-crews.html

For more great photographs from Henley Town & Visitors regatta, see Stuart Baines’ excellent selection on https://1drv.ms/f/s!AgY7EiDB2lCOg5Eg3w0rKI0UR8s1GQ