After five months of a grueling winter training programme (six days each week on and off the water), the WJ16 (15 going on 16 year olds) squad last Saturday raced over 6k at the Worcester Head of the River on the River Seven in difficult conditions. Their work rate and skill was impressive with the coxless quadruple sculling boat of Mimi Hill, Talei Dunn, Autumn Keil and Molly Gill-Swift finishing in second place in their age category and only twenty seconds behind the winner.
The coxed four of Katie Wellstead, Jessica Wiesheu, Khloe Curnock, Emily Browne coxed by Matilda Watts competed in an adult category: they came out winners and on the day were the fastest ladies coxed four – an outstanding result for these young athletes.
Said J16 coach Dr Graham Collier, “After the upcoming West Midlands Junior Inter-regional Regatta trials, the crews head off to the Schools Head of The River Race which is over the Boat Race Course on the River Thames. The Worcester results have set them up nicely to compete strongly in this national event that attracts schools and clubs from all over the country.”
Stratford’s sister club from King Edward The Sixth Grammar School won in the IM3.4+ category and also competed in the W.IM2.4+ event.
The Senior Men’s Squad also had their first opportunity of the year to put all the hard work in training into practice. Said Senior Men’s coach Bill Sullivan, “The Senior Men’s Eight are targeting a top 80 finish in the prestigious Head of The River held on the Tideway in London in March. They kicked off the day at Worcester with a good second place in the Senior Eights with the potential to build a lot more speed over the coming weeks. They continue their build-up at The Head of the Trent in Nottingham this coming weekend. Meanwhile the IM 4+ had an encouraging first race of the season and will build their competitiveness over the coming weeks in Nottingham.”
The Senior Men’s coxed four raced well in the Elite 4+ category in the second division. They were engaged in a tight tussle with a good crew from Exeter Rowing Club all the way down the river. Unfortunately, a crash with a creaky Worcester Vets quad, who were unable to understand the simple premise that two boats don’t fit into one narrow arch, meant the four had to stop rowing and untangle themselves, costing them the win.
Meanwhile the Senior Men’s IM 4+ had an encouraging first race of the season and will build their competitiveness over the coming weeks.
Stratford’s Masters’ Squad had a win with a Bridgnorth Rowing Club composite Masters D.4+ and also competed in the C/D/E.4- and C/D/E.8+ categories.
For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowers-enjoy-the-battle-of-worcester and Stratford Herald online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowers-enjoy-the-battle-of-worcester and p14.