Masters and Adaptive Magic at Monmouth!

Two of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s adaptive squad attended Monmouth regatta this weekend: each rowed both days in their singles and then combined to row against able-bodied crews just on the Sunday. Each sculler was against stiff Llandaff competition in the singles: Curtis Dickens’ opponent is in a different para category who uses a sliding seat whereas Curtis is on a fixed seat, a decided disadvantage.

Meanwhile, Andy Morris was giving away around thirty five years to his opponents both days. Both Andy and Curtis performed creditably in the double. Commenting, Mark Dewdney Stratford Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach said, “So, very unusually, no medals for the squad this time! This was the first time Monmouth had staged adaptive races and the Stratford crew were there to mentor them through providing fair and safe racing for those with an impairment.”

Over the same weekend, following the close racing previously at Nottingham, Stratford’s Masters 4x- of Emily Sayers, Ellie Davis, Gina Fusco and Christine Goodwin took Monmouth by storm securing their first regatta win. Having the come through the semifinal, the crew were aiming to improve on their performance which they executed well. The final was a great competition with Minerva Bath pulling ahead but Stratford battled hard, overtook the Bath crew and held their lead ultimately gaining a win by half a length. The crew were delighted with their win and thrilled to have beaten a C crew in the semifinal and then a very good D crew in the final. Crew member Gina Fusco said, “It was lots of fun and we are delighted to be learning and improving all the time. We know what to work on to keep getting faster!”

Stratford Masters Heather Hayton won in WMD1x, beating Bristol Ariel, verdict one and three quarter lengths. Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley raced the WMD2x over the two days, on Saturday winning 1500m and on Sunday, winning the 750m sprints.

The Masters squad also entered two mixed crew events displaying strong racing whilst single sculler Richard Shepherd is also making big improvements. Said Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain, ”These crews are ones to watch for the future!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald online and page forty four and Stratford Observer online and back sports page

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