A memorable day! Excellent racing: great participation from crews as far afield as Bewdley Rowing Club, Cardiff & Vale Schools Rowing Association, Evesham Rowing Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Stowe Sculling Club, Warwick Boat Club, Holloway Scullers, Monkton Combe School, Monmouth Comprehensive School and newcomers from AB Severn Boat Club, Bridgnorth Rowing Club and Bedford Rowing Club. The regatta this year had four divisions, thirty four events and one hundred and thirty five separate races starting at 08.00 and running all day through until 18.30hrs!
Stephen Rose, Stratford Boat Club’s Regatta Secretary said, “This year we were so pleased to have Mencap Heart of England as our nominated charity: Stratford Boat Club have an outreach in teaching customers of Mencap and other adaptive athletes how to scull and this was a natural extension for this outreach. We were very heartened by the huge turn out from local and distant clubs and the interest from the public. A massive thanks to all our sponsors especially the Rosconn Group, hard working Stratford Boat Club members, visiting crews, umpires and officials and especially the public for supporting the event.”
Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club’s President commented. “It was a long day’s racing from 08.30 to 18.30hrs: 400 beefburgers, 45lbs of sausages, 25lbs of bacon, 20kg of sliced onions and 750 buns all from local suppliers were consumed as well as dozens of cakes and snacks: what a magnificent day topped by great racing! We had to ‘phone Barry The Butchers for extra supplies at lunchtime and raid the local shops for extra buns! Based on our success last year, we decided to stay with the shortened 650 metre course to ensure the safety of all the competitors and river users. We were especially grateful for the help and tolerance of those operators who work and make their living on the river.”
Said Paul Hazelwood, the Club’s Treasurer, “Stratford Boat Club’s next event is the Fun Regatta on Sunday 09 July: this is a much more ‘relaxed’ event with scratch teams from local Stratford, Warwickshire and area companies and organisations. We give them three hours coaching, a boat and cox and organise a regatta for them! There are bound to be thrills and spills! Come and see the ‘other side’ of rowing!”
Whilst Stratford crews were competing hard at their own regatta, last weekend saw two Senior crews go to Marlow Regatta on Dorney Lake in their quest to qualify for Henley Royal Regatta which starts on the 28th June.
Rowing in Championship Coxed Fours against many of the top London clubs and universities from around the country, the top Stratford boat qualified for the B final where they finished in fifth position. This the third year that Stratford have been represented at Royal Henley regatta. The crew made up of Eleanor Willetts, Chris Thomas, Dr Ben Twiney, Tom Coles and Ed Lewry finished as the fourth fastest club crew of the day and did enough to satisfy the Henley Stewards and so have been pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta. They are now looking forward to training hard on the course, famous both for its beauty as well as its toughness. Their progress can be followed live on YouTube.
The second Stratford boat, the coxless four, found the going a little tougher, not helped by an equipment failure to a rigger half way through their first race and finished fifth in their D final. They will now be required to attend Henley Qualifiers this coming Friday where they will race off against forty one other crews for just fourteen places in the main draw. Said Bill Sullivan, Seniors’ Coach, “Racing at Royal Henley Regatta is the pinnacle of the rowing season: every competitive rower wants to be there competing at the highest level! For Stratford to have one crew that has qualified and another crew with great potential for entry says a lot for their determination, training and focus! Crews come from worldwide to compete: it’s not going to be an easy couple of weeks training!”
For additional media coverage, please see Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/…/crowds-flock-to-sizzling-… and Stratford Herald p15 and p4 and Midweek p28
For more photographs, please see David Phillip’s photographs at https://www.flickr.com/photos/135872444@N08/albums, Stuart Baines’ at https://1drv.ms/f/s!AgY7EiDB2lCO-FccfaMZXpYiKQRI and Hugo Happel’s at https://www.dropbox.com/…/55l1xc…/AADwssBwIC_ufoBzbCVeWd3sa…. All excellent: many thanks!