Stratford Boat Club Regatta: Down But Not Out!

Saturday 15 June was a sad day for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club as they mopped and cleared up after their cancelled regatta. Over the weekend, marquees were jet washed and put out to dry, marquee poles were sorted and bent straight and the whole area was tidied up after the storm of Tuesday night. The river remained challenging and high and the flow was still very fast with only the senior and more experienced crews allowed out: no crews went upstream through Clopton Bridge were the stream ran fast

Said Shân Stokes, Stratford Boat Club’s Safety Advisor, “Cancelling the regatta on Thursday morning with the river conditions running high and fast and the forecast showing rising levels and more rain was the correct decision. Many of the competitors are comparatively young and inexperienced and have to travel to considerable distance to our regatta: safety is paramount and in our culture at Stratford Boat Club and the conditions on the day justified our considered judgement prior to the event which was also borne out by several experienced authorities’ comments”

Paul Hazelwood, Stratford Boat Club’s Treasurer commented, “The Club has taken a considerable financial hit because of the cancellation of the regatta: as well  being a regional and national showpiece event for our athletes’ prowess and capability and Stratford’s reputation, the regatta is also a major fundraising opportunity for the Club. All the income from the bar, tent tea, barbecue and entry fees is ploughed back into the Club to be spent on the ever increasing costs of equipment, utilities, insurance, property and boat maintenance and subsidising membership fees wherever possible. Onwards and upwards to our very full and actioned packed Fun Regatta on Saturday 13 July!”

Commenting, Paul Stanton, the Club’s President said, “We have been very cheered by the understanding and sympathy of our sponsors who have rallied round and supported us: we are most grateful for their help and staying with us during a challenging time. We hope to re-run the regatta in September and we are currently sounding out the authorities and suppliers to see if they are available in September: it also depends on whether British Rowing can squeeze in another regional event in the very crowded regatta programme. The initial support from sister clubs in the area has been very encouraging”

The last time a Stratford upon Avon Boat Club regatta was cancelled was in June 2007

Meanwhile, Stratford’s WJ17/18 crew were still training hard for this Friday’s three day Henley Women’s Regatta and will be out most evenings this week to finalise their training. Said Dr Graham Collier, J17/18 coach, “Henley Women’s Regatta is the pinnacle of achievement for women’s rowing in the United Kingdom: we are so proud of our young athletes who have trained so hard to be at the peak of fitness and technique. This time of year is also very busy time in their lives with exams and other conflicting commitments: their handling of all these pressures shows maturity beyond their years. They are a great credit to Stratford and the Club!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Observer online and Stratford Herald online and hard copy Thursday 20 June

Posted in News.