The J17/18 performance squad fielded a strong entry at Wallingford Long Distance Sculls at the weekend. In the first division, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club had three crews, two girls’ quads and a boys’ double. The first girls’ quad consisted of Freya Watts, Ruby Howells, Amelie Sartain and Fleur Griffiths. Griffiths steered the perfect line and the crew raced a good race to finish in third place, behind two crews from Lady Eleanor Holles School, some of which were fresh from their win at Henley Royal Regatta, a great start to the season. The second quad of Honour Keil, Bella Chappelhow, Grace Beason (racing up an age group) and Lucy Browne had been hit by illness and a late substitution, didn’t provide them with the perfect build up to the race, however the girls finished in seventh place. The boys’ double of Tomi Wilcock and Will Beattie also finished in third place behind two strong doubles from Pangbourne College and Westminster School respectively.
In the second division, Stratford Boat Club had a girls’ double and three boys’ singles. The girls’ double saw Watts and Griffiths team up again. The morning’s quad, although the previous race had taken the energy out of their legs, still put in a very respectable performance to finish in fifth place.
The boys’ singles of Beattie, Wilcock and Toby Sartain all raced hard in the J17 category. Beattie was top of the bunch finishing in second place, after a tussle with Wilcock coming into the finish. Wilcock finished in third and Sartain seventeenth out of a large field. Said Abi Terry, J17/18 coach, “It was a good test for them all against strong opposition from the best schools and clubs around the country.”
Charles Happel was the first J16 to race in his single scull in the morning division. Facing local opposition from Wallingford and a strong squad from Guildford Rowing Club, Charles sculled with great skill to dominate the race winning by thirty seven seconds, his first winner’s medal of the head racing season.
In the afternoon division, Amalia Richardson and Kate Richardson competed against fellow squad members Harriet Noyes and Maddie Hall in the Women’s Junior 16 double sculls event. After nineteen minutes of top class sculling, Kate and Amalia finished second beating Harriet and Maddie by just 3.6 seconds! Commenting, Sam Hill, J16 coach said, “A very successful day for the J16 squad beating so many competitors from top Thames rowing clubs.”
For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page seventy five and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/happel-savours-first-winners-medal-of-season-9219318 and also Stratford Observer back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2021/10/08&pages=024 and https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/charles-takes-first-win-as-stratford-youngsters-star