Stratford Wins at Henley and Stourport

SuABC Henley November 2Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s head racing season campaign continued on Saturday with Henley Long Distance Sculls Head of the River Race. Held over three kilometers on the River Thames, this head race is always a high quality and popular event: this year being no different with a record six hundred strong entry list and high profile competitors such as Olympian James Cracknell OBE joining the fray

Stratford’s entries came from Senior, Masters and Junior sections with strong sculling performances inSuABC Henley November 1 plentiful supply across the board. Notable highlights were second place for the Women’s Junior 15 double scull of Emily Browne and Katie Wellstead (recording a faster time than most of the Junior 16 crews on the day) and Fred Tyler in the Junior 14 single scull category with a commanding performance to achieve an excellent third place

Elsewhere amongst the Stratford athletes, the Junior 15 single scullers of Joe Hodson, Jess Wiesheu and Khloe Curnock battled hard in a competitive class. The Junior 15 coxed quadruple scull (Molly Gill-Swift, Gracie Mitchell, Autumn Keil, Katie Phillips and Mimi Hill) and Junior 14 coxed quadruple scull (Mya Kenny, Mili Wilcock, Maiya James, Alice Baines and Sophie Neville) pushed hard and there were plucky performances from Lucy Rouse (Novice single scull) and Christine Goodwin (Masters single scull) against tough competition showing promise for future events

SuABC Stourport KW TD November 2016Meanwhile, on Sunday, Stratford upon Avon’s Seniors continued their winter head racing season with a trip to local Midlands club Stourport for their small boats head race. The event, raced over two four kilometer divisions in windy but otherwise good conditions, offered some challenging racing throughout the day. First off in the morning division in cold but beautiful conditions for Stratford upon Avon was Kjersti Woolley and Thomas Doherty in Mixed Masters E double sculls. In their first event since competing at the World Masters Club Championships in Copenhagen in September, they rowed down the four kilometer course rating a powerful thirty strokes per minute in a tough encounter with IM2 double scullers from Loughborough, managing to keep them at bay for the whole course to record a time of 15 minutes and 20 seconds which proved fast enough to win their event giving Kjersti Woolley her first victory for StratfordSuABC Stourport Explore November 2016

Not to be outdone, Stratford’s Explore rowing section comprising Nils Purser, Rona Fitzpatrick, Andrea Duxbury and Rosie Stone took on local club Stourport over the full four kilometer course in their first taste of fully competition racing after their wins at the British Rowing’s West Midland Explore Regatta at Stratford last weekend. Getting off to a fast start, the crew strode out to gradually to overhaul Stourport and by the three quarter mark at the Stourport boathouse had established a lead of some five lengths. Despite fatigue creeping SuABC Stourport Explore KW TD November 2016in, the crew kept their technique to maintain their lead all the way to the finish in a very good time of 19 minutes

Said a delighted Nils Purser, Stratford’s Explore crew organiser, “This was our first foray into full long distance head racing in our Explore class boats and, despite it being a big challenge, we were exceptionally pleased to be able to maintain our discipline and record a first win at this level. We have now got the racing bug and are looking forward to many more exciting races!”

See also Stratford Herald online and p17 and Stratford Obsever online and p30

See also David Phillip’s great pictures of Henley Long Distance Sculls Head of the River Race…/sets/721576747293…/with/30165774314 and…/135872444@N…/sets/72157674729386951

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