Stratford’s Juniors & Masters Show Style!

At the prestigious Junior Sculling Regatta, held at the iconic Dorney Lake at the weekend, the stage was set for a thrilling display of young talent. Despite the less-than-ideal spring weather with thick fog and drizzle setting a challenging scene, the competitors showed remarkable resilience. Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s junior 16 boys quadruple scull of Theo Richter, Xavier Sissins-Rofey, Seth Vondrak and Ollie Rowlands with an early start at the crack of dawn put forth a valiant effort, narrowly missing the finals by a mere five seconds. In the women’s junior 16 singles, Alexandra Francis, coming off a strong performance at the Junior Inter-Regional regatta, secured a spot in the final and clinched a commendable fifth place, showcasing her improvement and determination against formidable opponents.

During the weekend, Stratford’s Masters’ squad travelled to Nottingham in force: Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden led from the start, winning the MasD2x in a time of three minutes and fifty nine seconds. Nottingham Regatta was the first regatta of the summer season and for two of the squad their first regatta ever! The weather and water conditions were incredible as the crew lined up for the one kilometre of six lane racing.

The 4x- of Emily Sayers, Christine Goodwin , Gina Fusco and Ellie Davis. The crew were looking forward to a good race and were not disappointed: they got off to a composed start and by five hundred metres were into a good rhythm. It then became a battle for second place against local rivals, Warwick Boat Club. Unfortunately Stratford ladies just lost out by 0.03 of a second, taking third place four minutes and seven seconds. The crew were pleased with their performance and it was another step forward.

The Masters Women’s DVIII had a good start and settled into a rating of thirty three strokes per minute and were ahead of Monmouth after 100 metres mark. Broxborough had an eight second start due to the older average age of the crew and handicapping system, despite gaining on the leading crew, the gap proved too much to make up over the one kilometre course. The crew captain, Charlotte Jones, said, “There are plenty of positives and we have more this race to build on now. Thanks you to Debs Thompson of Upton Boat Club for coxing.”

Amanda Bowden, Masters Vice Captain, added, “This was a valuable training race for the
squad and I could not have been prouder of the commitment that the crews showed in the race. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we look forward to Worcester Regatta next Saturday. Thank you to our supporters on the day, also the coaches and coxes for the training – Alfie, Dan and Sam and to Dan Simkins and Dawson Curnock for towing the boats.”

Also at the weekend, King Edward V1 School Boat Club headed down to Dorney Lake for the Ball Cup Regatta. First down the course for K.E.S. was A. Appleton in WJ17 1x. She had a storming scull to finish second in her heat and comfortably progress to the final. In her final she got off to a better start and finished with a very credible silver medal. Later in the morning the J18 4x of W. Dalrymple-Baker, H.Hoare, A. Mathers and M.Cullimore raced down the course progressing comfortably to the final, in the final they put everything into it but couldn’t quite out perform some strong opposition finishing in fourth place. T. Shields and H. Perry went in the WJ18 2x, this was to be Shields’ first ever race: they put in a very respectable row finishing tenth overall from fifteenth crews.

In the Girls Ball Cup Fours, the K.E.S. crew of M.Rowan, E. Cooper, J. Long, A. Appleton and cox E. Mitchell put in a very impressive performance to pull away and take the win.

Next up were the Boys Ball Cup Fours, K.E.S. had two crews entered: both crews got off to a good start settling in well and put in great performances. The A crew of W. Dalrymple-Baker, H. Hoare, A Mathers, D. Shilvock and cox, E. Mitchell won to take the Ball Cup trophy with the B crew of M.Cullimore, H. Frost, F. Groves, T. Woodcock and cox A. Appleton took the silver.

Finally it was the turn of the WJ18 4x, the crew of M. Rowan, T. Shields, E. Cooper and J. Long had a great race narrowly missing out in the win by less than half a length to take the silver medal. Commenting Hannah Crone, Head of K.E.S. Rowing said, “It was a great day for the squad coming home with five medals and winning both the girls and boys Ball Cup Fours for the second year running!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page fifty and online and also Stratford Observer online and also Stratford Observer back sports page

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