Stratford Masters Triumph at Bridgnorth!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Masters Mixed VIII of Charlotte Jones, Rebecca England, Lucy Scarlett, Helen Helliwell, Fiona Schultz, David Philips, David Edwards and Andrew Lear, coxed by Keris, raced at Bridgnorth Regatta on Saturday.

The event was a ‘round robin’ so each crew had three races at 500m: racing was close, providing a great experience especially for those who had never raced (Andrew Lear) and for those who had never raced in an VIII (Lucy Scarlett). Everyone came away excited about future racing and training!

In the afternoon, the Women’s Senior 4+ of Charlotte Jones, Fiona Schultz, Lucy Scarlett and Rebecca England had an eventful time. Unfortunately, the conditions got the better of them and after a couple of misdirected starts, decided that was enough and scratched the last race. They were grateful for the support from the others who were cheering and supported them through the ordeal!

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Masters Vice Captain said, ”Lots was learnt: onwards and upwards! A huge thanks to the cox Keris who coped with difficult streams and to David Edwards who towed the trailer.”

Meanwhile, back at Stratford on their home stretch of river, Stratford’s junior squads were busy putting in their final training for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s own regatta this coming Saturday 15 June. Racing will be from the weir to the Club grounds starting at 08.30 and going on throughout the day until 17.00hrs. Great places to watch the racing are from the RST Riverside Café, the Bancroft Gardens and The Rec

Commenting, Dawson Curnock, Stratford Boat Club Chairman and Regatta Secretary said, “It’s going to be a great day: as well as our own crews, we’ll be welcoming regional crews from Kings School Worcester, Evesham Rowing Club, King Edward V1 Boat Club, Clifton College, Monmouth Comprehensive Schools, Ross Rowing Club, AB Severn Boat Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Worcester Rowing Club and Bristol Ariel Rowing Club. It really is going to be a clash of the titans! Over one hundred and twenty races: an action packed day for all!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page forty five and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-compete-at-bridgnorth-regatta and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/06/14&pages=24

Masters and Adaptive Magic at Monmouth!

Two of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s adaptive squad attended Monmouth regatta this weekend: each rowed both days in their singles and then combined to row against able-bodied crews just on the Sunday. Each sculler was against stiff Llandaff competition in the singles: Curtis Dickens’ opponent is in a different para category who uses a sliding seat whereas Curtis is on a fixed seat, a decided disadvantage.

Meanwhile, Andy Morris was giving away around thirty five years to his opponents both days. Both Andy and Curtis performed creditably in the double. Commenting, Mark Dewdney Stratford Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach said, “So, very unusually, no medals for the squad this time! This was the first time Monmouth had staged adaptive races and the Stratford crew were there to mentor them through providing fair and safe racing for those with an impairment.”

Over the same weekend, following the close racing previously at Nottingham, Stratford’s Masters 4x- of Emily Sayers, Ellie Davis, Gina Fusco and Christine Goodwin took Monmouth by storm securing their first regatta win. Having the come through the semifinal, the crew were aiming to improve on their performance which they executed well. The final was a great competition with Minerva Bath pulling ahead but Stratford battled hard, overtook the Bath crew and held their lead ultimately gaining a win by half a length. The crew were delighted with their win and thrilled to have beaten a C crew in the semifinal and then a very good D crew in the final. Crew member Gina Fusco said, “It was lots of fun and we are delighted to be learning and improving all the time. We know what to work on to keep getting faster!”

Stratford Masters Heather Hayton won in WMD1x, beating Bristol Ariel, verdict one and three quarter lengths. Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley raced the WMD2x over the two days, on Saturday winning 1500m and on Sunday, winning the 750m sprints.

The Masters squad also entered two mixed crew events displaying strong racing whilst single sculler Richard Shepherd is also making big improvements. Said Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain, ”These crews are ones to watch for the future!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/crew-assists-with-adaptive-racing-at-regatta-9368198 and page forty four and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-clubs-masters-show-class-at-monmouth and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/05/31&pages=24

Stratford’s Masters and K.E.S. Weekend of Triumph!

Congratulations to Heather Hayton winning the WMD1x trophy in style! Heather is no novice to the event: commenting on her win Heather said, “The River Severn is always challenging and Saturday was no different, fast stream and a cross wind. Worcester Spring Regatta was my first race in the 1x this year, it was a positive experience and a good benchmark to work from. Lovely to hear our women’s eight cheer for me on my way down the course!”

The Women’s Masters VIII was coxed by Jen Carey, stroked by new Club member, Californian Adrienne Abreu with Rebecca England making stern pair. Following behind them; Helen Helliwell, Lin Hansen, Charlotte Jones, Fiona Schulz, Gina Fusco, Claudine Pearson, taking bow seat. The crew were grateful for their experienced cox who expertly navigated the long queue for boating, as well as the race with a fast stream. The eight made a powerful and efficient start which settled into a confident rhythm to take the first race against a Worcester.

But river regattas can be unpredictable and Stratford’s opponents in the final were a Bewdley crew whose age difference gave them a six second advantage. The eight were hindered under the umpire’s command at the start costing them dearly; although they gained on their opposition, the advantage was too large to make up.

Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain, summed up the event, “I am delighted to see Stratford Masters Women beating the opposition so convincingly in the first round. Winning the event would have been the ideal, however I felt they beat the better crew in the first race. This was another valuable learning experience for all the crews today.”

The earlier division saw David Timmins and Lucy Scarlett race against Birmingham in the first round of the Senior Mixed Doubles. It is early days for this newly formed crew, they went out in the round but had a very good row and enjoyed the race nonetheless. The Masters would like to thank Club Chairman, Dawson Curnock, for towing so early in the morning and Eric Pearson for towing back again.

Also at the weekend, Stratford Boat Club’s sister Club 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 forty four and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/trophy-triumph-at-spring-regatta-9367278 and also Stratford Observer online https://t.co/tLQtd3dK1Y

The Vesta International Masters Head of the River Race 2024 – “Taming of the Tideway”

Congratulations to Suzie Radley who won the Masters D VIII division in a time of 19:59mins. This time was faster than the winning Masters C VIII, a huge achievement having raced the course twice in as many weeks.

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s novice masters women’s crew took on the challenge of rowing 6.7km along the championship course in London. Coxed expertly by Jen Carey, the crew – Jane Cryer (s), Lin Hansen, Katie Burman, Ruth Poulten, Caroline Collins, Vicki Noyes, Clare Booth and Rona Fitzpatrick – raced in a field of two hundred and sixty masters’ boats from Chiswick through to Putney. After several weeks of tough river conditions, the sun shone and the wind died down to allow the ladies crew a good race with a solid rhythm and a strong finish.

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain said, “Particular thanks to the fabulous support crew – Esme and Alfie Booth and Paul Fitzpatrick. Also a special mention to our wider group of masters’ ladies for their significant support over the last ten weeks through training, coxing and coaching. A great first race experience and plenty to build on!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page thirty seven and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-radley-tops-division-in-vesta-international-masters-head-of-the-river-race and also on back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/04/05&pages=24

Stratford Excel at Gloucester!

The Stratford upon Avon Boat Club masters’ men’s squad were out in force on Sunday at Gloucester Rowing Club Spring Head. The morning division may have been overcast but the rowing was a shining example of Stratford Boat Club at its best!

It was excellent to see  Stratford’s E 4- of Gary Clay, Richard Shepherd, Rich Owen and Dan Simpkins take to the water. This was the first time racing in this combination and the first time Rich Owen has raced since 2012 when he and Dan won Masters C at the same race!  A steady row, as planned, rating twenty six strokes per minute down the course and, whilst outshone by an impressive Minerva/Bidford combination, an enjoyable start to the season.

The H 2x of Mike Adkins and Paul Collins also rowed the Long Course. The double became cold waiting for the start, a draw back to head racing. Cold can pose one of the hardest challenges of head racing which is getting going again once the race is finally underway! With the terrific tail wind, they covered the course at a consistent rate of twenty six strokes per minute and were delighted with a no crab verdict!

The lunch break was enjoyable as the three squads – masters, senior women and adaptives – met together. Some were also fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time for some of the delicious lemon drizzle cake baked by Rich Shepard!

In the afternoon division, the sun came out welcoming the men’s C 4x for their first race of the head season. With Nick Sartain setting the pace from the stroke seat, the quad got off to a quick start before settling into a race rate of thirty one strokes per minute. Ed Lewry in the bow seat steered perfect lines down the course. The crew had the Stratford/Evesham composite VIII in their sights and soon reeled them in, followed by another overtake as they went past Avon County VIII. Eric Appleton and Tom Doherty, in the middle of the quad, kept the intensity up all the way to the finish. The crew recorded a time of nineteen minutes dead, easily winning their division, placing them fifth fastest of the afternoon and seventh for the day. Congratulations on their win!

Phil Marshal, Dave Edwards, Simon Skilling and Ian Sayers made up half of the Stratford/Evesham E/F composite VIII. They also found the cold wait a challenge but once the race started that was soon forgotten. They set about finding their rhythm and settled into a comfortable pace, having adjusted to the river conditions. From here, the cox Elisabeth Edwards, was in a good position to ask them to build as they moved on the crews ahead. They confidently rowed past an Avon VIII and held their own against a quad that pushed them from behind for the entire second half of the race. The VIII were determined to get the best time possible and gave everything they had through to the finish line. A gutsy row from this newly formed VIII.

Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain commented that she was very impressed with the rowing and Club commitment, adding, “Well done to everybody who raced. Given the short time that the crews had been together and with very little time on the water this season due to the floods, the crews should be pleased with their results. These crews are all packed with potential and looking to make further improvements! We would all like to thank Dave Edwards for towing the boats. There may be one more head race for some crews but after that – bring on the summer regattas!”

In the morning division, Stratford’s women’s double of Imogen North and Beth Edwards took to the water for their first race together. Amongst a strong field of seven crews, they maintained a strong steady pace down the course to finish second.

Stratford Boat Club’s adaptive section sent five crews to Gloucester’s Head race. Unfortunately, there was no effective competition for them. Each athlete performed well. The stand-out performance was from 14 year old Isaac Clarkson who finished the course in 9 minutes 51 seconds, only a minute slower than his two adult club colleagues – Curtis Dickens and Andy Morris. The two doubles of Ian/Paola Ward and Gillian Middleton/Jake Blatcher were in a close, all Stratford contest. All the adaptive event medals for the day came back around the necks of the Stratford rowers.

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page forty two and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-mens-masters-squad-out-in-force-at-gloucesters-spring-head and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/03/22&pages=32

Stratford Conquer The Tideway!

Congratulations to Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Masters Women, Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden who raced at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHORR) and won the Masters Pennant!

WEHORR is rowed over 6.8km on the Tideway in London from Chiswick Bridge to Putney on the ebb tide, the same course that the University Boat Race will row over at the end of March but in the other direction.

The Stratford’s Masters women were invited to row in a composite crew with other clubs and it was a great privilege to be able to race in the boat that was used by the US Women’s winning eight in the 2016 Olympics.

The masters crew set up with a strong rhythm and maintained that for the duration of the course at 31 strokes per minute, overtaking two crews and gaining on a third. It was a solid row in tough conditions as the head wind pushed against the tide producing very choppy water. The adjusted time for masters was 20:06 minutes which would place the crew 26 out of 158, up amongst some of the university A times.

The crew enjoyed the Victory Celebration presentation in the evening, with the medals being presented by Annamarie Phelps CBE, Olympic Rower and previous Vice Chair of the Olympic Association, and hosted by Stratford’s Honorary Life Member Camilla Hadland-Horrocks, rowing commentator for Olympic and Paralympic Games. Another successful Stratford rower, Katie Wellstead was also spotted at the event, rowing for OUBC.

This year the event had been expecting to host many more crews, but sadly due to the high water levels and in the interest of safety, about 50% of the less experienced crews were withdrawn, including Stratford’s own junior 18 girls boat. We hope that the Stratford J18 crew will get to enjoy the long Tideway Course next year or with future university crews. For now, they should take some comfort, the conditions were horrible!

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Stratford’s Women Masters Vice Captain said, “We would like to thank the masters women for all their encouragement and support. Messages before, during and after the event have ensured that the masters women are well supported.

There is more masters women Tideway action to come as the Masters E Crew of Jane Cryer, Ruth Poulton, Katie Burman, Lin Hansen, Caroline Collins, Victoria Noyes, Clare Booth and Rona Fitzpatrick and cox Jen Carey will be racing at Vesta International Masters Head of the River Race on Sunday 24th March. They have been training hard and we all wish them good luck!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page forty six and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/stratford-rowers-compete-in-usa-olympics-boat-9357098 and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-womens-masters-pair-triumph-on-the-tideway and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/03/15&pages=24

Excellent Scratch Regatta to Finish 2023!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s traditional Boxing Day Scratch regatta over 600m from the ferry to the Club grounds is always a superb attraction for the Stratford upon Avon townsfolk and visitors to the town for Christmas.

This Boxing Day Scratch Regatta was no exception as twenty four rowers together with volunteer coxes took part in the coxed fours knockout racing with the bonus of enjoying the sunshine and chance to get out on the river which recently has been hampered by high and fast river conditions.

The ‘luck of the draw’ brought together combinations of adults, juniors and novice rowers and it was also wonderful to see the previous juniors returning from university to join in the fun including athletes likely to be competing in the March 2024 University Boat Race. This year the races were followed the safety launch and the crews were given Santa’s reindeer names in keeping with the season! Starting at the ferry, the guaranteed wild steering, splashing and crabbing did not disappoint the spectators as the crews dashed towards the finish at the club but gave the organisers the occasional unwarranted cause for slight concern!

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Women’s Masters Vice Captain who acted as finish umpire said,” Well done and thanks to all who came down to race and to those who came and supported the event. The winners of the plate competition were ‘Prancer’ with the overall winners of the valued chocolates were ‘Dancer’!”

Kjersti Rogneflaten Wolley, a member of the winning crew, reflecting on the event said, “It was great Boxing Day racing. Each round had its excitement, first with a crab and the second with a crash of oars and boats: possibly not our prettiest rowing but we went for power and persistence which won through!”

Commenting further, Paul Stanton, the Club’s President said, “Many thanks go to Dave Edwards, Masters Men’s Vice Captain for organising the event; Amanda Bowden; Ian Wilcock, Safety Officer on the launch and to Dawson Curnock, Chairman and starter for running the event. The start of 2024 is looking good and the Club looks forward to training and competing in local, regional and national head of the river races.”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/dancer-is-the-winner-in-the-battle-of-reindeer-on-the-river-9346375 and page thirty eight and also Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-end-year-with-annual-boxing-day-regatta-2 and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/01/05&pages=24.

For more great pictures of the Boxing Day Scratch Regatta, see Kathy and Stuart Baines’ excellent selection https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AKRzlgR1ojfobI0&id=3DD8F6A70C0CB625%21255859&cid=3DD8F6A70C0CB625

Mammoth Day at Monmouth for Stratford’s Women’s Masters!

A strong squad of masters women from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club competed in both divisions at Sunday’s Monmouth Winter Head, winning medals in the VIII and Quads.

This was the largest number of masters women that Stratford has seen out in a while, boating two VIIIs, three quads and a coxed four. Despite a series of unfortunate events that could have derailed the plans for the day, including crew illness, mechanical failure resulting in two boats remaining at Stratford and some pretty awful weather, the adaptability of the squad members coupled with generosity from Monmouth rescued the situation and saved the day.

In the morning division, the first VIII composite had a very solid row in a time of 7.39mins, beating two other crews. The stern pair of Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley set a strong rhythm for the crew. The middle four of Heather Hayton, Rebecca England, Ruth Poulten and Charlotte Jones, were called upon a couple of times for extra pushes. The response was felt and the boat lifted, supported with good timing from Rona Fitzpatrick and Susan Brown (Xpress Boat Club) in the bows. The crew was ably coxed by Keris McShane.

The second VIII of Jane Cryer (stroke), Ellie Davies, Emily Sayer, Lin Hansen, Geraldine Chorley, Lucy Kelleher, Claudine Pearson and Paola Arevelo Ward, were confidently coxed along the 2.25km by Jen Carey. The crew went off at a rate of 26 strokes per minute, settling to 24 after three minutes before finishing strongly at 27 with a respectable time of 8.22mins. This was an enjoyable row despite the cold wet conditions and challenges faced in order to get a boat on the water. Jane Cryer commented, “Great to see so many women representing Stratford Boat Club at this event and enjoying their sport.”

In the afternoon division, the winning Women’s Masters C 4x- of Ellie Davis, Gina Fusco, Christine Goodwin and Emily Sayers had a very good row. They beat Worcester by seven seconds. They were delighted with the win having stuck to their race plan and produced a good race.

The winning composite Women’s Masters D/E 4x- of Heather Hayton, Suzie Radley, Amanda Bowden and Susan Brown (Xpress Boat Club) had a fabulous row, in a time of 7.37mins beating Upton and Gloucester.

The novice Women’s Masters D/E 4x- was stroked by Lucy Kelleher and backed up by Jane Connolly, Mel Brown (substitute) and Claudine Pearson. Claudine was steering for the first time in a race. This developmental stage for a sculler is a positive step for racing crews. Mel Brown from Monmouth Boat Club, commented on what a great line Claudine had taken down the river.

The Women’s Masters C 4+ was coxed by Jen Carey, stroked by Rebecca England, was supported by Lin Hansen, Jane Cryer and Ruth Poulten. They came in 26seconds after the winners, Evesham Boat Club. This crew is recently formed and one to watch in the future.

Vice Captain, Amanda Bowden said, “The squad is developing to show real strength in depth. Crews are beginning to see rewards, or will do soon, for the effort they put in. Time on the water and in the gym is ensuring that we have strong and technically competitive crews. I am delighted with the progress this autumn, it bodes well for the summer racing. Thanks goes to Eric Appleton for trailering and supporting the crews on a rather cold, damp day and to the finishing coaches Dan Simkins and Sam Hill.”

Sadly, the juniors squads’ Wycliffe Small Boats Head on Saturday was cancelled at the very last minute after the crews and their boats had travelled to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

For media coverage of Stratford’s Women’s Masters’ triumphs at Monmouth Rowing Club’s Winter Head see Stratford Herald page thirty nine and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/medals-for-rowers-at-monmouth-meeting-9343383 and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-mammoth-effort-from-boat-clubs-womens-masters-at-monmouth and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2023/12/08&pages=24

A Week of Prizes for Stratford’s Masters’ Women’s Squad!

Last week started well for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club with Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden attending the Pairs Head Prize Giving at Barnes Bridge Ladies Boat Club, London, on Sunday. Said Amanda Bowden, Women’s Masters’ Vice Captain, “We were delighted to receive our medals and a pennant plaque, for Stratford Boat Club, from the Great Britain sculler John Collins. John is the two times Olympian in the double sculls and currently training for Paris.”

Amanda and Suzie’s celebrated their win at The Pairs Head was in unimaginable glorious conditions with the two masters’ women’s double rowed on the 4.5km Championship Course from Chiswick to Hammersmith. Club Captain Heather Hayton and Liz Collins also raced in The Pairs Head in the WMB2x event and had a fabulous race thoroughly enjoying the occasion. Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley’s win the WMD2x Club event at The Pairs Head was in a time of 16.26 minutes. Amanda commented, “This was first time I have rowed this event: it was great fun and I was delighted to have steered a good course. We all look forward to returning to the Tideway racing again soon.”

This last weekend was also a day of firsts, this time at Gloucester Autumn Head: the Club was hugely pleased to boat three masters’ women’s crews at this Autumn Head on Sunday.

The masters’ women’s novice four was stroked with length and strength by Jane Cryer with cox Celia Price steering from bow for the first time, navigating canal bridges and brambles from Cleopatra’s coffin seat with care. Katie Burman, Rebecca England and Claudine Pearson completed the novice crew. The crew, who had no points on their British Rowing licences, were pleased and disappointed in equal measure that only a second separated them from the significantly younger Evesham crew who took the win.

The afternoon division put the women’s masters’ coxless quad through their paces. Steered again from the bow, by Rosie Stone, with Jackie Joesbury, Kate Slater and Clare Pass (stroke), the crew got off to a good start. Maintaining a lead for half the race, they could not quite hold off the youthful opposition of a crew from the University of West England. Given that this was the first race the crew had attempted in a coxless quad, they were pleased to have finished the race in style and had a great day out!

Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden also had a good race. The bobbly water was challenging but they were happy to beat last year’s time and take the win!

Masters Women’s Vice Captain, Amanda Bowden was particularly impressed with Celia Price’s enthusiasm to bow steer for the first time after lowering herself into the bow ‘seat’. Amanda commented further, “This is not for the faint hearted and takes some time to adjust: Celia did this after only one practice! Katie Burman was racing for the first time and Rosie Stone steering a coxless crew for the first time. I was really proud of the squad: it was a fun day and a win for the novice crews is on the near horizon! Many thanks from all the masters’ women to Simon Price for trailering the boats!”

Also at Gloucester Autumn Head were Paul Collins and Mike Adkins who were against a crew from Taunton in the Masters’ H 2x category. Conditions were a bit choppy and challenging but they managed to catch and pass the Taunton crew, extricate themselves from a melee of eights, doubles and singles and row on for a win!

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page forty two and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-boat-clubs-masters-womens-squad-impress-at-gloucester-autumn-head and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2023/11/03&pages=32

Stratford Happiness on the Avon and Tideway!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Masters Women’s crew of Rona, Clare, Paola and Ruth competed at the Avon Bluefriars’ Small Boats Head near Bath at the weekend

Rowing the Long Course of 3250m, they all enjoyed the paddle upstream to the start on what is a beautiful stretch of the Avon. They completed the course with competent and efficient rowing and brilliant steering from Ruth at bow. No medals won but all were satisfied to have completed the course: a very enjoyable race and useful practice for the remaining Head season. A great experience which is definitely recommended: very well organised, friendly, welcoming and a lovely course. Stratford will be back!

Meanwhile, in unimaginable glorious conditions, two Stratford masters’ women’s pairs rowed the 4.5km Championship Course from Chiswick to Hammersmith in the prestigious Pairs Head 2023. Heather Hayton and Liz Collins raced in the WMB2x and had a fabulous race, thoroughly enjoying the occasion.

Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley won the WMD2x Club event in a time of 16.26mins. Amanda commented, “This was first time I have rowed the event, it was great fun and I was delighted to have steered a good course. We all look forward to returning to the Tideway racing again soon!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page sixty one and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-boat-club-masters-duo-triumph-at-prestigious-pairs-head and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2023/10/13&pages=32