Stratford’s Dewdney Awarded British Rowing’s Medal of Merit!

In his award citation, Alastair Marks, Chief Executive of British Rowing stated, “Mark also received multiple nominations from across his region for the work that he has done to raise the profile of adaptive rowing.

He coaches a substantial number of adaptive rowers at his own club at Stratford upon Avon and oversees a large group of volunteers, but his contribution to adaptive rowing has been much wider than that, with a major impact on a national level.

Mark has helped to develop the recent national strategy for adaptive rowing and has enabled coaches of adaptive rowers across the country to share ideas and good practice on adaptive rowing.

As Chair of the British Rowing Club Adaptive Group, which Mark helped to establish, he is in constant conversation with rowing and disability focussed organisations and gives up significant amounts of his time to assist other rowing clubs and competitions across the country in planning adaptive categories, providing guidance to safety considerations and logistical planning.

At international level, Mark has organised for Clubs in the UK to attend Para competitions in Italy and has met with international Para coaches to share ideas.”

Commenting further, Paul Stanton, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s President said, “The whole Club is very proud of Mark and his achievements and especially the recognition from British Rowing, the sport’s governing body: Mark’s dedication to the sport and the hours of dedication mirror the efforts of all Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s coaches, launch drivers, committee members, supporters and volunteers. We are so grateful to all of them!”

 

For media coverage, see British Rowing news https://www.britishrowing.org/2024/01/2023-british-rowing-awards-winners-announced; Stratford Herald page forty five and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/rowing-coach-presented-with-top-award-9351047 and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-clubs-dewdney-awarded-british-rowings-medal-of-merit and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/02/02&pages=24

Stratford Score at Indoor Championships

The Stratford upon Avon Boat Club adaptive squad had a strong outing at the British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) at Birmingham’s NEC this weekend. Amid over 1,500 competitors, Stratford Boat Club’s adaptive squad secured three gold medals and four personal bests.

Jake Blatcher, competing in BRIC for the first time, came twenty fifth in the Open 2000m and sixteenth in the Open 500m with a whopping 1:35mins split time. Jake completed his 2K race in 7:04mins (three seconds short of his previous PB of 7:01mins) and the 500m race was a new personal best for Jake.

Curtis Dickens, who has been selected for British Rowing’s GB World Class Rowing Programme, won gold in the PR2 2000m category. It was a close race in the middle but Curtis powered ahead in the latter stages, winning with a comfortable lead. Curtis has competed his 2K race in 7:55 while maintaining a steady rate.

Isaac Clarkson won gold in the Year 9 PR3 category and was thirtieth out of fifty five competitors in the mainstream Year 9 boys. Isaac went on to win a second gold in the Year 9 PR3 One Minute category. Most of all, Isaac secured two personal bests continuing to go from strength to strength as the youngest PR3 accredited rower in the UK. Isaac is also Stratford Boat Club’s youngest adaptive rower

Commenting, Courtland Clarkson said, “It was a superbly organised event with a great atmosphere and lots of friendly rivalry across the clubs and schools. It’s definitely an event for the race calendar from now on!”

Also representing Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Participation Squad was Ellis Bishop: despite only rowing for one year and having minimal training time indoors, Ellis came a credible eleventh in the 500m Year 11 Boys’ Race.

Ralph Johnson, Participation Squad Coach said, “Ellis was very nervous this being his first major competition but he followed his race plan perfectly to come through in the last 50m as others around him faded. Having doubted himself, Ellis was understandably pleased with his performance which should hopefully stand him in good stead for future races in the New Year!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/solid-gold-displays-at-indoor-rowing-event-9344473 and page thirty six and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-boat-clubs-adaptive-athletes-compete-at-indoor-championships and also back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2023/12/15&pages=24

Stratford Clean Up Indoors and at Wycliffe!

The weekend saw a welcome return to racing on the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal for the annual Wycliffe Small Boats Head.  Held over 2500m, the Wycliffe event always attracts quality crews from around the region and for the 42nd edition the competition did not disappoint.  As the wildfowl of the nearby Wetland Trust stirred from their slumber, the Stratford upon Avon Boat Club athletes pushed off to get racing underway in Division 1. The WJ14 coxed quadruple scull of Lucy Yang (cox), Poppy Baines, Alexandra Francis, Meg Nuttall and Lily Warren were first down the course. Surging past a quality outfit from Hereford Cathedral School, the girls went on to take the bronze medal.  Later in Division 3, the open J14 coxed quadruple scull of James Albrighton (cox), Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands, Sophie Evans and Alice Jones delivered more hardware with a commanding row to take the silver medal.

Stratford’s J15 athletes continued their initiation to head racing and came back with an impressive medal haul. Lucy Sartain won Silver in the WJ15 1x category, beating the girls from Wallingford Rowing Club. Will Dalrymple-Baker won Bronze in the OJ15 1x in 11:58.9, beating strong opposition from Queens Park High, Dart Totnes and Wallingford Rowing Club. Will and Jamie Wilcock collected Bronze in the OJ15 2x, in 10:37.9, beating crews from QPH, Dart Totnes, Kings Worcester, Hereford and Monmouth.

Charles Happel was the only J16 competing in the OJ16 1x event, and set a Silver medal winning time of 11:11.6, beating strong opposition from Queens Park High and Hereford Cathedral.

The day started early for Stratford’s J17/18 Performance squad in Division 1, with Toby Sartain and Will Beattie finishing third in the open doubles event. Freya Watts (WJ17) and Amelie Sartain (WJ18) also competed in their respective singles races, both placing second overall. Later in Division 2, they raced alongside Fleur Griffiths and Lucy Browne in the WJ18 quad event, competing against fellow teammates Ruby Howells, Harriet Holmes, Martha Usselmann and Elisabeth Edwards. In a field of stiff competition, the girls finished eleventh and twelfth respectively. Tomi Wilcock and Will Beattie also raced in Division 2, placing fifth in the open J18 doubles event. With the wind picking up in Division 3, Martha Usselmann stepped into the WJ18 doubles event to replace an injured teammate to row with Harriet Holmes, the pair achieving a strong fourth place, just ahead of Fleur Griffiths and Ruby Howells who finished fifth. The open J17 singles event rounded off the day for the squad, with Tomi Wilcock coming in second, and Toby Sartain just after in third.

Christine Goodwin and Gina Fusco, Stratford Masters also competed in the doubles event.

This weekend was also the annual British Rowing Indoor Championships which this year took place in a fully virtual format.  Athletes competed for glory from living rooms, conservatories, garden sheds and garages across the globe. In her first year of rowing, Cara Berisford-Murray represented Stratford upon Avon Boat Club in both 500m and 3min races for Year Eight girls’ category. In a thrilling three minute event, Cara walked through the field to secure the Silver medal just 1.5 lengths behind the winner.  Not satisfied with one medal, Cara went on to dominate the 500m sprint event taking Gold.  Commenting, Steve Wellstead, Junior Co-ordinator and J13 coach said, “A truly magnificent start to her rowing career and results of which she can be proud!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page fifty three and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/rowers-claim-medals-galore-9229376 and also Stratford Observer online https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-upon-avon-boat-club-enjoy-success-at-british-rowing-indoor-championships-and-wycliffe-small-boats-head and back sports page https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2021/12/10&pages=024

For more great pictures of Wycliffe Small Boats Head, see Stuart Baines’ selection https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiW2DAyn9tg9j4MIWDlZpSwGKK7L_w?e=rYDQUC