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