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!
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