Stratford’s Participation Squad Triumph Indoors!

Despite being decimated by injuries and last-minute withdrawals, a small group of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club athletes from the Participation Squad put in some amazing performances to come away from the annual King’s School Worcester Indoor Rowing Competition with medals.

Having only commenced indoor rowing in October and only training once a week, a number of personal best times were recorded with Shane McMahon coming off his sick bed to compete in three races!

Ellis Bishop secured a bronze in the year 11 boys’ race, rowing well above his normal rate and again demonstrating his ability to follow a race plan.

The last race of the day Ellis Bishop, Amelia Welton, Hannah Shivlock and Shane McMahon competed in the year 11 mixed relay where despite three of them only being in year 10, they secured a bronze medal.

Said Ralph Johnson, Stratford’s Participation Squad Coach, “The team were understandably very pleased with their day’s work and look forward to more events!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page forty seven and Stratford Observer online

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 and page thirty six and Stratford Observer online and also back sports page

Stratford & King Edward The Sixth School Boat Clubs Shine Indoors at Worcester

On a very frosty Sunday morning with the temperature reading -6’C, eight rowers from the Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Wednesday Participation squad set off for King’s School Worcester Indoor Rowing Competition for their first taste of competitive rowing.

There was understandably a lot of nerves and trepidation, however the crew produced amazing results. For a group that was only put together in October and train once a week, they produced five individual personal bests and came away with a fistful of medals.

In the individual races, Annie Silvers took silver and Hannah Shilvock bronze in the Year 9 girls’ event whilst Ellis Bishop came away with silver in the Year 10 boys’ race.

In the relays, the Year 9 girls’ crew of Annie Silvers, Hannah Shilvock, Amelia Welton and Estelle Littleford produced an outstanding result just missing out on gold to take silver, in the process smashing their personal best.

The last race of the day, Ellis Bishop, Emma Francioni, Kate Currow and Ila Lane competed in the Year 11 mixed relay where despite three of them only being in Year 10, they secured a bronze medal.

Said Ralph Johnson, J16 Participation Coach, “The crew were understandably very pleased with their morning’s work and look forward to more events.”

Joining Stratford Boat Club at Worcester was Stratford’s sister club, King Edward The Sixth School Boat Club headed with a squad of twenty one athletes from Years 8-13.

First up were E. Appleton and J. Greenwood in the Year 8 four minute race: two strong rowers from Cheltenham College and the Royal Grammar School tore out in front leaving Ed and James battling it out for Bronze. It was neck and neck the whole way with James eventually coming away with the bronze just three minutes ahead of teammate Ed.

The next race saw Ed and James going again in the Year 8 one minute race with Ed just pipping James to Silver this time and James came away with a second bronze medal. Vondrak then took on the Year 10 500m race: he had a strong race finishing fifth overall in a large field.

I.Vondrak was joined by S. McMahon, O. Rowlands and C. Thompson for the Year 10 relay. The boys put in a strong performance, winning their heat and coming fourth overall.

Next it was time for the Year 11-13’s: T. Beard took on nine other rowers and came out on top with a very impressive row in the Sixth Form Boys 500m race.

The rest of the day was down to the relay teams with the Year 11 team of W. Dalrymple-Baker, M. Cullimore, H. Hoare and O. Rowlands putting in a strong performance to take home the bronze medal.

Next up were the two Sixth Form mixed relay teams, both teams put in a huge row to come away with Gold and Silver in what turned out to be the closest race of the day with T. Beard, M. Hall, K. Richardson and D. Shilvock (6:10.3) just pipping H. Noyes, E. Rose, T. Wilcock and A. Richardson (6:10.4).

With very little rest the girls’ crew of H. Noyes, A. Richardson, K. Richardson and H. Hoare went into the girls’ relay putting in another amazing effort to come away with gold. Followed soon after by the boys’ crew of E. Rose, T. Wilcock, T. Beard and D. Shilvock just missing out on a medal in the boys’ relay with the B crew of J. Nash, J. Kirby, F. Groves and H. Hoare coming in fifth place.

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald online and page fifty three and Stratford Observer online