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 https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/medals-galore-at-indoor-championship-9295564 and page fifty three and Stratford Observer online https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-rowers-impress-at-worcester-indoor-rowing-competition