Stratford Masters Triumph at Bridgnorth!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Masters Mixed VIII of Charlotte Jones, Rebecca England, Lucy Scarlett, Helen Helliwell, Fiona Schultz, David Philips, David Edwards and Andrew Lear, coxed by Keris, raced at Bridgnorth Regatta on Saturday.

The event was a ‘round robin’ so each crew had three races at 500m: racing was close, providing a great experience especially for those who had never raced (Andrew Lear) and for those who had never raced in an VIII (Lucy Scarlett). Everyone came away excited about future racing and training!

In the afternoon, the Women’s Senior 4+ of Charlotte Jones, Fiona Schultz, Lucy Scarlett and Rebecca England had an eventful time. Unfortunately, the conditions got the better of them and after a couple of misdirected starts, decided that was enough and scratched the last race. They were grateful for the support from the others who were cheering and supported them through the ordeal!

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Masters Vice Captain said, ”Lots was learnt: onwards and upwards! A huge thanks to the cox Keris who coped with difficult streams and to David Edwards who towed the trailer.”

Meanwhile, back at Stratford on their home stretch of river, Stratford’s junior squads were busy putting in their final training for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s own regatta this coming Saturday 15 June. Racing will be from the weir to the Club grounds starting at 08.30 and going on throughout the day until 17.00hrs. Great places to watch the racing are from the RST Riverside Café, the Bancroft Gardens and The Rec

Commenting, Dawson Curnock, Stratford Boat Club Chairman and Regatta Secretary said, “It’s going to be a great day: as well as our own crews, we’ll be welcoming regional crews from Kings School Worcester, Evesham Rowing Club, King Edward V1 Boat Club, Clifton College, Monmouth Comprehensive Schools, Ross Rowing Club, AB Severn Boat Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Worcester Rowing Club and Bristol Ariel Rowing Club. It really is going to be a clash of the titans! Over one hundred and twenty races: an action packed day for all!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page forty five and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-compete-at-bridgnorth-regatta and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/06/14&pages=24

Masters and Adaptive Magic at Monmouth!

Two of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s adaptive squad attended Monmouth regatta this weekend: each rowed both days in their singles and then combined to row against able-bodied crews just on the Sunday. Each sculler was against stiff Llandaff competition in the singles: Curtis Dickens’ opponent is in a different para category who uses a sliding seat whereas Curtis is on a fixed seat, a decided disadvantage.

Meanwhile, Andy Morris was giving away around thirty five years to his opponents both days. Both Andy and Curtis performed creditably in the double. Commenting, Mark Dewdney Stratford Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach said, “So, very unusually, no medals for the squad this time! This was the first time Monmouth had staged adaptive races and the Stratford crew were there to mentor them through providing fair and safe racing for those with an impairment.”

Over the same weekend, following the close racing previously at Nottingham, Stratford’s Masters 4x- of Emily Sayers, Ellie Davis, Gina Fusco and Christine Goodwin took Monmouth by storm securing their first regatta win. Having the come through the semifinal, the crew were aiming to improve on their performance which they executed well. The final was a great competition with Minerva Bath pulling ahead but Stratford battled hard, overtook the Bath crew and held their lead ultimately gaining a win by half a length. The crew were delighted with their win and thrilled to have beaten a C crew in the semifinal and then a very good D crew in the final. Crew member Gina Fusco said, “It was lots of fun and we are delighted to be learning and improving all the time. We know what to work on to keep getting faster!”

Stratford Masters Heather Hayton won in WMD1x, beating Bristol Ariel, verdict one and three quarter lengths. Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley raced the WMD2x over the two days, on Saturday winning 1500m and on Sunday, winning the 750m sprints.

The Masters squad also entered two mixed crew events displaying strong racing whilst single sculler Richard Shepherd is also making big improvements. Said Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain, ”These crews are ones to watch for the future!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/crew-assists-with-adaptive-racing-at-regatta-9368198 and page forty four and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-clubs-masters-show-class-at-monmouth and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/05/31&pages=24

Stratford’s Masters and K.E.S. Weekend of Triumph!

Congratulations to Heather Hayton winning the WMD1x trophy in style! Heather is no novice to the event: commenting on her win Heather said, “The River Severn is always challenging and Saturday was no different, fast stream and a cross wind. Worcester Spring Regatta was my first race in the 1x this year, it was a positive experience and a good benchmark to work from. Lovely to hear our women’s eight cheer for me on my way down the course!”

The Women’s Masters VIII was coxed by Jen Carey, stroked by new Club member, Californian Adrienne Abreu with Rebecca England making stern pair. Following behind them; Helen Helliwell, Lin Hansen, Charlotte Jones, Fiona Schulz, Gina Fusco, Claudine Pearson, taking bow seat. The crew were grateful for their experienced cox who expertly navigated the long queue for boating, as well as the race with a fast stream. The eight made a powerful and efficient start which settled into a confident rhythm to take the first race against a Worcester.

But river regattas can be unpredictable and Stratford’s opponents in the final were a Bewdley crew whose age difference gave them a six second advantage. The eight were hindered under the umpire’s command at the start costing them dearly; although they gained on their opposition, the advantage was too large to make up.

Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain, summed up the event, “I am delighted to see Stratford Masters Women beating the opposition so convincingly in the first round. Winning the event would have been the ideal, however I felt they beat the better crew in the first race. This was another valuable learning experience for all the crews today.”

The earlier division saw David Timmins and Lucy Scarlett race against Birmingham in the first round of the Senior Mixed Doubles. It is early days for this newly formed crew, they went out in the round but had a very good row and enjoyed the race nonetheless. The Masters would like to thank Club Chairman, Dawson Curnock, for towing so early in the morning and Eric Pearson for towing back again.

Also at the weekend, Stratford Boat Club’s sister Club King Edward V1 School Boat Club headed down to Dorney Lake for the Ball Cup Regatta. First down the course for K.E.S. was A. Appleton in WJ17 1x. She had a storming scull to finish second in her heat and comfortably progress to the final. In her final she got off to a better start and finished with a very credible silver medal. Later in the morning the J18 4x of W. Dalrymple-Baker, H.Hoare, A. Mathers and M.Cullimore raced down the course progressing comfortably to the final, in the final they put everything into it but couldn’t quite out perform some strong opposition finishing in fourth place. T. Shields and H. Perry went in the WJ18 2x, this was to be Shields’ first ever race: they put in a very respectable row finishing tenth overall from fifteenth crews.

In the Girls Ball Cup Fours, the K.E.S. crew of M.Rowan, E. Cooper, J. Long, A. Appleton and cox E. Mitchell put in a very impressive performance to pull away and take the win.

Next up were the Boys Ball Cup Fours, K.E.S. had two crews entered: both crews got off to a good start settling in well and put in great performances. The A crew of W. Dalrymple-Baker, H. Hoare, A Mathers, D. Shilvock and cox, E. Mitchell won to take the Ball Cup trophy with the B crew of M.Cullimore, H. Frost, F. Groves, T. Woodcock and cox A. Appleton took the silver.

Finally it was the turn of the WJ18 4x, the crew of M. Rowan, T. Shields, E. Cooper and J. Long had a great race narrowly missing out in the win by less than half a length to take the silver medal. Commenting Hannah Crone, Head of K.E.S. Rowing said, “It was a great day for the squad coming home with five medals and winning both the girls and boys Ball Cup Fours for the second year running!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page forty four and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/trophy-triumph-at-spring-regatta-9367278 and also Stratford Observer online https://t.co/tLQtd3dK1Y

Stratford Rotary Set Plans Rolling at Stratford Boat Club!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s adaptive section is the largest of its kind in the UK: however, access for those with a disability around the Club and especially to the water is poor. Sadly this does not provide the athletes with the facilities they require. Significant investment is needed to bring access to where it should be but this is beyond the means of the Club.

What is needed a stable, floating landing stage pontoon, flat wheelchair friendly access in the grounds and a lift to the Club’s upstairs training rooms. Large scale funding from government and other authorities will be needed to deliver the project: to get this started needs all the design and permission work to be carried out and the project fully costed. This is where the Rotary Club of Stratford upon Avon has stepped in with a sizeable donation to help fund these initial but crucial steps.

Stratford Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach Mark Dewdney said, “The Stratford Boat Club believes in delivering the best access possible to its disabled members: the scheme will be a major step forward. Stratford Rotary Club have shown faith in our vision and we thank them for this: it has given us all a real boost.”

Commenting further, Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club’s President said, “Stratford Boat Club has a long relationship with Stratford Rotary and we admire their tireless efforts to help fund good causes and charities in Stratford upon Avon: for many years Stratford Boat Club has helped with Stratford Rotary’s pivotal fundraising activities such as the annual Shakespeare Rotary Marathon and the Duck Race in August. The hard work put in by Stratford Rotary has benefitted not only good causes but also the commercial and community wellbeing of Stratford upon Avon. In this our 150th year of the Boat Club’s formation, the pontoon landing stage and access project will be a lasting legacy for adaptive sport in the area, region and nationally and Stratford Rotary’s priming donation has set the early plans going but we need substantial support from local, regional and national companies and organisations to achieve this ambitious goal.”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-to-begin-adaptive-section-upgrades-thanks-to-donation-from-rotary-club and Stratford Herald page eleven

The Vesta International Masters Head of the River Race 2024 – “Taming of the Tideway”

Congratulations to Suzie Radley who won the Masters D VIII division in a time of 19:59mins. This time was faster than the winning Masters C VIII, a huge achievement having raced the course twice in as many weeks.

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s novice masters women’s crew took on the challenge of rowing 6.7km along the championship course in London. Coxed expertly by Jen Carey, the crew – Jane Cryer (s), Lin Hansen, Katie Burman, Ruth Poulten, Caroline Collins, Vicki Noyes, Clare Booth and Rona Fitzpatrick – raced in a field of two hundred and sixty masters’ boats from Chiswick through to Putney. After several weeks of tough river conditions, the sun shone and the wind died down to allow the ladies crew a good race with a solid rhythm and a strong finish.

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain said, “Particular thanks to the fabulous support crew – Esme and Alfie Booth and Paul Fitzpatrick. Also a special mention to our wider group of masters’ ladies for their significant support over the last ten weeks through training, coxing and coaching. A great first race experience and plenty to build on!”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page thirty seven and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-radley-tops-division-in-vesta-international-masters-head-of-the-river-race and also on back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/04/05&pages=24

Stratford Excel at Gloucester!

The Stratford upon Avon Boat Club masters’ men’s squad were out in force on Sunday at Gloucester Rowing Club Spring Head. The morning division may have been overcast but the rowing was a shining example of Stratford Boat Club at its best!

It was excellent to see  Stratford’s E 4- of Gary Clay, Richard Shepherd, Rich Owen and Dan Simpkins take to the water. This was the first time racing in this combination and the first time Rich Owen has raced since 2012 when he and Dan won Masters C at the same race!  A steady row, as planned, rating twenty six strokes per minute down the course and, whilst outshone by an impressive Minerva/Bidford combination, an enjoyable start to the season.

The H 2x of Mike Adkins and Paul Collins also rowed the Long Course. The double became cold waiting for the start, a draw back to head racing. Cold can pose one of the hardest challenges of head racing which is getting going again once the race is finally underway! With the terrific tail wind, they covered the course at a consistent rate of twenty six strokes per minute and were delighted with a no crab verdict!

The lunch break was enjoyable as the three squads – masters, senior women and adaptives – met together. Some were also fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time for some of the delicious lemon drizzle cake baked by Rich Shepard!

In the afternoon division, the sun came out welcoming the men’s C 4x for their first race of the head season. With Nick Sartain setting the pace from the stroke seat, the quad got off to a quick start before settling into a race rate of thirty one strokes per minute. Ed Lewry in the bow seat steered perfect lines down the course. The crew had the Stratford/Evesham composite VIII in their sights and soon reeled them in, followed by another overtake as they went past Avon County VIII. Eric Appleton and Tom Doherty, in the middle of the quad, kept the intensity up all the way to the finish. The crew recorded a time of nineteen minutes dead, easily winning their division, placing them fifth fastest of the afternoon and seventh for the day. Congratulations on their win!

Phil Marshal, Dave Edwards, Simon Skilling and Ian Sayers made up half of the Stratford/Evesham E/F composite VIII. They also found the cold wait a challenge but once the race started that was soon forgotten. They set about finding their rhythm and settled into a comfortable pace, having adjusted to the river conditions. From here, the cox Elisabeth Edwards, was in a good position to ask them to build as they moved on the crews ahead. They confidently rowed past an Avon VIII and held their own against a quad that pushed them from behind for the entire second half of the race. The VIII were determined to get the best time possible and gave everything they had through to the finish line. A gutsy row from this newly formed VIII.

Amanda Bowden, Masters’ Vice Captain commented that she was very impressed with the rowing and Club commitment, adding, “Well done to everybody who raced. Given the short time that the crews had been together and with very little time on the water this season due to the floods, the crews should be pleased with their results. These crews are all packed with potential and looking to make further improvements! We would all like to thank Dave Edwards for towing the boats. There may be one more head race for some crews but after that – bring on the summer regattas!”

In the morning division, Stratford’s women’s double of Imogen North and Beth Edwards took to the water for their first race together. Amongst a strong field of seven crews, they maintained a strong steady pace down the course to finish second.

Stratford Boat Club’s adaptive section sent five crews to Gloucester’s Head race. Unfortunately, there was no effective competition for them. Each athlete performed well. The stand-out performance was from 14 year old Isaac Clarkson who finished the course in 9 minutes 51 seconds, only a minute slower than his two adult club colleagues – Curtis Dickens and Andy Morris. The two doubles of Ian/Paola Ward and Gillian Middleton/Jake Blatcher were in a close, all Stratford contest. All the adaptive event medals for the day came back around the necks of the Stratford rowers.

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page forty two and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-mens-masters-squad-out-in-force-at-gloucesters-spring-head and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/03/22&pages=32

Stratford Conquer The Tideway!

Congratulations to Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Masters Women, Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden who raced at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHORR) and won the Masters Pennant!

WEHORR is rowed over 6.8km on the Tideway in London from Chiswick Bridge to Putney on the ebb tide, the same course that the University Boat Race will row over at the end of March but in the other direction.

The Stratford’s Masters women were invited to row in a composite crew with other clubs and it was a great privilege to be able to race in the boat that was used by the US Women’s winning eight in the 2016 Olympics.

The masters crew set up with a strong rhythm and maintained that for the duration of the course at 31 strokes per minute, overtaking two crews and gaining on a third. It was a solid row in tough conditions as the head wind pushed against the tide producing very choppy water. The adjusted time for masters was 20:06 minutes which would place the crew 26 out of 158, up amongst some of the university A times.

The crew enjoyed the Victory Celebration presentation in the evening, with the medals being presented by Annamarie Phelps CBE, Olympic Rower and previous Vice Chair of the Olympic Association, and hosted by Stratford’s Honorary Life Member Camilla Hadland-Horrocks, rowing commentator for Olympic and Paralympic Games. Another successful Stratford rower, Katie Wellstead was also spotted at the event, rowing for OUBC.

This year the event had been expecting to host many more crews, but sadly due to the high water levels and in the interest of safety, about 50% of the less experienced crews were withdrawn, including Stratford’s own junior 18 girls boat. We hope that the Stratford J18 crew will get to enjoy the long Tideway Course next year or with future university crews. For now, they should take some comfort, the conditions were horrible!

Commenting, Amanda Bowden, Stratford’s Women Masters Vice Captain said, “We would like to thank the masters women for all their encouragement and support. Messages before, during and after the event have ensured that the masters women are well supported.

There is more masters women Tideway action to come as the Masters E Crew of Jane Cryer, Ruth Poulton, Katie Burman, Lin Hansen, Caroline Collins, Victoria Noyes, Clare Booth and Rona Fitzpatrick and cox Jen Carey will be racing at Vesta International Masters Head of the River Race on Sunday 24th March. They have been training hard and we all wish them good luck!”

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page forty six and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/stratford-rowers-compete-in-usa-olympics-boat-9357098 and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-womens-masters-pair-triumph-on-the-tideway and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/03/15&pages=24

Stratford Excel in London and Hereford!

The weekend started well for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club with India Hamilton from Stratford Boat Club’s Participation squad making the trip to London to compete in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships.  Held in the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, the venue matched the performance level of the junior athletes competing. India, who is a pupil at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School, competed in the WJ14 Four Minute event in a field of 258 other competitors. With a solid start, India lay in twenty first place after the first minute but with each subsequent minute, her competitors dropped away and a stellar final sprint saw India secure the Silver Medal. India’s Participation Squad Coach, Ralph Johnson summed up well, “What a performance!”

On Sunday, the all too familiar pattern of bad weather continued and the West Midlands Junior Rowing Championships 2024 had to relocate to Hereford as the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta trials only. In Division One, the Stratford women’s J14 coxed quad was narrowly beaten by the Hereford crew. In Division Two, Stratford boys’ 4x+ and 2x both beat their opposition from Hereford Cathedral and Hereford Rowing Club respectively and qualified for the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta. J14 Coach Hugo Happel said, “Well done to all athletes for leaving it all on the water. Despite the lack of water time due to floods at Stratford over the last couple of months, they all sculled with good technique and power with some excellent energy management. They can all be very proud!”

In the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta trial format, Stratford’s J15 squad took to the water in crew boats. The coxed quadruple scull of Maeve Dunn, Martha Baines, Tessa Parkin, Sophie Franklin and Martha Cooke (coxswain) powered down the course to take the win from Hereford on their home water. Not to be outdone, the coxed four of Bryony Francis, Millie Smith, Becca Smith, Isla Dunn and Josephine Cooper (coxswain) also won their event in style ahead of a quality Royal Shrewsbury School outfit.

First down the course at the West Midlands Junior Inter Regional trials for Stratford’s J16 squad was the women’s junior 16 coxless quad of Lily Warren, Alice Jones, Sophie Evans and Poppy Baines. A strong last sprint to the line rewarded them with a competitive third position.

Following them was the strong showing in the Junior 16 coxed fours by Theo Richter, Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands, James Albrighton and Cox Meg Nuttal3 who stormed to the line taking a second place finish narrowly missing out on qualification.

Starting division three was Xavier Sissins-Roffey in the Junior 16 singles who pushed pass the worsening conditions to claim one of the two qualifying spots for this event. Joining him was Alexandra Francis and Poppy Baines who chased each other down the course to claim both the qualifying positions in a fantastic 1-2 finish.

Sadly because of the change of venue and potential inclement weather, the participation in the event by Stratford’s J13 and J17 squads was scrapped to make the organisation of the event more manageable.

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page forty six and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-participation-squad-athlete-wins-silver-at-national-indoor-championships and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2024/03/08&pages=24

For great pictures of the West Midlands Junior Rowing Championships 2024/Junior Inter-Regional Regatta trials, see Kathy Baines’ excellent selection https://1drv.ms/f/s!AgY7EiDB2lCOhrR9CAeSfUPS_M07Qw

Safety First: No Compromise!

After many months of delay due to inclement weather conditions, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club has finally commissioned a cohort of five ‘new’ launch drivers to their safety rota

All launch drivers at Stratford Boat Club are RYA qualified and as well as having extensive familiarisation on the Boat Club’s three safety launches, all new drivers have been on and passed the Royal Yachting Association’s Inland Waterways Helmsman course at Bisham Abbey which includes safety, helmsmanship, collision avoidance, engine checks, mooring, man overboard, rescue and enables them river to helm a vessel safely

Said Ian Wilcock, Stratford Boat Club’s Water Safety Advisor, “Stratford Boat Club takes water safety and the safety of its members and all river users very seriously. The Club’s launches are used daily for assisting with training upstream and safety on the Avon and having a pool of trained and qualified drivers is essential to maintain these rigorous standards. As well as weekend safety cover, the launches are out during the week with school outreach and essential cover for the Club’s ever expanding adaptive and weekday rowers’ squads as well as the Club’s two regattas and other events on the Avon”

Commenting further, Paul Stanton, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s President, said, “Putting our launch drivers through the RYA’s Inland Waterways Helmsman course is a considerable undertaking not only for the Club but also for the volunteers who give freely of their time gaining experience, going on the course and covering the launch safety rota slots. As the winter weather hopefully begins to ease, their input is especially needed and essential as summer rowing activity increases: we cannot thank them enough for their volunteering and time given!”

(Chris Dunn also passed but no shown in picture)

For media coverage, please see Stratford Herald page thirty nine and Stratford Observer online  https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-commission-five-new-launch-drivers-to-safety-rota

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

Attending a special awards presentation in London was Mark Dewdney, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach. Earlier in the month, Mark was awarded British Rowing’s Medal of Merit for his services to rowing

At the ceremony hosted by Fortnum & Mason, Love Rowing and British Rowing, Mark was presented with his award by Moe Sbihi MBE and with some of rowing’s ‘royalty’ of Dr Cath Bishop, Ellen Buttrick, Alastair Marks, Richard Phelps, Tanni Gray-Thompson and Ben Pritchard applauding at the award ceremony!