Stratford upon Avon Boat Club sent a crew to the world renowned Henley Royal Regatta Qualifiers recently. The crew of Will Beattie, Tomi Wilcock, Charles Happel and Toby Sartain who are from Stratford School, King Edward VI School and Kineton High School competed in the Junior Quads event, The Fawley Challenge Cup. This was the first time in a number of years that Stratford Boat Club has entered a crew to race at Henley Royal Regatta and one of the first times ever that a crew has been entered into The Fawley Challenge Cup.
The Fawley Challenge Cup is one of the biggest events of the regatta with seventy crews entered, only twenty four go into the regatta draw. Sixteen of the crews had already been pre-selected based on performances throughout the season and this meant the remaining fifty four crews needed to go through the qualifying heats to take the final eight slots.
The Stratford crew put in a strong effort with their best row of the season and a brilliant course steered by Toby Sartain. Unfortunately, the lightweight crew were not fast enough to qualify in the strong headwind conditions.
J17 Coach Abi Terry said, “It was great to see this talented group of lads competing on the course alongside the best crews in the world. During warm up, they were followed by the GB men’s eight and the GB women’s four, something that doesn’t happen at any other event! I am so proud of this group and all that they have achieved!”
Commenting further, Paul Stanton, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s President said, “Racing at Henley Royal Regatta is the dream of every rower and the fact that these J17 rowers have achieved this at a comparatively young age speaks volumes for their determination and hours of effort put into their training over the last five years. Moreover, it is a testament to the massive effort that their dedicated coaches have put into their development: Stratford Boat Club is forever indebted to our coaches and all volunteers who selflessly give their time and expertise week after week!”
Although it’s definitely not Henley, Stratford Boat Club’s Fun Regatta is this coming Saturday 08 July with racing from 09.00 through 16.30hrs and presentations by Stratford upon Avon’s Mayor Cllr Kate Rolfe at 17.00hrs for the wining crews and fancy dress! Bar, tea tent and catering wagon in the Boat Club’s grounds all day: all are welcome!
For media coverage see Stratford Herald page forty five and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/quad-squad-relish-henley-experience-9320309 and Stratford Observer online https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-club-represented-in-prestigious-henley-royal-regatta-qualifiers