International competition for in-form Stratford crews

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Stratford’s junior doubles crew powering down the Henley-on-Thames course.

ROWING

STRATFORD Boat Club athletes young and old continued to show their good form at the Town and Visitors Regatta held at Henley-on-Thames.

With athletes from Las Vegas, the East India Company, Holland and the Royal Air Force, the regatta was an eclectic and fabulous event.

The double scull with masters Neville Hand and Gary Clay on board won a very hard fought heat against Bentham Boat Club and in the final they took on Guildford Rowing Club with a crew in an older age group who were given a generous ten second advantage from the start.

Stratford again piled on the pressure, but by the finish they failed to overhaul their opponents to lose by less than two seconds.

The 17-year-old girls raced in both the senior and junior women’s events.

Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift raced a Dutch coxless pair in the senior event.

After a gruelling race, the Dutch ladies finished three feet in front of the Stratford girls. Katie Wellstead and Emily Browne racing in the junior double sculls were unable to overhaul a double from Upper Thames Rowing Club.

Stratford’s junior four crew giving it their all.

All four girls were joined by their cox Mimi Hill to race in the senior women’s coxed four event.

After winning their heat by over three lengths, they took on Warwick Boat Club in the final.

In another close-fought race, the Stratford girls won by half a length to bring home the trophy.

The J16 squad were represented on Henley Reach by Fred Tyler, Mya Kenny and Alice Baines.

First up was Baines who entered the senior women’s single scull event where the competition was strong and a sculler from Greenbank Falmouth Rowing Club triumphed.

Next off the stake boats was Tyler in the J16 single scull, winning his heat in style over Henley Rowing Club.

Unfortunately the final did not follow the same pattern and a mistimed final push cost Tyler the silverware by just two feet.

Finally, Baines returned to the water undaunted with Kenny in the J16 double scull.

The girls ran sisters from Henley Rowing Club (both National Schools gold medalists) hard, losing out by less than one length in a crowd-pleasing race.

In the last race of the day for Stratford, a late entry from Sophie Elstone in the J15 single scull event delighted the spectators as the bar opened.

Unfortunately, it was not to be Elstone’s day as she lost out to a young sculler from Wallingford Rowing Club.

Steve Wellstead, Stratford BC’s junior co-ordinator, said: “It was an excellent day’s racing with an international flavour and pleasing results for Stratford as we stay in form ready for our own rescheduled regatta on Saturday, 21st September.”