PICTURE GALLERY: Stratford Boat Club’s regatta proves a huge success

Stratford Women’s Eights crew celebrated after beating a Stratford Veteran’s boat. Photos: Mark Williamson.

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club enjoyed a superb day of racing at their own regatta last Saturday.

Crews from as far afield as Cardiff and Vale Schools Rowing Association, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Northwich Rowing Club did battle in front of a large crowd on the River Avon.

The wet weather in the build-up to the event saw the river levels rise, forcing organisers to shorten the course, but it didn’t stop the rowers from producing some excellent performances on the day.

Hosts Stratford narrowly missed out in the finals in Division One, but in Division Two, the club’s masters D/F2x beat Hollowell Scullers.

In Division Three, Stratford’s W.NOV.4+ beat Cardiff and Vale, while in Division Four Stratford’s masters D/E 4+ triumphed in their final.

Stratford were in more than 13 finals, but made a club decision not to crowd the regatta with too many entries in view to leaving room for visiting clubs.

“We were heartened by the huge turnout from the clubs and the interest from the public,” said Stratford Boat Club’s regatta secretary Kjersti Rogneflaten.

“We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors, especially the Rosconn Group, hard working boat club members, visiting crews, umpires and officials and the public for supporting the event.”

Stratford Boat Club’s next event is the Fun Regatta on Saturday, 9th July, which is more of a relaxed event, featuring scratch teams from local Stratford and Warwickshire area companies and organisations.

While Stratford crews were competing at their own regatta, last weekend also saw Esme Booth (J17) and Imogen North (J18) rowing for King Edward VI School and Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club respectively at the Henley Women’s Regatta.

The racing took place over a distance of 1,500 metres upstream on the famous Henley Royal Regatta course.

Both athletes took part in the junior women’s singles division. The category saw a high-class entry of scullers from both the UK and from overseas. A total of 29 competitors took part in an initial time-trial, eliminating all but the top 16 athletes.

Both Stratford athletes progressed comfortably, ranking in the top ten overall. The duo were knocked out in the following rounds though, after failing to progress to the last eight and last four respectively.

“Esme and Imogen rowed exceptionally competitively against the highest-ranked competition, many of whom represent British Rowing internationally.

“This is truly a reward for the time and effort put in by the athletes, coaches and supporters of Stratford Boat Club.”