Stratford’s rowers excel at Evesham

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Stratford BC winners Jen Carey (cox), Simon Skillings, Glyn Hawkins, Tim Lunel, and Wallace Brown.

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club Masters’ squads descended on local club Evesham for one of the last head races of the pre-Christmas season on Saturday for Masters of the Avon and Evesham Senior Head.

Held on a cold but otherwise perfect day for rowing, the event was run over two divisions with the morning division of four kilometre length of the River Avon attracting a Masters D/E (average age 55), coxed four of Jen Carey (cox), Simon Skillings, Glyn Hawkins, Tim Lunel, and Wallace Brown.

After a steady start, the crew, marshalled expertly by Jen Carey, powered away from their local opponents Evesham to win their event in a time of 18 minutes and 34 seconds, beating their rivals by 45 seconds.

Following them closely down the course was the mixed masters E (average age 55 years) double scull of Kjersti Woolley and Thomas Doherty.

Competing against Derwent, they completed the course in a creditable 19 minutes and 47 seconds, but had to settle for second place. In the afternoon division, raced over a shorter two kilometre course, the masters F/G (average age 60 to 65 years) men’s double scull was an all family affair with the Moore brothers, Joe and Simon, taking on local crews from Evesham and Bewdley. Rowing a tidy race, the brothers completed the course in 11 minutes and 3 seconds to finish in second.

The next Stratford racing crews saw a head-to-head between single scullers Mike Atkins and Chris Straw in Masters E/G division (average age 55 to 65).

Atkins came a well deserved second in a time of 11 minutes and 15 seconds, just beating training partner Chris Straw by three seconds.

Hot on their heels and not to be outdone by the men, came Kjersti Woolley, recording a very good time of 12 minutes and 11 seconds.

Meanwhile, Stratford’s Explore rowing section was invited to enter a crew into the Women’s Primary 4+ event in division two.

The team of Rosie Stone, Clare Booth, Rona Fitzpatrick and Becky Smith maintained a good lead over Bewdley to beat them by just under two minutes.