Hard work is paying off for Stratford Boat Club’s juniors

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STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s junior members travelled to the Olympic Lake at Eton Dorney over the weekend to compete in one of the premier events in the rowing calendar, the National Schools’ Regatta.

On Friday, three crews raced in coxed quadruple sculls over a 1,000m course in tricky conditions.

Racing into a strong headwind, the crews’ technical ability and endurance were well tested.

The J14 girls’ crew of Jasmine Mountney, Mya Kenny, Nixie Brunt, Alice Baines and Naomi Sergeant (cox) battled hard to achieve 14th place overall amongst a field of 45 clubs and schools from across the country.

The J15 girls’ crew of Molly Gill-Swift, Katie Wellstead, Khloe Curnock, Emily Browne and Mimi Hill (cox) also achieved 14th place overall in their event after a nail-biting battle with Sir William Perkins’ School in their final race.

Of particular note was the J15 boys’ crew, comprising Joe Hodson and three J14 athletes (Max Griffiths, Daniel Cox and Fred Tyler), coxed admirably by Katie Phillips.

After delivering a confident row in the time trial, the boys ended in 26th place of 47 crews entered with a superb time sufficient to place them high in the J14 competition.

On Sunday the club returned to Eton Dorney with the girls’ J16 coxed four of Issy Marsden, Ellie Gray, Lara Davies, Maddy Winsper and Robin Connolly (cox) and the girls’ J18 coxless quadruple scull of Theo Mordaunt, Lauren Willis, Claire Teakle and Sofia Ward.

Competing in the higher age groups, the competition was of an extremely high level with crews in preparation for Henley Royal Regatta.

The coxed four had a tremendous tussle with Cheltenham Ladies’ College eventually finishing in sixth place in their C final.

The coxless quadruple scull put on a great display in their D final to lead through halfway, eventually finishing fifth with only a length or two separating the first five boats.

“We’re extremely proud of all our athletes,” said Steve Wellstead, Stratford Boat Club’s junior coordinator.

“It is great to see their hard work paying off with some fine results on the national stage.

“Their achievements bode well for our own Stratford Boat Club Rosconn Group Regatta on 17th June.”