STRATFORD Boat Club celebrated several excellent wins for their crews in the Avon Masters and Evesham Senior Head.
Stratford’s Women’s Novice 4x+ boat of Alfie Nash cox, Clare Nash, Helen Helliwell, Rona Fitzpatrick and Rosie Stone powered over the four kilometre course on the picturesque River Avon ahead of rivals Ross and Evesham.
They finished two minutes ahead of the Ross ladies and a satisfying four minutes ahead of Evesham on their own home water.
The men’s coxless four also bought home some silverware after winning the race for IM1 crews. The crew contained three new rowers to the club plus Stratford’s Captain of Boats Oli Smith who stroked the winning boat. Max Marcus, Mark Tarrant, Patrick Hourigan and Smith won their race by more than a minute from a crew from Bewdley and ended up as the third quickest crew of the day.
“Stratford men’s squad has grown rapidly this autumn with the addition of eight new rowers and the squad will spend the next few months getting in some hard training before next summer’s regatta season and hoped for entries for Henley Royal Regatta,” said Bill Sullivan, Stratford’s men’s squad coach.
The Masters’ squad also competed at Evesham.
Competing in their first long distance head race, the Masters’ D coxed four crew of Richard Field, Richard Anderson, Graham Cann, Dave Edwards and cox Jane Connolly recorded a very respectable time of 20 minutes 33 seconds.
The Masters’ E crew of Richard Shepherd, Richard Nelson, Simon Beard, Tom Doherty and cox Lucy Breakwell. Maintaining a steady rate of 32 strokes per minute, they were able to record a very good time of 17 minutes 40 seconds to win their event by almost two minutes over Warwick Boat Club, a time which would also have won the Masters’ D younger age group event!
The Mixed Masters E double of Gina Fusco and Phil Marshall were up against a very good National Championship medal winning crew from Derwent but nonetheless put in a very good performance to finish second in a time of 20.42.
In the single sculls, Stephen Haighton, in his first ever single sculling event, produced a very creditable performance to win his Masters F/G event in 20.43 against competitors from Ross, Pengwern and Bristol clubs.
The impressive performances continued in the Women’s Masters’ E single scull event with Kjersti Woolley taking second place. Starting at the rear of the field after a long wait on the start, she soon made time up on the field in front of her to finish in a very respectable time of 24.10.
In the Division Two races, Sian Maher and Tom Doherty combined in a last minute partnership in the IM3 mixed double scull. Despite never having been in a boat together before the race, they recorded a very respectable time of 19.19 to finish just over a minute behind the winners from Warwick Boat Club.
For more rowing success for Stratford’s juniors, see this week’s Herald.