Stratford rowers get a Head start to shine in winter opener

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Stratford's masters crew in London.

ROWING

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON Boat Club crews showed they are on course for a successful winter after impressive displays in the prestigious Fours Head in London.

It is the first major event of the rowing head season, raced over the reverse Boat Race course, from Chiswick to Putney, and attracted 450 crews, including rowers from the GB National Squad, taking part in quads, as well as coxed and coxless fours.

Stratford’s senior men’s crew of Mike Hourigan at stroke, Tom Coles, Finn Sprackling, Patrick Hourigan at bow, along with coxswain Amie Jones were pitched into the Challenge Coxed Four event against 11 others.

Raced over the reverse Boat Race course, from Chiswick to Putney, the Fours Head attracted 450 crews, including rowers from the GB National Squad, taking part in quads, as well as coxed and coxless fours.

Stratford’s senior men’s crew of Mike Hourigan at stroke, Tom Coles, Finn Sprackling, Patrick Hourigan at bow, along with coxswain Amie Jones were pitched into the Challenge Coxed Four event against 11 others and came out in first position.

Stratford also finished as the 25th quickest coxed four overall out of 137 men’s crews, including the top boats from Oxford, Cambridge and Leander Club.

Stratford Boat Club’s seniors on The Tideway.

The junior women’s squad of Katie Wellstead, Talei Dunn, Molly Gill-Swift and Khloe Curnock, piloted by Mimi Hill, finished fourth in their category in only their second experience rowing on The Tideway.

Only one second separated the second, third and fourth-placed crews.

Dr Graham Collier, Stratford’s junior coach, said: “This was another tremendous effort from these young people as they prepare to join the seven hundred crews who will contest Hampton Small Boats Head towards the end of the month.”

Stratford’s new masters quad combination of Richard Nelson, Tim Lunel, Piers Copham and Simon Beard were fourth in a strong field of 14 crews in the Masters E category, finishing 34th out of the overall 280 entries.

For more, see this week’s Herald.