STRATFORD Boat Club’s masters duo Heather Hayton and Tom Doherty came second in their category at the annual Pairs Head of the River Race in London on Sunday.
The event, organised by Barnes Bridge Ladies’ Rowing Club, brings together the best two person double sculls (two blades each) and pairs (single blade each) crews from all over the country for a spectacular time trial event on the River Thames, with over 460 entries racing over the majority of the 4.5km course.
Hayton and Doherty were taking part in the Mixed Masters D double sculls category where the average crew age is between 50 and 55.
Starting in 195th position gave Stratford the chance to watch the race spectacle unfold with some of the country’s top national rowers competing for honours and leading off the field.
Stratford were in for a tough race, but made a good start and held off the strong Bewel Bridge and Upton crews for the majority of the course.
Stratford were then able to close on rivals Bristol and a good battle ensued.
With Hammersmith Bridge fast approaching and the finish in sight, a final push saw Stratford pip Bristol over the finish line to complete the event in a respectable 15:51.
This was not enough to win their category, though, as Ardingly finished 23 seconds ahead of Stratford, who had to settle for second place.
Masters’ vice-captain Doherty said: “This was Heather’s first visit to a major Tideway event and only her third ever head race. “It was great to see her put in a big performance against some good opposition.”