MORE than 80 Stratford BC members managed to leave their beds last Thursday morning to compete in the club’s annual Boxing Day Scratch Regatta.
The crews were supported by friends and relatives who had made their way down to the River Avon to watch the spectacle.
Competitors, including former members and visiting rowers, took part with a mix of mature and younger rowers from all sections of the club.
Some of the athletes had been rowing for less than a year.
Multiple crews raced in a knock-out competition and the final had to be re-run to get a clear result after a dead heat.
The conditions were mild with little wind or current and the crews were supported by club volunteers driving the safety launch and acting as scorers.
Race organiser and J17/18 coach Graham Collier said: “All races were over a short sprint course from the Ferry to the club grounds on the town stretch of the River Avon.”
The racing provided great interest to early morning sightseers and visitors watching from the Recreation Ground, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre terrace, Bancroft Gardens and Tramway Bridge.
Club president Dawson Curnock said: “The Scratch Regatta caught the imagination of all that came down to the river and this year’s racing included many more juniors and members of our ever-growing adaptive squad.”
Junior co-ordinator Steve Wellstead added: “It was great to have such a mix of members competing and especially some of the weekday rowers who we often don’t see during the weekend sessions.
“Their participation in the running of the club has been a great bonus as they bring management and organisational skills to the club as well as offering their time and effort volunteering and carrying out maintenance and other jobs.”
Stratford BC will now be training hard for the 2020 head season and preparing for their own regatta in June.