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Welcome return for Stratford Boat Club's Boxing Day Scratch Regatta

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AFTER being postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions last year, Stratford Boat Club’s popular Boxing Day Scratch Regatta makes a welcome return on Sunday.

Action from a previous Boxing Day Scratch Regatta.
Action from a previous Boxing Day Scratch Regatta.

The event is a firm fixture in the boat club’s and the town’s calendar, allowing athletes to blow away the over indulgence of Christmas, have fun and set their sights firmly on serious training for the 2022 campaign.

More than 40 athletes from the club traditionally brave the cold and damp to take part in the regatta, competing in coxed fours over a short sprint course from the ferry to the club grounds on the town stretch of the River Avon.

Crews are drawn from mixed age and ability membership from the masters, seniors, off peak membership and juniors (J16 and over).

Chairman Dawson Curnock said: “We pick club crews from names entered into a draw based on gender, age and ability so that all the crews are more or less equal, ranging from members of the junior squad right through to masters.”

To ensure fair play and safety, starters, umpires, spotters and the safety launch will all be in place whilst crowds can watch and cheer from the Recreation Ground, the Royal Shakespeare terrace, Bancroft Gardens and the Tramway Bridge.

Action from a previous Boxing Day Scratch Regatta.
Action from a previous Boxing Day Scratch Regatta.

“The training schedule will be back on target the first weekend after the New Year,” said boat club president Paul Stanton.

“2022 is going to be a great season for Stratford in all categories and we’re going for gold at next year’s regional heads and regattas.”

Stratford BC recently finished the 2021 season, with squads continuing their regular outings right up until the Christmas break

Junior co-ordinator Steve Wellstead said: “December is a challenging month for training, with many junior squad athletes taking important mock exams and the weather often restricts us to indoor and land training.

“To finish with all squads continuing their training right through December sets the mood for a great 2022 season.”

The Boxing Day Scratch Regatta gets under way at 10am.

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