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Busy weekend of racing for Stratford Boat Club





Stratford BC's WJ quad team at Abingdon.
Stratford BC's WJ quad team at Abingdon.

STRATFORD Boat Club’s squads were sent to various locations to test their skills.

The senior men’s elite squad spent the weekend at Nottingham training on the multi-lane course honing their technique in preparation for the Henley Royal Regatta in July.

Heading to the other end of the country were two senior crews who travelled to Totnes in Devon to compete in the annual Head of the Dart River Race over a reduced 5km due to the poor weather and conditions on the river towards Dartmouth.

Top Stratford BC performers on the day were the women’s masters crew (coxed quad) of Rosie Stone, Andrea Duxbury, Clare Nash, Rona Fitzpatrick and Alfie Nash (cox), who won their category in an adjusted race time of 26:21.

The men’s masters crew (coxed four) of Simon Skillings, Graham Cann, Dave Edwards, Richard Anderson and Jessica Cann (cox) finished in an adjusted race time of 26:43.

Meanwhile, the J13 squad entered three crews in Abingdon Rowing Club’s Spring Head of the River Race on Sunday held on the River Thames over 1,850m.

The first to boat in division one were Imogen Hill and Maddie Hall in their double scull.

Undaunted by their first experience of a major event raced over 2km, they sculled superbly to finish third.

Next to race in division two was the WJ13 coxed quadruple squad of Emily Stobart, Grace Beason, Uchenna Nwachukwu, Ruby Brooker-Collins and cox Kate Richardson, and they soon showed they have what it takes to mix it with the big clubs by finishing second.

In division four, the Open J13 coxed quadruple squad of Ciara Wilson, Louie Beason, Amalia Richardson and Millie Hodgson, coxed by Imogen Hill, mixed it with boys crews to come third in an identical time to the girls’ quad of 10:38.

Matilda Watts and Geoffrey Flambert also both put in strong performances in the J17 events, finishing fourth and sixth respectively.

The J14 squad was also in Abingdon.

In division one, the squad was represented by the J14 double scull of Tomi Wilcock and Will Beattie. They delivered a strong performance to take the Band One win by seven seconds.

The WJ14 coxed quadruple of Freya Watts, Fleur Griffiths, Bella Chappelhow, Harriet Holmes and cox Toby Sartain were also placed in Band One, and were beaten by just four seconds to take second place.

Division two saw the first of the Stratford J15s take to the water. The WJ15 singles of Sophie Elstone and Harriet Hodgson both raced well.

Elstone battled at the top of the field to take a brilliant win while Hodgson finished eighth.

Will Clarke raced in the J15 single against some strong opposition and managed a sixth place finish.

The J15 double of Conar Aitchison and Emma Harrison finished eighth.

In division three, more of the J14s took to the water with the coxed quadruple of Tomi Wilcock, Will Beattie, Ruby Howells, Bella Chappelhow and cox Toby Sartain in action who finished second by just four seconds.

Next up were the WJ14 double sculls with two Stratford boats in action.

The first was Fleur Griffiths and Harriet Holmes, who took the event win.

The other Stratford crew of Freya Watts and Anne Mynors also put in a very good performance to finish in a highly credible fourth place.

Division four saw the final Stratford crews of the day racing again with more J15s on the water.

The WJ15 quadruple of Emma Harrison, Abbey Meggeson, Harriet Hodgson, Julia Zanpronio Gurden and cox Sienna Rawlings raced strongly to finish in sixth place.

Also racing in this division was the J15 double of Will Clarke and Sophie Elstone, who again raced against a lot of all-boys crews to finish in sixth place.

The final J15 crew was Conar Aitchison in the single who, despite being rather nervous about competing, had a good race to finish in fifth place.



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