Home   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Club secures trophy win at Olympic lake

THE UK’s premier rowing event for junior athletes was held at the weekend when the Olympic lake at Eton Dorney hosted the National Schools’ Regatta involving the highest quality crews from schools and clubs across the country.

Day one of the three-day event saw Stratford Boat Club’s J14 and J15 crews competing. In the J15 events, Stratford entered both the first and second boat events for ladies coxed quadruple sculls. Competing for seeding in the morning time trials, the first boat of Tessa Parkin, Bryony Francis, Maeve Dunn, Sophie Franklin and Isla Dunn (coxswain) powered down the course to finish 21st of the 45 crews entered and securing a place in the D Final. In the time trial for second boats, the crew of Poppy Warren, Becca Smith, Martha Baines, Millie Smith and Josephine Cooper (coxswain) set out their intentions for the regatta finishing second of the 23 crews entered and earning a place in the A Final in the process.

Onwards to the finals and the WJ15 first boat embroiled themselves in a battle royal to cross the line in second place with a quality row.

The club’s WJ18 coxed four powers up the course.
The club’s WJ18 coxed four powers up the course.

Steve Wellstead, Stratford’s junior coordinator and J15 coach, said: “In the A Final for second boats, Stratford’s girls took on such rowing luminaries as Headington School, Sir William Perkins’s School and Marlow Rowing Club with aplomb and rowed through the last of them at the 1000m marker to take the win and in the process collecting the County Trophy, a first for Stratford in many years.”

Stratford’s J14 girls and boys coxed quads negotiated a sunny but windy 1000m time trial well, and ranked 22nd and 32nd respectively out of 48 crews. The girls’ time of 4.11m got them into the D Final, whereas the boys’ time of 3.58m meant they were six seconds short of a final. Expertly coxed by James Greenwood, the girls’ quad of Orla Linforth, Naomi Sime, Maria Ntoukaki and Erin Appleton finished fourth in a well-managed race won by Queens Park High.

Joining their colleagues, the Stratford J16 boys coxed four, comprising Theo Richter, Xavier Sissins-Rofey, Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands and cox Meg Nuttall, competed valiantly against seasoned schools and secured a top 12 finish and a place in the B final. With unwavering belief in her team’s potential, cox Nuttall was confident they could advance two places to clinch fourth place. Living up to their cox’s expectations, the crew engaged in a fierce contest with Walton Rowing Club in the crucial last 500 metres, exhibiting true grit and teamwork to edge fourth and tenth overall.

In a display of teamwork, the Stratford coxless quad, featuring the quartet of Lily Warren, Alexandra Francis, Sophie Evans, and Poppy Baines, showcased their mettle in a highly competitive field to secure a spot in the B final. The wait for the final was a test of patience and endurance, with high winds creating challenging conditions. The Stratford crew fought hard but in a nail-biting finish, they secured fifth and 11th overall out of 29 crews.

The day started early at the Olympic lake for the WJ17 championship coxless quad of Aimee Appleton, Megan Rowan, Scarlett Richardson and Lucy Sartain who put in a strong performance in the morning time trial to place them 19th in one of the most competitive boat classes. This meant that the coxless quad were through to the repechage racing in the afternoon where they repeated the mornings strong effort, coming fourth in their heat, earning themselves a place in the semi-finals on Sunday.

It was a windier day at Dorney for the semis finals but the crew sculled well, coming in second in a close fought race, putting them in prime position for the C final later that afternoon. The weather eased slightly and the crew put on a spectacular show. In fourth place at the 500m mark they rowed past Becket Rowing Club by the halfway point before slowly catching Oundle School and with a big final push passing them in the final 500m to take a well-deserved second in 7.46.14 for 18th overall.

The Junior 17/18 squad entered Maddie Hall, Molly Vondrak, Uch Nwachukwa, Kate Richardson and cox Imogen Hill in the championship girls coxed fours event. Finishing eighth in the time trial drew the girls between Kings School Chester and Shrewsbury as they lined up for the final. The latter being an arch rival who had beaten them by half a second in the final last year. With 600 metres to go, Kings lead Stratford by one second who had half a second on a closing Shrewsbury. Imogen called her crew to go up through the gears and they reeled in Kings to take the win in the last five strokes by two hundredths of a second.

The club’s adaptive squad visited Trentham Regatta near Stoke and had a successful day with Andy Morris winning his singles’ final ahead of old rival Sean Bailey of Runcorn, by a couple of lengths. Also winning was 14-year-old Issac Clarkson who beat adult competition in his singles final.

The doubles included three crews containing Stratford rowers. Clarkson and Bailey beat the full Stratford crew of Dave Day and Gillian Middleton in a semi-final going on to meet Morris and Hopley (Runcorn) in the final with Clarkson/Bailey pulling away for victory.

Commenting, Mark Dewdney, Stratford’s Head Adaptive Coach said, “This was the first time Trentham had offered adaptive races at their regatta. The knowledge and experience of the Stratford’s Boat Club team, before and on the day, again made this happen.”

Nick Sartain rowed in a Masters C/D Singles event at Peterborough on Sunday and finished third.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More