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Stratford Boat Club duo narrowly miss out on medal at National Veteran Fours

STRATFORD Boat Club’s Heather Hayton and Thomas Doherty narrowly missed out on a medal by just 0.2s at the National Veteran Fours head of the river race in London on Sunday.

Stratford’s Tom Doherty (2) and Heather Hayton (3) in the powerhouse of the Stratford/Upton boat on the Tideway.
Stratford’s Tom Doherty (2) and Heather Hayton (3) in the powerhouse of the Stratford/Upton boat on the Tideway.

Rowing in a mixed quad, Hayton and Doherty teamed up with Upton RC’s Tabatha and Julian Scrivener in the Masters’ E category (55-60 years) for the event, which was held over the varsity boat race championship course between Putney to Mortlake, but in reverse.

The crew, which has been training together over the past two months, came to the Tideway on the back of a good win at the Gloucester Head and were eagerly looking forward to race against some of the best mixed quads in the country.

All 237 crews raced off at ten-second intervals and in a fast start for Stratford/Upton, the crew settled into a consistent 32-33 strokes per minute for the whole 4.5-mile course in an effort to keep their competitors, who were starting behind, at a safe distance.

Settling into a fast and hard rhythm, with split times continually below 1:40, the Stratford/Upton crew began to pull away from Bewel/Tideway Scullers and Maidenhead.

Chasing a very fast and younger age group event winner from Bridgnorth in a mixed quad just ahead of them helped the crew to maintain the pace and effort all the way to a very welcome finish line by Putney Bridge.

The Stratford/Upton crew would finish 67th overall in a time of 22:02.3. In a cruel twist, they were pipped for a medal by Moseley who finished in 22:02.1.

Doherty said: “We had an absolutely superb race and we couldn’t have done any more and the crew were superb. The boat has been getting faster and faster as the weeks have progressed.

“We will put our disappointment behind us and look ahead to further races with confidence.”

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