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Fourth fastest time as Stratford prepare for international meet

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club rowers continued their preparation for next month’s International Vesta Masters event in London by recording the fourth fastest time overall in the Runcorn Spring Eights Head.

Following their recent events in the Midlands, the Bridgnorth/Stratford composite crew faced a step up in competition against Northern opposition on a 6km course on the River Weaver.

The Stratford/Bridgnorth eight power down the course on the River Weaver. (62689004)
The Stratford/Bridgnorth eight power down the course on the River Weaver. (62689004)

Former crewmate Simon Beard made a welcome return from the Warwick Club to finalise the crew for London on March 18th.

Starting first against Grosvenor and Royal Chester, Bridgnorth/Stratford needed a fast getaway and with Paul Wallis setting a solid stroke rate of 33 strokes per minute, the stage was set for a hard race.

Gradually they began to increase the gap over the midsection of the course.

Crew fitness, strength and endurance proved to be key over the last two kilometres as Bridgnorth /Stratford continued to pull slowly away.

They were able to lift their boat speed and rating to 34 strokes per minute coming into the final one kilometre of the race to win in an excellent time of 21 minutes 40 seconds.

Royal Chester were second in 22mins 22secs with Grosvenor third in 22mins 37secs. This winning time was also good enough to beat the eights crews from Warrington, Trafford and Pengwern racing in the younger age division event.

“We came to Runcorn looking for an improved performance after good wins at Stourbridge and Worcester,” said crew captain Tim Grimsdale. “We knew we would be up against tougher opposition and so to come away with a win against much-fancied crews from Grosvenor and Chester gives us the improved performance for which we were looking.

“With an overall fourth fastest time of the day out of all competing crews in the morning and afternoon divisions, the crew could be pleased with their performance. With three wins in three races, the crew’s focus now turns to the North of England Head in two weeks’ time and their final preparatory race against tougher opposition.”

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