Stratford Boat Club's junior squads make waves at Wycliffe Small Boats Head
STRATFORD Boat Club’s youngsters were out in force at the Wycliffe Small Boats Head on Saturday to do battle on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.
First down the 2.5km course was the WJ14 coxed quadruple scull of Isla Dunn, Cara Berisford-Murray, Martha Baines, Martha Cooke and Bryony Francis (coxswain). A plucky row saw the crew finish in fourth and within touching distance of those ahead.
Next were the three WJ14 double sculls of Francis and Sophie Franklin, Millie Smith and Tessa Parkin and Becca Smith with Poppy Warren. In a hard-fought event, the Stratford crews placed third, fourth and fifth, with Parkin and Smith taking the bronze.
Meanwhile, J14 single scullers Maeve Dunn and Josephine Cooper were third and fifth respectively.
Representing the J15s in their inaugural single sculls rowing head were Alexandra Francis and Xavier Sissins-Rofey. Francis came from behind to pip City of Bristol to first place, while Sissins-Rofey, who has only been rowing for a year, crossed the line in seventh in a field of 15.
Representing the girls in the quadruple sculling event were Sophie Evans, Poppy Baines, Lily Warren, Lucy Yang and Alice Jones (coxswain) who finished sixth.
In diminishing light, the boys’ quadruple scull of Theo Richter, Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands, James Albrighton and Meg Nuttall were fifth out of 15 crews.
Due to school exams, there were just five J16 rowers competing on Saturday. First up in Division One was the J16 women’s coxless quad of Jess Long (stroke), Molly Vondrak, Scarlett Richardson and Aimee Appleton (bow) who put in a fantastic performance to take the gold medal.
In Division Two, Vondrak and Richardson teamed up to earn the bronze medal in the WJ16 doubles event, missing out on silver by 0.2s.
Following them was Will Dalrymple-Baker who came home fifth in the open J16 singles category.
Last up in Division Three was Appleton in the J16 1x where she secured a seventh-placed finish.
The J17/18 squad started on a high note as the WJ18 coxed quad of Kate Richardson, Harriet Noyes, Maddie Hall, Amalia Richardson and cox Poppy Baines won their event. Will Beattie and Tomi Wilcock then took the water for the J18 doubles and they rowed superbly to win the gold medal. The other double of Charles Happel and Toby Sartain finished in joint seventh.
Beattie, Wilcock, Happel and Sartain then joined forces for the open J18 coxed quad event where they were unlucky to finish just outside the medal places in fourth.
Also competing at the Wycliffe Small Boats Head was Stratford’s sister club King Edward VI School. Ed Rose, Rafa MacDonald, Tom Wheeler and Dalrymple-Baker finished sixth in the J18 quads in the morning, before following that up with a third-placed finish in the afternoon to bring home the bronze.
Meanwhile, the newly-formed masters’ squad of eight excelled in their first race together by taking victory in the Monmouth Head on the River Wye on Sunday.
Amanda Bowden, Suzie Radley, Charlotte Jones, Heather Hayton, Jane Cryer, Kjersti Rogneflaten-Woolley, Ellie Davis and Ruth Poulten excelled over the 2.5km course, finishing in 6:55.
Not to be outdone, Stratford’s women’s masters’ quad of Hayton, Bowden, Poulten and Radley won their race in 7:19.