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Stratford Boat Club's talented junior squads shine at Evesham

THREE wins and plenty of good performances came the way of Stratford Boat Club’s J17/18 performance squad competing at Evesham on Saturday.

The victorious WJ15 squad enjoy their moment of glory.
The victorious WJ15 squad enjoy their moment of glory.

First up on the 1,900m course was the J17 double of Tomi Wilcock and Will Beattie, who were racing up an age group in the J18 event. Here, they finished second, five seconds behind Hereford Cathedral School.

Next was the WJ18 doubles of Amelie Sartain and Fleur Griffiths, and Freya Watts and Lucy Browne, with the latter also racing up an age group.

On this occasion it was Sartain and Griffiths that were victorious, with Watts and Browne taking third place behind Evesham.

The second division saw the WJ18 coxed fours take to the water. Browne, Ruby Howells, Bella Chappelhow, Harriet Holmes and cox Toby Sartain raced well and took the win.

The final division saw the the WJ18 coxless squads take to the water, with Watts, Howells, Amelie Sartain and Griffiths claiming an emphatic win, beating their nearest opponents by an impressive 43 seconds.

The J18 singles were next and again all three Stratford rowers were racing up an age group. Beattie had the best result, finishing in second place, just three seconds behind the winner.

Wilcock finished in fourth place and Toby Sartain came home in tenth.

Honour Keil, competing in the WJ18 singles, was the last squad member to race. She put in a solid row to take fifth place.

J17/18 performance squad coach Abi Terry said: “It was great to get some good racing under their belts and even better to come away with three wins and really solid performances.”

The WJ18 club group of Emma Harrison, Elisabeth Edwards, Imogen Hill, Martha Ussellman and Lucy Sartain raced against the club’s WJ17/18 performance squad in a coxed four.

In their first race in this combination, the club group put in a strong race against the performance squad, coming home a credible 11 seconds behind to finish second in 9:01.

The J16 squad was represented by two single scullers. Charles Happel just lost out to Evesham to come second in his race, while Uche Nwachukwu raced in a large field of 15 athletes and displayed incredible technique to finish in a respectable fifth.

In their first-ever head race, the J15 squad sculled well against strong competition. The WJ15 4x+ won gold in 8:34, beating Royal Grammar School Worcester, Evesham and Hereford Cathedral School.

The J15 boys double missed out on gold, beaten by the home Evesham crew by 22 seconds. The three WJ15 doubles did well to come home in fourth, sixth and seventh respectively against drilled crews from Evesham and Headington School Oxford.

J15 coach Hugo Happel said: “Our boys and girls sculled superbly in their first-ever head race over 1,900m upstream.

“They can row that longer distance and steer well on this challenging course. We now go back to training and look forward to the Henley Long Distance Sculls in November.”

Also making their debut at a head race were the J14 squad. In Division One, the coxed quad of Alice Jones, Meg Nuttall, Sophie Evans, Poppy Baines and Lily Warren put up a good fight, eventually conceding the win to Headington School.

Next up in the Division Three double sculls were Seth Vondrak, Oliver Rowlands, Alexandra Francis and Nuttall. Due to a lack of competition, the girls rowed in the junior boys’ event where they achieved a well-deserved second and third place respectively.

J14 coach Colin Bell said: “Given their results the future looks promising for the J14 squad.”

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