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Crowds flock to the banks of the River Avon to take in Stratford Boat Club's Boxing Day Scratch Regatta



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TEAM Puddings got the better of team Pies by half a length in the final of Stratford Boat Club’s Boxing Day Scratch Regatta – but only after the race was re-run due to a clash of blades and suspect steering.

Celebrating their Stratford Boat Club Boxing Day Scratch Regatta victory on Sunday was the Puddings team. Photo: Iain Duck B81/12/21/1101
Celebrating their Stratford Boat Club Boxing Day Scratch Regatta victory on Sunday was the Puddings team. Photo: Iain Duck B81/12/21/1101

As part of the festive celebrations, athletes from the club took to the water on Sunday and in a change from the usual format, members raced in the sturdier boats due to the River Avon’s conditions following a Christmas Day downpour.

Crews were formed of current and former members at home in the area for the festive period. The excesses of Christmas Day did little to dampen the competitive spirit amongst the crews on the water and each of the morning races was keenly contested.

Athletes were supported by family members, the public and visitors to the town who also came down to the river banks to witness the spectacle.

Successfully making it through the early rounds, the stage was set for the final between the Puddings team of Cameron Dalrymple-Baker, Martha Usselmann, Talei Dunn, Alice Baines and Matilda Watt, and the Pies crew of Richard Aitchison, Katie Phillips, Katie Wellstead, Tomi Wilcock and Beth Edwards.

A clash of blades and suspect steering forced a re-row of the final and in the repeat attempt, a clean race saw Puddings triumph by half a length.

Boat club chairman Dawson Curnock said: “The scratch regatta caught the imagination of all who came down to the river and this year’s racing included many more juniors and it was good to welcome many athletes home from university.”

Junior co-ordinator Steve Wellstead added: “It was great to have such a mix of members competing and especially spectator parents and families.

“Their participation in the running of the club has been a great bonus as they bring management and organisational skills as well as offering their time and effort volunteering and carrying out maintenance and other jobs.”

Athletes will be back on the river this New Year weekend and then they will be training hard for the 2022 head season and the club’s own regatta in June.



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