Club sends crew to world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta
STRATFORD Boat Club sent a crew to the world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta qualifiers recently – the first time it had entered a crew to race at the event and one of the first times it had taken part in the Fawley Challenge Cup for junior quads.
The crew of Will Beattie, Tomi Wilcock, Charles Happel and Toby Sartain – pupils at Stratford School, King Edward VI School and Kineton High School – was one of 70 entered with just 24 going into the regatta draw. Sixteen of these had already been pre-selected based on performances throughout the season and this meant the remaining 54 crews needed to go through the qualifying heats to take the final eight slots.
The Stratford quartet put in a strong effort with their best row of the season and a brilliant course steered by Toby Sartain. Unfortunately, the lightweight crew were not fast enough to qualify in the strong headwind conditions.
J17 coach Abi Terry said: "It was great to see this talented group of lads competing on the course alongside the best crews in the world. During warm up, they were followed by the GB men’s eight and the GB women’s four, something that doesn't happen at any other event! I am so proud of this group and all that they have achieved."
Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club president, added: “Racing at Henley Royal Regatta is the dream of every rower and the fact that these J17 rowers have achieved this at a comparatively young age speaks volumes for their determination and hours of effort put into their training over the last five years.
“Moreover, it is a testament to the massive effort that their dedicated coaches have put into their development - Stratford Boat Club is forever indebted to our coaches and volunteers who selflessly give their time and expertise week after week.”