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Medals galore for Stratford Boat Club members at British Rowing Indoor Championships and Wycliffe Small Boats Head

CARA Berisford-Murray came away with a gold and silver medal from the British Rowing Indoor Championships.

The Stratford BC member, who is in her first year of rowing, was one of a number of athletes across the globe competing for glory from the comfort of their own home.

Berisford-Murray competed in the Year 8 girls category first and in a thrilling three-minute event, she claimed the silver medal, just 1.5 lengths behind the winner.

Not satisfied with one medal, Berisford-Murray dominated the 500m sprint event to claim the gold medal.

Steve Wellstead, junior co-ordinator and J11 coach, said: “[It was] a truly magnificent start to her rowing career and results of which she can be proud of.”

The weekend also saw a welcome return to racing on the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal for the annual Wycliffe Small Boats Head.

Held over 2,500m, the event attracted quality crews from around the region and for the 42nd edition the competition did not disappoint.

The WJ14 squad powering up the course.
The WJ14 squad powering up the course.

Stratford BC got the racing under way in Division One and the WJ14 coxed quadruple of Lucy yang (cox), Poppy Baines, Alexandra Francis, Meg Nuttall and Lily Warren were first up.

Having surged past Hereford Cathedral School, the girls went on to take the bronze medal. Later on in the day in Division Three, the open J14 coxed quadruple of James Albrighton (cox), Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands, Sophie Evans and Alice Jones came away with a silver medal.

Stratford’s J15 athletes continued their initiation to head racing and came back with an impressive medal haul. Lucy Sartain won silver in the WJ15 1x category, beating the girls from Wallingford RC.

Will Dalrymple-Baker won bronze in the OJ15 1x in 11:58.9, beating strong opposition from Queens Park High, Dart Totnes and Wallingford Rowing Club.

Dalrymple-Baker and Jamie Wilcock collected bronze in the OJ15 2x, in 10:37.9, beating crews from Queens Park High, Dart Totnes, Kings Worcester, Hereford and Monmouth.

The WJ15 coxed quad making it look easy.
The WJ15 coxed quad making it look easy.

Charles Happel was the only J16 competing in the OJ16 1x event and set a silver medal-winning time of 11:11.6, beating strong opposition from Queens Park High and Hereford Cathedral.

The day started early for the J17/18 performance squad in Division One, with Toby Sartain and Will Beattie finishing third in the open doubles.

Freya Watts (WJ17) and Amelie Sartain (WJ18) also finished second in their respective singles races.

In Division Two, Watts and Sartain raced alongside Fleur Griffiths and Lucy Browne in the WJ18 quad event against team-mates Ruby Howells, Harriet Holmes, Martha Usselmann and Elisabeth Edwards.

In a strong field, the teams finished 11th and 12th respectively.

Wilcock and Beattie also raced in Division Two, finishing fifth in the open J18 doubles. With the wind picking up in Division Three, Usselmann stepped into the WJ18 doubles to replace an injured team-mate to row with Holmes.

The pair finished in a strong fourth, just ahead of Griffiths and Howells in fifth.

The open J17 singles rounded off the day, with Wilcock coming home in second and Sartain in third. Stratford masters Christine Goodwin and Gina Fusco also competed in the doubles event.

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