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Stratford BC end winter season of racing with plenty of success at Bedford Spring Head

DESPITE the Bedford Spring Head not being one of Stratford BC’s regular events, they came away with plenty of medals to finish the winter season of racing on a high note.

Stratford’s WJ16 crew celebrate after the Bedford head. (56040060)
Stratford’s WJ16 crew celebrate after the Bedford head. (56040060)

This was the first time the junior athletes had rowed the 2km course that wound through the town under seven bridges and finished in a very scenic park.

Charles Happel was entered into the J16 single scull category and he delivered his best performance of the campaign so far to finish third out of a field of 12, just one second behind Leicester RC.

The WJ16 squad of Amalia Richardson, Maddie Hall, Harriet Noyes, Kate Richardson and cox Imogen Hill gave a superb display of sweep rowing to win gold medals, beating all the senior and masters women’s crews at the event.

J16 coach Sam Hill said: “I am very pleased for the athletes. To achieve such a good result at Bedford is very encouraging for the regatta season that starts in two weeks at Nottingham.”

The Stratford WJ15 girls also put on a great performance at the same event. The squad of Eloise Cooper, Molly Vondrak, Lucy Sartain, Esmerelda Elfwood and Aimee Appleton (cox) sculled the 2,000m course in a fantastic time of 8:16.

The team missed out on gold by just four seconds to the girls from Falcon RC (Oxford). However, they beat five other crews, three of them who are based on the Thames (Wallingford, Eton Excelsior and Staines).

The other two crews were from Leicester and Bedford.

Freya Watts, Martha Usselmann, Amelie Sartain and Harriet Holmes represented the J17/18 performance squad and they competed in the women’s coxless quad event.

J17/18 performance squad coach Abi Terry said: “With Harriet steering an excellent line down the tricky course, the girls finished a respectable third in the most competitive band and fourth overall in a field of stiff competition.”

Later on, the WJ squad split into two doubles, Usselmann and Sartain competing in the women’s event, and Watts and Holmes in the WJ17 category.

The two scratch crews finished third and sixth respectively in their events against some prestigious crews.

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