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Season’s opening regatta results in medals

AT the prestigious Junior Sculling Regatta, held at the iconic Dorney Lake at the weekend, the stage was set for a thrilling display of young talent, reports Chris Best.

Despite the less-than-ideal spring weather with thick fog and drizzle setting a challenging scene, the competitors showed remarkable resilience.

Stratford Boat Club’s junior 16 boys quadruple scull of Theo Richter, Xavier Sissins-Rofey, Seth Vondrak and Ollie Rowlands, with an early start at the crack of dawn, put in a valiant effort, narrowly missing the finals by a mere five seconds.

In the women’s junior 16 singles, Alexandra Francis, coming off a strong performance at the Junior Inter-Regional regatta, secured a spot in the final and clinched a commendable fifth place, showcasing her improvement and determination against formidable opponents.

Susie Radley and Amanda Bowden with their medals from Nottingham.
Susie Radley and Amanda Bowden with their medals from Nottingham.

During the weekend, Stratford’s masters’ squad travelled to Nottingham in force: Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden led from the start, winning the MasD2x in 3m 59s.

Nottingham Regatta was the first regatta of the summer season and for two of the squad their first regatta ever! The weather and water conditions were incredible as the crew lined up for the 1km of six lane racing.

The quartet of Emily Sayers, Christine Goodwin, Gina Fusco and Ellie Davis were looking forward to a good race and were not disappointed. They had a composed start and by 500 metres were into a good rhythm. It then became a battle for second place against local rivals, Warwick Boat Club. Unfortunately, Stratford just lost out by 0.03 of a second, taking third place in 4m 07s. The crew was pleased with their performance, and it was another step forward.

The masters women’s DVIII had a good start and settled into a rating of 33 strokes per minute and were ahead of Monmouth after the 100 metres mark. Broxborough had an eight second start due to the older average age of the crew and handicapping system and, despite gaining on the leading crew, the gap proved too much to make up over the one kilometre course.

Stratford’s masters ladies squad
Stratford’s masters ladies squad

Crew captain Charlotte Jones said, “There are plenty of positives and we have this race to build on now. A big ‘thank you’ to Debs Thompson of Upton Boat Club for coxing.”

Amanda Bowden, masters vice-captain, added, “This was a valuable training race for the squad and I could not have been prouder of the commitment that the crews showed in the race.

“It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we look forward to Worcester Regatta next Saturday.”

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