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More glory for Stratford Boat Club's adaptive squad at Oxford Sprint Regatta




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STRATFORD Boat Club’s ever-improving adaptive squad followed up their success at the Maidenhead Regatta with more glory at the Oxford Sprint Regatta on Sunday.

Ian and Paola Ward with their medals. (58836389)
Ian and Paola Ward with their medals. (58836389)

The crews competed in four events on the day and in a dominant display they won all four of them.

All the singles races were in the morning and Lee Cairns competed in two events for wheelchair users.

His first final was against clubmate Rob Pedley, Cairns lost the race due to a mechanical issue with the cradle holding his right oar which caused him to lose pace.

Front: Stratford’s adaptive rower Gillian Middleton (stroke) with buddy rower. Back: Joe Moore, adaptive coach, with Dan Godefroy. (58836381)
Front: Stratford’s adaptive rower Gillian Middleton (stroke) with buddy rower. Back: Joe Moore, adaptive coach, with Dan Godefroy. (58836381)

Cairns’ second event saw him come up against Sudbury’s Luke Payne. The pair had an epic encounter at Marlow earlier in the summer when Cairns pipped Payne by half a length.

This time Cairns emerged victorious again, leading from start to finish in a flawless display.

In the afternoon, the adaptive pairs final was another all-Stratford affair between Gillian Middleton and Dan Godefroy, with the former winning by a length.

Stratford’s Joe Moore, adaptive coach (bow), and Dan Godefroy warm down after their race. (58836383)
Stratford’s Joe Moore, adaptive coach (bow), and Dan Godefroy warm down after their race. (58836383)

This left Ian Ward and his mother Paola to try and complete the clean sweep against another mixed crew from Marlow in the final of the adaptive doubles.

The race proved close but the Stratford family crew kept their nose in front most of the way and better steering in the latter half of the race gave them the win by a couple of lengths.

Paul Stanton, president; Joe Moore, adaptive coach; Mark Dewdney, head adaptive coach; Colin Upchurch, vice-president. (58836391)
Paul Stanton, president; Joe Moore, adaptive coach; Mark Dewdney, head adaptive coach; Colin Upchurch, vice-president. (58836391)

Head adaptive coach Mark Dewdney said: “This regatta looks like the end of the season for us, as sadly no-one wants to race us at the Bank Holiday weekend Gloucester Regatta. That is disappointing but we are going out on a high.

“Stratford’s adaptive section have been invited to compete in Italy in October so we have plenty to look forward to.

“As always, a big thank-you to the adaptive support crew, helpers and buddy rowers from other clubs.

“We were also honoured to have our president Paul Stanton and vice-president Colin Upchurch visit and support us during the regatta, their encouragement means a lot.”

Martha Usselmann and Hannah Broome relaxing after their WJ17/18 race. (58836385)
Martha Usselmann and Hannah Broome relaxing after their WJ17/18 race. (58836385)

Meanwhile, Stratford BC started the weekend by competing in the Oxford City Royal Regatta on Saturday.

The event has been running on the River Isis since 1841 with the only occasional breaks due to war.

Stratford’s WJ17/18 athletes Martha Usselmann and Hannah Broome, racing in the women’s double sculls event, had a close race off the start against City of Cambridge, who then pulled away and beat them to the final.

J17/18 coach Helen Smith said: “Martha and Hannah were happy with their race, as they hadn’t previously raced a double together and kept a strong effort against the more experienced crew.”



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