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Stratford rowers impress at Warwick and Oxford regattas

Emily Browne and Katie Wellstead with Olympian Zoe de Toledo.
Emily Browne and Katie Wellstead with Olympian Zoe de Toledo.

STRATFORD Boat Club members produced a string of excellent performances at the Warwick and Oxford regattas.

At Warwick, Holly Sinnett and Becky Smith took part in the primary women’s double sculls.

They won their heats easily despite the heavy wind and bending river and then qualified for the final against Evesham.

Again, Sinnett and Smith beat the Warwick crew with a good lead and were overall winners.

The crew would like to thank Paul Hazelwood for coaching them through the last year and for the support and race training from Mark Dewdney and Helen Smith.

The crew look forward to training further with Dewdney and Smith and are aiming for novice head races over the winter.

Another Stratford success was Harvey Mole competing in his first regatta and despite a close race, Mole just lost out to the competition.

Further wins included Amelie Sartain in the WJ13 1x after a hard-fought race against Evesham. The WJ13 4x+ of Abbey Meggeson, Emma Harrison, Harriet Hodgson, Sienna Rawlings coxed by Mary Walton were a close runner-up in their event.

The J13 1x Conar Aitchison and WJ13 2x of Amelie Sartain and Abbey Meggeson narrowly missed places in their respective finals, however Sienna Rawlings and Harriet Hodgson gave Evesham a run for their win in the final of the WJ13 2x, closing all the time to miss out by half a length.

At Oxford, success arrived through Ian Ward, who won in the adaptive assisted doubles, beating two Oxford crews by two feet and one length respectively with Joe Moore assisting.

Mark Sanders had a couple of close races. Stratford’s J15 double won by two feet.

Masters women A, Sian Maher and Victoria Ward, joined by seniors Lizzy Collins and Amy Freeman, took part in their first race as a combination in the W.IM.2.4+.

Kindly supported by Laura Roxburgh of Bristol Ariel, who sat in to cox, the crew drew City of Bristol in the heats and held them off all of the way to the finish line.

The semi-finals brought Stratford against a tall Reading Boat Club crew. Stratford kept up their show of skill, but Reading got to the line first on this occasion.

Another first was the debut race for Emily Ascott, accompanied in the IM3 mixed double scull by Mike Hazelwood.

The duo stole a march on their competition in first round, pushing hard to a two-length lead before finally being edged into second place by a more experienced crew from Green Templeton College Boat Club.

Stratford masters’ women were also ably represented by Christine Goodwin in the W.Mas.C.1x, who drew a strong vesta sculler.

Goodwin beat her competitor off the start and proceeded to give the spectators the opportunity to see some great side-by-side racing over the whole course. Vesta just managed to get to the line first by a narrow margin.

Stratford’s junior squad were represented in two events with fine examples of sculling in both.

Sofia Ward, competing in the J17 single scull, raced a magnificent semi-final leading off the start, but was eventually overhauled by Swindon Rowing Club.

The J15 double scull of Emily Browne and Katie Wellstead showed fine form, recording wins over Falcon Rowing Club in the opening two rounds of the event, taking them through to the final. The Stratford pair then took on Oxford City and delivered a masterful performance, winning by just two feet.

Another successful day of racing concluded with prizes presented by Olympic silver medallist Zoe de Toledo.

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