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Three days of glorious rowing for Stratford's crews

Stratford's young athletes competing at the Ross Regatta.
Stratford's young athletes competing at the Ross Regatta.


STRATFORD Boat Club had plenty of success across three days of racing when they took part in the Ross Regatta over the weekend.

The event is one of the best in Stratford’s calendar and it was further enhanced by the perfect weather conditions.

The J13s raced in the morning and first one the course was the 2x double of Louis Beason and Charles Happel, who reached the semi-final courtesy of a bye.

The duo won the semi-final against Queen Park High to reach the final where they would face Nottingham & Union RC.

Beason and Happel got off to a good start but were pegged back by the strong Nottingham crew who easily registered the win.

Next up was Grace Beason in the Wj13 1x race where competed against Nottingham & Union RC.

The race was not her best, as she capsized shortly after starting.

Stratford’s WJ13 4x crew of Amalia Richardson, Maddie Hall, Uche Nwachukwa, Grace Beason and cox Emily Stobart were up against Ross RC.

The girls competed well, but ran out of steam at the finish, missing out on the win by one length.

Stratford's winning WJ quad in action.
Stratford's winning WJ quad in action.

On Sunday the J14s were out in force, with the double of Toby Sartain and Owen Perkins first.

They faced a strong duo from Ross RC, who progressed into the next round.

The other double of Bella Chappelhow and Will Beattie compted in the same event and were up against City of Bristol.

Despite a battle all the way down the course, Bristol won by two lengths.

Next it was the J14 girls’ singles, with Ruby Howells, competing in just her second event, up against a sculler from Exeter RC.

Howells sculled well, but it wasn’t enough to win the race.

Fleur Griffiths and Freya Watts won their first round races against Queens Park High to reach the semi-finals.

Here Griffiths met Harriet Holmes and in a close race, it was the former who took the final spot by half a length.

Watts then took on another sculler from Queens Park High and she dominated from the off to reach the final against clubmate Griffiths.

On this occasion Watts was victorious and picked up the tankard.

Beattie was up next in the J14 singles where he faced a big sculler from Warrington.

Beattie won the heat, but could not follow that up in the semi-final where he lost to a sculler from Bristol.

The J14s double of Griffiths and Honour Keil and Howells and Chappelhow were both dealt challenging draws in their first rounds and despite pushing hard, they were defeated.

Holmes and Watts reached a semi-final, but there they lost to Exeter.

On Monday, it was Chappelhow’s turn to race in a single for the first time and despite a sterling effort, she lost to her Bristol opponent.

The WJ14 coxed quad of Keil, Howells, Griffiths, Watts and cox Sartain powered to a five-length win in their semi-final against Ross before finishing two lengths ahead of Bristol in the final.

One of Stratford's winning scullers with coaches Colin Bell and Steve Wellstead.
One of Stratford's winning scullers with coaches Colin Bell and Steve Wellstead.

The doubles of Griffiths and Watts and Howells and Keil again came up against crews that they couldn’t overcome, as did Perkins in the J14s single.

Bringing the season to a close, the J15 squad’s winning weekend began on Sunday morning with finals places for Amélie Sartain in the singles event and Abbey Meggeson in the doubles later that afternoon.

Both finals went down to the wire, but both Stratford athletes won by the shortest of margins. Monday saw the course increase in length for the main regatta.

Sartain won the singles heat against a Ross RC girl Ross RC girl before winning by less than a boat length ahead of Evesham in the semi-final

Sartain then dug deep in the final to beat Queens Park High by two-and-a-half lengths.

Meggeson and Sartain were back together for the doubles against a Wycliffe crew that won the race by three-quarters of a length.

Next to take to the water were the WJ16 girls.

On opposite sides of the draw, the competition began with both Jasmine Mountney and Alice Baines sailing through their first rounds.

In the semi-finals, Baines beat City of Bristol, but Mountney lost out after being overtaken right on the line.

Baines avenged Stratford’s semi-final defeat by defeating Nottingham & Union to take her second win in successive years in the event.

Also in action at the regatta were Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift who were racing in the senior women’s double sculling event. T

hey progressed through their heats in style before losing out to Upton Rowing Club in the final, which had to be raced twice after the first running finished as a dead heat.

Katie Wellstead sculled vigorously in the women’s junior singles event, but was overhauled by less than ten feet by an Exeter sculler.

The afternoon then saw Mimi Hill join three other 17-year-old girls to take part in the senior women’s quadruple sculls.

The girls left Ross and Worcester Rowing Clubs in their wake before losing out by two lengths to Evesham in the final.

The winning Stratford/Derwent composite with their pots. Kjersti Rogenflaten is pictured second from right.
The winning Stratford/Derwent composite with their pots. Kjersti Rogenflaten is pictured second from right.

Meanwhile, the Stratford/Derwent master women squad also travelled to Ross and showed endurance over the weekend after entering the masters F single, masters E double, masters D pair, masters E coxed four and the senior coxed four.

Stratford’s Kjersti Rogneflaten and her Derwent composite partner won the masters D pair race as well as the masters E coxed four event.

Rogneflaten also lost the final of the masters F single by a quarter of a length.

The composite crew are now looking forward to the World’s Masters Regatta in Hungary later this month.

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