16th Sep, 2019

A helping hand goes a long way for rowers

Stratford Editorial 23rd Aug, 2018 Updated: 23rd Aug, 2018

STRATFORD Boat Club were grateful to hosts Stourport Boat Club loaning their youngsters boats – and duly returned from their two-day annual regatta with a number of victories.

On the Saturday Stratford claimed two wins, with the J14 double of Will Clarke and Conar Aitchison edging out a double from Burton Leander by just two feet.

WJ14 single sculler, Sophie Elstone, having beaten a strong sculler from Evesham to reach the final, kept a cool head against a Loughborough Boat Club rival to win the event with a very impressive four-length margin.

The J13 quad of Lucy Browne, Anne Mynors, Honour Keil, Will Beattie and cox Conar Aitchison raced in the open category but lost out to a strong crew from Derwent comprising of three boys and one girl.

On the Sunday held over the 600m course, Stratford had a number of athletes competing in singles for the first time. Lucy Browne, Anne Mynors and Will Beattie all raced hard in their respective J13 single events and Browne and Beattie then teamed up to race in a J13 double again but were edged out by Derwent.

The junior crews continued to impress in the Warwick Regatta. With the start being overlooked by Warwick Castle, this is one of the most picturesque settings for a regatta with racing held over 500m in a round-robin format for J14 and under.

In the J13 singles Harry Trueman competed for the first time in a single and, despite some steering issues, kept his head up and completed the course while Will Beattie put in two really strong performances to finish joint second on results, only to be pipped in a race-off against a strong sculler from Derwent.

The WJ13 singles was an all-Stratford affair with Harriet Holmes and Lucy Browne fighting it out to decide who took home the win, with Holmes taking both wins and the overall title.

Beattie teamed up with Toby Sartain to compete in the J13 doubles, with Holmes and Browne among their rivals. Holmes and Browne made it into the final to face Derwent for the second time but another strong performance was not quite enough to overhaul the two boys from Derwent this time.

In the J14 events Stratford had three all-girls’ doubles. Ultimately Amelie Sartain and Elisabeth Edwards claimed victory after a good finals race against Martha Usselmann and Sienna Rawlings, with Emma Harrison and Julia Zampronio Gurden only just missing out by a point.

In the J15/14 girls double, Mary Walton, in her first competitive race as a sculler, and Emma Harrison performed brilliantly against a strong Derwent crew, but unfortunately were beaten by just a couple of lengths.

Amelie Sartain, racing up an age group in the J15 single event, won her heat by eight lengths to reach the final. After four previous races she was up against a fresh Derwent sculler and after a neck-and-neck race was pipped at the post by a mere three-quarters of a length in an outstanding performance in an older age group.

Four-midable effort

MEANWHILE, Stratford Boat Club continued its summer regatta campaign at Oxford City Royal Regatta and again recorded four victories.

Held over 1,000m on the River Thames in Oxford, the club fielded crews from across the age ranges with junior, senior and masters squads in action.

The mixed double scull of Ed Lewry and Imogen North overcame competition from Oxford and Fulham Reach clubs to secure the club’s first club victory of the day.

The men’s double scull of Ed Lewry and Tom Coles dispatched Putney Town and Christchurch clubs in the heats and semi-final but it was not to be their day, however, as Gloucester Rowing Club pipped them in the final.

Stratford’s second win of the day came when the men’s coxless quadruple scull of Oliver Smith, Tim Henry, Finn Sprackling and Max Marcus dominated their rivals, beating Globe Rowing Club in the final to follow semi-final victory against London Otters.

The junior section was represented in the women’s J16 double sculls with Katie Wellstead and Emily Browne, who secured victory for a second year in a row. They made short work of a home club double in the semi-final before Wellstead and Browne comfortably won the final to retain their crown.

“More performances like this and Oxford will be naming a stretch of the Thames after the duo!” said Stratford’s Captain of Boats Oli Smith.

Christine Goodwin then wrapped up a fantastic day with her first regatta victory in the women’s masters single sculls. After wins in the first round and semi-final, Goodwin took an early lead in the final and the crowd took to their feet in support as with each stroke she propelled her boat forward with increasing vigour.

In a final frenzy, her opposition from Cambridge 99’s fought back but Goodwin remained in control and stretched out to take the win.

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