21st Oct, 2020

Golden time for Stratford at British Rowing Virtual Championships and Henley

Liam Moakes 8th Jul, 2020

OVER the last two weekends, Stratford Boat Club has had a very busy and successful ‘virtual’ time competing in regattas.

The J15 squad had one athlete taking part in the five minutes open event of the British Rowing Virtual Championships.

Tomi Wilcock put in a strong performance in the heats on Saturday to secure his place in the A final on Sunday.

Tomi then put in a fantastic performance in the final to take 17th place – beating 23 athletes from all over the country and from a number of top rowing schools.

Abi Terry, J15 coach, said: “This definitely suggests exciting things to come in the future for Tomi and the J15 squad!”

Harriet Notes decided to enter the British Rowing Virtual Championship competition at a fairly late stage so had very little practice in the run-up.

She entered the 500m Year 9 girls’ race and was up against a few familiar faces from clubs around the country and it was an incredibly tight race.

Harriet ended up fourth with a time of 1:44.1 – just 0.1 seconds off third place as only 1.6 seconds covered the first four places.

In addition to the junior athletes competing at the Inaugural British Rowing Virtual Championships, assistant J15 and adaptive coach Trevor Tiller raced in the Masters 55-59 2,000m and 500m events.

Stratford Boat Club’s Camilla Hadland, commentating at the event for British Rowing, gave encouragement throughout which was boosted by mention that Trevor ‘represented the coaches of Stratford Boat Club’.

Saturday’s 2,000m heat saw Trevor qualify for Sunday’s A Final with its international field. Improving his heat time, Trevor finished 15th/18 in a time of 7:40.1.

In his final race of the weekend, the brutal 500m sprint, Tiller finished 10th/18 in 1:39.6.

He said: “A great weekend’s racing and an event that many hope will be an addition to the future rowing calendar.”

IN A JULY week which usually holds the highlight of the rowing and social calendar for the rowing community, it was back to the garages and garden sheds for the Stratford Boat Club junior squad.

Henley week is when the rowing world descends on the hallowed waters of Henley Reach in blazers and summer frocks for international level racing in a quintessentially British environment.

So, whilst blazers remained in wardrobes, the Henley Virtual Championships got under way.

The event was held over a selection of distances depending on age group, with both running and rowing machine classifications, plus parents’ events.

Leaderboards published at the end of each of the five days of competition spurred athletes on to better a previous performance and climb the rankings.

The youngest athletes at J13 level took part in the daily individual rowing machine and running challenge. Running over the Henley Course (2,112m), Eloise Cooper, Harriet Froom and Megan Rowan all set some great times with their times falling through the week.

At the close of competition, Megan took the bronze closely followed by Eloise in fourth and Harriet also in the mix.

On the rowing machine, the girls’ event proved too exciting for most over The Barrier distance of 637m, with Molly Vondrak, Scarlett Richardson and Lucy Sartain all in contention.

With a final attempt on the last day of competition, Molly cemented the silver medal position with Scarlett in fourth and Lucy taking care of Surbiton further down the rankings.

In the boys’ event, Jamie Wilcock was in with a bullet to take the silver medal, closely followed by his team-mate Will Dalrymple-Baker in bronze position.

Not to be outdone, the J13 parents were also in action with Michael Froom in the running event recording a solid fifth place.

In the crew event, Ian Wilcock, Nick Sartain, Eric Appleton and Brian Richardson dusted off the lycra and scored a fourth place with just a handful of seconds between them and a bronze.

Day One of the event opened for J14 squad to take part in The Fawley – a 4×1,047m crew ergo event – or The Royal – a 4×2,112m crew run.

Stratford were able to enter one of their regular JW14 crews in the ergo event, so hopes were high for a decent result.

Throughout the day, the girls’ crew of Amalia Richardson, Maddie Hall, Millie Hodgson and Harriet Noyes each completed their individual 1,047m – virtually spurring each other on and sharing their results – but they had to wait for the 6pm deadline to see how they performed overall.

Steve Marsden, J14 coach, said: “The wait was worth every moment as the crew smashed their way to the gold medal with a 16:21.8 overall time – over a minute ahead of silver medallists Fulham Reach.

“These Stratford Boat Club J14 girls might have been locked down, but their hard work and home training shone through with a stellar performance.”

The J15 squad also competed in force on Thursday in the team events with each athlete taking part in either the 2,110m run or the 1,047m ergo.

The boys’ team of Tomi Wilcock, Owen Perkins, Toby Sartain and Will Beattie took part in the running event and completed it in a combined time of 36 minutes, 19 seconds – over four minutes ahead of their rivals from Royal Grammar School Worcester to take the gold medals.

The J15 girls took part in both the running event and the ergo event. On the run team were Freya Watts, Honour Keil, Harriet Holmes and Bella Chappelhow, finishing in a time of 44 minutes and eight seconds to place them fourth.

The ergo team of Ruby Howells, Fleur Griffiths, Freya Watts and J14 Amalia Richardson, who stepped up to complete the team, also finished in a very respectable fourth place with seconds separating them from the bronze medal position.

All of the J15s also competed in the individual events, with the highest finish being Tomi Wilcock in bronze position, closely followed by Owen Perkins in fourth.

J15 lead coach Abi Terry and assistant Trevor Tiller also competed in the coach events with both of them winning gold in their respective ergo events, held over 1,047m.

J18s Matilda and Issy Watts also took part in the event with Matilda taking on the 1,410m ergo and Issy competing in the 2,110m run in which she picked up the bronze medal.

Abi Terry added: “Everyone enjoyed another great week’s racing and now the juniors look forward to hopefully being back on the water very soon!”

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