STRATFORD Boat Club’s junior coxed four produced an impressive performance at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta.
The team of Katie Wellstead, Talei Dunn, Emily Brown and Khloe Curnock, coxed once more by Mimi Hill, were one of 21 crews from the UK and USA in action.
Only 16 crews could qualify from the time trial to join the side-by-side racing and, of the 16, the fastest eight were seeded.
The Stratford girls qualified and were only five seconds from joining the seeded group. In their heat, the girls were drawn to race against the number one seed – a crew made up of athletes from three Scottish schools.
Stratford got off to a tremendous start as the crews began to race over the 1,500m course. As the crews approached the halfway stage, the Scots had begun to edge in front and the pace was frenetic.
At the finish, the exhausted Stratford crew were only three lengths behind the winners who were in fact representing Scotland and reached the final of the event.
Stratford J17/18 coach Dr Graham Collier said: “This was a gutsy performance by the young Stratford crew and tees up the squad nicely for their races at the National Championships in July.”
Also in action were the under 16 coxless quadruple scull of Jasmine Mountney, Alice Baines, Mya Kenny and Mili Wilcock.
Their time trial took place in the evening sun on Friday with 19 crews entered from around the UK and Australia.
The girls delivered their race plan to the letter and produced a first class row over the Henley course to be placed tenth. Sadly, only the top eight progressed to the next round but, with just two seconds between them and the qualifying crews, they can be justifiably proud of their performance.
Junior co-ordinator and J16 coach Steve Wellstead said: “The club is extremely proud to be able to field two junior crews at such a prestigious event and we are delighted with their performances against some of the finest rowing schools and clubs in the country.”