STRATFORD Boat Club finished the 2017 season with squads testing their mettle and stamina against the clock as senior and junior squads took part in force in the season’s last time trial.
Stratford’s junior squad co-ordinator Steve Wellstead said: “December is a challenging month for training, with many junior squad athletes taking important mock exams, and the weather often restricts us to indoor and land training.
“To finish with the upstream time trials sets the mood for a great 2018 season!”
As complete contrast, Stratford Boat Club’s Boxing Day Scratch Regatta has become a firm fixture on the club’s and town’s calendar, allowing athletes to blow away the over-indulgence of Christmas, have fun and set their sights firmly on serious training for the 2018 season.
More than 40 athletes from the traditionally brave the cold and damp to take part in the Scratch Regatta, competing in fours and quads over a short sprint course from the Ferry to the Club grounds on the Town stretch of the River Avon.
Stratford’s captain of boats Oli Smith said: “We pick club crews from names entered into a draw based on gender, age and ability so that all the crews are more or less equal, ranging from members of the junior squad right through to masters.”
To ensure fair play and safety, starters, umpires, spotters and the safety launch will all be in place whilst crowds can watch and cheer from the Recreation Ground, The Royal Shakespeare Terrace, Bancroft Gardens and The Tramway Bridge.
“The training schedule will be back on target the first weekend after the new year,” added Bill Sullivan, coach at Stratford Boat Club for the elite senior squad.
“2018 is going to be a great season for Stratford in all categories and we’re going for gold at next year’s Royal Henley Regatta!”
You can watch the Boxing Day racing from 9.30am.