STRATFORD Boat Club’s annual Explore Rowing Regatta – for rowers who have recently taken up the sport – was once again a success as many enjoyed their first experience of racing on the water.
Despite the soggy weather later in the day, there was huge enthusiasm and a lot of friendly rivalry between the rowers as a dozen crews from five clubs across the region – Pengwern, Worcester, Upton, Bridgnorth and Stratford – competed on a course in front of the theatre from the chain ferry to the club grounds.
Soon after lunch four semi-finalists emerged – two from the Pengwern club at Shrewsbury, one from Bridgnorth and one from hosts Stratford.
The first semi-final resulted in a dramatic tie as Pengwern B just caught Stratford on the line and the race judge ordered a re-row. Unfortunately for Stratford, their crew paid the price for a pre-race visit to the burger stand and were not able to maintain their form a second time so Pengwern went through by a length.
The second semi saw Bridgnorth comfortably beat Pengwern A and Bridgnorth went on to win the final, showing an impressive style to the delight of the cheering crowd.
Explore Regatta secretary Nils Purser said: “This was a very enjoyable day’s racing, well supported by the excellent hospitality of the Stratford club whose industrious volunteers managed a slick regatta and entertained everyone to a delicious range of hospitality served from their iconic clubhouse.
“Above all, this was a superb advertisement for those thinking of taking up this sport. If this might be you, please look out for the next Learn to Row courses which are run on a regular basis at Stratford.”