STRATFORD Boat Club’s rowers were out in force at the impressive three-day Ross Regatta where some good results were recorded.
The J13 crews raced in the morning and first on the course was the 2x double of Louis Beason and Charles Happel who had progressed through to the semi-final race courtesy of a bye. They provided a first class demonstration of sculling and steering, including against the course bend which proved to be the downfall of many during the day, to win against Queen Park High school easily.
Their final saw them up against Nottingham & Union Rowing Club and the Stratford boat got off to a great start but was pegged back by the power of the Nottingham crew who registered the win.
In the J14 girls’ singles Ruby Howells competed in only her second event in a single against a very neat sculler from Exeter Rowing Club. Ruby sculled beautifully down the course but the Exeter sculler was just too strong to be beaten.
Fleur Griffiths and Freya Watts both took to the water to race their first rounds against scullers from Queens Park High School. The Stratford pair were comfortable winners in this round and progressed to the semi-finals.
Here Griffiths met Harriet Holmes and in a very close race it was Griffiths who took the spot in the final by just half a length over Holmes. Watts then took on another sculler from Queens Park High School which again was dominated by the Stratford sculler.
Watts then took on Griffiths in the final and in another close race in which Stratford were guaranteed a win, it was Watts who was victorious and picked up the tankard.
On Monday, the WJ14 coxed quad of Keil, Howells, Griffiths, Watts and cox Toby Sartain powered to a five-length victory against Ross in the semi-final. Then, in the final, they raced Bristol and with some expert coxing from Toby taking the fastest water, they finished two lengths ahead of their opposition.
Bringing the season to a close, the J15 squad’s winning weekend began on Sunday morning with finals places for Amélie Sartain in the singles event and also in the doubles event with Abbey Meggeson later that afternoon.
Both girls fought through to deservedly win their finals places. In both the single and doubles events, the finals went right down to the line with victory escaping by only by the shortest of margins on both occasions.
Monday saw the course increase in length for the main regatta. Sartain, again in the single, faced a local Ross girl for the heat and after a fast start comfortably won by four lengths for a place in the semi-final.
A tougher semi-final race against Evesham, winning by less than a boat length, had Sartain against Queens Park High School in the final. An inspired row from both saw the girls side by side as they passed the cheering crowds yet it was Sartain who dug deepest to take the win by two-and-a-half boat lengths.
The afternoon doubles event saw Meggeson and Sartain back together to face a Wycliffe crew. Despite Sartain having raced eight previous races during the weekend and Meggeson three, the race was extremely close all the way, coming a very commendable second by only three-quarters of a length (eight metres).
As the regatta continued into its second day and the temperatures continued to soar, Stratford’s J16 girls took to the water. Just two athletes took a break from summer holidays to light up the Wye in their single sculls.
On opposite sides of the draw, the competition began with both Jasmine Mountney and Alice Baines sailing through the first round each with a win against Dart Totnes and Evesham respectively.
In the semi-finals Alice again took a win against City of Bristol but Jasmine met her match and was edged out on the line. Alice went on to the final and duly avenged Stratford’s semi-final defeat by vanquishing Nottingham Union, thus taking her second win in successive years in this event.
Also on day two of the regatta, Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift racing in the Senior Women’s double sculling event proceeded through the heats in magnificent style to reach the final and race against Upton Rowing Club.
An amazing final, the first attempt ended in a dead heat with the two crews returning without rest to the start to do it all over again. Despite a combative Stratford performance, Upton just took the spoils.
Katie Wellstead sculling vigorously in a single in the Women’s Junior event was overhauled by less than ten feet at the finish by an Exeter sculler.
The afternoon saw Mimi Hill, normally a coxswain, join the three girls (all only 17 years old) to take on the Senior Women’s quadruple sculls. More top-class sculling by the girls enabled them to destroy the ladies from Ross and then Worcester Rowing Clubs.
The final against an Evesham crew comprised of university students was a brutal affair in which Evesham finished less than two lengths ahead of Stratford.