STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s women’s masters squad enjoyed a medal-laden outing at the Monmouth Winter Head.
Stratford’s first VIII composite crew produced a solid row to finish in 7 minutes 39 seconds, beating two other crews to the finish as stern pair Amanda Bowden and Suzie Radley set a strong rhythm.
And the middle four of Heather Hayton, Rebecca England, Ruth Poulten and Charlotte Jones provided extra pushes at the perfect moments alongside good timing from Rona Fitzpatrick and Susan Brown (Xpress Boat Club) in the bows with Keris McShane at cox.
The second VIII comprised Jane Cryer (stroke), Ellie Davies, Emily Sayers, Lin Hansen, Geraldine Chorley, Lucy Kelleher, Claudine Pearson, Paola Arevelo Ward and Jen Carey (cox).
Setting off at a rate of 26 strokes per minute, the crew finished in a respectable time of 8 mins 22 secs.
Cryer said: “Great to see so many women representing Stratford Boat Club at this event and enjoying their sport.”
Later in the day, the masters C 4x of Davis, Gina Fusco, Christine Goodwin and Sayers produced a superb row to win their race, finishing seven seconds ahead of Worcester.
And the composite masters D/E 4x of Hayton, Radley, Bowden and Brown (Xpress Boat Club) also won their race in 7 mins 37 secs following a fabulous row, finishing ahead of Upton and Gloucester.
The novice masters D/E 4x, stroked by Lucy Kelleher and backed up by Jane Connolly, Mel Brown (substitute) and Claudine Pearson saw the later steering for the first time in a race.
The masters C 4+ crew, coxed by Carey, stroked by England and supported by Lin Hansen, Cryer and Poulten finished 26 seconds behind race winners Evesham Boat Club.
Vice captain Bowden said: “The squad is developing to show real strength in depth. Crews are beginning to see rewards, or will do soon, for the effort they put in.
“Time on the water and in the gym is ensuring that we have strong and technically competitive crews. I am delighted with the progress this autumn, it bodes well for the summer racing.
“Thanks goes to Eric Appleton for trailering and supporting the crews on a rather cold, damp day and to the finishing coaches Dan Simkins and Sam Hill.”