ROWING - Stratford Boat Club host successful summer regatta - The Stratford Observer

ROWING - Stratford Boat Club host successful summer regatta

Aaron Sutcliffe 18th Jun, 2024 Updated: 20th Jun, 2024   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club braved the elements to hold their annual summer regatta as more than 150 races took place.

Stratford were competing against crews from Evesham Rowing Club, King’s School Worcester Boat Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester Boat Club, Ross Rowing Club, Clifton College Boat Club, King Edward VI Boat Club, Worcester Rowing Club, Monmouth Comprehensive School Boat Club and AB Severn Boat Club.

This year’s regatta comprised of three divisions and a staggering 159 races which took place between 8.30am and 5.45pm on a busy day of racing.

Boat Club chairman and regatta secretary, Dawson Curnock, said: “It was a long day’s racing, our tea tent was extremely busy dispensing dozens of cakes and snacks. What a magnificent day topped by great racing.

“We ran the regatta under very tight safety protocols. We were especially grateful for the help and tolerance of those operators who work and make their living on the river.”

Stratford would like to thank clubs and the public for the strong turnout and all SuABC members, umpires and officials for supporting the event.

Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council Mayor Coun Jason Fojtik was also in attendance and walked the 500m course, following the Avon through the town from Holy Trinity Church through to the finish line at the club’s grounds, with Boat Club president Paul Stanton.

On the water, Stratford’s J14 squad started off in Division One as Erin Appleton and Orla Linforth took part in the 1x event and sculled well but ultimately lost out to Evesham by a canvas and Ross Rowing Club by three lengths.

Later on in Division One, Will Shaw was drawn in a straight final and beat a Worcester Rowing Club sculler by two lengths.

In Division Two, Linforth coxed the boys’ boat of Seb Happel, Euan Richter, Ed Appleton and James Greenwood in the J14 4x+ event as the crew won their semi-final by three and a half lengths ahead of Monmouth. However, Stratford’s quad lost by just one length in the final to another Monmouth crew.

And in Division Three, Rory Rowan and Rory Jones won their first race in the J14 2x event against Kings School Worcester before losing to Monmouth in their next race.

Also in Division Three, in the WJ14 2x event, Maria Ntoukaki and Naomi Sime showed excellent timing and power but were let down by their steering as the pair suffered disqualification for repeatedly moving out of their lane.

Stratford’s J14 coach, Hugo Happel, said: “Overall, a great day with some really nice sculling, enjoyed by all. Numerous parents and coaches fed back what a great event the Stratford Junior Sprints is, so thanks to all involved. Great job.”

Stratford’s J15 squad also took to the water as the double sculls crews of Sophie Franklin/Josephine Cooper and Martha Baines/Tessa Parkin met in the final after hard racing against Monmouth and Kings Worcester as the Franklin/Cooper combination came out on top in the final.

Martha Cooke and Maeve Dunn were next up in the singles as the pair made light work of the heats and semi-finals, sweeping aside Evesham and Kings Worcester to deliver the second all-Stratford final of the day.

Dunn triumphed by the narrowest of margins as the squad mates temporarily put aside their friendship in a thrilling final.

And the coxed quadruple scull of Isla Dunn, Millie Smith, Becca Smith, Bryony Francis and Martha Cooke (coxswain) also progressed to the final where they lost to a quality AB Severn crew by just three quarters of a length.

In Division One of the J16 races, Xavier Sissins-Rofey clinched a remarkable first round victory in the single sculls event with a burst of speed which left his opponent behind. However, he lost by a length in the semi-finals against a Monmouth sculler.

And James Albrighton produced a valiant effort in his debut singles race but missed out on victory.

In the women’s J16 sculls finals, Alice Jones faced a formidable challenge against the National Schools doubles champion and fell short by just a single length in a strong performance. However, the girls quad dominated their event and secured a decisive win against local rivals Evesham.

Stanton added: “Although we weren’t blessed with good weather for the regatta, there were still crowds watching the racing adding much to Stratford’s atmosphere and vitality.

“We were glad to showcase our sport and demonstrate our part in the success of our town. Again, we appreciate the tolerance and help from the other river users and colleagues and look forward to our Fun Regatta in July.”

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