ROWING - Stratford Boat Club juniors in action at Peterborough Junior Championships - The Stratford Observer

ROWING - Stratford Boat Club juniors in action at Peterborough Junior Championships

Stratford Editorial 27th Jun, 2023   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s J14 squad were in action at the Peterborough Junior Championships on the purpose-built Cambridgeshire rowing lake.

The event attracts the top schools and clubs from the junior rowing scene with races taking place on the 1,000m four lane course.

First up in the heats were the WJ14 coxed quadruple scull of Martha Cooke, Millie Smith, Josephine Cooper, Isla Dunn and Maeve Dunn (coxswain) who came fifth out of 24 crews.

That put the girls into the B final where they battled with Cambridge’s Rob Roy Boat Club all the way to the line only to finish second by the slimmest of margins.

Next up were the WJ14 double sculls of Sophie Franklin and Becca Smith along with Bryony Francis and Poppy Warren who finished fourth and fifth respectively out of 22 crews.

Francis and Warren romped to victory in the B final while Franklin and Smith were able to maintain fourth place behind crews from Nottingham and Union




Stratford’s J14 single scullers, Maeve Dunn, Martha Baines and Tessa Parkin, came fourth, fifth and eighth respectively out of 33 scullers.

In the B final, Parkin and Baines came home fourth with a strong performance against stiff competition while in the A final, Dunn dug deep to better her time trial effort and earn a silver medal against quality competition.


Stratfod’s J15 squad were also in action at the Peterborough Junior Championships against crews from Leeds, Lincoln, Oxford, Sussex and London.

And 152 races took place with four-lane racing following initial time trials with the fastest 12 crews seeded into A, B and C finals.

In the double sculls event, Theo Richter and Ollie Rowlands were third in the C final after Xavier Sissins-Rofey and Seth Vondrak were fourth in their time trial and subsequent B final while they also both came fourth in their single sculls B finals.

Lucy Yang and Alice Jones were racing in the single sculls event with the former unable to make the final in her first singles event while the latter was third in the C final.

In the double sculls event, Alexandra Francis and Poppy Baines narrowly missed out on a place in the A final but were able to win the B final.

And Lily Warren and Sophie Evans were fourth in the B final while Francis also took part in the single sculls where she won a bronze medal in the A final with Baines second in the B final.

Stratford’s J15 coach, Colin Bell, said: “Overall, the event provided valuable learning experiences for Francis, Baines, and Vondrak, who will apply what they learned in the upcoming British Junior Championships.”

Elsewhere, V’ Vondrak and Scarlett Richardson were at the National Watersports’ Centre in Nottingham for the under-16 Great Britain versus France trials match.

The Stratford pair entered the double sculls event with side-by-side finals cut from the programme due to bad weather meaning GB selection would be based on performance in the time trials.

And the Stratford girls were unfortunate to miss out on a top-five finish by just 0.5 seconds having been in the mix against the most competitive crews in the country.

Lastly, Stratford’s Jake Blatcher was competing in the open single sculls event at the Ironbridge Regatta.

Blatcher overcame a local rival from Evesham by a length and a half in the first round before pulling away against a young sculler from Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club to win comfortably in his semi-final.

The Stratford sculler took on a good sculler from Falcon Rowing Club (Oxford) in the final and was just unable to claw back an early deficit in the last few hundred metres.

Stratford’s head adaptive coach, Mark Dewdney, said: “This was another sign of progress in an encouraging season. I’m pleased with the performance.”

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