STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s J17/18 squad competed in the highly competitive Schools’ Head of the River race on the revered Thames Tideway in London.
The venue plays host to the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and Stratford entered the Championship quads event against 49 of the country’s best junior boys’ boats.
On the unfamiliar and challenging course, that stretches for nearly 7km through West London, the crew of Will Beattie, Tomi Wilcock, Charles Happel, and Toby Sartain sculled with confidence and came home 39th ahead of 11 high level crews.
Also competing in the Schools’ Head was King Edward VI School Boat Club who pulled off another decisive win on the Thames.
The Mixed Eight of Amalia Richardson, Maddie Hall, Tom Wheeler, Rafa Macdonald, Tom Beard, Ed Rose, Harriet Noyes, Kate Richardson and Imogen Hill set an impressive new course record of 19 minutes 30 seconds over the 6.8 kilometre Thames Championship Course.
The crew set off at a pace of 32 strokes per minute through Chiswick Bridge all the way to Barnes Bridge before coxswain Hill took the perfect racing line on the straight to Chiswick Eyot.
They were hot on the heels of Westminster School and overtook the hosts under Hammersmith Bridge as KES extended their lead past Fulham Football Club to the finish at Putney Bridge.
KES Captain of Boats, Ed Rose, said: “We had it under control for the entire race. It feels great to have won this national event giving KES grounds for optimism for the upcoming summer season.
“Our thanks go to Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club for their support in getting us to this event.”