STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s masters squad came away with gold and silver medals at the British Rowing Masters Championships at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham.
The British Rowing Masters Championships is the highlight of the the masters’ regatta season with the event held over two days.
And this year’s Championships saw a record number of entries as more than 800 crews took to the water on the 1,000m multi-lane national course.
Stratford began the Championships with a silver medal as Heather Hayton and Tom Doherty, competing with their friends Tabatha and Julian Scrivener from Upton raced in the mixed masters E quad sculls.
Against strong opposition from Warwick, Monmouth and Ardingly, the Stratford crew led by around a length at the 500m mark.
However, Warwick were able to close the gap to half a length as a furious race to the finish ensued with Stratford/Upton made to settle for silver as the former crew won by three lengths whilst Monmouth were third.
Next up were Stratford’s Ed Lewry and Nic Sartain in the men’s masters B double scull event in a heat with three out of five crews to progress to the final.
However, the pair missed out on a place in the final by less than half a second as they pipped to the line by a crew from Falcon.
Hayton and Doherty were back in the water in the mixed masters E double scull category, racing against former international scullers from Castle Semple and multiple championship winners from Lakeland.
Castle Semple and Lakeland were able to move away from the rest of the field as the Stratford pair were made to settle for a fifth place finish behind crews from Bewel Bridge and Bentham.
And in the single masters’ E sculls event, Tim Lunel was up against stiff competition in one of the most challenging categories.
Despite a strong performance, Lunel was unable to force his way into the final.
And the following day, Doherty took part in his third event in the men’s coxless fours sweep race, racing with a sculler from Greenbank Falmouth for the first time.
The pair were up against quality opposition, including former Ireland internationals from Commercial Rowing Club and Upper Thames, Nottingham and Avon County
A fast start of 41 strokes per minute set a quick race tempo of 38 strokes a minute as Stratford/Greenbank excelled to qualify for the final where they finished in the minor places.
Lastly, Suzie Radley and Amanda Bowden won gold as the double moved across the water with a powerful and consistent rhythm to pull away from the competition and cross the line in first place.
Elsewhere, the club’s adaptive squad were at the Marlow Town regatta in their first racing of the regatta season.
The race of the day came in an all-Stratford final between Rob Pedley and Jess Dowdeswell in the PR1 singles.
This is a fixed seat event for those with a spinal cord Injury or any other condition that makes it impossible to use legs.
The race was nip and tuck all the way to the finish as the vastly more experienced Pedley won by just a single foot.
And Andy Morris triumphed in a PR3 event, defeating his Oxford rival by a length.
There was also a surprise win for Curtis Dickens and Jake Blatcher against a Marlow and Sudbury crew with the former only having started to row less than two months ago.
The rest of the squad performed well, but all lost their finals by small margins.
And the GB Paralympic referred both Dowdeswell and Dickens to Stratford Boat Club with the club’s adaptive coaching team asked to develop them to the appropriate level.