ROWING - Stratford Boat Club's men's masters squad out in force at Gloucester's Spring Head - The Stratford Observer

ROWING - Stratford Boat Club's men's masters squad out in force at Gloucester's Spring Head

Stratford Editorial 19th Mar, 2024 Updated: 27th Mar, 2024   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s masters’ men’s squad were out in force at Gloucester Rowing Club’s Spring Head.

Stratford’s E 4- of Gary Clay, Richard Shepherd, Rich Owen and Dan Simpkins took to the water as a combination for the first time with Owen racing in his first event since 2012.

A steady row at 26 strokes per minute saw the crew finish behind an impressive Minerva/Bidford combination.

Stratford’s H 2x of Mike Adkins and Paul Collins also rowed down the long course and covered the distance at a consistent rate of 26 strokes per minute.

In the afternoon division, Stratford’s men’s C 4x made a winning start in their first race of the head season.

With Nick Sartain setting the pace from the stroke seat, the quad made a quick start before settling into a rhythm of 31 strokes per minute.




And Ed Lewry at bow steered perfect lines down the course as Stratford reeled in the Stratford/Evesham composite VIII and then overtook the Avon County VIII.

Middle pair Eric Appleton and Tom Doherty kept up the intensity all the way to the finish as Stratford recorded a time of 19 minutes dead – the seventh fastest time of the day – to comfortably win their division.


Stratford’s Phil Marshal, Dave Edwards, Simon Skilling and Ian Sayers made up half of the Stratford/Evesham E/F composite VIII.

The crew settled into a comfortable pace and quickly adjusted to the river conditions as cox Elisabeth Edwards looked to overtake the crews ahead.

And the crew confidently rowed past the Avon VIII and held their own against another quad who pushed from behind for the entire second half of the race.

Masters vice captain, Amanda Bowden, said: “Well done to everybody who raced.

“Given the short time that the crews had been together and with very little time on the water this season due to the floods, the crews should be pleased with their results.

“These crews are all packed with potential and looking to make further improvements.

“We would all like to thank Dave Edwards for towing the boats. There may be one more head race for some crews but after that – bring on the summer regattas.”

That came after Stratford’s women’s double of Imogen North and Beth Edwards finished an impressive second in a strong field of seven crews.

Stratford also sent five adaptive crews to Gloucester as 14-year-old Isaac Clarkson starred, finishing the course in nine minutes and 51 seconds – only one minute slower than two adult club colleagues Curtis Dickens and Andy Morris.

And the two doubles of Ian/Paola Ward and Gillian Middleton/Jake Blatcher raced in and all-Stratford contest.

All the adaptive event medals for the day came back around the necks of the Stratford rowers.

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