ROWING - Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club juniors excel at National Schools' Regatta - The Stratford Observer

ROWING - Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club juniors excel at National Schools' Regatta

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s juniors were out in force at the National Schools’ Regatta – the largest and most exciting regatta junior race calendar in Great Britain.

The regatta attracts crews from over 350 clubs and schools with over 5,000 competitors and is the premier junior regatta in the country.

Returning to Dorney Lake near Windsor, the J14 boys’ crew of Seth Vondrak, Xavier Sissins-Roffey, James Albrighton, Oliver Rowlands and cox Theo Richter were first to face the time trial raced over the 1000M course.

And after an unsettled start, the boys soon got into their rhythm to deliver a solid row, however, despite a valiant effort, the boys missed out on selection for the finals by eight seconds.

Next up for Stratford was the girls’ crew of Alexandra Francis, Poppy Baines, Sophie Evans, Alice Jones and cox Meg Nuttall.

And the girls produced another solid performance to achieve selection for the B final as they crossed the finish line in fourth place to place 10th overall out of 36 competing crews.

The squad are now looking forward to competing at the British Rowing Junior Championships at the National Water Sports Centre in July.

Stratford’s WJ15 coxed quad of Harriet Froom (cox), Lucy Sartain, Molly Vondrak, Scarlett Richardson and Aimee Appleton (bow) rowed a superb 1000m in the time trial competing at the regatta for the first time.

And the crew secured an impressive top-20 finish out of a staggering 69 crews finishing just 15.7 seconds behind the top crew and three seconds away from a place in the B Final as they raced clear of Thames Scullers A, Kingston, Lea Rowing Club, Fulham Reach Kings School Chester, Henley E and many more.

J16 coach Hugo Happel said: “Terrific result, great work ethic and a great foundation to build on!”

Stratford’s J17/18 squad started the day with the boys’ double of Tomi Wilcock and Will Beattie competing in the Open Championship Doubles event.

The pair put up a strong battle against the wind and finished a respectable 21st in their time trial.

And the girls pairing of Amelie Sartain and Freya Watts were next up in the Women’s Championship Doubles event as they also finished 21st competing against crews from some impressive clubs.

Last out for the squad was Toby Sartain competing in the Open Championship Singles event as he finished 37th against stiff competition from across the country.

Stratford’s athletes and coaches also took part on the club’s Junior Coaching Assistants’ Course during half term

J17/18 Performance Squad Coach Abi Terry said: “This course is designed to give competent junior athletes the skills to pass on their knowledge to their younger colleagues and those new to rowing and sculling.

“It covers essential points such as safety, techniques and how to put these across to others. It was heartening to see how many volunteered for the course and the effort they put in over a long day!”

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