STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s junior section went in force to the British Rowing’s Junior Inter Regional Regatta (JIRR) at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint near Nottingham to represent the West Midlands.
Charles Happel was the first J16 to take on the challenging conditions sculling with excellent control to finish fourth in his heat and ninth overall.
The WJ16 coxless quad of Amalia Richardson, Harriet Noyes, Maddie Hall and Kate Richardson made a superb start, matching hot favourites Henley over the first twenty strokes.
However, Henley pulled away and a close race developed for second place with Stratford forced to settle for fourth just two seconds behind the second placed crew to leave them seventh overall across both heats.
Stratford’s J15s represented the West Midlands region at JIRR 2022 in the three events: J15 1x – Will Dalrymple-Baker sculled really well despite the choppy conditions, crossing the 1000m line in 4 minutes 3 seconds, beating West, East Midlands and Eastern areas (Gold won by Thames SE in 3 mins 47.9 secs).
WJ15 2x of Scarlett Richardson and Molly Vondrak sculled equally well, setting a time of 4 mins 5.9 secs, beating Thames South East, East Midlands, West, and Yorkshire regions (Gold won by Eastern in 3 mins 56.7 secs).
WJ15 4x+ composite quad Hereford Cathedral School/Stratford of Lucy Sartain and Aimee Appleton (cox) sadly did not start as the squad suffered steering issues before the race commenced.
J15 Coach, Hugo Happel said: “Overall a very credible performance for athletes totally untested in these sorts of conditions. The J15’s now turn their focus to the Evesham regatta on Saturday!”
The J14 squad were next on the water with the regatta contested between twelve British Rowing Regions and raced side-by-side across six lanes taking place over 1,500m with a stake boat start.
This year was extremely challenging due to Storm Franklin bringing 33mph winds which meant the course was reduced to a 1000m timed event instead of the qualifying round and subsequent finals.
Stratford’s Junior 14’s were selected to race in the coxed quad event and Alexandra Francis, Poppy Baines, Sophie Evans, Alice Jones coxed by Meg Nuttall were the first to face the stormy waters and secured a second place finish in their heat to secure sixth overall which in normal conditions would have placed them in the A final.
Hot on the heels of the girls were the boys’ crew as Seth Vondrak, Xavier Sissins-Rofey, Theo Richter, Oliver Rowlands coxed by Lucy Yang finished fifth in their heat and ninth overall.
J14 Coach, Colin Bell said: “Given both crews struggled to keep a grip on their handles and this was not their easiest day on the water, the experience has spurred the squad on, they are now looking forward to racing at Evesham next weekend.”