STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s Masters 8+ crew debuted at Monmouth Winter Head, competing in the Mixed Masters D/E/F category.
The crew – with an age range of 45 to 76-years-old – raced the 2,500m downstream course in cold but calm weather, guided confidently by their experienced cox Isobel Moore who has been coxing for Stratford since she was a junior and more recently has been coxing for University of Edinburgh Boat Club.
In the first 500m, the crew pushed firm, finding their pace for the 2000m still to come. With their opposition from Avon County Rowing Club ahead of them, the enthusiastic Stratford crew were ready to battle for a win in their very first race as a crew.
Entering the last 500m, the crew dug deep to find those last strokes with their energy restored and spirits lifted by shouts of encouragement from the bank as they crossed the finish line.
Having only come together as a crew this autumn, and with just a few weeks of training to prepare, the crew was pleased with the result of their hard work even if they missed out on the win.
No doubt, the presence of two Level Two coaches in the squad was a blessing to the crew with both Joe Moore and Alfie Nash bestowing their years of rowing expertise to the boat.
And Nash deserves a special mention for completing his first race as a rower, only having coxed in previous races, as well as David Day who made his racing debut at 76-years-old.
The crew are already back in training and looking ahead to plan their next race in the new year.
Meanwhile, forced off the water by the freezing weather, Stratford’s junior squads continued with their cross training with indoor ergo relays and some creative ice sculptures as the club’s young scullers patiently wait to return to the water.