STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club are gearing up to host their annual Boxing Day Scratch Regatta which has become a firm favourite on the Boat Club’s and town’s calendar.
The club finished the 2022 season with a certain amount of frustration as the cold and icy weather forced most athletes off the river and into the Club for land training.
Stratford’s Junior Squad Co-ordinator, Steve Wellstead, said: “December is a challenging month for training with many Junior Squad athletes taking important mock exams and the weather this year has restricted us even more to indoor and land training.”
By contrast, the club’s Boxing Day Scratch Regatta allows Club athletes to blow away the over indulgence of Christmas, have fun and set their sights firmly on serious training for the 2023 season.
More than 40 athletes from the Club traditionally brave the cold and damp to take part in the Scratch Regatta, competing in fours over a short sprint course from the Ferry to the Club grounds on the Town stretch of the River Avon, weather permitting.
Masters’ Vice Captain and organiser of this year’s Boxing Day Regatta, Dave Edwards, said: “We pick Club crews from names entered into a draw based on gender, age and ability so that all the crews are more or less equal, ranging from members of the Junior squad right through to Masters.”
To ensure fair play and safety, starters, umpires, spotters and the safety launch will all be in place whilst crowds can watch and cheer from the Recreation Ground, The Royal Shakespeare Terrace, Bancroft Gardens and The Tramway Bridge.
Wellstead added: “The training schedule will be back on target the first weekend after the New Year.
“2023 is going to be a great season for Stratford in all categories and we’re heading for continued success in local and national regattas and heads!”
People are more than welcome to come down to the river on Boxing Day (Monday, December 26) with racing set to begin at 10am.