ROWING - Stratford’s juniors conquer the Severn - The Stratford Observer

ROWING - Stratford’s juniors conquer the Severn

Stratford Editorial 2nd Feb, 2023   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s junior squads conquered the River Severn as a host of their young scullers won gold at the Stourport Winter Head.

And the club’s J17/18 squad started the day with gold in the singles as Will Beattie won the J18 event and was followed home by Toby Sartain for a Stratford one-two finish whilst Charles Happel placed second in the J17 category.

There was more success for Stratford as the WJ18 pair of Amalia Richardson and Kate Richardson crossed the line in first place despite being relatively new to the pairs event.

And Stratford enjoyed another one-two finish in the J18 doubles as Beattie and Tomi Wilcock just pipped fellow Stratford double Happel and Sartain to victory over the 4km course.

The medals kept on coming as Stratford’s J16 coxless quad of Aimee Appleton, Scarlett Richardson, Molly Vondrack and Megan Rowan, the latter in the stroke seat, beat the home Stourport boat by 12.5 seconds to take the race win.

A trio of Stratford doubles took to the water next and finished within seven second of each other as Ez Elfwood and Harriet Froom placed third, one second shy of second place, with Lucy Sartain and Jess Long just behind and Eloise Cooper and Nancy Davis slightly further back.

The last member of the J16 squad in action was Jamie Wilcock in the singles event as he finished second overall after a collision at the halfway stage saw him lose the lead and crucial seconds.

In Division One, Stratford’s J14s fielded two WJ14 double sculls combinations as the crew of Josephine Cooper and Sophie Franklin powered down the 4000m course in style to finish more than one minute ahead of their closest challengers with the race victory taken by Maeve Dunn and Bryony Francis by a margin of just three seconds.

The J15 squad fielded a coxed four and had no opposition in their age range which meant they competed against senior crews as Theo Richter, Seth Vondrak, Xavier Sissins-Roffey, Oliver Rowlands and James Albrighton (coxswain) thundered down the course to take an emphatic victory.

In Division Two, he WJ14 coxed quadruple scull of Sophie Warren, Isla Dunn, Becca Smith, Martha Cooke and Josephine Cooper (coxswain) delivered a near perfect row to take the win over quality opposition from Trentham Boat Club and Hereford Cathedral School.

This was followed by the single sculls as J14 girls Martha Baines, Tessa Parkin and Millie Smith all tested themselves in what was considered the toughest event of the day as the trio recorded creditable eighth, fifth and sixth place finishes respectively.

J14 coach and junior co-ordinator, Steve Wellstead said: “No mean feat over the 4000m course so early in their rowing careers. No doubt, these athletes will return to the Severn in the coming years.”

The powerhouse duo of Alexandra Francis and Poppy Baines represented Stratford’s J15 squad in the women’s double sculls and produced a textbook row to win by a comfortable margin.

In the women’s J15 coxed quadruple sculls event, the crew of Sophie Evans, Meg Nuttall, Alice Jones, Lily Warren and Lucy Yang (coxswain) achieved a fourth place finish.

Joining their Stratford colleagues, King Edward The Sixth School Boat Club also headed to Stourport Head as the J18 4+ crew of T. Wilcock, R. Macdonald, T. Wheeler, T. Beard and I. Hill (cox) raced in the open men’s category and put in a great performance to take the race win.

There was also a winning debut for the J16 4x crew of W. Dalrymple-Baker, H. Hoare, A. Mathers and M. Cullimore who only started rowing in September last year.

KES coach, Hannah Crone said: “This was their first race and the aim was to row well and enjoy it. The boys put in a fantastic performance to take the win over Evesham Rowing Club.”

Lastly, the WJ18 4+ crew of A. Richardson, T. Dunn, M. Hall, K. Richardson and I. Hill (cox) once again raced in the senior category and, despite a last minute substitution due to injury, came out on top ahead of Evesham Rowing Club and Trentham Rowing Club.

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