STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s junior scullers enjoyed a successful outing at the Wycliffe Small Boats Head on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.
The J14 squad were first to take to the water on the 2.5km course as the WJ14 coxed quadruple scull of Isla Dunn, Cara Berisford-Murray, Martha Baines, Martha Cooke and Bryony Francis (coxswain) placed fourth against strong competition and were within touching distance of the crews ahead.
Next up where the three Stratford WJ14 double scull crews of Bryony Francis and Sophie Franklin, Millie Smith and Tessa Parkin and Becca Smith with Poppy Warren.
And the Stratford crews came home in third, fourth and fifth place respectively with M Smith and Parkin taking the bronze medal position.
In the WJ14 single sculls, Maeve Dunn and Josephine Cooper represented Stratford and sculled tremendously to place third and fifth respectively with Dunn winning bronze in emphatic fashion.
Taking part in their inaugural single sculls rowing head were Alexandra Francis and Xavier Sissins-Rofey as part of the J15 squad.
And Francis, racing against 14 other scullers, closed the staggered start gap to cross the line in first place in a tremendous row whilst Sissins-Rofey came home seventh out of 15 crews having only started rowing a year ago.
In the girls’ quadruple sculling event, Sophie Evans, Poppy Baines, Lily Warren, Lucy Yang and Alice Jones (coxswain) finished sixth out of 15 crews whilst the boys’ quadruple scull of Theo Richter, Seth Vondrak, Ollie Rowlands, James Albrighton and Meg Nuttall (coxswain) placed fifth out of 15 crews.
Exams impacted the availability of rowers for Stratford’s J16 squad with just five athletes taking part.
And, in Division One, the women’s coxless quad of Jess Long (stroke), V Vondrak, Scarlett Richardson and Aimee Appleton (bow) made a strong start to pass local rivals Kings School Worcester and finish in the gold medal position – 17 seconds clear of their closest challengers.
In Division Two, Vondrak and Richardson doubled up to race again in the WJ16 2x and secured bronze having missed out on silver by just 0.2 seconds.
This was followed by Will Dalrymple-Baker in the open J16 1x who finished a respectable fifth whilst Appleton placed seventh in the women’s J16 Division Three 1x race.
And the J17/18 squad also tasted success as the WJ18 4+ of Kate Richardson, Harriet Noyes, Maddie Hall, Amalia Richardson and cox Poppy Baines won their First Division race despite the latter stepping in as a late substitute.
There was also victory for J18 doubles Will Beattie and Tomi Wilcock in the Second Division ahead of 15 other boats whilst Charles Happel and Toby Sartain fought hard to finish joint-seventh.
Division Three saw Beattie, Wilcock, Happel and Sartain race as one crew in the Open J18 4+ event, with a late substitute cox who stepped in despite being from the RGS Worcester squad, and finished fourth overall.
Also competing at Wycliffe Small Boats Head was Stratford’s sister club, King Edward VI School – the first race of the season for KES saw a quad and four competing.
With a last minute substitution due to illness, the quad was up first in a strong field of J18 quads as Ed Rose, Rafa MacDonald, Tom Wheeler and Will Dalrymple-Baker placed sixth within six seconds of a medal.
The same crew went out in the coxed four with Poppy Baines from Stratford coxing and rowed strongly to finish in the bronze medal position behind two strong crews from Winchester College.
Not to be left out, Stratford’s Masters’ squad travelled to Monmouth to compete on the River Wye.
The new women’s masters eight of Amanda Bowden, Suzie Radley, Charlotte Jones, Heather Hayton, Jane Cryer, Kjersti Rogneflaten Woolley, Ellie Davis and Ruth Poulten won the Monmouth Head over a 2.5 km course.
And they were also the pennant winners for the fastest women’s eight for the day at 6 minutes 55 seconds.
Charlotte Jones said: “Despite the cold, damp conditions, the women were determined and, with Amanda at stroke, we set a good rate. Women’s rowing at Stratford Boat Club is just getting better and better!”
Not satisfied with just one win, Stratford’s women’s’ masters quad of Heather Hayton, Amanda Bowden, Ruth Poulten and Suzie Radley raced for a second time and won in a time of 7 mins 19 secs.