STRATFORD Boat Club Regatta returned in style.
A marvellous late summer day with the weather ideal for racing, the club welcomed crews local and further afield from Evesham, Stourport, Hereford, Becket School Rowing Club (Nottingham), Worcester, AB Severn Rowing Club (Tewkesbury), Pengwern Boat Club (Shrewsbury), Lagan Scullers’ Club (Belfast), Marlow, City of Oxford and Agecroft Rowing Club (Salford) as well as major entries from Stratford upon Avon Boat Club.
There were three divisions and two adaptive (disabled) divisions and 116 separate races.
Dr Graham Collier, Stratford Boat Club’s Regatta Secretary said: “This year we were very heartened by the huge turn out from local and distant clubs and the interest from the public who also had the bonus of having the Stratford Town Food Festival closeby.
“A massive thanks to all our hard working Stratford Boat Club members, visiting crews, umpires and officials and especially the public for supporting the event. We were especially honoured to have Stratford upon Avon Town Council Mayor Councillor Kevin Taylor attend the regatta.”
Steve Wellstead, Stratford Boat Club’s Junior Co-ordinator and Course Marshal, added: “It was a long day’s racing: our tea tent was extremely busy dispensing dozens of cakes and snacks – what a magnificent day topped by great racing!
“We decided to stay with the shortened 650 metre course to ensure the safety of all the competitors and river users: we ran the regatta under very tight Covid rules and protocols. We were especially grateful for the help and tolerance of those operators who work and make their living on the river.”
Commenting further, Mark Dewdney, Stratford Boat Club’s Head Adaptive Coach said: “It was very heartening to see at least fifteen adaptive races in two divisions and the fact that an adaptive sculler came over from Belfast to compete in our regatta speaks volumes! To see the effort that the adaptive athletes, helpers and supporters put into racing was very humbling and gratifying!”
Saturday’s busy regatta was followed by Sunday’s Shakespeare Hospice Dragon Boat Racing with more action on the river.
Stratford Boat Club’s 2022 Regatta is tentatively scheduled for the more usual month of June, Covid permitting.
Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club’s President said, “We were blessed with good weather and large crowds watching the racing adding much to Stratford’s atmosphere and vitality. We were glad to showcase our sport and demonstrate our part in the success of our town.”