STRATFORD Boat Club rowers stayed local on Saturday with a short trip to their neighbours Warwick Boat Club for the host club’s regatta.
The rivalry was intense as Stratford won five finals in all with Esme Booth (WJ16 1x) winning two finals, Isaac Herring (J15 1x) also triumphing and there was a WJ14 1x win for Amy Neville.
The other notable win was Stratford’s Mix IM1 4+ and Ruth Winter, Stratford’s Recreational Squad co-ordinator and crew supporter, said: “In the first heat, the four raced against Cardiff and Vale and we were easily the better crew.
“Shortly afterwards, Stratford raced local rivals Warwick. We were in control of the race right from the start and we moved ahead just after coming under the bridge. Stratford continued to widen the gap right up to the finish.”
Victoria Ward, rowing at two position, added: “We had one short training session before our races. We clicked really well and we were feeling happy going into the race even though we were racing up a category as IM1.
“Events got a bit stressful when Harriet our cox was pulled out of the water just as she was about to race in her doubles final when the organisers thought thunder and lightning was imminent.
“As a result, we boated late and had to get Harriet out of her boat as soon as she had raced. However, we composed ourselves and won our semi-final against Derwent comfortably.
“We then had a quick turnaround and raced the final against home crew Warwick and we didn’t even have time to get off the water before our final!
“We had a much better start to our final and the boat really started to move, so we managed to move clear of the Warwick crew and win by a good margin.”
Stratford’s Mix IM1 4+ crew was composed of: Oli Smith (stroke, Captain of Boats); 3 – Ben Gittus-Smith; 2 – Victoria Ward (bow); Phoebe Winter; Harriet Buckley (cox).
The club will be out in force at Ross-on-Wye Rowing Club Regatta over the Bank Holiday weekend.