A NUMBER of Stratford Boat Club’s J14, J15 and J16 junior squad were in impressive form at King’s School Worcester’s annual Indoor Rowing Championships on Saturday.
First up was J14 Harriet Noyes in the four-minute race and she raced hard and took an early lead. This continued to build and she finished with a comfortable win over her nearest rivals.
Next up were the J15 five-minute races and Freya Watts, Fleur Griffiths and Lucy Browne took part in the closely fought girls’ event as they came up against the recently crowned British champion from King’s Worcester.
She was too tough to beat but Freya and Fleur took the silver and bronze medals respectively. Tomi Wilcock took part in the equivalent boys’ event and, after comfortably winning his heat, he was pipped by just four metres as he took the silver medal a long way ahead of the bronze.
Bella Chappelhow and Ruby Howells were next up in the J15 500m girls’ event in which both girls started fast and it quickly became a race between the two of them. On this occasion, it was Bella who was was victorious with Ruby closely behind taking silver.
Then it was time for the relays. As a club, Stratford fielded two J15 girls’ teams into another close race. King’s Worcester and the first team for Stratford developed a race between them and it quickly became apparent these two were going to get the gold and silver.
The Stratford first team of Freya Watts, Fleur Griffiths, Ruby Howells and Bella Chappelhow managed to push ahead to win by just 0.6 of a second. These girls then turned to cheer for the second team who had also developed a race between them and RGS Worcester for the bronze and fourth places.
The Stratford second team of Lucy Browne, Harriet Holmes and Harriet Noyes (racing up a year), with only three rowers, put in a big push and managed to finish 1.9 seconds ahead of RGS.
Emma Harrison and Martha Usselmann took part in the year 11 girls’ 500m individual races and they achieved good middle of the pack scores with Martha close behind bronze position.
The J16s also fielded a strong year 11 boys’ 500m competitor in Will Clarke who showed his skill in easily beating his nearest rival over the three heats to comfortably win gold.
At the end of the competition Martha, Emma and Will, along with Tomi Wilcox (Tomi racing up an age group) joined forces in the year 11 3,000m mixed relay and comfortably won gold for Stratford.
Stratford’s sister club King Edward VI School also had four rowers competing at the event. First up were Joe Hodson and Sam Thornton in the sixth form 2km race.
They both started strongly and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field as Joe took the gold and Sam finished only a few seconds behind for the silver, ten seconds ahead of third place.
Up next were Adam Baylis and Felix Crabtree in the sixth form 500m race. After having seen the times to beat in a previous heat, the boys started strongly and held their own.
Felix came home in third place and Adam got fourth place just 1.7 seconds off the medal position.
To finish the event, the boys had the sixth form relay – a 2km race split between four people. They displayed great composure, sadly losing out to King’s Worcester by four seconds.
This gave them the silver medal, meaning that KES came away with a very impressive tally of medals – one gold, five silver and a bronze.