STRATFORD Boat Club’s Masters squad continued their successful winter head season with an excellent performance at the National Vesta Masters Head race in London – the pinnacle of the Masters winter head racing season – on Saturday.
The event attracted a top quality national and international field of over 200 eights entries and it was run over the Boat Race course of 6.4km on the River Thames, providing exciting racing and a fabulous spectacle watched by large crowds along the course.
Stratford Boat Club members Richard Nelson, Jen Clements (cox) and Tom Doherty, rowing in a composite crew with fellow Midland club Bridgnorth, came an excellent 29th overall out of a total entry of 202 eights crews, boasting the United Kingdom’s best Masters crews plus international European and North American opposition.
Building on their excellent win at Runcorn Head the previous week, the Stratford composite crew powered their way through the field, overtaking almost a dozen crews as they completed the gruelling course in 20 minutes and six seconds to finish eighth in their specific Masters D division out of 40 crews, beating both national and international crews and enduring a close but victorious battle for almost the entire course with Croatian rowing club Tresnjevka.
An excellent high-powered technical row in challenging conditions saw them beaten in their division only by the best London and international crews and current national champions Monmouth.
Glyn Hawkins, Stratford’s Masters vice-captain, said: “Finishing as the top Midlands crew in the competition proved particularly satisfying.”
Stratford now look forward to finishing the winter head season at Abingdon, hoping to continue the Masters squad’s run of successful racing.