AS SIGNS of lockdown were easing across Warwickshire, Stratford Boat Club’s junior squad headed north (virtually) to race on the Tyne just outside Newcastle.
A big river brings big competition and that always attracts Stratford juniors!
The event offered a 2km run and both 250m and 750m events on the rowing machine. Stratford’s J13 squad were represented by Lucy Sartain, Aimée Appleton, Molly Vondrak and special guest Eric Appleton.
Strong competition in the combined J13/J14 250m row saw the girls battling hard and the eventual win went to Vondrak who beat both male and female entrants to take her first regatta pot.
Steve Wellstead, Stratford BC’s junior co-ordinator and J13 coach, said: “Guest star Eric Appleton of the J13 parents group wowed us all on his debut in the parents novice 750m row and romped home to take the win – next stop Henley Royal!”
Stratford’s J15s had two winners from the squad, with most of the athletes once again taking part.
First up were the runners competing over 2km. In the girls’ J15 event, Freya Watts took an impressive win, with Harriet Holmes, Bella Chappelhow and Honour Keil second, third and fourth respectively.
In the open J15/J16 combined event, Will Beattie took second place.
Next up was the 250m ergo event in which Toby Sartain took part in the open J15 event and claimed second place.
Watts was in action again in the equivalent girls’ event, finishing in fifth place.
Finishing the day was the 750m ergo event in which Tomi Wilcock secured a very impressive win in the open category, with Toby Sartain taking second place.
In the girls’ event, Ruby Howells, Fleur Griffiths and Freya Watts all put in good performances to finish third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Abi Terry, J15 coach, said: “We have been very lucky during lockdown to have these virtual regattas to compete in.
“Although not quite as exciting as the real thing, they enable our younger athletes to get a taste of competing and the events help in maintaining race fitness and strategy.”