WITH the Evesham Junior Head cancelled on Saturday, it was left to the masters to represent Stratford Boat Club at the weekend.
Unlike Evesham, the weather was set to be glorious on Sunday at Bedford Autumn Small Boats Head.
Stratford masters rowers Christine Goodwin and Tim Lunel had only raced once before in the masters D mixed double category and they showed they had learned much tactically by choosing to row in the first division at 9.15am, so not only an early start but also an early shower in some of the heaviest rain of the day.
They produced a good row over the 2,000m course in which the highlight was the first half, but Stratford rowers did not quite have the run that brought them victory at Wallingford in September as they finished a very creditable second.
Stratford were beaten only by a very good Cantabrigians mixed double by three seconds in actual time and 16 seconds’ allowance for their masters E handicap.
The Stratford duo’s time was 26 seconds ahead of their next nearest competition and this would have put them in second place in the open masters D double, which puts the time put in by Cantabrigians into perspective.
Lunel said: “This was an excellent second run-out for the mixed double and there is plenty to build on for the rest of the head season.”
Elsewhere on the water were four Stratford members taking their RYA Level Two Powerboat certificate on Birmingham Edgbaston Reservoir.
This will enable them to drive Stratford Boat Club’s three safety and coaching launches. Despite the inclement weather, all water sessions went ahead safely and the club squads’ training for the head season went ahead as planned.
Junior coach Dr Graham Collier said: “Our athletes showed real determination going out on the water and training in such wet conditions, but they were kept safe by their coaches, safety launch drivers and spotters.”