Impressive performances from Stratford-upon-Avon juniors - The Stratford Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

Impressive performances from Stratford-upon-Avon juniors

Stratford Editorial 1st Jun, 2018

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club juniors produced impressive performances in one of the premier events in the rowing calendar, the three-day National Schools’ Regatta on the Olympic Lake, at Eton Dorney.

On Friday three crews raced in coxed quadruple sculls over a 1,000m course in superb conditions.

The J15 crew of Jasmine Mountney, Maiya James, Mya Kenny, Alice Baines and Naomi Sergeant (cox) rowed well with stiff competition to end the day ranking 32nd of the 66 crews entered.

The J14 squad fielded two coxed quadruple sculls in 2018.

The first crew of Sienna Rawlings, Sophie Elstone, Harriet Hodgson, Amelie Sartain and Mary Walton (cox) recorded 14th place in time trial element and finished fifth in the ‘C’ Final later in the day.

The second crew of Julia Gurden, Emma Harrison, Abbey Meggeson, Martha Usselmann and Conar Aitchison (cox) were 36th of 52 crews entered.

On Saturday, the Junior 16 four of Katie Wellstead, Talei Dunn, Khloe Curnock, Emily Browne and cox Mimi Hill finished seventh place to earn a semi-final against crews from Ireland, the Tideway, Bedford and Chester.

In a difficult gusting cross wind, the girls worked very hard and skillfully to finish in fourth place.

By the time of the ‘B’ final conditions had deteriorated to a gusting headwind. None the less, the Stratford crew had their best performance of the day finishing second to Lea Rowing Club but in a time that was quicker than the fourth, fifth and sixth crews in the medals final.

The overall performance of this group keeps them well on track to challenge at national level.

On Sunday, the final Stratford crew took to the water in the hotly contested championship (J18) coxless quadruple sculls event.

Despite a respectable row the crew of Theo Mordaunt, Issy Marsden, Issy Clarke and Sofia Ward was eliminated at the time trial stage.

“It is always good to see our young athletes delivering at national events such as this and demonstrating junior rowing at Stratford is still punching well above its weight,” said Stratford Junior Coordinator Steve Wellstead.

Meanwhile, two Stratford upon Avon men’s crews raced at Nottingham City Regatta on Saturday as part of their build up towards Henley Royal Regatta in early July.

The coxed men’s four (Chris Thomas, Ben Twiney, Tom Coles, Ed Lewry, coxed by Eleanor Willetts) finished a strong third in their final, only beaten by the British University silver medallists from Durham University and the top men’s boat from Nottingham University.

The Stratford men’s coxless four (Mike Hourigan, Patrick Hourigan, Alastair Collier and Ed Press) also reached their final and raced in the worst of the conditions.

Two-thirds into the race, the four were well placed in second place just a third of a length down on the leading crew before the Stratford boat starting filling with water as they crashed through the waves at the end of the lake.

“Eventually our crew had to hang on for third place before paddling to the side where they had to empty the water out of their boat before being able to lift it out,” said senior men’s coach Bill Sullivan.

“So, no pots but lots of valuable racing experience and both crews move on to the prestigious Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake next weekend to seek that elusive Henley qualifying spot.”

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