ROWING - Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club's juniors conquer at Worcester - The Stratford Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

ROWING - Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club's juniors conquer at Worcester

Aaron Sutcliffe 27th May, 2022 Updated: 31st May, 2022

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s athletes made the short trip to Worcestershire to compete at the Worcester Spring Regatta.

And Stratford were represented by their senior men’s squad and J13 squad over 850m on the River Severn with the latter team experiencing big river racing for the first time.

There was an all Stratford final in the WJ13.4x+ event as the crew of Bryony Francis, Isla Dunn, Sophie Franklin, Poppy Warren and Millie Smith (coxswain) took the victory ahead of Tessa Parkin, Josephine Cooper, Martha Cooke, Martha Baines and Maeve Dunn (coxswain).

The winning crew crossed the line in style after a good start from their opposition who pushed hard but were unable to make their early advantage count.

And there was another all Stratford final in the WJ13 double sculls event as Bryony Francis and Sophie Franklin beat Millie Smith and Becca Smith by a quarter of a boat in a thrilling finish.

That came after Millie and Becca motored home in their semi-final against Exeter whilst Bryony and Sophie beat fellow Stratford rowers Tessa Parkin and Isla Dunn.

Stratford’s J13 coxed quadruple scull crew of Martha Baines, Maeve Dunn, Martha Cooke, Josephine Cooper and Poppy Warren (coxswain) were forced to compete in the Open J14 category due to a lack of competition.

However, Startford’s rowers rose to the challenge against schoolboy crews one year their senior to beat St Edwards School in the first round before falling to Winchester School in the semi-finals.

That came after Cara Berisford-Murray was first on the water in the WJ13 single scull as she just missed out to Exeter who also edged out Stratford’s Becca Smith in a hard fought final.

And senior sculler Jake Blatcher made short work of his opposition from Birmingham University in the first round only to beaten in the final by a Worcester Rowing Club sculler.

Stratford’s Masters’ women and senior men were also on the water for Nottingham Rowing Club’s Masters and Club Regatta at Holme Pierrepoint.

And rowing in a crew formed earlier that morning due to illness, Stratford’s Ed Lewry mounted an impressive display in his double with George Crouchly from Nottingham to finish first by three lengths.

The pair also scooped the fastest double of the day title – an amazing achievement for a sea tech crew.

Stratford’s masters women’s double of Gina Fusco and Christine Goodwin achieved their three planned goals for the day – a racing start off a stake boat, staying straight in their lane and finishing the race.

Fusco and Goodwin said: “The standard was high and it is great to come and compete at a higher level.

“We have many learning points and will get back on the Avon and are determined to keep improving!”

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