STRATFORD Boat Club members produced some impressive performances at Warwick and Oxford regattas.
At Warwick, Holly Sinnett and Becky Smith took part in the primary women’s double sculls and easily won their heat against Evesham despite the heavy wind and bending river.
They qualified for the final against Warwick and again the Stratford duo beat their opposition by a good margin to be crowned overall winners.
Holly and Becky would like to thank Paul Hazelwood for coaching them throughout the last year and for the fantastic support and race training from Mark Dewdney and Helen Smith.
The crew look forward to training further with Mark and Helen and are aiming for novice head races over the winter.
Another Stratford success was Harvey Mole who, competing in his first regatta, just lost out to the competition.
Stratford’s Amelie Sartain won in the WJ13 1x after a hard fought race against Evesham.
The WJ13 4x+ of Abbey Meggeson, Emma Harrison, Harriet Hodgson and Sienna Rawlings, coxed by Mary Walton, were a close runner-up in their event.
The J13 1x Conar Aitchison and WJ13 2x of Amelie Sartain and Abbey Meggeson narrowly missed places in their respective finals, but Sienna Rawlings and Harriet Hodgson gave Evesham a run for their win in the final of the WJ13 2x, closing all the time to miss out by half a length.
MEANWHILE, at City of Oxford Regatta held over 1,000m on the River Thames, there were more Stratford successes.
Ian Ward won in the adaptive assisted doubles, beating two Oxford crews by two feet and one length respectively, whilst Joe Moore assisted.
Mark Sanders had a couple of close races and Stratford’s J15 double won by two feet.
The masters women A, Sian Maher and Victoria Ward, joined by seniors Lizzy Collins and Amy Freeman, took part in their first race as a combination in the W.IM.2.4+.
Kindly supported by Laura Roxburgh of Bristol Ariel, who sat in to cox, the crew drew City of Bristol in the heats and held them off all the way to the finish line, showing their individual skills, combined into a good quality, very tidy crew.
The semi-finals brought Stratford against a tall Reading Boat Club crew. Stratford kept up their show of skill but Reading got to the line first on this occasion.
This combination is one to watch for over the coming year.
Another first was the debut race for Emily Ascott, accompanied in the IM3 mixed double scull by Mike Hazelwood. The duo stole a march on their competition in first round, pushing hard to a two-length lead before finally being edged into second place by a more experienced crew from Green Templeton College Boat Club.
Stratford masters women were also ably represented by Christine Goodwin in the W.Mas.C.1x who drew a strong Vesta sculler.
Christine beat her competitor off the start and proceeded to give the spectators the opportunity to see some great side-by-side racing over the whole course.
Vesta just managed to get to the line first by a narrow margin and was heard to say that it was a tough race.
Masters women’s vice-captain Helen Smith said: “Christine continues to show her emerging skill and consistency. She is a great advert for masters’rowing.”
Stratford’s junior squad was represented in two events, with fine examples of sculling in both.
Sofia Ward, competing in the J17 single scull, raced a magnificent semi-final as she led off the start but was eventually overhauled in the second half of the race by Swindon Rowing Club.
The J15 double scull of Emily Browne and Katie Wellstead showed fine form in recording easy wins over Falcon Rowing Club in the opening two rounds of the event, taking them through to the final.
The Stratford pair then took on Oxford City and delivered a masterful performance, winning by just two feet, much to the spectators’ delight.
Another successful day of racing concluded with prizes presented by cox Zoe de Toledo, the Oxford Blue and Olympic silver medallist.