STRATFORD-UPON-AVON Boat Club youngsters were celebrating after collecting a silver medal at the season-ending Junior National Rowing Championships in Nottingham.
The coxed four squad of Katie Wellstead, Emily Browne, Khloe Curnock and Molly Gill-Swift, coxed magnificently by Mimi Hill, provided the highlight for the Stratford competitors at the three-day event on the 2,000m purpose-built lake at the National Water Sports Centre.
After coming second in the time trial, they were first in the semi-final and then the crew raced superbly and skillfully in a most exciting final to finish just behind one of this season’s main adversary, Lea Rowing Club.
“It was a just reward for ten months of very hard work in the gym and on the water whilst studying for and completing GCSE examinations. 2019 promises to be another exciting rowing year for them all,” said Steve Wellstead, junior co-ordinator.
On day one, the Stratford J14 squad competed in the omnium event, a test of their skills and boatmanship.
In the individual event, Amelie Sartain secured eighth place from 91 competitors followed by Elisabeth Edwards. Martha Usselmann and Sienna Rawlings were 27th place in the doubles event, closely followed by the pairings of Harriet Hodgson and Sophie Elstone and Abbey Meggeson and Emma Harrison.
After the morning time trails over 1,000m, the coxed quadruple scull of Amelie Sartain, Harriet Hodgson, Sienna Rawlings, Sophie Elstone and Mary Walton (coxswain) were placed in the C final whilst the crew of Abbey Meggeson, Elisabeth Edwards, Emma Harrison, Martha Usselmann and Rebecca Parkin (coxswain, on loan from Evesham Rowing Club) unfortunately missed a finals place by only 0.7 of a second. After a long, hot, tiring, yet very enjoyable day, the races resulted in an overall position nationally of 18th place for the finals squad.
Days two and three followed the more usual regatta format where J15 and upwards crews raced side by side over the full 2,000m course.
The J15 coxed quadruple scull of Jasmine Mountney, Nixie Brunt, Mili Wilcock, Maiya James and Naomi Sergeant (coxswain) was 23rd in the time trial of more than 40 crews competing and 24th overall at the close of the regatta.
Fred Tyler put in a strong showing in the J15 single scull time trial, finishing 16th and improved his ranking in the regatta format to 14th overall from the 40 scullers competing, a great performance and one that shows promise for next season.
The J15 crew women’s double scull of Mya Kenny and Alice Baines opened well with eighth in the time trial with a time sufficient to put them in the top three at J16. Then in the regatta format they finished the day second in the B final and a highly creditable eighth overall.
The recently-formed J16 coxless quadruple scull of Jessica Wiesheu, Autumn Keil, Emma Little and Talei Dunn put in an exemplary performance in the time trial. The crew’s aggressive racing style in an exciting and demanding semi-final earned them a place in the final of six crews. Still exhausted from their previous race, the crew sculled well but could not get among the medals.
Joe Hodson (King Edward The Sixth Grammar School rowing captain) was one of 38 single scullers contesting the J16 event. He finished 25th in the time trial and after racing strongly over 2,000 metres was less than nine seconds from making the top 12 who qualify for the semi-finals. His day ended with a superlative piece of sculling to give him third place in the minor final.