STRATFORD Boat Club’s annual Scratch Regatta took place early on Boxing Day morning when, despite the blustery conditions, nearly 40 members managed to leave their beds after their Christmas festivities, supported by friends and relatives who came down to the river to watch the spectacle.
“This year the scratch regatta was a round-robin event with each crew racing each other in turn and the crews were selected to ensure close and exciting racing,” said coach Alfie Noakes.
“There were some eight races in all over a short sprint course from the Ferry to the club grounds on the Town stretch of the River Avon.”
Glyn Hawkins, lead committee member for the refurbishment, added: “It was also a chance for many of the family and friends of the rowers to see the progress and plans for the expansion and the beginnings of the new training room so that we can increase the number of members and adaptive athletes taking on the sport in the area.
“We are hoping for a few pledges of financial help for the final stages.”
The racing provided great interest to early morning sightseers and visitors watching from the Recreation Ground, The Royal Shakespeare Terrace, Bancroft Gardens and The Tramway Bridge.
Helen Smith, fund-raiser for Stratford Boat Club, said: “The Scratch Regatta caught the imagination of all that came down to the river and gave us added impetus to move further ahead for fund-raising in 2016 to achieve the final amount to finish the fit-out of the facilities.”
Stratford Boat Club rowers have been back on the river this week and after the new year will be training hard for the 2016 head season and their own regatta in June.