The 2014 Hants and Dorset rowing season commenced Saturday with Ryde regatta followed by Shanklin on Sunday and unleashed pent up expectations and ambitions. First race of the day, first of their lives for many of the young oarsmen and coxes, Men’s Novice Heat 1, ended in disappointment for the Christchurch A crew resulting from an incident at the turn and a harsh umpiring decision which disqualified them from the re-row. The B crew sought to avenge the situation in Heat 2 but narrowly missed qualifying for the final. The Novice Ladies however were more successful and spirits soon rose when the A crew C Corderey, A Peacock, H Strange, I Booth(str), G Tebbutt(cox) romped home well ahead of the field in their heat, going on to win in the final by an impressive four lengths over Itchen Imperial.
Further success for the Ladies came in the Senior Pairs event with C Quinn, J Hunt(str) just making it over the line with a length lead on Itchen Imperial.
There was sculling success for H Foley performing well in the Men’s Novice category coming through in a late burst to take the win by one length despite a near “shipwreck” 30 metres from the line. In Men’s Junior Sculls, J Rose achieved a second place behind Robertson of Shanklin RC.
At Shanklin regatta Foley went on to exploit his new status to win Men’s Junior sculls and will be a serious contender at this level for the season’s championship.
Hardy perennials of the Christchurch Masters squad emerged to compete in the UK Masters Championship held at the NWSC Holme Pierrepont on Sunday presenting some challenging conditions for which the course is notorious as the cross/head wind strengthened. Rising to the challenge J Dodsworth in D single sculls took the Gold gaining a length and a half over Chandler of Oundle RC in the second half of the course. There were Bronze medals for R Standley, A Galloway in the C double scull and for F Standley(str), J Emery in the Women’s E/F double scull.
Christchurch RC will be seeking to build on these opening results as the season unfolds with the next event being Milford Regatta on 31st May.