A sizzling summer solstice in Swanage, venue for the sixth in the Hants and Dorset series of regattas, produced a classic event to thrill and entertain cognoscenti and onlookers alike.
A long day, some eight hours of racing, and perfect conditions produced excellent racing with finishes as close as just “one foot” in some events.
A win at Novice status, Maiden Fours as it is sometimes called on the river, is always special and a rite of passage savoured this week by the Christchurch Men’s Novice B crew.
K. Mersey, Harry Lawton-Hurst, G. Robinson, D. Parker(str), A. Chadwick(cox) reversed the result of the J16 event to beat rivals BTC by one length with a disciplined row which belied their youth. In J16 Girl’s Fours, the Christchurch crew E. Brad, L. Perry, O. Humphries, R. Ashley-East(str), A. Horn(cox) beat Shanklin by just half a length to vociferous support and encouragement from the shoreline.
CRC’s Jasmine Hunt continued her run of wins in Ladies Junior single sculls outclassing the opposition from BTC and Newport in second and third places.
In a controversial race, the Christchurch crew Rabbetts and Rose took first place in Men’s Senior Pairs staying out of trouble on the outside of the course with a six lengths lead over BTC on the inside.
Christchurch crews also took second places in Ladies Novice Fours two lengths behind Itchen Imperial, in Ladies Masters conceding two lengths to Southampton ARC and in Men’s Junior single sculls where Foley held championship leader Robertson of Shanklin to one length. All combined for Christchurch to emerge two points adrift of BTC who were Victor Ludorum.
In contrast to the events in Swanage, the three-day Women’s Henley Regatta was taking place where Charley Wedderburn and Lizzie Lander of Christchurch RC joined forces with Beth Bailey and Hannah Longley of Canford School in a composite J16 Quadruple scull reaching the final on Sunday via heats and semi final in which they beat York City and a Henley RC crews before meeting another Henley RC crew in the final and suffering a defeat by four lengths. In a remarkable display of consistency, all their heat, semis and final times were within two seconds variance.
Saturday 28th June will draw Hants and Dorset clubs to Christchurch for a full day of two-boat knockout racing, fours only, starting at 09.30.