The biggest sporting weekend of the year could not distract passionate rowers of the Hants and Dorset clubs from congregating on the river Itchen for a full day of competition in fours and small boats.
The Christchurch Men’s Novice Four, M van de Heijden, M Tamlin, T Mahy, R Quinn(str), A Ratcliffe(cox) cruised to victory over host club Itchen Imperial RC. Fourteen crews entered this hotly contested event and CRC had despatched the threat posed by Westover and Coalporters crews in the semi-final. A turn error by the Itchen A crew in their semi-final saw them disqualified, leaving the way clear for Christchurch to dominate in the final against Itchen C. A major factor in the crew’s success, particularly on a short course of 900 metres, were some well executed turns for which coxswain Alex Ratcliffe was acknowledged as “Coxswain of the Day”, a first for Christchurch.
The Ladies’ Novice Fours boiled down to an all-Christchurch final between A, B and D crews. It was the B crew R Stone, S Heath, C Cole, D Elmy-Liddiard(str), G Tebbutt(cox) with a two length lead which emerged supreme looking back at a neck and neck battle between the D crew, taking second, and the A crew having to settle for third.
An hour or so earlier the Christchurch Girls had lined up for a head to head J16 final in which the B crew S Heath, G Tebbutt, C Cole, D Elmy-Liddiard(str), K Cherskova(cox) claimed a two length conquest of the A crew in another all-Christchurch battle.
The Ladies Junior Sculls event produced another win for Christchurch’s Jasmine Hunt who continues her trajectory towards the Championship remaining unbeaten so far this season.
With just five regattas remaining, the Men’s Senior Fours Championship is all but resolved, BTC having six points with one each to Lymington and Christchurch but the Men’s Junior Championship remains in contention where BTC have only a two point lead over Southampton ARC. Ryde have the Junior Championship in the bag with a clean sweep after eight regattas but the remainder of the 17 championships remain open.
Hants and Dorset clubs return to the Isle of Wight this weekend for a two-day regatta on the Medina hosted by Newport RC. A straight 1550 metre three-lane course with no turn, with a separate program of events for Juniors should provide plenty of entertainment.