Now firmly re-established in the Hants and Dorset calendar, Newport Regatta this year extended over two days which overcame tidal constraints allowing small boats and Junior status events to be included.
Ladies Novice Fours saw Christchurch A and C crews drawn with Southsea for the semi-final and these crews fought it out over the 1550 metre course with Christchurch C first across the line.
The A crew, however, got a second chance, also going through to the final as fastest loser and another battle ensued between the Christchurch crews with some aggressive coxing as each sought to gain the optimum course and stream conditions. Shanklin were soon dropped and it was the Christchurch C crew again, K Quinn, G Sweeney, E Percival, K Young(str), C Brad(cox) with slightly more experience, which stayed composed under pressure and gradually accrued a four length lead to take the win. Christchurch is now just one point behind leaders Itchen Imperial in the Ladies Novice Championship.
In the Ladies Masters Fours, a new event gaining in popularity, the Christchurch A crew F Standley,
J Rafferty, R Williams, E Kelly(str), L Standley(cox) notched up another win three lengths over BTC A, and a Poole / Itchen composite in third. Two of the crew then doubled up just one race later in the Ladies’ Senior Fours as the only challenge to Coalporters, already H and D Champions. F Standley,
L Standley, N Gray, R Williams(str), C Brad(cox) maintained the pressure in a commendable effort to finish a little over two lengths down.
The newly elevated Christchurch Men’s Junior crew in their first race at this status met Championship leaders BTC A in the heat and gave a remarkable performance pushing hard all the way and conceding barely one length, a result reflected in the BTC crew only managing third place in the final.
The small boats events were held on Sunday where Christchurch won both Men’s and Ladies Junior single sculls. In a close fought race Jasmine Hunt inflicted defeat on Hume of BTC and Bennett of host club Newport taking her to an unassailable five point lead in the Championship. Harry Foley established an early lead over Coalporters and Shanklin scullers and repelled challenges to finish with two lengths lead over Fuccio of Coalporters and Robertson of Shanklin, current championship leader, in third place.
Saturday (19th) brings together H and D ARA and Coast ARA for Southsea Regatta offering a chance to test abilities against unfamiliar crews on a demanding open-water course.