With the regatta racing season just a few weeks away, rowing clubs of the Hants and Dorset Association turned out in force for the Southampton Coastal Fours Head, last of the winter/spring long distance time trials over the 6000 metre course from Bitterne Park to Woolston on the river Itchen.
With over eighty crews competing in the two divisions, including five from visitors Deal RC of the Coast ARA., this was an opportunity for supporters and pundits to assess potential and prospects for the summer.
A strong easterly wind though cold presented few problems, conditions only becoming choppy down the final leg to the Itchen Bridge.
The Christchurch A crew, Kit Mersey, Harry Lawton-Hurst, George Robinson, David Parker(str), Sam Erwin(cox), took the Men’s Junior pennant with an impressive time of 16 minutes 41s. just ahead of closest rivals Westover and Bournemouth RC. and the first four crews in a range of 5 seconds heralding some close contests ahead in this status.
Itchen Imperial RC Senior Men’s crew took the title “Head of the River” in a time of 15 minutes 54s.
In a break with tradition, first of the H and D regatta series will be Christchurch on 23rd May when crews will compete in two-boat knock out races starting at Wick.