The day started with glorious sunshine as 5 crews from Christchurch Rowing Club headed to Southampton Rowing Club for their annual Head of River Race, a time trail for coastal fours set over a course of 4150m, on the River Itchen raced in two divisions.
With two crews having trained hard all winter it was decided to boat the Junior squad as a Junior crew and a Junior/senior crew. As they took to the water, the morning’s sunshine disappeared and was replaced with rain clouds and gusts of wind, making the course conditions slightly more challenging than initially anticipated. A Ladies Junior Four and Novices in both Men’s and Ladies categories bated in the second division.
The Men’s Junior crew (Str: R. Quinn, T. Mahy, H. Lawton Hurst, G. Robinson & Cox: D. Elmy-Liddiard) placed a comfortable first position in their category with a time of 17mins 21 sec, a clear 15 second lead over the next fastest crew from Poole ARC.
But the Junior/Senior crew (Str: J. Gaston, I. Gaston, M. Lewis, K. Mersey & Cox: S. Erwin) exceeded expectations. From an excellent start, by half way had already gained position on a couple of crews. They continued to fight hard finishing the course in just 16mins 54seconds, a comfortable margin of 21seconds over the next fastest Junior/senior crew from BTC. But more significantly beating all senior and masers crews competing that day gaining them the title of ‘Head of the River’ and fastest time of the day.
This bodes well for an interesting and exciting Hants & Dorset season this summer which starts with Coalporter’s Regatta on 14th May.