Christchurch Juniors and Masters set out for Walton regatta on an icy Saturday morning to race at Walton Small boats head. For some this was first race of the winter season and chance to gauge how the winter training was progressing with competition against some top class opposition. With a very large entry of nearly 700 boats the racing was split over 3 divisions which would give the weather the opportunity to show some leniency and warm up a bit. Unfortunately the weather did not take the opportunity with all races starting with the temperature just hovering above freezing. All competitors were timed over a 3000 metre course, downstream ending at Walton Rowing Club.
The star performances came from Sol Hewitt who had entered both the J17 and J16 single sculling events, with the J16 event always being the most hotly contended. The J17 race came first and Sol led the Christchurch crews down the course with a very strong row that would give him second place in that category. His J16 race came later in the day and his starting place was just in front of a Tideway Scullers School junior that had won the prestigious Hampton Head just a couple of weeks earlier. His competitor started quickly and was able to draw up alongside, but despite having the previous race still in his legs Sol was able to continue the side by side racing for the rest of the course with his competitor only pulling out a couple of lengths by the finish. When the final results came in, this gave Sol 3rd place.
Another outstanding performance came from the double of Katya Cherskova and Kiera Browning who had stepped up an age group to race at J18. The produced a very smooth row to gain second place and only missing out on the prime spot by a couple of seconds. There was also another promising performance from Molly Morris in the J15 single scull with a 7th place finish. For the Masters there was a handicap win for Henry Havins-Caddick in the Masters Novice single sculls category.
All Christchurch rowers returned with a vow to return to training for the next races back on the Thames in January.