Saturday saw the first of the Hants and Dorset Rowing Association time-trial events hosted by BTC Rowing Club on the River Itchen in Southampton. With the unfortunate loss of the Head of the Stour event to the recent bad weather, this was the first opportunity for local clubs to put markers down for the racing season which begins in late spring.Christchurch Rowing Club placed a strong entry in the Coastal 4s events and, with paces still up for grabs in most of the crews, there was much to play for.First up was Ladies Senior which, despite a small entry, saw Christchurch Ladies take on the reigning Hants and Dorset champions Coalporters ARC. Starting immediately behind Coalporters, the Christchurch crew of Emma Radford, Sara Glen, Lucy Hart, Charlie Brad and Tara Myring-McCullach (cox) put in a powerful performance winning by 10 seconds. The Christchurch Ladies Junior Crew of Fleur Howcroft, Katie Tait, Anna Turner, Emma Cheetham, and Ed Erwin (cox) was expecting a tough race with BTC, a crew that won at last year’s South Coast Championship regatta, expecting to be pace setters. And so it was, Chrustchurch finishing a strong second but with work to do to catch the dominant BTC crew. In Division 2 it was the turn of the men, The Junior A crew of Simon Cannon, Connor Marshall, Morgan Durward, Miles Weekes and Ed Erwin (Cox) finished in first place with an identical time to Newport Rowing club. With Coalporters a close third, it bodes well for a closely fought championship in the year ahead. Christchurch also boated three crews in the Novice events with all of the athletes racing for the first time in both the male and female events, perhaps the most encouraging performance of the day came from the schoolboy crew of Reece Brewster, Christian Pengelly, Tom King, Bay Hill, with Tara Myring-McCullach coxing finishing a creditable third.