On Saturday, Christchurch Rowing Club took a large racing contingent to the first regatta of the season at Milford on Sea, hosted by Lymington Rowing Club.
Despite a blustery wind, the offshore direction meant that conditions were uncharacteristically calm for this venue which set up some outstanding racing through the day.
The Ladies Junior Coxed 4 went into the race expecting their primary opposition to be a BTC crew from Southampton. The crew, of Anna Turner, Julia Fabrizi, Millie Campbell and Fleur Howcroft with Ed Erwin coxing, stormed into a significant lead off the start which was held to the turning marks. The need to make a statement was not lost on them though and they maintained their furious pace to the finish line winning comfortably.
Next up the Men’s Novice Coxed 4. After a comfortable heat, it looked like they would be one of the favourites for their maiden win in the final, having also performed well in the winter. The crew of Franc Canelas, Alex Gialias, George Robbins and Ned Clarke with Harry Pearson coxing rowed a strong race and again finished comfortable winners.
The Men’s Junior/Senior race looked likely to be a race between two clubs, BTC and Christchurch the Hants and Dorset Junior champions and runners-up respectively, with Christchurch having avenged their championship defeat by winning the South Coast title at season end. It was BTC who were quickest out of the blocks with the Christchurch crew of Tom Mann, Ed Patton, Gian-Luc Angilioni and Sam Erwin with Alli Fortt coxing. The crews hit the turn 2 lengths apart but with an outstanding piece of coxing the well drilled turn of the Christchurch crew converted a 2 length deficit into a 1 length lead and they never looked back, extending their lead to a comfortable margin by the finish.
Christchurch Crews also managed a number of significant placings resulting in a share of the aggregate trophy with the hosts Lymington Rowing Club.
Senior 4+ - Gary Rabbets, Jake Hooper, Mike Joscelyne, Jay Simpson, Ed Erwin 3rd
Junior 4+ - Connor Marshall, Simon Cannon, Miles Weekes, Morgan Durward, Harry Pearson 2nd
Novice 4+ - Will Tait, Bay Hill, Chris Pengelly, Reece Brewster, Maddie Grainger 3rd
Junior 1x – Sam Erwin 3rd
Novice 1x – Will Tait 2nd
Womens Senior 4+ Faye Standley, Emma Moran, Charley Brad, Katya Cherskova, Ed Erwin 2nd
Womens Junior 2- Laura Campbell, Alli Fortt 3rd
Speaking from the Captain’s seat, I would like to thank all athletes and their families for their help across the regatta day. Boat loading at either end was finished in record time (I reckon about 20 minutes excluding de-rigging on Friday night). Milford always provides a few challenges with launching and landing and having many hands helping crews in and out set us apart from some other clubs who were not finding the experience quite so easy. I would like to single out the Men’s J15s and especially Reece Brewster who was ever present in helping crews ashore throughout the day.
Coxswains too, a horrible day to be sat around wet, Alli, Ed, Faye, Harry and Maddie managed 14 races across the regatta.