Ryde Rowing Club hosted the first Hants & Dorset Amateur Rowing Association Championship Regatta of the season on Saturday (13th May), which attracted entries from 12 different clubs.
The number of people participating in the annual event was significantly higher than in 2016 with 101 crews and scullers entered and an additional 13 late entries received on the day. This lead to a packed program of 20 events over the 1890m Ryde Regatta course from Appley Beach, towards Ryde Pier and back again.
There was racing in Coxed Fours for Men’s Seniors, Junior Seniors, Coastal Juniors, Novices and Masters crews, plus Coxless Pairs racing for Men’s Seniors and Coastal Juniors. There was also Single Sculls for Men’s Seniors, Coastal Juniors and Novices. For the Ladies there was racing for Seniors, Coastal Juniors and Masters plus Coastal Junior Pairs and Coastal Junior and Novice Single Sculls. A Mixed Double Sculls event was also scheduled to take place but following a re-row and a couple of false starts in the difficult conditions this had to be abandoned due to the low tide.
There were mixed fortunes for the Wightlink-sponsored Ryde Rowing Club over the weekend. Their best performance came from the Coastal Junior Ladies Squad on Saturday when the ‘A’ crew of Courtney Edmonds, Lisa Murphy, Emily Pike and Kate Whitehurst – with Karen Crook coxing – had a comfortable win following a re-row after a clash at the buoy turn which led to the disqualification of the club’s ‘B’ crew of Julie Cole, Catherine Murphy, Ayesha Russell and Kirsty Newnham – with Becca Nigh coxing.
Sunday saw the Shanklin Rowing Regatta and Catherine Murphy switched to the ‘A’ crew in place of Kate Whitehurst. The crew repeated their success with the ‘B’ crew of Julie Cole, Becca Nigh, Kristy Newnham and Carol Beaumont – with cox Micky Jenner – finishing close behind in 3rd place.
The Men’s Coastal Junior Four of Ben Toms, Jacob Redstone, Dom Douglas and Joe Groves – with Dan Sanderson coxing – will be a little disappointed with their 5th place at Ryde, but showed improvement on Sunday at Shanklin where James Smith replaced Joe Groves – and the crew finished in 4th place.
There was an excellent performance from the young Men’s Novice Four of Tom Starkey, Austin Smith, Ben Sanderson, Tye Cameron – and cox Daniel Sanderson – at Ryde where they finished 3rd in their heat in a strong field, to qualify for the final where they finished in 5th place. However, Sunday’s race with Josh Lee replacing Austin Smith proved to be more difficult and they failed to qualify for the final. The same crew, with Freya Dradge replacing Tye Cameron and Eirann McClumpha coxing, produced a fine performance racing in the J16 Event, finishing in 2nd place.
In the Coxless Pairs racing there was a good performance from the Men’s Coastal Junior Pair of James Smith and Joel Smith at Ryde where they finished in 2nd place, but they too found life more difficult in Shanklin finishing in 4th place. The Ladies Coastal pair of Lisa and Catherine Murphy were disqualified on the Saturday following an incident on the turn be fared better on the Sunday finishing in 4th place.
In the Sculling events Dale Buckett in the Men’s Coast Junior Sculls had the misfortune to capsize at Ryde, but made amends at Shanklin in the best way possible by winning the event to secure Senior status for next season. Men’s Novice Sculler Joel Smith finished 3rd at Ryde but unfortunately, after comfortably qualifying for the final at Shanklin, he was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury.
Ryde Rowing Club are indebted to their main regatta sponsor TLM Laser, whose representatives presented the prizes at the end of the Regatta. The club also say thank you to the other event sponsors and for the support of the Isle of Wight Council and Ryde Town Council and in particular to Ryde Inshore Rescue who provided the safety cover afloat and had a busy afternoon dealing with 5 single scullers who overturned.