Ryde Rowing Club will host the first Hants & Dorset Amateur Rowing Association championship regatta of the season this coming Saturday (13th May), with Shanklin’s regatta taking place the following day.
This year’s event marks the 40th anniversary of a Hants and Dorset ARA championship regatta being held off Appley Beach at Ryde. The first was held in June 1977 as a result of the successful introduction of a regatta – organised jointly by Shanklin and Ryde Rowing clubs – at Yaverland in 1972.
The joint organising committee and the Hants & Dorset ARA agreed to stage the 1977 regatta at Ryde in what was expected to be a one off change of venue in recognition of the club’s centenary. However, the success of the event meant that it was agreed the Island should host 2 championship regattas each year and so the Isle of Wight Rowing Weekend was born. This in part led to the introduction of the third Island regatta run by Newport Rowing Club.
Ryde Regatta has this year received a large entry of 102 crews and scullers – significantly higher than last year – and this is likely to exceed 120 when late entries are taken into account. The regatta will still require a packed programme of 20 races to be completed in just under 5 hours over an 1820m course from Appley Beach to Ryde Pier and back after a buoy turn.
Races are taking place for Senior, Junior/Senior, Junior and Novice men in coxed fours; Senior and Junior men in coxless pairs and Senior, Junior and Novice Men in Single Sculls. For Ladies there is Senior, Junior and Novice coxed fours; Junior Ladies Pairs and Ladies Junior and Novice sculling events.
Some very close racing is expected and the general public are being invited to spectate at this free event, the best vantage point being from the sea wall by the canoe lake on North Walk.
The regatta is scheduled to start at 11:45 with a race every 10-15 minutes. The prize giving by a representative of the regatta’s main sponsors TLM Laser will take place at the clubhouse at around 17:30.