Shanklin Sandown Rowing Club came away from the Southampton Coastal Fours Head on the River Itchen without a win, but extremely confident in the results achieved.
Of the 3 Shanklin crews entered, only 1 was a ‘regular’ crew putting the onus on the adaptability of the club’s rowers on the day. The head race, which exclusively caters for Coastal Fours, is run by Southampton Amateur Rowing Club and 2017 proved to be a popular event with around 150 crews attending.
The first division saw the Men’s Junior Senior Four take to the water in both a different composition and formation to the boat that won at the South Coast Championships in September. Joe Robertson, Henry Mudge, Alex Robertson, Jamie Gamble and cox Ethan Walters had their first ever row together as they headed up to the top of the course. Despite this obvious disadvantage, the guys quickly found their feet together and with a savvy course from the young cox Ethan the crew posted an extremely competitive time of 17.26.03 that saw them finish in second place, just over 20 seconds off the strong first placed BTC crew. The result, impressive enough in itself was further complimented by the fact that 3 of the 4 rowers in the boat were Junior status.
In the second division there were a further 2 boats on the water. The first of the 2 crews was the Ladies Junior Four. Regulars in the big boat were Emily Andre and stroke Stella Gamble. The 2 were joined by Daisy and Emily Faithfull (bow) and Itchen cox Owen Barnaby. Despite having rowed together in a variety of combinations previously, this crew was also using its row up to the start as a crash course. This didn’t seem to phase them however, as they raced in an event proving to be one of the most competitive out there this year, finishing in a time of 18.04.09 to take fourth place behind winners and fellow Islanders, Ryde.
The final Shanklin boat to row down the course was the J16 Quad Scull. The crew of Mia Phelan, Riley Horrix, Ethan Walters and Sophie Atkin put in a fantastic row to finish in a time of 18.45.61. This time saw them beat several adult crews and put them only 40 seconds behind the club’s Junior Ladies boat.
Although perhaps not giving too much away about the club’s prospects this season, the results were promising ones and displayed the versatility of the club’s members as they put in strong performances in unfamiliar formations.
Shanklin Sandown Rowing Club’s next event will now be the Junior Inter Regional Regatta at the end of the month.