L-R: Winning Ladies Novice Four of Allan Evans, Karen Crook, Abi Locke, Kate Whitehurst and Julie Cole.
L-R: Winning Ladies Novice Four of Allan Evans, Karen Crook, Abi Locke, Kate Whitehurst and Julie Cole

Ryde Rowing Club had their best results of the season to date over the weekend, when they competed at the annual Newport Rowing Club Regatta on the River Medina.

In the Fours racing on Saturday (18th June), 3 of the club’s 4 crews fought their way through to their respective finals with the only crew missing out being the club’s newly promoted Ladies Junior Four of Kristy Newman, Lisa Murphy, Ayesha Russell and Catherine Murphy – with Mick Jenner coxing – who narrowly lost out in the semi-final. The club’s remaining 3 crews raced one after the other in their respective finals, achieving a hat trick of wins.

First to go were the Men’s Senior Four of Joe Evans-Murray, Henry Gove, Ollie Gove and Adam Edwards – coxed by Becca Nigh – who were running late and had to race to the start, which they very nearly missed. This appeared to have ruined their chances as rivals and race favorites BTC forged ahead off the start, but the Ryde crew stayed in touch and in a blistering finish rowed through BTC to win by half a length to claim Ryde’s first Senior Fours win since their Open South Coast Senior Championship win in 2012.

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In the very next race it was the turn of the club’s Novice Ladies Four of Abi Locke, Julie Cole, Karen Crook and Kate Whitehurst – with Allen Evans coxing – to compete in their final and unlike the Senior Men, there was no need for them to overhaul their opponents as they leapt straight into the lead which they held to the end of race to gain promotion to Coastal Junior status.

It was then the turn of the Men’s Novice Four of Dom Douglas, Jacob Redstone, Joel Smith and Joe Groves – with Austin Smith coxing – to race their final and like the Ladies Novice crew, they too took the lead just after the start and although challenged during the race they comfortably held of the opposition to secure Ryde’s third win of the day and their promotion to Coastal junior status.

On Sunday (19th June), in the Small Boats and Junior Regatta, the club added another win when Stephen Johnson – in a brief return to the club from university before volunteering for 3 months with Raleigh International in Tanzania – romped home in the final of the Men’s Novice Sculls with Club colleague Joel Smith finishing in third place. Earlier in the closely fought semi-finals 2 other Ryde Novice Scullers, Nick Christopher – making his first competitive appearance for the Club for several years – and James Smith – in his first competitive Novice Sculls race – just failed to join their colleagues in the final. Coastal Junior Sculler Dale Buckett finished second in his final in a very close and incident packed race.

James Smith and Joel Smith also competed in a Coastal Junior Pair finishing in second place in their final, but the Senior Pair of Andy Hicks and Stephen Johnson were unfortunately disqualified in their semi-final for an infringement close to the finish line as they tried to snatch victory. But there was a good performance from the Coastal Junior Ladies Pair of Lisa Murphy and Julie Cole who, racing for the first time in this boat type, finished second in their semi-final.

The club had two J14 Coastal Quads racing at the weekend, the A crew of Ben Sanderson, Tye Cameron, Tom Starkey and Freya Drage – with Dan Sanderson coxing – and the B crew of Paddy Kearney, Austin Smith, Lyle Winfield and Harry Jones Drage – with Erin McClumpha coxing –, most of whom were making their racing debuts for the club at a Hants & Dorset Regatta. Both crews performed well but failed to progress to the final. Ben Redstone, racing in a composite crew with host club Newport, made the final finishing in second place.

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Austin Smith competed in the Boys J14 Single Scull, winning his semi-final and finishing second in the final.

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