There was sweltering heat and choppy seas for Southsea Regatta on Saturday, the largest one day rowing regatta in the country.
Clubs from two of the three South Coast Rowing Associations, the Hants & Dorset ARA and CARA, meet for the only time before the South Coast Rowing Championships in September – presenting the clubs with a good opportunity test themselves against another association.
For Ryde’s Men’s Coastal Junior Four of James Cleary, Stephen Johnson, Ollie Gove and Adam Edwards with Max Reeve coxing, this proved to be a good experience. They comfortably won their heat and were then drawn in one of the unfavoured outside positions for the final – but this proved to be no obstacle to their progress as they claimed their 6th win of the season – a good three lengths ahead of the opposition.
Life was a little tougher for the other Ryde Fours crews with the Ladies Coastal Junior crew of Steph Kissick, Gemma Smith, Alicia Stokes and making her debut for the club, Charlotte Price, with Mick Jenner coxing finishing 4th in their heat and just failing to make the final – a similar fate befalling the Men’s Novice crew of Callum Lockhart, Will Ford, Isaac Cornish and James Smith with Mick Jenner coxing once again.
There was a welcome return of the Ryde Senior Ladies Four of Sophie Brown, Hayley Spall, Lou Maidment and Maddie Dunn with cox Max Reeve following a long absence through injury and they finished 4th in their final, a result they should be able to improve on once they get back into regular training.
There were mixed fortunes for the Ryde Novice scullers with Dale Buckett producing his best race of the season so far to reach the final where unfortunately he capsized in the choppy conditions. This fate also befell Andy Hicks, twice, in his heat, although he did well, on both occasions, to right the boat, climb back on board and finish the race.
Meanwhile the Club’s Veteran/Masters sculler Nick Pike was competing at the Henley Master Regatta over the Royal Regatta course at Henley on Thames, where the standard is very high as the event attracts some of the best “masters” scullers in the world. Nick was competing at the Masters “D” status – for over 50’s – but was unfortunate to meet one of the best in this age group in the first round and as a result was knocked out at this stage.