Wightlink-sponsored Ryde Rowing Club maintained their strong record of regional representation when five of their Junior oarsman were selected to represent the Wessex Region and compete in the National Junior Inter-Regional’s Regatta at the National Water sports Centre, Nottingham on Saturday (25th April).
The Championships is contested between the 11 British Rowing Regions, with the Thames region split into two (Thames Upper and Thames Lower) to make 12 teams in total. All events are raced over 1500 meters with the heats timed and the fastest 6 crews going through to the Grande or “A” finale with the others into the Petite – “B” Final. A points system is applied determined by the results to establish which region are the national champions. The standard of racing is very high with a number of Junior Internationals and crews from the top public schools competing.
The crew of Joel Smith, Dom Douglas, Jacob Redstone, Joe Groves, cox Austin Smith and reserve Ben Toms were selected to represent the Region in the Boys J16 Coxed Four and travelled up to Nottingham late on Friday, with the coaching team, so they could be at the course in good time for the regatta on Saturday.
Unfortunately in their first race the crew representing Wales, in the next lane to them, had a steering issue and careered across the lane markers and into the Ryde crew forcing the race to be stopped – surprisingly no penalty was imposed – and all the crews had to turn and return to the stake boats for a re-start. Although there was no damage to the boat or blades the incident did have an impact on the Ryde crews composure and they completed the race a little way down the field in 5th place, after a further minor issue with one of the seats, to qualify for the “B” final.
They crew were much improved in the incident free “B” final taking 40 seconds of their time but racing against some of the top Junior crews in the country they were once again a little off the pace finishing in 5th place to record 11th place overall. However this contributed to the Wessex Regions haul of 114 points and 9th place – equalling their previous best performance for the smallest region in the competition.