Ryde Rowing Club, sponsored by Wightlink, competed in the final Coastal event of the season over the weekend – the South Coast Rowing Championships, at Deal in Kent – and hosted by the Coast Amateur Rowing Association.
The weekend was not without its difficulties with the club’s minibus being involved in a road traffic accident on the Thursday evening, resulting in damage that prevented its use and left the Club struggling to get members and equipment to the event.
The Club is very grateful for the support of Newport Rowing Club and St Mary’s School, Ryde, in helping to resolve the issues at very short notice.
Their efforts were well rewarded when the Clubs Men’s Coastal Junior Four, of – James Cleary, Stephen Johnson, Ollie Gove and Adam Edwards with Sam Brading coxing – this seasons Hants & Dorset ARA Champions, represented the Association in the Championship event. They completed a great season with well controlled row, making them South Coast Champions at this status as well. The crew followed its race plan to the letter – with a good start over the 2k straight course that shoots Deal Pier. They eased in to the lead at the half way stage and from that point onwards steadily extend their lead to win by three lengths over Shoreham and Association rivals Lymington.
This is the 36th time the Club has represented the Association in the Championships – and is the Club’s 17th South Coast Championship win.
Life was a little more difficult for the Club second representative crew – the Ladies Senior Four of – Sophie Brown, Hayley Spall, Lou Maidment and Maddie Dunn with Sam Brading coxing once again – who were a late selection, following an injury plagued season. As they went afloat for their race the conditions were already beginning to deteriorate, putting the regatta at risk, and this had an impact on their performance and they finished a disappointing 5th – and then suffered a battering from the waves while getting ashore resulting in a suspected broken finger for one crew member.
The Novice Men’s crew of – Callum Lockhart, Will Ford, Isaac Cornish and James Smith – coxed by Mick Jenner – racing in the Open Men’s Novice Fours event performed very well in their heat finishing 2nd behind fellow Islanders Shanklin to take a place in the final. Unfortunately conditions had continued to deteriorate and the regatta was stopped, on safety grounds, before the final could take place.
Fortunately, earlier in the day when the conditions were at their best, the Junior Regatta had taken place with two Ryde crews competing, over a shorter 1k course. The Clubs Boys J14 Coxed Quad of – Matt Jeacock, Joe Groves, Joel Smith, Jacob Redstone and Austin Smith coxing – were on top form – taking an early lead in the race which, although put under pressure at the finish, they were able to hang on to record the Clubs 2nd win of the day – and make them the “unofficial” Boys J14 Coxed Quad South Coast Champions.
The Clubs other Junior crew – a mixed J16 Coxed Quad of – Katie Corney, Caitlin Smith, Dominic Douglas, Tom Kearney and Dale Buckett coxing – racing in the Boys J16 event did well to finish in 5th place.
So in spite of a sometimes difficult season the Club has been able to maintain its excellent record in Hants & Dorset ARA and South Coast Championships finishing the Coastal season with a Championship in each.