Four crews from Ryde Rowing Club competed in the Southampton Coastal Head of the River Race which is the traditional opening event of the Hants and Dorset ARA Coastal season on Saturday in very poor and steadily deteriorating conditions accompanied by torrential rain.
The Southampton Coastal Head is a time trial for coastal fours, staged in two divisions, over a four and a half mile course on the River Itchen, Southampton – where crews start in their statuses at approximately thirty second intervals.
Ryde had two crews competing in the first division in the Men’s Novice fours section – which had one of the largest fields for this section ever recorded – with a total of 26 Novice Fours racing.
Ryde’s Novice A crew of Stephen Johnson, James Cleary, Ollie Gove and Adam Edwards, with cox Sam Brading – who had already tasted success this season at the Head of the Stour, were able to repeat this achievement – finish in a time of 19 minutes 24 seconds nearly 30 seconds ahead of the next Men’s Novice four to finish.
The Club’s Novice B crew of Callum Lockhart, Will Ford, Issac Cornish and James Smith with Abbie Cornish coxing showed significant progress finishing in a time of 21 minutes 30 seconds in 17th place.
The second division saw the Ladies take to the water with the Ryde Club’s Ladies Senior Four – of Hayley Spall, Sophie Brown, Louise Maidment and Maddie Dunn with Abbie Cornish coxing again, finishing in a time of 23 minutes, 53 seconds – nearly a minute ahead of their nearest rivals – to claim the Clubs 2nd win of the day.
The Ladies Novice Four of Heidi Kissick, Steph Kissick, Michaela Martin and Alicja Stokes with Sam Brading coxing once again were competing for only the second time and produced a very encouraging performance finishing in a time of 27 minutes and two seconds and in fifth place in another record field of 27 Ladies Novice Fours.