Wightlink-sponsored Ryde Rowing Club competed at the South Coast Rowing Championships Regatta staged at Wimbleball Lake, Somerset over the weekend – the culmination and final event of the Coastal Season.
The club produced a set of results beyond their expectations after a difficult and frustrating season by winning all three of the events they entered at the main Regatta on the Saturday to produce the best results from the three Island clubs competing.
Saturdays racing was for adults over a straight 2000m course for fours and small boats and on Sunday the racing was for Juniors over a shorter 1000m course, with the Ryde Club competing on both days.
On the Saturday the first win came in the Men’s Coastal/Senior C Coxless Pairs event where the crew of James Smith and Will Ford, who had been threatening a win at the last few Hants & Dorset ARA events, finally delivered taking the lead early on in the final and never looking back.
Next up was the Men’s Novice Four – actually a J16 crew – of Ben Toms, Dom Douglas, Jacob Redstone, Joe Groves and Cox Austin Smith, who started well in the closely contested final and eased into a lead at the half way stage against their adult opposition, which they held until the end.
Fianlly the club dominated the Men’s Novice single sculls event with all three of their scullers Stephen Johnson, Dale Buckett and J16 Sculler Joel Smith qualifying from their heats for the final, where Stephen lead them home with Dale in second place and Joel in 4th – a great achievement for this young sculler.
On the Sunday the J16 boys competed in the Junior Regatta with all of them reaching their respective finals. In the J14 Boys Single Sculls cox Austin Smith stepped up to a sculling role finishing in an impressive 5th place in his first race at this level. His brother Joel, after his exertions of the previous day, also did well to finish in 4th place in his final. The victories Men’s Novice Crew from the previous day competed again within their age group – in a J16 coxed four – again finishing in 4th place in a very close race. Finally the club had two J16 Boys doubles’s competing – Joel Smith with Dom Douglas and Joe Groves with Jacob Redstone – who finished 4th and 5th respectively in their final, the earlier racing having taken a little to much from them.
The club was pleased to finish the season on a high note and were also pleased to be able to support Shanklin Rowing Club with the loan of boats and transportation for which the support of Wighlink was critical.
Photographed: above: Junior Pair James Smith & Will Ford; featured: Novice Four of Joe Groves, Jacob Redstone, Dom Douglas, Ben Toms, Austin Smith (Cox) – hidden; secondary: Stephen Johnson novice scull