The finale of the coastal rowing season saw all 12 Hampshire and Dorset ARA clubs join clubs from both the West of England Amateur Rowing Association and the Coast Amateur Rowing Association at the South Coast Rowing Championships, held this year in Herne Bay on the Kent coast.
Shanklin arrived with a strong squad of 6 boats for the event and were hopeful of some good results. The day began with the J16 Quad scull events, with Shanklin having entries in both the girls and boys events.
In the girls boat, Hannah Pain, Mia Phelan, Emily Faithful, Daisy Faithful and cox Juliette Wrixon didn’t quite have the speed to compete with the leading crews, but had a great race with the crews surrounding them, finishing fifth out of 7. In the boys event, Ethan Walters, Joe Robertson, Jamie Gamble, Henry Mudge and cox Anja Bennett started very strongly and were instantly contending for the lead, as the race wore on the leading crew from Deal moved away from the Shanklin boat to take the win, with Shanklin very close behind in second place.
Next afloat were Shanklin’s 2 Ladies Junior Fours. The A boat consisted of Stella Gamble, Hannah Cusworth, Emily Andre, Daisy Faithful and cox Alex Robertson whilst the B crew contained Hannah Pain, Mia Phelan, Juliette Wrixon, Anja Bennett and cox Ethan Walters. The A boat were in the first heat and had an excellent start to put them well into second place, as they continued down the course they were continually tailed by a crew from the hosts Herne Bay. As the race got into its final stages the host’s crew, whom had sat a length down on the Shanklin crew for the majority of the race, put in a monumental push that had all the spectators watching in awe and the Shanklin boat in desperation as they moved into the final qualifying spot in the final moments of the race, an agonising result for the Shanklin boat. There was a few more smiles for the B boat however, who lead their heat comfortably from start to finish to qualify for the final. In the six boat final, the experience and size of some of the other crews told against the youthful Shanklin crew, they rowed fantastically however to take a well earned fifth place.
Shortly after this the Men’s Junior Four took to the water. Joe Robertson, Henry Mudge, Jamie Gamble, Harry Miselbach and cox Alex Robertson also had to finish in the top 2 of their 5 boat heat to make the final. Despite getting a bad deal off the start, the crew rowed themselves well into the race and were in the hunt for a place in the final. In the final 500 metres it was a 3 way battle with Itchen and Herne Bay for the final qualifying spot. Despite giving it their all, the Shanklin missed out to the home club by a length, finishing third.
Jamie Gamble and Harry Miselbach were soon then back on the water for the Men’s Junior Senior Fours final, where they were joined by Alex Robertson, Matt Miselbach and cox Anja Bennett. The crew had an electric start that immediately put them into the race lead after the first few hundred metres. From this point, they never looked back, despite the tiredness of Jamie and Harry who had already rowed they continued to extend their lead down the 2000 metre course to take a victory of over 7 lengths to become Men’s Open Junior Senior Fours champions of the South Coast.
The win was an excellent way to round off a day of great performances. The prize giving in the evening saw the Boys J16 collect their silver medals and the Mens J/S their trophy and medals from Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Searle.
The weekend provided a book end to this year’s Hants and Dorset season, with the club having exceeded its own expectations including the Ladies Novice Sculls championship and runners up in the Men’s Senior Sculls championship, amongst the 18 wins to the club’s name this year.