Sun, sand and surprises at Swanage!

Shanklins enjoyed an adrenaline fueled day at Swanage regatta, with ups and downs from start to finish, but with ultimately fantastic results! The club started the day by almost missing the start of the regatta! Due to delays on both the car ferry and the sandbanks chain ferry, the regatta officials very kindly moved races one and two (which both featured Shanklin crews) back five events to give the club time to get their crews to swanage on the water!

After all the worry, Shanklins first three crews of the day raced across events one and two. In event one, the J16 boys crew of a Ryde RC rower, Richard Pitman, Henry Gove, Tom Leaver and cox Harry Miselbach were joined by the Mixed crew of Daisy Faithful, Sophie Swallow, Will Allsopp, Sam Mabey and cox Anja Bennett. Both crews were relatively inexperienced, but rowed well in their events. The mixed winning their event, with the boys crew fifth in theirs. A fantastic platform on which the crews can now further their racing performances throughout the remainder of the season. Then came the turn of the Girls J16 Four. After a slow start, Juliette Wrixon, Hannah Cusworth, Amber de Landro, Rebecca Nigh and cox Sophie Wrixon pushed through the field, and onto the stern of the leading Christchurch boat. In the final two hundred metres the girls gave it their all but it wasn’t enough to row through the excellent Dorset crew, they finished a very close second.

In the Mens Junior Four, Joe Robertson, Harry Hopper, Matt Miselbach, Harry Miselbach and cox Sophie Wrixon faced once again the challenge of making the final against tough opposition. They had a good start on the dead water of the inside lane and were up with the leading two crews going into the buoy turn, despite a very good turn from Sophie Wrixon on her return to coastal rowing after spending the year on the river, they came out of the turn a length down on the leading crews from BTC (A) and Westover. On the return leg the crew battled hard to stay on the tails of the leaders, and did so, rownig into the final two hundred metres just a length and half down. They finished third, leaving them one place outside a slot in the final.

In the Mens Junior Pair, Alex Robertson and Joe Murray were pushed hard for their fifth win of the season. A comfortable heat win gave them their place in the final, where they rowed a good first leg of the race to row into the turn a length up on Westover. After a bad turn, the crew exited the turn level with the crew from Bournemouth, but rowed away from them on their return leg (or so they thought) the Shanklin crew in faact rowed the last two hundred metres at a low rating unaware that the Westover crew on the outside were surging for the line. The Shanklin crew to relief of the on looking club members did take the win, but only just! They have now taken their championship lead to 5-1.

The eventful day was not yet over for Shanklin however, as the Mens Junior sculls provided further action. Alex Robertson sat in lane three for his heat, the course is scattered with yachts and buoys however, and due to scullers aiming to dodge these items, Robertson collided with Lymington and duly capsized having lost one of his blades! The race was stopped and Robertson quickly hitched a lift with the safety boat and headed straight back to the start line. In the re row he won his heat after extending his comfortable lead after the turn. In the final, the water had significantly flattened off and it was obviously going to be a close race. Robertson sat with the pack off the start and coming into the turn he had closed in on Christchurch, the races early leader. On the return leg, Robertson continued to close in on Harry Foley of Christchurch and passed through him with two hundred metres to go, in a desperate attempt to hold his lead Robertson pressed hard for the finish, taking the win by just under two lengths. His championship now stands at 4-1-1.

The club go away having taken their greatest haul of H&D championship points this year, with three wins and a second place. All the clubs results were once again very promising for the rest of the season. The day was especially long, with over twenty members attending. The club would like to thank Cowes Enterprise College and Jane Bailey for sorting out an extra mini bus and John Miselbach for driving. A special mention goes to Garry Walters too, who drove the club mini bus to and from Swanage, not getting a ferry until 10.15, a long day to be driving! The next regatta for the club will be in two weeks time at Itchen Imperial in Southampton.