The club headed for the sunny shores of Bournemouth this weekend, for Westover and Bournemouth RC regatta, held close to the towns pier. The course is the longest of on the circuit at 2200 metres, and notouriously rough! The day proved to be one of great performances from Shanklin, with the small squad taking two dominating wins, along with a fighting performance by the Mens Junior Four.
The championship winning Mens Junior Pair were the fourth race of the day. The duo tried to go afloat ten minutes before their race, when the wondered why there were riggers preventing them from hopping into the boat from their normal sides. It dawned on Alex Robertson and Joe Murray that the boat had been rigged up the opposite, and ultimately incorrect, way! After the whole club swarmed the boat with 10mm spanners the pair were safely onto the water, rowing their correct sides in time for their race! The race itself was less eventful, with Shanklin having an excellent start and taking an early lead. They extended this lead throughout the row towards the buoy turn at Bournemouth Pier, entering the buoys five lengths up. On the return leg they sat on their lead and eventually crossed the line with a convincing seven length plus lead. The result was by far the most dominating of the season for the pair, who took their eight win and ninth Hants and Dorset championship point.
No sooner had Alex returned from the Pairs race, he was back onto the water for his Mens Junior Sculls, just two events later. Despite being naturally calm, there was a swell in the water from the many pleasure boats enjoying the weather. This was encouraging news for Robertson, who had won many of his previous five races on 'non perfect conditions'. This proved to be the case again here, as the newly crowned Hants and Dorset champion took a narrow lead off the start, and held a two length lead into the turn. On the return leg, he kept the pressure on and further extended his lead to the battling Westover and Christchurch scullers to four lengths. The win is the sixth of the season for Alex, and he now holds seven Hants and Dorset points.
The clubs final race of the day took place before the half way point of the regatta. The Mens Junior Four had been confident, after the draw had left them clear of Heat 1, which featured all previous race winners. With the conditions steadily deteriorating Joe Robertson, Matt Miselbach, Harry Hopper and Harry Miselbach were hoping of making the top three, which they would need to do to qualify for the final. Despite a poor outside lane draw leaving them out of earshot of the starters, the boys had a good start and pushed into an early lead alongside Lymo and Christchurch in the inside lanes. As the race progressed, the crew continued to row well through the water, and began to forge a lead heading towards the turns. The poor lane draw stung them however, as the staggered buoy line left the Shanklin crew rowng an extra length in order to make their turn, as a result, despite leading the race into the buoys, they exited a length down on the leading three crews. The guys set about chasing down these crews and were looking good for a top three finish as the gained an overlap on the leaders. The crews seemingly endless bad luck struck again however, as a big impact from a wave left Harry Hopper's seat derailed. With it impossible to get the damaged seat back into place, Harry rowed arms only for the remainder of the race. Not only is this an incredible feat by the three man, but also by the crew, who despite rowing with three and bit rowers for 800 metres, managed to maintain their fourth place, just two lengths from making the final. An incredible and charasmatic performance.
All three performances from the clubs crews were ones that they can be very proud of, and further displayed Shanklins ability to perform to very high levels, and in this case, even without all the rowers at their full potential! The penultimate regatta of the season now looms, as the club prepare its large entry for Poole regatta, on the 2nd of August.