Dinner and Dance draws Shanklins incredible 2014 to a close

The Hants and Dorset Amateur Rowing Association rounded of the 2014 season with their annual dinner and dance. Held annually at the Southampton Novotel, the evening not only presents the championship winners with their trophies, but celebrates the whole season, with speechs and video highlights of the years racing.

Shanklin have won two championships in 2014, as anyone who has followed the clubs racing closely this year will know, and the evening saw Alex Robertson and Joe Evans Murray crowned Mens Junior Pair champions, and Alex in his Mens Junior Sculls championship. With twleve representatives from Shanklin, the club were well supported, considering it is the first time the club have attended the event in four years!

With a fantastic meal put on by Novotel to kick the evening off, it was not until later in the evening that we got to, as was coined by Pete Staddon 'the only reason you all came'. With the proceedings starting with the smallest boats, it was up to Alex Robertson to collect the first championship event of the evening, as he collected his Mens Junior Sculls goblet. Alex's championship was by no means as easy as the eventual seven point victory suggested. Winning on the points on the rough, but struggling on occasions to hold off strong competitors on the flat waters of the Medina and the Itchen.

Then came the turn of the pairs championship. Joe Evans Murray and Alex Robertson had also held a considerable victory of eight points come the end of the season at BTC. But as with Alex's single sculls, the championship was by no means clear cut. With rivals Southampton challenging the duo in every meeting they had, coming out victorious twice, and never more than a few lengths off the Shanklin pair. Nevertheless, the well earned win saw Joe take perhaps the most impressive of the night, from H&D president John Purkess.

The evening concluded with a disco and photos with an official photographer (see our Facebook page for the whole club one!).

The final rowing event for the club of 2014 gave us time to reflect (yes) on the chamionship successes for the club this year, but also on many other excellent moments for the club. We have had home regatta victorties, south coast wins, surprise finalists and agonisingly close second places. All in all, with 28 wins, 16 second places and 14 third places, we can measure our success on the water in podiums alone, but with 101 event entries and 252 individual rows, from over 35 rowers, the inclusion and experiance this club has provided in 2014, is profound. With 2014 seeing the opening of the new boathouse and the refurbished lounge and 2015 boasting further development plans, the club is heading in a fantastic direction.

Bring on 2015!

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