Newport Regatta weekend saw the return of the Hants and Dorset ARA to the Isle of Wight this weekend, and Shanklin joined Ryde and Newport in celebration as the Isle of Wight clubs all had very successful weekends!
The Saturday fours regatta saw only two Shanklin entries, both of whom were drawn in the same race! The two Junior Ladies Fours were drawn in a head to head Shanklin battle. The A boat comprised Lisa Robertson, Anja Bennett, Juliette Wrixon, Hannah Cusworth and cox Rebecca Nigh, whilst the B boat was made up of Hannah Pain, Stella Gamble, Emily Andre, Emily Faithfull and cox Alex Robertson. In an intriguing race, the B boat took an early lead after a fantastic start. This lead was held at around two lengths until a push from the A boat in the final 500 metres saw the deficit cut right back, as they both rowed towards the line, with a strong finish from the B crew sealing a two length win. In the final, the B crew faced two fantastic crews from Southampton and Poole and although they tailed off at an early stage, the held onto the coat tails of the two championship rivals to finish only a few lengths behind.
The club returned on Sunday for the Small Boats and Junior regatta with a much larger entry. The small boats was kicked off with Joe Robertson in a tough Novice Sculls heat, he rowed well but couldn't progress to the semi final. Rebecca Nigh suffered an unfortunate collision at the start of her Novice sculls race that scuppered her chances also of making her respective final.
Following the two Novice scullers were Jamie Gamble and Henry Mudge in the Mens Junior Pairs final. They faced two seasoned pairs in their race and rowed well to finish within 15 seconds of the eventual winners Poole.
Then came the turn of the clubs Junior scullers. Daisy Faithful had a very tough heat, racing the championship leader from Newport. She raced well despite being behind and qualified for the final as fastest loser. In the final, she was unable to challenge for the win but put in a very strong performance to finish close to the Newport and BTC championship rivals. Daisy was followed by Harry Miselbach, who left the regatta as the undisputed winner of the 'rotten luck' award. Harry faced the previously unrivalled Adam Ratcliffe in the Mens Junior Sculls final. Harry had a lighting fast start and went two lengths clear of the BTC sculler who went into Newport unbeaten. Despite a huge push from Ryde and BTC Harry was set to take the win coming into the finish line when he hit the notorious marker buoy two lengths in front of the finish line and ultimately capsizing. A heartbreaking, yet promising performance from the 17 year old.
Following Harry down the course was Alex Robertson in the Mens Senior Sculls. In a uneventful race Alex fell well down on Olly Hayward and Mark Wardell of Newport and Itchen respectively. He however found a rhythm and closed the gap to Wardell but was no match for the dominant display of Hayward who took his home regatta win.
Quickly after the Hants and Dorset small boats had finished it was on to the Junior 16 and 14 events and first up for Shanklin was Ethan Walters in the J14 single sculls. Despite only being 12 years old Ethan won both his heat and final with convincing margins to take Shanklins first win of the weekend!
Ethan then joined Riley Horrix, Sophie Atkin, Mia Phelan and cox Juliette Wrixon in the J14 Quad sculls final. In a début race for both Sophie and Mia the crew were phenomenal and although a couple of lengths down on Itchen A, they beat Itchens B crew comfortably.
Further success came in the J16 events for the club. Joe Robertson and Jamie Gamble were in the same J16 sculls heat and joined a Newport sculler on the start. Joe had the better start and he and the Newport sculler slipped away a little from Jamie. Coming into the finish Joe pushed hard as Newport seemed to come through, with Joe just holding on to victory by less than a length. In the final Joe again faced Newport, with Itchen taking the third spot on the line. Strangely, Joe this time dominated Newport, but had a very close race with Itchen, taking the win by about a length.
The clubs third win of the day came Daisy Faithfull in the Girls J16 sculls. She faced two Itchen Imperial scullers. Despite a difficult start for Daisy that saw her lose ground she quickly found her feet to put in a dominant display and take a comfortable race win.
The clubs final win of the weekend came for the J16 Quad scull. Emily Faithfull, Jamie Gamble, Joe Robertson, Henry Mudge and cox Anja Bennett lined up against Itchen Imperial and Newport. The crew had an electric start and quickly established an unassailable lead that they were able to sit on top of for the remainder of the race, taking a superb win.
The regatta was an overwhelming success and it was fantastic to see a fellow Island club pull off such an enjoyable two day event. Ryde and Shanklin were able to pitch in their support, with Ryde providing their safety launch and both clubs providing officials for both days.
The success of the clubs Junior entries paid dividends as the club scored a second place on the aggregate for the junior regatta. These performances were extremely promising and it looks as though we have some real talent coming through for the future!
The club now look forward to Swanage regatta next weekend.