Two wins for the Advanced Automotive Shanklin Sandown Rowing Club helped make Woolston regatta a very successful one, where early hard luck and disappointment could have derailed the clubs day!
The day began with the Mens Novice Sculls, with both Joe Robertson and Jamie Gamble taking to the water in separate heats. In heat one Joe had a strong start as usual, and was well in the mix throughout the race but just missed out on a spot in the final, finishing 4th. Jamie then went afloat one race later, Jamie too had a brilliant start and lead out the race towards the turns, however after dropping off towards the end of the race he too missed out on the final.
Not ten minutes later came the Mens Senior Sculls final. Alex Robertson went into the race leading the championship over Itchens Mark Wardell. Getting left off the start Alex had began to close the gap on his Itchen rival into the turn, a bad turn however put an end to any challenge and the Itchen sculler levelled the championship standings at 4-4 with two races to go.
Shanklins disappointing start to the regatta continued, with the Ladies Junior section being hit with two instances of bad luck. In the Ladies Junior Fours Lisa Robertson, Anja Bennett, Juliette Wrixon, Hannah Cusworth and cox Ethan Walters were in the very difficult inside lane, which saw them get caught up in the water off the start. With distance lost the four did well to continue to row the course, but couldn't close back to the rest of the field in a very unlucky race for them.
Further hard luck was found only a few races later for Daisy Faithfull. In the Ladies Senior/Junior sculls combined final Newports Junior champion Anna Webb capsized coming out of the buoy turn. With Daisy having proven she was the best of the rest in recent weeks, it was no surprise that she was leading the rest of the race coming into the finish. Disaster struck however as Daisy, in lane one, came across the line narrowly on the inside on the finishing post, leaving her disqualified from a race she would have otherwise won.
Daisy had to quickly get back out onto the water following this, rowing with her sister Emily in the Ladies Junior Pairs, joining Shanklins regulars (A boat) of Juliette Wrixon and Hannah Cusworth. Both A and B boats got off to clean starts and headed with the field up to the turn. The B boat had a clean turn and came out of the buoys in third place, they would look back to see disaster for the A boat however, as they had been caught and tangled up with a boat from Southsea, bringing an end to their challenge for the race. Both boats rowed well on the return, with the B boat taking a podium place in third, whilst the unfortunate A boat came home in sixth.
Another race with multiple Shanklin boats entered was the J16 Sculls. Ethan Walters, Joe Robertson and Jamie Gamble went afloat in worsening conditions. Solid races from Joe and Jamie placed them second and third with Ethan finishing fourth in a fantastic row that saw him only two lengths behind the two, much older Shanklin scullers.
The next Shanklin sculler of the day was Harry Miselbach in the Mens Junior Sculls. As always Harry was well in the race, and when champion Adam Ratcliffe had a boat malfunction it was down to the regularly close battle with Dale Buckett of Ryde to decide the winner. Dale had a storming row and Harry finished two lengths down on the Ryde man.
Quickly following Harry was Rebecca Nigh in the Ladies Novice Sculls, in very difficult water and after getting caught up on the starting tower, Rebecca did very well to finish third.
The clubs Ladies Novice Four went into their final knowing they were hot favourites for the win, with several podium finishes in previous regattas. Sure enough, they did not disappoint with Hannah Pain, Stella Gamble, Emily Andre, Emily Faithfull and cox Anja Bennett leading out the race off a good start and never looking back, taking a comfortable five length victory and securing the crews promotion to Junior status.
The final race of the day would also be successful for the club. The mixed fours final saw two Shanklin crews entered. The A boat featured Emily Faithfull, Harry Miselbach, Alex Robertson, Daisy Faithfull and cox Anja Bennett, whilst the B boat included Emily Andre, Stella Gamble, Joe Robertson, Jamie Gamble and cox Hannah Cusworth. Both crews got off to good starts in the field of ten crews and quickly established themselves in the race. The A boat began to push through the leading crews into the turns and started the return leg in first place, with the B boat in sixth. With both crews having strong rows back, the A boat came across the line to take a 2 length win, with the B boat finishing seventh in a strong field.
With two wins, three seconds and three third places, the club finished third in the regatta aggregate standings, a brilliant achievement for our small club. The club would like to thank Schrieber Racing Boats and Newport RC for the lending of a boat and Ryde Rowing Club for helping to transport some of our boats to the regatta.
The season now takes a break before Itchen Regatta on August 13th.