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Scratch crews show versatility at Coastal Fours Head!

It was the turn of Shanklin's Fours to deliver the strong performances as the club came away win less but extremely confident in the results. Of the three Shanklin crews entered, only one was a 'regular' crew, putting the onus on the adaptability of the clubs rowers on the day! The head race, which exclusively caters for coastal fours, is run by Southampton Amateur Rowing Club and 2017 proved to be a popular event with around 150 crews attending.

The first division saw the Mens Junior Senior Four take to the water in both a different composition and formation to the boat that won at the South Coast Championships in September. Joe Robertson, Henry Mudge, Alex Robertson, Jamie Gamble and cox Ethan Walters had their first ever row together as they headed up to the top of the course. Despite this obvious disadvantage, the guys quickly found their feet together and with a savvy course from the young cox Ethan the crew posted an extremely competitive time of 17.26.03 that saw them finish in second place, just over twenty seconds off the strong first placed BTC crew. The result, impressive enough in itself was further complimented by the fact that three of the four rowers in the boat were Junior status.

In the second division there were a further two boats on the water.

The first of the two crews was the Ladies Junior Four. Regulars in the big boat were Emily

Andre and stroke Stella Gamble. The two were joined by Daisy and Emily Faithfull (bow) and Itchen cox Owen Barnaby. Despite having rowed together in a variety of combinations previously, this crew was also using its row up to the start as a crash course! This didn't seem to phase them however, as they raced in an event proving to be one of the most competitive out there this year, finishing in a time of 18.04.09 to take fourth place behind winners and fellow islanders Ryde.

The final Shanklin boat to row down the course was the J16 Quad Scull. The crew of Mia Phelan, Riley Horrix, Ethan Walters and Sophie Atkin might be forgiven for seeing rowing up and back down the River Itchen as a baptism of fire - it was however nothing of the sort as the youngsters put in a fantastic row to finish in a time of 18.45.61. This fantastic time saw them beat several adult crews and put them only 40 seconds behind the clubs Junior Ladies boat. As if this were not enough, the crews two J16 boys were racing off the back of having just won a row off for the JIRR - an extremely productive day for the clubs J16 section!

The results, although perhaps not giving too much away about the clubs prospects this season, were promising ones and displayed the versatility of the clubs members as they put in strong performances in unfamiliar formations. Shanklin would finally like to thank Southampton Amateur Rowing Club for another smoothly run head race and to Itchen Imperial and BTC Rowing Club both of whom helped out with either boats or coxwains!

The clubs next event will now be the Junior Inter Regional Regatta at the end of the month.

Photo Credits: Jane Maxwell (BTC Rowing Club)