It was the clubs single scullers that earned the best results of the day as Shanklin made their first of many journeys to mainland this season, racing at Itchen Imperial Regatta. The notoriously long regatta featured heats and semi finals in the majority of the events entered by the club, with the programme totalling 89 events!
The clubs first event of the day was the Ladies Novice Sculls. Emily Andre was hoping to transfer a podium finish in her first ever race into another strong performance on the choppy early morning water. With a good start Emily put herself in contention for a spot in the semi final for the most part of the race. Disaster struck in the final few hundred metres however as Emily capsized. Unphased however, Emily got back in her boat and finished - steely stuff from the 17 year old!
Following the Ladies Novice Sculls, it was the turn of the men. Joe Robertson and Henry Mudge were drawn in separate heats and both hoped to qualify for the semi final. Joe had a great start to his race, sticking to the coat tails of a determined Christchurch sculler. Despite Joe's considerably shorter levers he continued to be a nuisance holding Christchurch to a length the whole way, his sprint wasn't quite enough to earn progression to the semi final however. Henry too faced an excellent Christchurch sculler in his race. A strong start put Henry amongst his Christchurch and Lymington opponents. A good turn kept his semi final hopes alive but he unfortunately slipped away from the eventual winner on the day as Cavill of Christchurch took the win in this particular heat.
Then it was the turn of the Men's Senior Pair to test out the choppy waters of the Itchen. They faced Lymington and Southsea in their heat. With a solid start and a clean turn Shanklin managed to ease a comfortable victory out against two strong crews. In the semi final the duo faced Itchen. After losing time on the start the Shanklin pair found their feet as they approached the turn, after an uneventful turn they put the hammer down in pursuit of Itchen, closing the three length gap and pushing the eventual winners right to the line finishing just over a length behind.
Daisy Faithfull would brave the course in the race after the seniors, hoping to extend her lead in the Ladies Junior Sculls Championship. Daisy faced Bournemouth and Poole in her heat. The junior sculls championship leader shot out the starting blocks and quickly took a length out of both scullers within ten strokes. This set the tone for a comfortable win. In the final it was a similar story, a lightning fast start put the race into Daisys hands early on and she took a very impressive win - this takes Daisy to three nil in the championship standings.
Harry Miselbach was the clubs Mens Junior Sculls entry. Harry faced some real pedigree in his event, with Rose of Christchurch having already won this year. Naturally and perhaps unsurprisingly this didn't phase Harry one bit as he attacked his start in usual fashion! Said start put the 18 year old right in the mix at the turns. A quick turn from Rose however quickly put the race into the Christchurch scullers court and despite his best efforts Harry had to settle for second against an excellent sculler who would go on to win the final.
Harry was then part of the Mens Junior Four who also faced some serious calibre in their heat - lining up against last weeks Novice Fours winners Coalies and the Junior Fours championship leaders Bournemouth. Joining Harry were Joe Robertson, Henry Mudge, Matt Miselbach and cox Ethan Walters. The race started in ferocious fashion and this intensity would prove to last the entirety of the race as neither crew took more than a length throughout the race. With all three crews entering the turns at the same time, it was Bournemouth who led out for the return leg and just held on to their win as the Shanklin boys surged towards the finish to snatch second.
The Ladies Junior Four then hit the water. The crew featured Stella Gamble, Lisa Robertson, Emily Andre, Sophie Atkin and cox Emily Faithfull. Not only were they the second Shanklin juniors out on the water in quick succession but they too faced championship leaders in their heat in the shape of Itchen. A clean start from the crew set the tone for an excellent race from the Shanklin boat as they held on to the stern of the Christchurch boat in lane 3. Itchen however left both crews in their wake as they displayed the sort of prowess that has them leading the championship. The Shanklin crew finished a few lengths behind Christchurch with another determined performance. Sophie also raced Novice fours on the day, sitting in a composite boat with Newport, they finished third in their heat also.
The Ladies Junior Pair had a straight final in their event where Daisy hoped that she could remain unbeaten this season in both the scull and in this combination with her sister Emily. Pairs racing is a naturally chaotic affair, something the sisters would find out in their race as they were beaten for speed off the start before having to steer clear of the leading Poole pair as the two boats looked destined for collision. Despite the far from ideal start the girls collected themselves and raced to the turns in pursuit of the leaders. After a clean turn the gap was getting smaller and smaller towards the line and in a sprint finish the girls missed out on the win by around half a length. A result that disappointed the girls but an experience that will benefit the girls in future.
The final race of the day and a nice bookend to a positive days racing was Ethan Walters in the boys J16 Sculls final. Ethan began his preparation for the event firstly by ensuring he was on the water in time for the start - something his two competitors from Itchen failed to do. The twelve year olds chattering teeth seemed not to be an issue however, as he had an excellent start and stayed level with his much older Itchen opponent into a strong headwind. The race was close at the turns, however once round the buoys and with the headwind quickly turning into a tailwind Ethan came into his own. The young Shanklin sculler glided across the top of the rapidly deteriorating water, extending his marginal lead from the turns into an eventual win of at least five lengths.
Although many crews didn't progress as far as their quality would have suggested they might, all Shanklin crews raced fantastically well having been drawn against some serious opposition throughout the day! The club would like to thank Newport RC for once again helping out with transporting boats and the lending of a boat on the day.
The next regatta will be this coming Saturday at Milford on Sea!