Calm waters and wall to wall sunshine was the backdrop for a successful day for Shanklin Sandown Rowing Club at the fifth Hants and Dorset regatta of the season, Swanage. The club had two fours, two pairs and seven single sculler entered on the day.
The club would feature in the first three races of the day. Two of these events were the heats of the Mens Senior Sculls. Joe Evans Murray and Alex Robertson were drawn in separate races, with Joe out on the water first. In an unfavourable lane one Joe made the most of the race and stayed well amongst the qualifying places for the entirety of the race but just missed out on a spot in the final. In the second heat Alex faced less scullers and was able to qualify comfortably. In the final Alex was drawn in lane six and despite a poor start lead alongside James Foad of Itchen in to the turn. A poor turn gave Foad two lengths out of the turn, something he didn't let go of, with Alex coming home in second place.
There was an early race for the J16 Mixed Quad too. The young crew featured Scarlett Phelan, Rachael Debenham, Mia Phelan, Sophie Atkin and cox Emily Faithfull. Racing in a large field of great crews the girls had a great start that set them up for an excellent race in which they finished fifth.
Then came the turn of the Mens Novice Scullers. Three Shanklin rowers were entered in the event, all drawn in separate heats. Jamie Gamble featured in the first heat - facing an extremely strong field Jamie had to put himself on the red line from the off. This paid off however as he came through a close race in second place to qualify for the final. Joe Robertson then hoped to follow suit in the second heat. With a traditional strong start Joe put himself at the top of the race early on, despite having to steer past a obstructing motor boat. In the closing stages Joe faced a close finish for second place, so close in fact it was decided Joe and the opposing Poole sculler had finished in a dead heat and both were put into the final. Henry Mudge then went afloat in heat three. Facing a heat full of strong scullers Henry put the hammer down from the onset and quickly joined Southsea and Lymington in the race for the two qualifying spots. As they closed in to the finish Henry was a length down on Lymington and despite leaving nothing in the tank he was unable to overturn the deficit.
In the final, Joe and Jamie lined up next one another in lanes three and four. Great starts from the duo saw them well amongst the race as they headed for the turns. After good turns from both the race win was being contested by Poole and Southsea with Jamie and Joe having a battle of their own for fourth with Joe just edging Jamie out.
Joe and Jamie would then join Matt Miselbach, Harry Miselbach and cox Ethan Walters in the Mens Junior Four. In their heat they had a quick start which set them up nicely for a comfortable second place finish to qualify for the final. The final was at the end of the day and by this time three of the four crew members had raced in their sculls final prior. This showed during the race as the were unusually distant from the leading Itchen and Bournemouth crews, finishing fourth. Ethan Walters also coxed Bournemouth during their heat victory on the day.
The next crew on the water was the mixed four. Mia Phelan, Sophie Atkin, Emily Faithfull, Henry Mudge and cox Alex Robertson joined four other crews on the water. Despite not being alongside the leading crews during the race the four had a great row and finished fourth.
Harry Miselbach was out on the water in the Mens Junior Sculls. In his straight final Harry had a ferocious start and pushed the championship leader from Christchurch up to the buoy turns. After the turn the Christchurch sculler started to move away from Harry and held the lead to finish, with Harry taking second place.
Daisy Faithfull was also racing in the single, hoping to take another point towards her Ladies Junior Sculls championship. In a close race Daisy was neck and neck with a Bournemouth sculler going in to the buoy turns. An excellent turn gave Daisy a lead for the return leg, something she capitalised on to take her fourth in of the season.
Daisy was then joined by sister Emily in the Ladies Junior Pair with the hopes of returning to winning ways. With the pair from Poole having a strong start the girls had to find a rhythm and ease themselves in to the race, something they did very well as they led in to the turns. They didn't relinquish this advantage on the row back, despite Poole pushing them the whole way - giving them their third win of the season.
The pair was back out on the water later in the day for the Mens Senior Pairs final. Alex Robertson and Joe Evans Murray had qualified for the final earlier in the day in a close race with Itchen. In the final they were out in lane six. A slow start was turned around by the buoy turn as the guys were at the top of the race with Itchen and Christchurch. In one of the closest finishes of the day the Shanklin crew ramped it up for the finish, closing down a two length deficit to row through Christchurch but agonisingly just miss out on the race win by a boat length.
The club would like to thank all the members of the Hants and Dorset ARA who helped organise yet another fantastic Swanage regatta. The sixth edition of the Hants and Dorset regatta season will take place next week at Woolston.