Fruitful Bournemouth finale for Shanklin
A sunny final regatta of the Hants and Dorset season saw all Shanklin Sandown rowers having excellent races, earning four wins in the process.
Bournemouth regatta has had a habit of being postponed in recent years, the 2017 edition however saw calm waters throughout the day on the 2200 metre course. The course is unique not only in its length making it the longest course on the calendar, but also in that it is over 100 metres offshore and see's the buoy turns taking place right off the end of Bournemouth Pier.
The first race of the day would see the Men's Senior Pair in their first regatta without heats since the seasons opening day. They took an explosive lead in their straight final, only for the race to be restarted due to a collision between BTC and Coalporters. The restart saw the duo of Alex Robertson and Joe Evans Murray much closer to the rest of the field and as the race entered the turns they were in second place. A great turn and strong exit saw them grab the race lead back and this was only extended towards the finish as they took their second consecutive win of the season and confirmed themselves as runners up in the Hants and Dorset Senior Pairs championship table for 2017.
The clubs Men's Novice scullers were out in force once more as Henry Mudge, Jamie Gamble and Joe Robertson once again found themselves battling with a big entry to try and qualify for their finals. Henry was out in the first heat and rowed a great race down towards the buoy turns, being well in contention for a place in the final coming out of the buoys. A strong headwind made for a difficult row back and despite leaving everything on the water Henry just missed out on a place in the final. Jamie and Joe were afloat shortly afterwards. Both started well and heading for the turns were amongst the leaders in a tight race. A bottleneck at the turns spelled disaster for Jamie's race as he was left waiting to turn his buoy of choice as a sculler in front of him completed his own. Joe escaped the confusion and qualified for the final with Jamie unfortunately left rueing the chaotic nature of Novice Sculls races coming home fifth.
In the final Joe was out of the blocks well and did extremely well to stay in the main pack of the race heading down to the turns. As he headed back up the course into the more favourable headwind he was closing all the while on Rydes third placed sculler but was unable to unleash an attack on the sculler in the final stages, being stuck behind the fellow islander. A great race for Joe however on unfavourablely flat water!
Joe found himself in three races within the space of 90 minutes on the day, with his Men's Junior Fours heat being in the middle of the sculling heats and final. He joined Jamie, Matt Miselbach, Harry Miselbach and cox Ethan Walters in the first heat of the event. A powerful push off the line saw the crew fly in to the race lead and they never looked back, maintaining a comfortable lead throughout the race to qualify for the final in first place over a strong field.
In the final, the guys knew it was a final opportunity to beat run away champions Itchen Imperial having come so close to them earlier in the season. They put themselves in contention to do this with yet another lightning fast start. Giving the Southampton club a good race to the turns. The class of the champions showed out of the turns however as they took two lengths from Shanklin. A great performance from the boys however saw them cruising in second place and they will now feel confident heading to the south coast championships!
The Ladies Junior Sculls final would combine once again with the Ladies Senior Sculls and Daisy Faithfull went in to the race hoping to lay down a marker on both her race and that of the higher status. She did just that, as her and Itchen Senior sculler Jess Bull rowed away from the rest of the race early on. A tense race to the turns unravelled very quickly into a two length lead for Daisy and she put her foot down on the return leg to ensure she finished as first sculler on the course and taking her tenth win of the season in the process!
Close races with Itchen scullers would prove to be the order of the day as Alex Robertson and Joe Evans Murray boated for their Men's Senior Sculls final with both hoping to add to their early success in the pair. A furious start to the race saw Ratcliffe of BTC take an early lead with both Joe and Alex level with Foad of Itchen trying to chase down the early leader. As they race approached the buoy turns Alex and Foad had bridged over to BTC and all three turned together with Joe heading straight into Alex's buoy as soon his pairs partner exited. Alex's turn put him into the race lead and in a long slog back to the finish held off the efforts of this years champion Foad for the second week running with Joe missing out on third place by just a couple of lengths. The result bumped Alex up into a joint second place spot in the championship, earning him his second senior sculls runners up spot in as many years.
The clubs final win of the day would see Daisy Faithfull in her second Junior/Senior combined final of the day as she joined her sister Emily in the Ladies Junior Pairs final, with the Senior Pairs on the outside lanes. On the packed start line the championship winners began their race well and stayed out of trouble in he early stages of the event. A good performance down to the buoys saw them at the top of both races and having won Senior pairs two weeks prior the girls set their sights on being the first crew over the finish line. An extremely tight race with Coalporters over the final few hundred metres made for a great battle and one that the girls once again were able to narrowly win - a second junior status win of the day in which all senior opponents were also beaten, a positive way for the pair to end the season!
The regatta rounded off an excellent regatta season for the club that has seen two championships won, with another two runners up places amongst great entry numbers and performances from Shanklin crews.
The club would finally like to thank Poole ARC and Ryde RC for helping out with boats on the day.