A small contingent of Southsea Rowing Club members headed to Southampton for the first HDARA regatta of the season, with all coming away with podium finishes. With only three lanes, there were heats and semi-finals for some races, and with very flat non-coastal water and little wind it was a completely different day of racing to Worthing the weekend before.
The ladies Junior Pair; Rose Barrand and Emily Smith (str), stormed away from the start in a tough heat, drawn against a Lymington Pair that had taken the win at the Head of the Stour before the season began. In lane 3, a difficult lane with a line of yachts and buoys to navigate, without a clear line to the turning mark, they tucked in behind the Lymington pair to follow them across the line a close second with a time ensuring their well-deserved spot in the final.
In the 3 boat final, it was much the same result with Lymington taking home the pots and points with our ladies just a few seconds behind. The ladies are learning a lot and there should be some close battles between these two pairs in the months to come.
The Junior Men’s Coxed Four, drawn against Poole and home-team Coalporters in the semi-final had a hesitant start being caught slightly off-guard with the new start procedure. Andy Stewart at stroke got the boat of Tarek Fergani, Guy Elder and Peter Clarke into a good rhythm soon after and kept up the pace throughout coming in behind a strong Poole team and qualifying for the final with their time.
In the final, up against a slick Christchurch crew and the Poole crew from the semis, the men came across the line in 3rd. With strong competition this year, the Junior Men have a big job ahead of them to climb higher in the medal table.
Last up for SRC was the Junior Men’s Pair. A slightly different and un-tried combination of Peter Clarke and Guy Elder (str) took to the water in a straight final up against Ryde and Itchen. First into the buoys, with a bit of a sketchy line, the pair powered away from both opponents to win by a convincing margin. Bringing home the wins from both associations, the Southsea Men’s Junior Pair look very strong this year, and there is a lot more to come.
So with the first of the Hants and Dorset regattas down and a 1st 2nd and 3rd finish, we are now into the bulk of the season. With exams finishing and crews returning, and some more novices getting race ready week by week, SRC will be putting out more crews as the summer goes on. If they can follow the great results achieved so far, it will be a very exciting season!
Thanks to Jane Maxwell for permission to use a great photo of the Ladies Junior Pair in action; find more at https://www.facebook.com/racingsnapsfromjane!