Saturday saw hundreds of rowers taking part in the 62nd South Coast Championships, this year hosted by Deal Rowing Club.
35 of Herne Bay Amateur Club’s fittest rowers entered into 13 out of the 24 races; five of those included races of the highest calibre with men and women competing against top crews from each of the three coastal rowing associations.
Having trained extremely hard throughout the summer to be a part of the Champs, our rowers of all ages spanning from 12 years to our oldest of 75 took part in the final regatta of the year and they should all be very proud of their achievements no matter where they came in their races.
As well as a second and plenty of third and fourth placements, we had one crew come first throughout the day. These boys need no introduction, but they have trained long and hard together, being coached by long-standing rowers and members of the club, Keith Groves and Mark Jeffries. These 12 to 14 year old boys are J14 CARA champions of 2018 for the second year running but also the only crew to have achieved first place from the club in this year’s South Coast Championships.
Well done to William White, Bradley Perry-French, Lewis Perry-French and Jacob Webb, with Jasmine Amos steering them into first position.
The J14 girls including Lucy Horton, Ella Rose, Maisie Jeffries and Tamzin Vickers coxed by John Cox were the only girls crew entered into the J14 girls race, and were therefore put together to race with the older, stronger J14 boys. The girls were awarded the J14 girls category winning medals and a trophy. These girls haven’t trained for long as a crew but hopefully next year we will see them adding more trophies under their belts.
The five championship races included the Men’s Junior/Senior crew with Luke Taylor, Harry Taylor, Tom Harris and Manuel Marques who were entered in as a late entry. The same crew were a favourite to do well in the Men’s Junior race. They could only come away with a third place in both races, but first out of CARA crews in the Junior race. Of the Masters 40 race John Cox, Darren White, Stuart webb and Liz Taylor with coxwain, Maisie Jeffries put up a good fight but were beaten by Lymington, Deal and BTC clubs.
The other two races that the club were betting on was the Ladies Junior four consisting of fifteen year olds Poppy Webb, Heidi White, Vice Captain Emily Noyes and Steph Rondel in Bow, coxed by the young Maisie Jeffries. This was the ladies final race of the season as juniors and will feature in the senior ladies races next year due to their winning streaks throughout the summer.
Unfortunately the ladies couldn’t quite beat the Hants and Dorset crew, Christchurch or Hometown crew, Deal who came in first. The water was unforgiving and they hit some tough water and at one point a large wave turned the rudder to nearly hit Coal Porters boat side on!
The Men’s Senior four race was the important race of the day, with the Bowl trophy as the prize to aim for. Jeffries again was the trusty coxwain to steer the four strong men, but beaten into second place by rivals Itchen Imperial. The crew consisted of Will Campbell in Stroke position, Dan Ritchie and Tom Walton with Ryan Hosking in the bow.
Ex-member of Herne Bay Rowing Club and father to James Foad, who rowed in the winning Itchen boat in the Men’s Senior race said: “Though it was great to see my home town club performing so well through the season, my heart was with my club, Itchen, but congratulations on such a good year and an amazing race for the Bowl!”
Also talking from his heart, captain, Darren White said a few words about the club’s performance throughout the year: “I could never have imagined the depth of satisfaction and overwhelming pride the past few months have given me.
He continued “To see the true dedication and commitment to training, to witness the shear resilience in racing and to achieve the results have made this a very special, if not historic year for Herne Bay.”
So even though the club didn’t achieve the goals they wanted at the Championships, they have achieved awards and prizes far greater than expectations from the season’s races and regattas.