Like all clubs after lockdown, Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club were very excited to get back to racing and reunite with members from other clubs who hadn’t been seen for at least 22 months.

Folkestone Rowing club was host of the day (11 July) and getting set up on the beach felt like we hadn’t been away at all. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the water was as flat as anything. This was going to be a great day for racing.

During reopening of the club Herne Bay managed to sign up twenty keen and enthusiastic new members for the new season. Six of these new members made their debut at Folkestone.

The club featured in the second race of the day, the Junior 16 quads. Two boats were entered with five of our newest and youngest members.

Both crews did incredibly well with the A crew coming in second place after Dover. The A crew consisted of some of our top J16 members: Will White, Maisie Jeffries, Tom Self and new member, Isaac Wright coxed by Luke Taylor. The B crew, which came in a good third place consisted of a full boat of new members: brothers Tom and George Blunt, Jaden Short and Dan Botes coxed by veteran, John Cox. Even though the B crew caught a crab during their race, they still managed to keep up with the others making Herne Bay proud to have them on board.

Liz Taylor and Poppy Webb were up next in their favourite race, the senior pairs. With a bit of a rough start they managed to get a worthy second place after chasing Deal crew all of the way to the finish line.

The water was changing at this point of the day and started to turn interesting, which meant that the Masters 40+ race was going to be challenging. John Cox, Darren White, Kevin Hall and Mark Jeffries had a brilliant start, pushing away from the other crews nearly ten years younger than them, however they lost their lead and came fourth with Folkestone coming first.

One of the main events of coastal rowing regattas is the senior men’s race, which consists of boats full of pure power and determination. Herne Bay’s Junior/Senior crew (Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, Will White and Luke Taylor) took to the water to give this race a go, ending up coming second place. Out of the five crews entered, the bay boys looked comfortable and enjoyed the 2km course.

The club’s next race was the ladies junior fours. This crew featured another new member to the club, Leigh Okadiegbo who joined Maisie Jeffries, Georgia Shelton and Scarlett Bates. Coxed by John Cox, he charged the girls into a really strong first off the start, looking great together on the water. With two novices in the boat meant that they were racing up a level and coming second did the club proud once again.

Leigh said after her race that “The first 1000 metres were tough but then coming round the turn it just felt great!” 

All of the girls were beaming when they came back on terra firma.

The club gained another second place when Bradley and Lewis Perry-French took part in the men’s senior pairs race. 

The race of the day had to be the men’s junior/senior fours with Bradley and Lewis having to jump into a boat not long after their pairs race, Will White and Luke Taylor. What an incredibly strong crew, even from the start; they kept calm and collected throughout, to come first with about 200 metres between them and the second crew. The boys were also clocked as rowing the fastest that day.

The ladies double sculls were next. Herne Bay entered two boats with Georgia and Maisie and another with our faithful Poppy and Liz.

Georgia and Maisie seemed to have better water being closer to the coastline but the other two seemed to struggle being on the opposite end of the line-up of boats, but they came back, looking good in fourth and the other boat coming in a respectable eighth.

With only two entries in the men’s junior sculls, Bradley took the lead from the start and finished well before his opponent from Deal.

Luke Taylor, having qualified in his heat race at the beginning of the day, took his place for the final and came third in the men’s novice sculls.

The final race of the day was the ladies senior fours. They lined up and shot off from the start like a coiled spring, with Deal always keeping the lead, Herne Bay kept up a fight with Shoreham and Worthing but always staying ahead of them to come in second place. 

The day was enjoyable for the whole club and great for the new members to experience teamwork and comradery and competition throughout the day. Thanks to Folkestone Rowing Club for hosting.

Next Saturday Herne Bay is at Southsea to race against coastal clubs in between Cornwall and Kent.



If you have any questions please call the club’s captain, Darren White 07840738894 or email

Next regattas (subject to weather)

17 July: Southsea (no press release)

24 July: Herne Bay 

25 July: Bexhill (no press release)

31 July: Deal

1 August: new boat christening

7 August: Eastbourne

8 August: Shoreham

18 September: South Coast Championships (Southampton)