With Eastbourne’s regatta on Saturday being called off halfway through due to the strong southerly gusts, the club had high hopes for Folkestone regatta on the Sunday with a larger contingency of rowers attending and better weather to look forward to.
The weather was cold, but at least it was dry. The sea looked deceivingly calm but really was a bit lumpy with the wind picking up from about midday onwards. But we carried on making for good old coastal rowing and a fun day out.
Our junior 14 quad crew was up first competing against three other crews from the south coast coming fourth, but a good try in the rough. Well done to Amelia Ward, Teddy Wright, Chris Short and Sophia Pattinson for doing so well.
Bradley and Lewis Perry-French, our club sporting heroes, were up next in the men’s senior pair. Their start was very strong, beating the other crews off the starting line. Managing to keep their strength up to the end beating four other boats to first place.
The junior 16 crew consisted of brothers George and Tom Blunt, Jaden Short and Isaac Wright, coxed by John Cox. They zoomed off the start, finishing about three lengths in front of the second place crew, showing that the boys are a good match and row very well together.
Next up was the Masters 50+ race. Only two boats competed in this race. Liz Taylor, Tony Burrows, John Cox and Darren White coxed by George Blunt raced against a composite crew made of rowers from Dover and Folkestone. Both crews didn’t make it easy for eachother, battling it to the end in the now very rough water, they were neck and neck even around the turn. Herne Bay gave an extra push at the end to beat the composite crew only by a canvas length (a metre).
George, Isaac, Jaden and Dan Botes came first in the men’s novice four race, again coxed by Cox and the men’s senior four with Will Campbell, Luke Towner and the Perry-French brothers took to the water getting third place.
Our senior four ladies consisted of Emily Noyes, Liz Taylor, Natasha Tricks and Georgia Shelton. Going long and strong up the course, the coxswain, John Cox, took the turn very well beating Bexhill to achieve an enjoyable third place out of five entries. The ladies were pleased with that result.
An excellent first place was achieved by Lewis in the men’s junior sculls who took a slow pace back to the finish when he knew he was in a good position.
Next up were our senior scullers. Bradley and Luke Towner, after a re-row took home points with a second place and fifth place.
Last race of the day consisted of combining the men’s junior/senior four with the women’s 40+ four, so five boats were in the race in total. The J/S men’s crew had Mark Jeffries, John Cox, 16-year-old Jaden Short and Tony Burrows coxed by George Blunt and the women’s crew had Noyes, Taylor, Tricks and a lovely addition from Deal Rowing Club, Sharron Mullaney, coxed by the brilliant Mark Mitchell from Bexhill. The J/S crew came a very strong second place but were a canvass length behind first place, which made for an exciting competition and Herne Bay came first out of the ladies crews, well ahead of the second boat.
All of the great races the club competed at Folkestone meant that Herne Bay achieved the Grand Aggregate cup too! This certainly was a great surprise but was definitely well earned.
Coxswain of the day should definitely go to John Cox, who was in and out of the cold choppy sea and steering crews to gain their first place positions.
The day really brought together the whole club and their families. The members showed teamwork and good spirit and was great to see everyone getting along and making friendships. If you want to be a part of a spirited and enthusiastic team then find out more at hbarc.org.uk