South Coast Championships

Sunday 19th September 1999

Results as follows (report follows):-

(Note: H&D - Hants & Dorset ARA representative Crew; WEARA - West of England ARA representative Crew; CARA - Coast ARA representative crew)

Ladies Junior Fours.
1st Vosper R. C. (H&D) 4 lengths
2nd Southampton (H&D) 2 lengths
3rd Dart Totnes (WEARA)
Winning Crew: Ridd, Carter, Fairweather, Bennett (Str), Spencer-Fleet (Cox).

Mens Junior Fours.
1st Dart-Totnes (WEARA) 11/2 L
2nd Lymington (H&D) 2L
3rd Southampton (H&D)
Winning Crew: Langmald, Morris, Irelan, Burt (Str), Frater (Cox).

Mens Junior Senior Fours.
1st Ryde (H&D) less than a canvas.
2nd Shoreham (CARA) less than a canvas
3rd Bideford (WEARA)
Winning Crew: Pivonka, Morey, Van Wyk, Young (Str), Hanson (Cox)

Ladies Senior Fours.
1st Poole (H&D) Canvas
2nd BTC (H&D) 2 lengths
3rd Folkestone (CARA)
Winning Crew: Pethan, Pethan, Houlton, Newbury (Str), Smith (Cox)

Mens Senior Fours.
1 BTC (H&D) 1 Length
2 Southsea (H&D) 1/2 Lengths
3 Herne Bay (CARA)
Winning Crew: Neal, Weaver, Bailey, Weaver (Str), Harrison (Cox).

Most successful Association:- Hants & Dorset ARA; 2nd West of England ARA; 3rd - Coast ARA.

Report on the 1999 Southcoast Championship Regatta at Swanage, Dorset, Saturday, 18th September, 1999.

The Dorset coastal Town of Swanage, probably the most sheltered 2000m course within Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight was selected as the venue for the 43rd Southcoast Championship Rowing Regatta which was, hosted by the Hants & Dorset Amateur Rowing Association, A committee drawn from the three Dorset Clubs - Christchurch, Poole and Westover, under the chairmanship of Peter Trist, Secretary of Swanage Regatta for twelve years, agreed to organize the event on the Associations behalf. After three years of careful planning everything was in place - a fair course, good facilities, reasonable levels of sponsorship and a high level of organization and administration. These high expectations were confirmed by a very well organized and enjoyable reception on the Friday evening before the Regatta - but at which there was growing concern regarding the weather forecast for the next day.

By the time of the first Council & Regatta Organizers meeting at 8.00am on the morning of the Regatta the one factor outside of the control of the organizers was the area of most concern. Force 6 to 7 southeasterly winds - gusting to 8 on occasions had made launching impossible and sea conditions very rough. This was also the one wind direction that made the alternative course at Studland Bay equally unrowable. Consideration was given to trying to stage the Championship races only - but it was soon realized that even this would be impossible and put lives at risk and so racing was abandoned for the day. Of even greater concern was that the forecast for the alternative day - the Sunday was little better and the organizers faced the prospect of hosting the first Southcoast Regatta to be completely abandoned with no Championship or Open races staged. The organizing committee’s response to the situation deserves the highest praise. Faced with the possibility of losing the whole Regatta for the first time the Organizers spent the Saturday afternoon locating, setting-up and gaining the necessary approvals for a second alternative course in the shelter of Poole Harbor where the Championship events could be raced if necessary. A full 2000m course was established with admittedly limited but adequate facilities - the biggest problems being the spectator view and crowded parking. But the course was full length, fair and very sheltered and the organizers are to be commended for establishing a viable alternative at such short notice.

As expected, although the wind had dropped slightly, the conditions at Swanage on the Sunday had hardly improved and the Southcoast Council and Organizing Committee meeting quickly agreed that the only way forward was to switch the Championship events only to the course in Poole Harbor - which, while the correct decision was obviously a major disappointment to the many oarsman and women who had been hoping to race in the open and invitation events. The switch to Sunday caused some problems for the Championship crews as well -- with the West of England representatives - Exeter in the Junior Ladies and Plymouth in the Junior Senior Men having to withdraw - and the Vosper Junior Ladies Crew and their Men's Junior Senior Crew having to make substitutions.

However this appeared to make little difference to the Vosper crew who were competing in the first Championship race - the Ladies Junior Fours - as they came in comfortable winners - with a four length lead over second placed Southampton - a 1st and second for the Hants & Dorset representatives. Dart-Totnes from the West of England finished 3rd about two lengths behind Southampton with the Coast ARA representative crews - Folkestone and Worthing in 4th and 5th place.

A Crew from Dart-Totnes, representing the West of England, did even better in the Men’s Junior Fours winning by one and a half lengths over Hants & Dorset Champions - Lymington, with the second Hants & Dorset representative crew, from Southampton in third place about a length behind. The Coast representatives - Herne Bay were 4th with the second West of England crew from Exeter 5th and the second Coast ARA representative Deal in 6th.

The Men’s Junior Senior Fours race was the closest of the day with four crews finishing within half a length of each other - the first three within less than a Canvas. The race was so close it was impossible to call from the shore or the commentary position and their was an agonizing wait until the surprise winners - Ryde, the Hants & Dorset second crew - was announced. The Coast representatives Shoreham were second with Bideford from the West of England third and Vosper, Hants & Dorset Champions 4th. The second Coast representative crew - Bexhill - was 5th.

The Ladies Senior Fours was another close race with the Hants & Dorset Crews taking first and second - Poole beating the Hants & Dorset Champions BTC by just half a length. The two West of England Crews - from Torquay and Exeter finished 4th & 5th - splitting the Crews from the Coast ARA - Folkestone finishing in 3rd and Deal in 6th.

The Final race for the Men’s Senior Fours, for the magnificent Bideford Bowl, capped a great day for the Hants & Dorset ARA with another 1st and second place. BTC, Hants & Dorset Champions, who have probably represented the Association at Senior Fours more than any other Club, rowed the perfect race to take their first bowl since 1958 - and the Associations first Senior Men’s Championship since Christchurch won in 1988. The Hants & Dorset ARA's second representative crew - from Southsea - snatched second place from Coast ARA representatives Herne Bay - who faltered on the line. The two West of England Crews - Bideford and Dartmouth - finished 4th and 5th respectively - with the second Coast Representatives - Deal - in 6th place.

The Hants & Dorset ARA's four firsts, four seconds, a third and a fourth gave them the Bass Charrington Aggregate Shield for the Association whose Clubs score the most points in Championship races, by a wide margin - with the West of England ARA in second place and the Coast ARA third.

Entries in the Championship, Open and Invitation races were 131 - with 74 of these coming from Hants & Dorset Clubs - 36 from the Coast ARA Clubs and 21 from the West of England. Hants & Dorset Crews represented 54% of the entries - more than both the other two Associations put together!

Page created 25 Sep 99, updated 28 Sep 99 [information supplied by Steve Bull, Hon Sec H&D ARA]

UK Regattas and Heads in 1999
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