The 2015 CARA season got off to a bumpy start this weekend. High winds and higher waves cancelled Hastings regatta on Saturday, and forced an early finish for Bexhill Regatta on Sunday.

Despite the conditions Shoreham crews performed well. Taking advantage of the calmer water at the start of the day the Girls’ J16 quad of Delphi Coombs, Ezra Hulme, Phoebe Mercer and Beth Buchanan, coxed by Becky Povey took an emphatic victory in their first race of the season over nearest rivals Deal.

It was also business as usual for Shoreham’s Ladies’ Senior Pair of Sally Hills and Sarah Bareham, continuing their unbeaten streak by winning their first race of 2015.  A great row from the newly formed pair of Charlotte Pigg & Gemma Stoner to take third also showed their potential this season.

In the worsening conditions, the men’s junior pair of James Tilley & James Mouland had an eventful race but rowed well together to take the second place behind a tidy-looking Deal crew. And despite the breaking waves and having to bail water out with a shoe at the start, the Ladies Senior Four of Sally Hills, Charlotte Pigg, Gemma Stoner & Sarah Bareham, coxed by Becky Povey started their 2015 CARA campaign with a win, rowing through Bexhill at the turns.

It was great to see a return of the legendary Shoreham spirit – with plenty of helpers getting boats in and out of the waves, and some VERY loud cheering at prizegiving.  It was also especially good to see rival clubs helping each other out as the conditions got worse.

A special mention goes to Shoreham’s novice ladies of Louize Kinsella, Ellie Catherall, Emma Bortnik and Ellie Hipkiss, who were not only racing for the first time, but also rowing at sea for the first time in possibly the worst water of the day. Despite some equipment failure round the turns the girls rowed well to cope with the conditions – and to arrive back at the finish with their sense of humour still intact! Well done!

After half the Vet 50+ crews weren’t able to make it back afloat, the regatta was called to an end with four races left to go.

A big congratulations to all Shoreham crews who took part – and for the novices who didn’t get to race – don’t worry, your time to shine will come! Bring on Shoreham & Brighton regattas this weekend!