The 57th annual South Coast Championships took place in Deal on Saturday 14th September, with crews representing the 6 counties making up the entire south coast of the UK (Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall) racing each other for the prestigious title of South Coast Champions 2013.
Overcast skies, drizzle and decidedly chilly temperatures were not the most promising start, however it it was going to be a fantastic day for Shoreham Rowing Club. Up first was the junior regatta, and with only a few gently rolling waves the under-14 and under-16 quads made the most of the day’s best conditions. Chloe Buchanan, Imogen Mercer, Charlotte Rose and Amelia Balthazor qualified easily in their heat, and went on to finish a very respectable third in their final later in the day.
The start of the main regatta also heralded an increase in wind-speed and sea conditions commenced a slow descent into mayhem. Shoreham Ladies Junior Four, racing in the open event, started their championship campaign well by winning their heat and qualifying for their final easily.
For Shoreham the main event of the day was always going to be the Ladies Senior Fours Championship race. With expectations high (and the waves higher) the club spread out down the 2 kilometre course to cheer the girls battling the roughest sea they’ve raced on this season. Shoreham’s four – Sally Hills, Gemma Stoner, Sarah Povey and Sarah Bareham, coxed by Becky Povey, led from the start, and despite two huge troughs in the waves bringing the boat to a grinding halt 30 strokes from the finish, the girls gritted their teeth, dug deep and rowed to a convincing length and a half victory to become Shoreham’s first ever Senior Ladies champions. Winning the CARA Senior Ladies Fours and the CARA Senior Ladies Pairs Championship this year, their win at the South Coast Championships was the culmination of a year of hard training and determination, bolstered by fantastic support from all Shoreham club members.
As the sea conditions worsened Shoreham crews racing in the later events were facing a tough task. Shoreham’s Open Junior Men’s crew unfortunately didn’t even make the start line, as waves swamped their boat, disabled their rudder and forced an early exit…and a long, wet, two kilometre walk back to the finish. As all clubs struggled to get their boats in and out of the crashing waves, Shoreham’s Junior Ladies were lining up at the start. After much debate on the beach as to the future of the regatta, the chaotic sea conditions meant the girls had the dubious pleasure of being the last race of the day, before the Championships came to an early end. For a crew in their first racing season and inexperienced on rough water Chartlotte Utting, Charlotte Pigg, Rocky Addison and Harriet Chavasse, coxed by Debbie Hills kept their cool to come a very respectable third place. With a little less water in their boat off the start (bailing with their shoes being only slightly effective) we’re sure the girls would have been a force to reckon with. All very encouraging for next season’s racing.
An eventful, historic and successful day for Shoreham but throughout great sporting spirit from all the clubs competing, as rowers threw themselves into helping crews into and out of the water, no matter what club.
|South Coast Championship||2013|
|MENS SENIOR FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP||Itchen||Deal||Bexhill|
|MENS J/SENIOR FOURS CAMPIONSHIP||NOT ROWED|
|MENS JUNIOR FOURS CHAMPIONSHIP||Ryde||Herne Bay||Lymington|
|VETERAN FOURS CHAMPIONSHIP||Coalporters||Folkestone||Poole|
|LADIES SENIOR FOURS CHAMPIONSHIP||Shoreham||Christchurch||Itchen|
|LADIES JUNIOR FOURS CHAMPIONSHIP||NOT ROWED|
|MENS SENIOR FOURS OPEN||NOT ROWED|
|LADIES SENIOR FOURS OPEN||NOT ROWED|
|MENS JUNIOR FOURS OPEN||Newport||BTC||Southampton B|
|LADIES JUNIOR FOURS OPEN||Poole||Shoreham||Itchen|
|MENS NOVICE FOURS OPEN||Shanklin||Ryde||Herne Bay|
|LADIES NOVICE FOURS OPEN||Itchen B||Itchen A||Deal|
|VETERAN 40+ FOURS OPEN||Herne Bay||Bexhill|
|VETERAN 50+ FOURS OPEN|
|MENS U/16 QUAD SCULLS||Herne Bay||Shanklin||Bexhill|
|LADIES U/16 QUAD SCULLS||Herne Bay||Deal||Bexhill|
|LADIES U/14 QUAD SCULLS||Herne Bay||Deal||Bexhill|
|MEN U/14 QUAD SCULLS||Ryde A||Deal||Folkestone|