Johnston leads Dover Rowers at the opening regattas of the CARA season

J16 Warren, Reed, Doick, Barter, coxed by Johnston Jo Johnston Senior Ladies Pair West-Burrows and JohnstonTom Stothart

Last weekend saw Dover Rowing Club competing in CARA’s first Regattas of the season at Worthing and Worthing Town. First crew on the water were J16 Girls featuring Taylor Warren, Antonia Reed, Megan Barter and Worthing’s Bryony Doick coxed by Lizzy Foley on day one and Jo Johnston on day two. Both days saw solid performances from the young group finishing 3rd and 4th, in what was Warren’s racing debut. The Senior Men’s sculls race saw Chris Hall rowing above his status to gain experience in the top category finishing 4th and 5th gaining points both days. Senior Ladies Pairs race had a new pairing of Maria West-Burrows and Johnston in their first race giving a strong competitive performance securing a 4th place finish. Day 2 saw a change of fortunes as West-Burrows and Johnston were leading off the line before the rougher conditions led to a large wave lifting and stopping the boat leaving them trailing home in 9th. Dover had two competitors in the Junior Sculls races with Hall and Chris Price. The first race saw Price misjudge the turn leading to his disqualification for impeding Hall and leaving him to finish 7th. With the two rowers side by side on Day 2, and the previous days race forgotten, Hall finished 4th, one place above Price. The Ladies Junior Four saw two novice rowers making up the crew on Day 2. Stephanie Darrall, West-Burrows, Foley, Amy Lewington coxed by Tony Burrows got a fair start and were in the pack to the buoy turn where the field separated out with the Dover crew securing a good 5th place. Tom Stothart made his debut in the Men’s Novice Sculls where he completed against Club Captain Burrows. Young Stothart coped well outward before a near capsize took his confidence leaving him 11th with Burrows coming home in 8th. The rougher conditions of Day 2 saw a more confident Stothart battle Burrows throughout the race with only a better buoy turn by Burrows easing him a head. Burrows secured 5th place with Stothart taking a point for 6th. The Ladies Novice 4’s race saw Barter, Darrall, Reed, Lewington coxed by Foley struggling in strong field on Day 1 finishing 8th overall. A new pairing of Hall and Austin Mills had a difficult first race when an issue with Mills’ seat undermined a promising start leaving them labouring home in 11th. Day 2 gave grounds for optimism when the DGSB boys jumped from 7th to 5th with a fantastic buoy turn gaining them 4 lengths which they held to the finish. The Ladies Double Sculls saw two Dover crews competing Barter and West-Burrows leading off the line over Johnston and Reed on Day 1’s race.The Johnston Reed combo were in the stronger position at the turn and were hunting down the 2nd place crew before Johnston caught a crab leaving them finishing 6th. Barter and West-Burrows came in 7th after Shoreham crashed into them with Barter taking a blow on her back. A less eventful 2nd day race saw the same finishing positions for both crews. The final race on both days was the Ladies Sculls which has been returned to the CARA schedule this season. Day 1’s race had both Johnston and Foley competing with Johnston leading the way for Dover chasing the Worthing and BTC scullers down the course to secure 3rd and Foley taking a respectable 6th place. Johnston secured Dover’s highest place finish taking 2nd place on Day 2.