Johnston takes win for Dover at Bexhill

Jo Johnston winner of the Ladies Sculls Ladies Junior Fours - Lizzy Foley, Amy Lewington, Maria West-Burrows, Petra Matthews-Crow cox Jo Johnston Novice Men's Four - Andrew Botteli, Austin Mills, Tom Stothart, Cameron Mackintosh, cox Christopher Hall Paul Scrivener in the Novice Sculls

Scullers led the way for Dover Rowing Club at the 3rd CARA regatta at Bexhill with top three finishes in the Ladies Sculls and Men’s Novice sculls events. The opening event for Dover was the Vet 50 race which saw the crew of Paul Scrivener, Keith Thomasson, Nick Bailey, Jo Johnston with Lizzy Foley as cox perform well in their first outing of the season. Having kept contact with the lead crews to the buoy turn the team then dropped to 5th, a position they maintained through to the finish. The Men’s Junior Sculls had Chris Price and Chris Hall battling each other from the start. Hall moved into the top 4 positions early into the race whilst Price gradually moved through the field after the turn. Hall was unable to break into the top three places and settled for 4th, rowing guardedly to keep Price behind him in 5th. The Men’s Novice sculls race was action packed from Dover’s perspective with Scrivener, Tony Burrows and Tom Stothart competing. From the start Scrivener was 2nd, a position he held for the first third of the race, before dropping into 3rd near the turn. Stothart and Burrows were battling for the minor places with the younger rower Stothart leading until disaster struck as his inside blade snapped on a groyne end marker leaving him stranded. Club Captain Burrows stopped to give assistance until a rescue boat arrived. Scrivener secured 3rd place with Burrows trailing in 8th. The Ladies Senior Pairs saw Maria West-Burrows and Johnston hoping for better water on the outside as they moved across the back of the field in the opening couple of hundred metres. By the turn it was clear the gamble hadn’t worked out leaving the Ladies in 5th overall. Illness left Dover entering a non status crew in the Ladies Novice 4’s race with Foley rowing down a category to give the Novice boat a race. The crew of Foley, Amy Lewington, Antonia Reed, Mary Newcombe coxed by Hall started fast leaving them neck and neck with the eventual winning boat. The Novice crew led at the turn but faded in the later stages as Reed suffered a muscle spasm leaving them in 4th place. The Ladies Junior Four of Foley, Lewington, West-Burrows, Petra Matthews-Crow coxed by Johnston started brightly and were amongst the leading boats off the line. At the turn Dover’s crew were locked in a battle with Bexhill for 3rd place but were unable to push through, finishing in 4th place. The Men’s Junior Pairs saw debutante pairing of Cameron Mackintosh and Stothart pitted against their DGSB schoolmates Hall and Austin Mills. Hall / Mills secured 5th place in another solid performance whilst Mackintosh / Stothart successfully overhauled a Shoreham crew in the last quarter to secure a point for 6th place. The pairs race appeared to have taken a lot out of the crews who competed two races later in the Men’s Novice Four where Andrew Bottali joined Mills, Stothart, Mackintosh coxed by Hall. The Novice crew battled hard but were only able to secure 4th in a race in which they had hoped to be more competitive. The men’s Junior Senior race saw two crews for Dover, novice Bottali joined JS rowers Price, Scrivener and Burrows coxed by Johnston competing against the DGSB crew of Mackintosh, Mills, Hall, Stothart, coxed by Foley. A race for club pride developed as heading to the turn the under 18’s led the more experienced crew but an excellent turn saw the older crew pull ahead. A three way race for the last point for 6th place developed with Shoreham, leading to a blanket finish for the 3 boats with the older Dover Crew securing the point. The Senior Sculls final found Hall racing with veteran Bailey in the top sculls race. A tired looking Hall finished in 8th with Bailey one place behind. In the Vet 40 sculls Scrivener raced hard and secured 4th place. In the ladies sculls Johnston and Foley battled with both seeking 1st place. Johnston established the initial lead and Foley was unable to catch her teammate finishing 2nd, with Johnston securing Dover’s first win of the season.