The sixth CARA regatta held at Eastbourne saw Dover RC’s strongest performance for some time. A victorious return for Robin McCorkell from Gonville and Caius College Cambridge saw him secure two victories. McCorkell’s 1st race was the Novice Sculls which also saw Dover’s contingent of Tony Burrows, Cameron Mackintosh and Tom Stothart compete in difficult conditions; two competitors capsized before the start and two others then withdrew. From the outset Burrows took 2nd place which he held through the first 500m with rest of the Dover rowers in the middle of field. Near the buoy turn Stothart capsized leaving the remaining Dover rowers chasing the leader. In the last 500m McCorkell laid on the power and closed rapidly on a Herne Bay rower rapidly catching him at the 150m mark where McCorkell on the outside pressurized his opponent into an error. The blades of both rowers touched, leading to the Herne Bay sculler losing control and capsizing, leaving McCorkell to finish a clear 1st. Burrows battled hard to finish 4th with Mackintosh picking up 5th and his first sculling points.
McCorkell’s 2nd win came from the renewal of his partnership with Chris Hall in the Junior Pairs. The young rowers got off to a good start in the outside lane seeing them among the early leaders. By the turns Dover’s crew had a slight lead which they extended over the next 500m. Pressure grew from the chasing pack to the last 200m where McCorkell and Hall pushed hard and caught a runner helping to carry them 5 lengths clear for the win.
Dover’s other win came in Ladies Double Sculls which saw Dover enter two crews; Jo Johnston / Mary Newcombe and Maria West-Burrows / Megan Barter. Johnston and Newcombe dominated off the line and established a good lead to the turns which they maintained with the chasing crews fighting for 2nd. West-Burrows and Barter came home in 7th.
In the other races Johnston dealt well with the conditions in the Ladies Sculls to secure 2nd place in the opening race. Hall’s Senior Sculls saw conditions force some competitors to abandon mid race leaving Hall to finish comfortably in 4th. The Men’s Novice Four saw Andrew Bottali, Austin Mills, Stothart, Mackintosh with Newcombe at cox. From the start Worthing jumped out to an early lead with the Dover crew in the pack. The crew fought hard in rough conditions to gain, 2nd place by the turn, a position they held on to for the remainder of the race. Barter subbed into the Worthing Ladies Novice Four Crew who made hard work of the rough conditions in the outside lane at the start gradually moving up the field to finish in 5th place.
The Ladies Senior Pairs race saw Johnston and West-Burrows run dangerously close to the breakwater on the outbound leg before improving their line and bringing themselves into the leading crews. The return leg found the crew battling for 4th place requiring a heavy push to secure the higher finishing position. The Men’s Junior Sculls had two competitors for Dover, Hall and Chris Price. Hall and Price were in close order at the turns with Hall in third place and Price in fifth. Hall came under pressure from a late charge and was unable to hold off his opponent falling to 4th place with Price maintaining 5th overall.
The next Regatta is Dover’s own on the 02/07/2016 at 10:30 in Dover Harbour weather permitting.