Dover Rowing Club places well at the British Rowing Offshore Championships

Dover Rowing Club were in action at the inaugural British Rowing Offshore Championships held over the weekend at Sandbanks, Poole. The Championships serve as a qualifier for the FISA World Coastal Rowing Championships at Thoron, France. Dover RC were flying the flag for Coast Amateur Rowing Association in competing in this longer rowing format. Unlike the normal CARA races the start sees crews standing with their boats in the water, the course being a 4km triangle for qualifying and 6km for the finals and the finish seeing a crew member sprinting up the beach to cross the finishing line.

Chris Price, Maria West-Burrows, Jo Johnston, Robin McCorkellStart of the Woman's Double Sculls
Dover RC entered 3 crews into the competition, Chris Price and Robin McCorkell in the Men’s single sculls (C1), and Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows in the Woman’s Doubles (CW2); all competing in hired FISA boats. The first sculler on the water was Price who has previous experience at the FISA Worlds having coxed Dover’s Quad to win the qualifying round before finishing second in the World Championships in the Channel Islands in 2006. Price pushed hard off the start but found the competition too strong as the field quickly settled into two groups with Price leading the second group of scullers fighting for 5th place. With the qualifying out of his reach by the second turn Price pushed hard to break free from his group to secure 5th place in a time of 23 m 24.3 s.

Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows courtesy of British Rowing Naomi Barker 2

Picture courtesy of British Rowing / Naomi Barker
Johnston and West-Burrows found themselves left at the line as the more experienced FISA style starters gained an advantage in their straight final in the Double Sculls. Once in stroke the ladies closed the gap immediately only to be blocked by the Welsh Sea crew. As the race progressed the experienced FISA crew from Jersey pulled out a substantial lead with Dover in a fight for the minor placings. By the second buoy Dover had been dropped from the medal placings and were fighting for 4th. In an exciting finish Dover’s boat came hammering into the beach with two Welsh crews on their stern. Johnston, belying her 60 years, sprinted up the beach to beat her young Welsh opponent by less than a second. Dover’s fourth place was secured in a time of 34 m 14.9 s; second of the English crews.
McCorkell found himself competing against 2014 World Champion Single Sculls Champion Peter Berg from Sweden. McCorkell got off to a fine start and was in the leading group through the first turn. By the second he was in a comfortable third place and rowed a controlled race to the finish in a time of 20 m 50.9 s thereby qualifying for Sunday’s final.

Robin McCorkell on the sprint finish (1) Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows (2)
Finals day saw McCorkell on the start line at 07:35. Berg and the Czech Huja rapidly pulled away from the rest of the field leaving McCorkell battling for third. Fighting hard round the first turn to keep in contact his challenge started to fall away at the second buoy with the young rower coming home 5th in a time of 36 m 29.4 s; second among the British competitors.

Weather cuts short Southsea Regatta leaving Dover rowers frustrated.

Southsea Regatta, the traditional competition between the Coast Amateur Rowing Association clubs and those from the Hants and Dorset division, ended prior to the completion of most finals due to deteriorating sea conditions.

For Dover Rowing Club there was frustration as none of their finals were completed. With recent seasons being blessed with generally good conditions this has been a challenging year.  Disruption caused by strong winds has led to three regattas being curtailed with a further five cancelled on their original scheduled dates. This weekend will see Dover RC competing at the rearranged Worthing regattas, as ever weather permitting!

Stothart takes first sculling prize as Dover toil in the sun

The weekend saw Dover Rowing Club in action in Herne Bay and Folkestone Regattas. In generally good but hot conditions Dover struggled to make the impact they had hoped for. The Men’s Junior Pairs crew of Tom Stothart and Chris Hall were unable to repeat their win from Deal after having technical issues with their boat on both days leaving them disappointed in 7th and 10th place.

1 Junior Pairs Start2 Hall Stothart3 Hall StothartTom Stothart
There was frustration at Herne Bay for the Novice Scullers after T Stothart and Tony Burrows qualified for the final only for the race to be cancelled as water depth prevented the safety boats from operating. The next day saw Burrows and Paul Scrivener fail to qualify with only Stothart coming through. Young Stothart, nicknamed ‘Topsy Turvy Tom’ at the Club for his habit of capsizing last season, got off to a great start and was in a battle for 1st on the outward leg. After the turn he fell a few lengths behind and finished in 2nd with a similar leading margin over the 3rd placed sculler and securing his first sculling prize.
The Ladies Double Sculls suffered the same fate as the Men’s Novice Sculls on the Saturday. Sunday saw the normal crews flipped with Jo Johnston and Rebecca Stothart competing against Maria West-Burrows and Mary Newcombe. The experiment didn’t end well with the West-Burrows/Newcombe pairing unable to finish due to illness and Johnston/Stothart coming home 7th.

19983667_10155592903483413_8454214228566262418_o J14 Quad Young, Stothart, Crickson, Johnston (cox), Burrows
The J14 Quad Sculls race saw the same crew compete both days, Will Crickson, R. Stothart, Ty Young, George Burrows coxed by Johnston took on older crews both days. At Herne Bay the youngsters showed improvement as they remained competitive further into the 1000m race dropping away around the 600m mark. Working hard they maintained a good rate to finish 5th, 3 lengths ahead of the 6th placed crew. Day 2 the young scullers fought hard to improve to 4th overall at the finish.
Ladies Open Sculls saw Johnston chase down the faster starting Shoreham sculler on the outbound leg at Herne Bay as both competitors found the Folkestone sculler too strong. Johnston was neck and neck on the return leg fighting to the line finishing 3rd; a result she repeated at Folkestone. The Men’s Junior Sculls saw Hall and Chris Price in action, Hall racing from lane 5 with Price pushed out to the unfavoured 10th lane. At the turn Hall came out in 4th with Price two places back. Neither sculler was able to improve their position on the return leg. At Folkestone only Hall competed. With a good outward leg Hall had hopes of a top two placing but was forced to defend his line at the buoy as a rival tried to force him wide. The turn cost Hall as he found himself dropping behind the two leading boats whilst working to hold off a pursuing sculler, leaving him to come in 3rd.

Chris Hall Jo Johnston
Veteran rower Nick Bailey was without a crew at Herne Bay so entered the Senior Sculls race. Giving at least 20 years to his opponents Nick battled bravely coming home 9th. In Folkestone Nick was joined by Scrivener, Chrissy Purvis and Andrew ‘Oily’ Bryant who were coxed by Newcombe in the Veteran 40+. The crew found the competition tough going, finding themselves dropping back in the pack turning in 6th place. The return leg saw the Dover crew unable improve on their position. In the Veteran 50+ Scrivener, Bailey and Bryant were joined by Shoreham’s Jim Dixon coxed by Purvis. With two crews breaking clear early on Dover’s Vet crew found themselves in a 3 way battle culminating in a tight finish, coming 4th.
Dover’s Ladies Junior Fours at Folkestone featured Jen Jordan, Purvis, West-Burrows, Newcombe coxed by Johnston. They pushed into 4th place at 500m and maintained their poise under pressure at the turn but came under increasing pressure in the last 200m only to drop to 5th on the last stroke.

Following two 2nd places the Senior Ladies Pair of Johnston and West-Burrows were hopeful of repeating those performances. Herne Bay saw a stronger field leaving the Dover crew pushed down by the turns. There was disappointment for the pairing as they finished 6th. At Folkestone they had regrouped and pushed hard from the start. Turning in 4th they entered a tight battle in the return but were just pipped at the finish line.

Bailey, Newcombe, T Stothart, Burrows, Hall, Price, R Stothart, Johnston, West-Burrows Tom Stothart (2)

Tom Stothart takes maiden CARA win

Last weekend saw Dover Rowing Club competing at the Deal regatta in typically challenging coastal conditions. Jo Johnston and Maria West-Burrows, first on the water in the Ladies Senior Pairs, got off the line in fine style, taking the initial lead. As the race progressed Worthing took control and Dover dropped to 3rd coming to the 2nd turn. A heavy collision between the Shoreham and Folkestone crews meant Dover were able to secure 2nd place at the finish.


The young J14 quad sculls crew of Will Crickson, Rebecca Stothart, Ty Young, George Burrows with Tom Stothart as cox found conditions difficult against the older crews in the straight race. Working hard they remained competitive in the early stages before dropping to 6th on the run into the line.
Men’s Junior Sculls had Chris Hall and Chris Price battle heavily . Hall got off to a good start moving with the lead scullers whilst Price struggled to make early headway. After the first turn Hall was in a 3 way battle for 3rd with Price fighting for the minor places. Hall was third at the 2nd turn and was able to hold position despite the strong challenge from the 4th place sculler. Price coming home 8th.
The Ladies Junior Four of Jen Jordan, Chrissy Purvis, West-Burrows, Mary Newcombe coxed by Tony Burrows were mid field over the start line and had to work hard on the outward leg. Approaching the second buoy the Dover crew were 4th and over a length behind the Deal but a determined challenge saw them close down Deal to level pegging; only missing out by less than a canvas at the line.

The Vet 40’s saw returning Jo Woods at bow, Johnston, West-Burrows, T. Burrows with Newcombe coxing get a slow start leaving them in a hole as they chased the field. Working well together the crew pushed hard throughout the race turning 4th out of the second turn to hold their position to the finish.
With conditions worsening T. Stothart and Hall took to the water for the Men’s Junior Pairs. Dover were 2nd off the start and avoided some of the chaos of clashing blades behind them. The Dover boys pushed through the Bexhill boat to lead at the 1st turn where they kicked on through the middle of the race taking several lengths lead to the 2nd turn. Picking their way through crews heading the opposite direction the youngsters came safely home for their first league win together. This was Stothart’s first win after being runner up in a number of races. The win also help secure Dover’s second place in the Men’s Junior Aggregate competition.
The Men’s Novice 4 launched through huge breaking waves as Ollie Hurrel, Toby Scrivener, Guy Hadfield, T. Stothart coxed by Ollie Scrivener sought a novice win on Stothart’s last opportunity as his earlier win promotes him to Junior status. Despite a strong first few strokes the crew slipped to 3rd in the first quarter of the race behind a composite crew and Worthing. Between the turns they progressed to 2nd and, although Hadfield’s seat derailed at the 2nd turn, they chased down Worthing, piling on the pressure, but narrowly missing out by a canvas in the end.
Johnston found herself facing her Worthing nemesis for the first time this season in the Ladies Open Sculls. Johnson found herself in 3rd after the first 100m but rowed through the Deal sculler to move into pursuit of Worthing’s former international. Keeping in contention through the first turn before steadily losing ground and securing runner up at the finish.

Vet fours 50+ race saw Paul Scrivener, Burrows, Nick Bailey, Andrew ‘Oily’ Bryant coxed by Purvis . With the swell deepening the veteran rowers battled for the lead off the line. The rowers struggled to match the leading two boats after the first turn and came under heavy challenge as they battled to hold on to 3rd place against the Deal crew. The fighting spirit in the crew saw them hold on to their place by half a length.
Burrows and T. Stothart both qualified for the Novice Sculls final by finishing 4th in their respective heats. The final was in worse conditions and simple launching was dangerous. A tired looking Stothart struggled from the start whilst T. Burrows pushed to be in the mix. By the second turn Burrows was 6th and Stothart 7th. Burrows put in a late push in pursuit of the Southsea sculler, closing him down and taking him on the line by the smallest margin to take 5th.
The Scrivener family entered the Men’s Junior Fours with three rowing above their status. Paul, Neil, Toby, Tim, with Ollie coxing found the going tough against the more experienced crews. They were unable to break into the points places coming home 9th.

Dover’s final race saw Johnston / Newcombe and West-Burrows / R Stothart competing in the Ladies Double Sculls. West-Burrows / Stothart had the best start taking the early lead before Shoreham and then Johnston / Newcombe rowed through them. Johnston / Newcombe pushed Shoreham hard down the return leg but were unable to repeat their victory from the Dover Regatta as they came home 2nd whilst West-Burrows / Stothart came home 6th.