Dover Crew’s qualify for World Championships but just miss out on medals at the British Offshore Championships

Dover Rowing Club were in competition in the British Offshore Championships held over two days at Sandbanks, Poole. Differing from the normal CARA competitions the scullers start standing by their boats in the shallow water. At the ‘go’ competitors jump into their boats and, when ready, are pushed off by two boat handlers.

Day 1: Chris Price was on the water in Eliminator 1 Open Coastal Solo. Price got a good start and was off in pursuit of a Swedish former world champion in the straight 1km to the first buoy before turning parallel to the shore. Price was losing contact with the lead boats as he headed to the 3rd turn and was unable to close the gap further on the remaining turns of the 4 km course before sprinting up the beach to finish 7th in a time of 26:57.5.

Robin McCorkell was racing in Eliminator 2. A slow start left McCorkell blocked by the main field who were densely packed on the racing line, forcing him to row wide to get clear water. Between buoy 1 and 3 McCorkell worked his way patiently through the field to move into 5th place. After turn 3 he rapidly closed on the fourth place rower but was unable to take the last qualifying spot, running home in a time of 24:38.4.

Making their debut in the Open Coastal 2x Eliminator were Dover crew, Tom Stothart and Chris Hall. Starting in the middle of the field the 19 year olds rapidly caught up with the leading Jersey boat, clashing blades as the two crews turned at the first buoy. As the race progressed the Dover crew battled their way past the reigning champions to move clear. They extended their lead through to the shore before Hall ran home to win their heat in a time of 21.08.9.

Day 2: Saw the final of the Open Coastal 2x. Whilst adjusting his feet after the push-off Hall’s blade handle caught in his clothes preventing him from rowing. Once freed Hall and Stothart were left to pursue the field. Pushing hard at the first turn their blades caught on the buoy as a wave drove them sideways. With the finals being completed over 6km Dover’s crew worked hard to regain ground. After the 3rd turn they began the press the 3rd place Jersey crew and were able to close to the stern of their opponents boat, but were unable to overtake. The effort proved too much as Jersey’s crew managed to open a gap up as they ran to the beach leaving Hall to cross the line in 32:52.24 in fourth.

Dover left the best till last as the veteran ladies double were in a straight final for the Woman’s Coastal 2x. A good start for Maria West-Burrows and Jo Johnston, the event Safety Officer, saw them in the mix at the first turn. The Dover crew moved past Warwick’s crew to take 4th and were hunting down the Welsh crew in 3rd. Pushing hard from the 3rd buoy Dover were closing coming out of the 4th buoy. It looked like the catch was possible but a great turn by the Welsh crew at 5 gave them sufficient gap to hold off West-Burrows and Johnston’s final charge seeing them come home in 4th place in a time of 42:44.81.

Whilst frustrated to miss out on medals both West-Burrows / Johnston and Stothart / Hall finished in qualifying places for the World Offshore Championships.

Burrows takes win at Worthing

Dover Rowing Club were in action at the Worthing Town Regatta at the weekend in the last of the regular season competitions. Club Captain Tony Burrows joined the Eastbourne boat of Norwood, Guppy, Warland, coxed by Bishop in the Veteran 50+ race. Burrows in the stroke seat set the rate as the boat shot off to an early lead taking a length within 150m. The boat continued to move away from the field and made a clean turn before running home for the win by three lengths. This was Burrows first win since qualifying for the 50+ category. The same crew also came home in 4th in the Veteran 40+ race.

The Men’s Novice Sculls saw Nathan Peach in the first heat. A good start saw Peach contending for the top four qualifying places. He was still in contention after the turn, but fell away towards the end to finish 5th. The second heat saw Burrows and Tom Stothart competing. The conditions were not in Burrows’ favour and a slow start saw him turn around, whilst Stothart got a great start and led to the buoys. After a clean turn he maintained a good lead to the line to qualify for the final. Stothart had a shaky start in the final, with a near capsize within ten strokes, which allowed the Herne Bay sculler to get away from him. He chased hard but a poor turn left him fighting to maintain 2nd. Stothart slowly moved clear in the later quarter of the race to secure the runner up spot.

Chris Hall was in action in the Men’s Junior Sculls where he was midfield after the start. Hall slowly moved through the field to lay 3rd with 500m to row. Hall started making rapid gains on the second place man, and looked likely to take 2nd place, but caught a late ‘crab’ to leave him 3rd.

Hall and Stothart combined for the Men’s Junior Pairs. The young pairing applied pressure to the leading Herne Bay crew from the start. At the turn the Dover boat looked good for 2nd but a fast finishing inside Southsea crew dropped them to 3rd.

Jo Johnston competed in the Ladies Sculls event. A steady start saw her in the battle for points, moving to 4th by the turn were she increased her lead over the 5th paced sculler. On the return Johnston was unable to meaningfully close on the top three, leaving her to finish in a comfortable 4th place.

Johnston and Maria West-Burrows raced in the Ladies Senior Pairs. Following a boat change the ladies crew were late to the line possibly impacting their start and leaving them towards the back of the field. As the race spread out the Dover crew slowly picked up places to move into the points. After the turn the ladies moved into 5th but were unable to improve further.

Four second places for the Dover rowers at Herne Bay Regatta

It was a tale of 2nd places for Dover Rowing Club at Herne Bay Regatta. Ladies J16 Quad Sculls crew of Rebecca Stothart, Morgan Evans, Ella Day, Jade Jordon coxed by Tony Burrows had a challenging race after Day caught a crab early shattering her blade shaft and trapping it under their boat. Despite the handicap the young crew fought on and held on to take 2nd place at the line.

The Men’s Junior Pairs saw Chris Hall and Tom Stothart get off to a strong start in pursuit of the Herne Bay pair that has dominated the competition this season. They reached the turn with a narrow lead before coming out level, but Dover fell to 2nd by the last 500m and came home in the runners up spot.

Sculls picture courtesy of Joel Dinning

The Men’s Junior Sculls saw Hall and Chris Price competing. Hall in the less favoured outside lane got a great start and was in the mix with the lead scullers. Price had a steadier start in the rough conditions. Hall followed Herne Bay’s former World Champion around the inside turn, and applied pressure on him in the rough conditions in the final quarter, but was unable to pass taking 2nd. Price came home in 7th. The results of the Junior Pairs and Sculls were sufficient to take 2nd place in the Men’s Junior Aggregate competition.

The Men’s Novice Fours saw Nathan Peach competing with an Eastbourne crew coxed by Paul Scrivener, and Jon Cook with a Worthing crew. Peach’s crew led into the turn but struggled to make a clean turn coming out 2nd with Cook’s crew 3rd. In the last 500m the conditions deteriorated but Peach’s crew cleared the worst of it and secured 2nd. Cook’s boat was swamped resulting in Dover rowers swimming out to help land the stricken boat and crew.

The Ladies Novice Four saw Dover enter two crews Dover A: Jade Jordon, R Stothart, Ella Day, Evans coxed by Jo Johnston and Dover B: Newton (Eastbourne) Jamie Jordon, Kate Day, Kate Smith coxed by Scrivener. There was extra interest in this race as Dover B contained two of the mothers of the young Dover A crew. The Dover crews were locked into a neck and neck race for 3rd and 4th with the ‘Mum’s’ crew taking it by a canvas.

Men’s Novice Sculls saw T Stothart, Burrows and Peach competing. Stothart got off to a great start moving with the lead group whilst Burrows and Peach were fighting for the remaining points. Stothart turned in 3rd and was unable to improve his position on the run home. Burrows and Peach just missed out the points coming across the line in 7th and 8th.

In the Ladies Sculls Johnston worked hard to run down the Worthing sculler finishing in 4th missing out on 3rd by less than a canvas. Johnston and Maria West-Burrows competed in the Senior Ladies Pairs but a slow start left them chasing the field and by the turn they were 5th. They were unable to improve their position by the finish line.

Veteran 40’s saw Scrivener, Matt Barnett, Nick Bailey, Burrows coxed by Jade Jordon starting well but rudder issues saw them come home in 5th. The Junior Men’s Four of Peach, Cook, Hall, T Stothart coxed by Jade Jordon finished 7th in a competitive field.