Dover Rowing Club had an excellent start to the season at Hastings and Bexhill Regattas. Ladies J16 quad crew of Chantel Mayes, Emma Oliver, SJ Bamfield, Emma Spanton coxed by Jo Johnston dueled with Herne Bay from start to finish at Hastings. With the lead changing several times Dover finished 2nd by a narrow margin. The young crew worked hard in Bexhill to reverse the position and took their maiden league win by a canvas over Worthing.
Ladies Novice 4’s saw Dover enter three crews at Hastings, the J16’s as Dover ‘A’, Ella Day, Brogan Day, Kate Day, Kate Smith coxed by Tony Burrows as Dover ‘C’, Rosie Thorp, Izzy Godden, Hannah Power, Rebecca Stothart coxed by Chris Price as Dover ‘B’. Dover ‘C’ had the better start and were in the leading three boats at the turn where they fought Folkestone around the second buoy. They were neck and neck for 2nd before pushing clear and in the last quarter rowing through Shoreham to take a fantastic win. Dover ‘A’ acquitted themselves well in their first sweep race coming home 4th with Dover ‘B’ just missing out on points in 7th. At Bexhill only Dover ‘A’ and ‘B’ completed with the ‘A’ crew repeating their performance from Hasting coming in 4th, and the ‘B’ crew improving to a points finish in 6th.
Men’s Novice 4’s crew George Newman, Matt Barnett, Nathan Peach, Michael Ripault, coxed by Oliver got a good start in lane 6. The crew featured young and mature rowers drawing a comment from a rival crew. First time cox Oliver said to herself ‘I am not having that’ and drove the crew hard from the turn. They eased past the offending crew, but were unable chase down the lead boat, coming home in a comfortable 2nd place.
Peach had to fight through heats in the Novice Sculls comfortably qualifying for the finals both days. At Hastings he got a great start and was initially leading before turning in third. He closed down on the second place sculler and they were swapping positions with each stroke in the last 100m. He lost out on 2nd at the line by the smallest possible margin. At Bexhill Peach came home in the points in 5th place.
Ladies Junior 4 of Jen Jordan, Chrissy Purvis, Maria West-Burrows, Smith coxed by Johnston got a good start and reached the turn in 2nd just ahead of Herne Bay. The run home saw the Dover crew lose the battle for 2nd in the last 50m leaving them frustrated after a strong performance.
The Ladies Double Sculls had 2 Dover crews West-Burrows and Stothart as Dover ‘A’ and Johnston and Ella Day as Dover ‘B’. The Johnston / Day partnership had the better race maintaining pressure on Shoreham’s leading crews coming home 3rd whilst West-Burrows / Stothart took points in 5th. At Bexhill West-Burrows doubled with Thorp in her first sculling event as Dover ‘A’ with Johnston and Stothart as Dover ‘B’. Dover ‘B’ had the better race coming in 5th whilst there was a creditable 7th for Dover ‘A’.
Johnston competed in the Ladies Sculls on both days taking 6th place in Hastings and 7th in Bexhill. In the Men’s Junior Sculls Price came home in 6th in Hastings. Johnston and West-Burrows had a tough time in the Ladies Senior Pairs coming home 9th in Hastings and 7th in Bexhill.