Dover take an impressive third place on the virtual Antigua to Panama race

Following the tight finish to the virtual Atlantic crossing race, Dover Rowing Club were ready to take on Folkestone and Worthing on the next leg; the ‘sprint’ from virtual Antigua to virtual Panama covering 2115 kilometres. The event saw ergo (rowing machines), walking and running count directly to the kilometre totals with cycling counting half and workouts converted into distances to build towards the target. The interest in the first race led to more CARA teams joining the original three with Bexhill, Deal, Shoreham and Herne Bay as well as our friends from the west Dartmouth. With the larger membership clubs joining there was greater pressure on the Dover team to come together in their role of underdog. With permission from the race organisers, Dover also picked up the sole Eastbourne RC competitor and friend of the club Jon Osborn.

It was no surprise that Shoreham leapt out to an early lead on day one with their greater man and woman power, leaving Dover fighting initially with Folkestone and Worthing in the lower end of the table. Dover galvanised into action and steadily pulled away from their first leg opponents with big scores from Jo Johnston, Cameron Mackintosh, Matt Barnett and David Newman on the ergos; Chrissy Purvis, Heather and Bo Corby, Adrian Callard and Alfie Gardner on their bikes; Maria West-Burrows, Tony Burrows, Julie Hall on foot; Saffron Walmsley-Preece, Emma Oliver, Emma Spanton and Jon Cook on the workouts. Dover started closing ground on Deal and Bexhill. A midweek surge saw Deal take the lead with Shoreham and Bexhill above Dover. Big rides for Walmsley-Preece, Paul Scrivener and strong rows from Chris Hall and Tom Stothart drove the team on to close down Bexhill. With regular contributions from across the club including Nick Bailey, Steve Woods, Chris Price, Jen Jordan and Marie Cockerell. The youth section were also busy with Oliver Spanton, E Day, Chantel Mayes, Jasper Mallet and even the young coxswains Safia Corby and Scarlett Durnham-Burrows contributing to the race total.

When Shoreham crossed the line after 6 days of racing followed shortly by Deal the official race stats showed Callard as the leading individual with Newman ranked 5th by kilometres covered. The start of the 7th day saw a big push from Dover with good distances from Callard, Kate and Ella Day, hard cycling from Barnett and a big ergos from Newman and C Hall. With everyone contributing important scores, Dover came home in third ahead of Bexhill.

The individual stats saw Barnett and C Hall enter the top ten for individual performers, but Callard retained his lead contributing a truly impressive 241.5 kilometres cross the 7 days. Dover were shown to have the third smallest squad but the highest average distance per rower across the competition. They led in the walking distance category and came 3rd in ergo and workout performances.

One Day Warriors – Single Day Total
Single 1st Distance 2nd 3rd
ergo Chris Hall 22443 metres David Newman Matt Bryant
walk/run Adrian Callard 24000 metres Tony Burrows Bo Corby / Chris Hall
cycle Alfie Gardner 78857 metres Jon Cook Matt Bryant
workout Chris Hall 45 minutes Jon Cook / Adrian Callard Steve Woods
ergo Jo Johnson 13927 metres Maria West-Burrows Heather Corby
walk/run Maria West-Burrows 21730 metres Ella / Kate Day Julie Hall
cycle Saffron Walmsley-Preece 75639 metres Heather Corby Chrissy Puris
workout Heather / Safia Corby 120 minutes Emma Oliver Saffron Walmsley-Preece
Full Course Fighters – Whole Race Total
Combine 1st Distance 2nd 3rd
ergo David Newman 90500 metres Chris Hall  Cameron Mackintosh
walk/run Adrian Callard 122070 metres Tony Burrows David Newman
cycle Adrian Callard 175280 metres Alfie Gardner Matt Bryant
workout Jon Cook 150 minutes Chris Hall  Adrian Callard
ergo Maria West-Burrows 35000 metres Jo Johnson Heather Corby
walk/run Maria West-Burrows 103930 metres Julie Hall Chrissy Purvis
cycle Saffron Walmsley-Preece 152886 metres Chrissy Purvis Heather Corby
workout Emma Oliver 410 minutes Saffron Walmsley-Preece Jo Johnson

Dover now look to the next stage of the race finishing in virtual Hawaii, the longest leg at 8099 kilometres

Dover Rowing Club’s Atlantic Challenge

Following lockdown Dover Rowing Club move to be a ‘virtual’ club with the clubs ergos (Rowing Machines) distributed to members. The club started regular challenges to promote continued fitness, including a cross channel challenge, and to maintain support for members that might be struggling in these uncertain times. They were therefore delighted to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Folkestone RC to compete in a virtual row of the Atlantic. Members could use a rowing machine, run, walk, workout or cycle (whether using turbo trainers, statics or normal rides counting for half the value of the rest) whilst encouraged to show awareness of current restrictions including social distancing. Dover RC and Folkestone RC were joined by Worthing RC to make it a three horse race for the 4700km to virtual English Harbour, Antigua.

The challenge brought together the racing members with the dry side members together in a competition for the first time. So with ergos in hallways, sheds and spare rooms, carefully thought out routes for runs, walks and cycle rides, Dover were ready for the off. The event also revealed the club had a ‘man machine’ in Adrian Callard who was the biggest individual contributor through the race. As the first third was completed, Dover and Worthing were neck and neck with Folkestone in the lead. Then marathon length rows, on the day scheduled for the London Marathon, came into play and Dover dropped to third. The fight back saw Callard, Chris Hall, Heather Corby, Maria West-Burrows and Jo Johnson bring the race into a three battle again. Contact was made with members who were not on the social media groups, or who had not been heard from recently, leading to valuable contributions from Nick Bailey, Saffron Walmsley-Preece, Steve Woods, Terry Kiggens, Amy Lewington and Julie Hall. Dover moved into a two way battle with Folkestone. Significant contributions from Junior members Bo Corby (rowing and cycling) and Emma Oliver amongst others with club stalwarts Jacky Silk, Chris Price, Chrissy Purvis, Jen Jordan and even their press officer David Newman saw Dover take the lead. The 10 km club came to together with Cameron Macintosh, Matt Barnett and Jon Cook as the end of the race came into sight. A big push at the weekend with Alfie Gardner, Paul Scrivener late declarations and regular contributors Tony Burrows Marie Cockerell, Lorna Florence Clay, Izzy Godden, Ella and Kate Day combined with the some big hits from Callard and C. Hall, Dover found themselves in sight of the finish. With the last 7.5 Km dropping in, Burrows raced to enter the finish message on the Coast Amateur Rowing Association page only to find the Folkestone had finished a mere 19 minutes ahead of Dover.

The inevitable conversation at the virtual bar, saw the clubs agree to race the next leg onto virtual Panama to start on Sunday the 10th May. With other clubs ready to join in, it will be a challenging race as we head towards the pacific .

Just prior to the instructions for social distancing and lockdown, the club held the official naming ceremony for their new pair / double boat the John Turnpenny named in memory of one the clubs benefactors who supported the club for many years. The boat, which arrived during last season, was pressed into immediate service being used in 4 wins by the C Hall / Tom Stothart pairing’s late run at the championship.