Dover’s Johnston and West-Burrows achieve a world ranking of 23 after the competing in the World Rowing Coastal Championship

Dover’s Matilda ‘Jo’ Johnston and Maria West-Burrows were competing in club colours for Great Britain at the World Rowing Coastal Championships held in Praia da Torre, Oeiras, Portugal. Racing in wider FISA boats Dover’s crew designated GBR3 faced heats to qualify for the finals.

The heat started on the water in a mass start which saw the Dover crew a little swamped by the field making it difficult to progress through the field. Turning at the back of the field Dover’s ladies were under pressure as they sat outside the A Final qualifying. The temperature on the course, tidal flows and difficulty sighting the buoy turns added to the difficulty on the day. At the third turn Dover were two places off the A Final qualifying but had little opportunity to pass on the latter stages of the race. Easing off, accepting their fate, they rowed home in 12th, progressing to the B final.

The B final saw the competitor’s start from the beach with Dover’s crew getting a fantastic start and pulling out to a couple of length lead as they headed to the first turn of the 4km course. They would be passed by the Caminhense (Portugal) crew prior to the turn after a tight 1km leg. On the 1.1km second leg Dover were unable hold on to the younger Portuguese crew as the westerly wind made this leg more challenging. The Amstel (Holland) crew were slowly gaining and, after the second turn, would close to be directly behind before colliding with the Dover double. This was the second collision for the Dutch and both resulted in them gaining a place on their opponents. Dover were now chasing hard but had lost several lengths after the collision and had to work hard to close down their opponents. After the last turn it was a race to the beach with Dover just behind. It came down to the run up the beach to the finish line with Maria-West-Borrows coming in just behind her Dutch opponent. Johnston and West-Burrows came home in 25 mins 20 seconds and are now ranked 23rd in the world.

Fanastic Second Place for Novice Men at South Coast Championships

Dover Rowing Club had three crews competing in the 64th South Coast and Junior Championships held on Southampton Water. Sebastian Steele, Sam Pile, James Hale, Jasper Mallet coxed by Freya Emmerson were racing in the Novice Championship. In the straight 2 km race of the Championship format Dover’s crew took an early lead in their heat and moved clear of the field focusing on length and power in a choppy mid-course. The crew comfortably qualified for the final maintaining their lead to the line. The Novice final saw stronger competition put pressure on the young crew. Dover moved to third at the half way point and, driven on by Emmerson, made their move with 500m to go closing and passing the 2nd place crew. Despite continued pressure Christchurch’s leading crew managed to hold them off by a length at the line.

The Ladies Junior squad of Marie Cockerell, Heather Corby, Maria West-Burrows, Krista Davis coxed by Nick Bailey had hoped to progress to the final. The heats didn’t go their way as an errant line by the Southsea crew led to contact with BTC’s boat pushing both crews into Dover’s racing line, pushing them to the side of the lane. With Southsea disqualified, Dover Ladies came home 5th.

The J16 Quad Boy’s championship saw a tired Steele, Hale, Mallet joined by Bo Corby with cox Emmerson. The impact of the previous heat and final was clear from the start as the crew were unable to challenge as the 1km race progressed, leaving them to come home 4th at the line.