The organising committee had taken the decision to shorten the course before racing started following a late forecast predicted strengthening wind later in the day…
but only 22 of the scheduled 37 races were completed at Southsea Rowing Regatta on Saturday before the Umpires declared that the increasing roughness of the sea made it too dangerous to continue
Racing started with Herne Bay winning the Men’s J16 Quad Fours without incident and Event 3 the Ladies Novice Fours, saw Christchurch with Kate Tate, Emma Radford, Anna Turner, Josie Cutler (Stk) establishing an early lead, increasing this to three lengths ahead of Lymington with Poole holding off Herne Bay for third place.
In the Ladies + 40 Masters Southampton returned to winning ways with Wendy Hartland, Fiona Walbridge, Andi Davies, Anne Saunders (Stk) Louise Florence (Cox) despite Champions BTC leading by a length off the starting line. At the turn there was barely half a length between the two crews with Christchurch in third place. Southampton, revelling in the choppy conditions were soon in control opening up to a three length lead at the finish. In the Mens +50 Masters Final Herne Bay had little difficulty holding off a BTC / Coalporters Composite crew and Lymington. This was followed by the Mixed J14 Quad Fours with Shanklin’s Scarlett Phelan, Rachel Debenham, Ethan Walters, Mia Phelan(Stk), E Faithfull (Cox) steadily pulling ahead of crews from Herne Bay and Shoreham to win by two lengths.
The programme continued through the preliminary races to Event 11, the Ladies J16 Quad Fours, which the Coast crews dominated with Herne Bay easing ahead of both Deal A and Shoreham A, to win by two lengths. By Event 19 condition were visibly worsening, with Daisy Faithfull of Shanklin being pushed wide of her turning buoy by Worthing who had made use of the following seas to move from the outside of the course at the start to contest Shanklin on the inside buoy. Halfway back to the finish Worthing and Shanklin collided again and Shanklin moved ahead only to capsize, Worthing then moved well ahead of the chasing pack to win followed by Lou Florence of Southampton, with Shanklin being picked up by the rescue boat. By Event 21 The Mens Senior Pairs Itchen’s M Wardell and L Williams got off to a good start closely followed by Bexhill A and Coalporters. At the turn Itchen were around first followed by Bexhill A&B and it remained a tight race up until the closing stages when Itchen forged ahead to remain unbeaten as Bexhill B disappeared in a cloud of spray.
The final race to be held, the +40 Masters Fours, conditions were becoming questionable regarding crew safety, with boats being lifted on much larger waves losing steerage as rudders came clear of the water. All nine crews made the turns safely with Folkestone, Coalporters, Poole and Herne Bay all well placed. Drama on the return journey as Poole sank and headed for the beach leaving Folkestone, emerging from a cloud of spray, well clear of Herne Bay and Coalporters with Itchen and BTC trailing behind.
After checking the latest weather forecast and some discussion between Racing Officials and the Organising Committee racing was abandoned.
Masters + 40 Fours 1 Folkestone A, 2 Herne Bay A, 3 Coalporters A.
Masters + 50 Fours 1Herne Bay A, 2 BTC/Coalporters Composite, 3 Lymington A.
Senior Pairs 1 Itchen A, 2 Bexhill B, 3 Bexhill A
J16 Quad Fours 1 Herne Bay A, 2 Ryde A, 3 Newport A.
Ladies Masters +40 Fours 1 Southampton A, 2 BTC A, 3 Christchurch A.“/
Ladies Novice Fours 1 Christchurch A, 2 Lymington A, 3 Poole A.
Ladies Junior Sculls 1 Worhing A, 2 Southampton (L Florence), 3 Bournemouth (Libby Perry)
J16 Coxed Quad Fours 1 Herne Bay A, 2 Shoreham A, 3 Deal A.
Mixed J14 Coxed Quad Fours 1 Shanklin A, 2 Herne Bay A, 3 Shoreham A.