The Hastings and St Leonards Rowing Club attended the Herne Bay Regatta on Saturday 21st August. In an abbreviated season this was the last of the Coast Amateur Rowing Association events this summer. The club put out 4 crews for the first time in some years.
First off was Allan Carter, an experienced oarsome who has returned to the club recently. Making a strong start in the Mens Novice Sculls he was well up on the way to the turning buoys but lack of competitive rowing recently showed and he eventually finished in the group behind the main pack. An excellent showing though with the promise of more to come.
Second crew afloat were the Master 50s crew. Containing 3 of the clubs most successful oarsmen, with multiple championships between them, Paul Knight in the bow, Tim Ash at 2 and Paul Heskett at stroke were joined by Alan Bates at 3 with the experienced Maddie Dunn at the helm.. With the championship all even after 4 races this was the decider against the current champions from Folkestone. Evenly matched to the turns the Hastings crew were headed by only a couple of boat lengths and put up a strong performance but failed to come through finishing a close second in only their third start of the year. A much improved performance with the promise of more to come.
The Veterans 40s crew took to the water knowing that victory was unlikely against one of the best Deal crews for many years but were determined to put up a good show in their first race together. Bob Salmon bow, Matthew Bumpus 2, Simon Veness 3 and stroked by the versatile Allan Carter were in the thick of it for most of the race and fended off an experienced Dover crew to finish in 5th place and earn the club 2 championship points.
Last but not least were the newly formed Ladies Novice 4. With a real international flavour to the crew, Casey Hoepner USA at 3 and Aoife Murphy at 2 from Ireland were joined by Gemma Clarke at stroke and Marie Paine in the bow. Expertly coxed by the ever present Maddie Dunn the crew were never far away from the leaders from Herne Bay who, on home water, had a huge advantage. Battling with a more experienced crew from Dover on their inside the crews determination and endurance paid off and they finished in an incredible 2nd place in their first ever race together.
Vice Captain Paul Heskett commented "I can't say how brilliant everyone was today. Well done to everyone who contributed in no small part to the success of others fortunate enough to take a prize. Be it sitting in and making up numbers at training sessions, shifting boats up the beach at long tides, coaching or fixing boats you've all contributed to the success".
Next up for the club is the South Coast Championship Regatta at Southampton on Saturday September 18th where the Ladies 4 and Mens Masters 50s crews will be determined to go one better.