30th Sept/1st Oct Rowing events
Published 10:43 on 11 Oct 2023
The weekend of 30th September/1st October was a busy one for the Rowers, with events on both days at Northney.
On the Saturday our Solent Galley Bembridge was reunited with 5 (of the remaining 7 only) Solent Galleys, for a series of short races off of Northney Marina. It was the first time these boats will have been together since the 1960s. There were men's, ladies and mixed crews peppered with a bit of competitive spirit, but all out in the name of a bit of fun. Looking like a water-based version of the Goodwood Revival almost, beautifully styled, all-wooden, vintage boats were cutting across the water at an event that was enjoyed by all. High hopes for another gathering next year.
On the Sunday, we had Quadrille our sliding seat boat together with Bembridge competing in the inaugural Head of the Harbour Race. Reaching for the Goodwood metaphor once again this was more akin to the Hill Climb with a race (it was suggested it was a sprint!) from Northney Marina to Hayling Island Sailing Club. It was however a 5 mile row, on one of the biggest tides of the year, making for pretty testing conditions It can be confirmed, this was definitely not a sprint! Quads, Gigs, Skiffs, Celtic Longboats and Solent Galleys were all competing against their own class and each other. A handicapping system was in place to help even timings out but this is still a little bit of work in progress!
That didnt detract from Quadrilles Sarah Murphy, Helena Gardner, Willie Fleming and Simon Kendall, ably coxed by Sean Ahern completing the course in 43:37 and coming in 3rd out of 20 boats, a great performance from a very well-drilled crew. Bembridge had its work cut out, with more of a scratch crew in place. Accomplished coxing from Neil Prior, with Gill German, Andrew Thompson (who had only rowed a handful of times), Ian Barnett and a last second stand in Karen from Birmingham, brought Bembridge over the line in 1:12:47.
All crews enjoyed great post-race hospitality at Hayling Island Sailing Club and it was good to see Itchenor well represented at the event, As with the gathering of Galleys, high hopes for this event to become a regular fixture in the Harbour.
Thanks as ever to those who attended, but also to those who organised and supported both days
For those interested, there is a Rowing Regatta at Chichester Yacht Club on October 28th for Celtic Longboats There will be timed races, but all over a comparatively short course, so please sign up here if you fancy giving this a go its a bit of friendly competition, but nothing to fear!
Last updated 11:22 on 28 November 2023