WOOLSTON REGATTA REPORT

5th August 2019

It was a great day for Lymington on Saturday as the club secured three more victories at Southampton ARC's Woolston Regatta, held at Weston Shore, with Ellie Potter and captain Livvi Bull securing wins in the sculling events. The day was marred slightly, however, as Richard Wadsworth's Junior Sculls Championship came to an end, despite a valiant final battle from our scullers.

Starting with the positive, Ellie Potter (pictured, courtesy of the HDARA) took two great wins in the Girls J16 scull and Women's Novice Scull categories. In the J16 race, Ellie had the difficult task of swapping out of the Women's Junior Four and straight into her scull before rowing up to the start line at the mid-course point. Following her race plan to the letter, Ellie sat just off Shanklin sculler Kayleigh Batchelor for the first phases of the race before pushing hard at the end to power through her opponent to take a narrow one length win. 

With her third race of the day, in very choppy conditions, Ellie put in a commanding performance in the Women's Novice Scull to move away from her opposition and hold a reasonably comfortable four length advantage over Brad from Christchurch. She kept her cool in the final stages to secure her third sculling win of the season and her first in the novice status.

Livvi Bull had been set for a tough challenge against brand new champion Maddie McGregor-Ritchie from Itchen but a last minute plea to provide opposition for Katie Crane of Poole in the higher senior status saw the LARC captain change category. With both finals taking place in the same race, Livvi still took to the water against her Junior scull opposition but only had to beat Crane in order to take the race win. 

Very little separated the two on the way down to the turns with Livvi holding a narrow advantage. However, an issue for Crane at the turns left her a long way off Livvi and our sculler was able to pull away over the return leg to a comfortable win. The victory was Livvi's first at senior level in the single scull and was ultimately a fantastic victory for her after a tough couple of weeks. 

In the Men's Junior Scull final, Richard Wadsworth had to stop Will Gibbs of Poole from winning the point, otherwise the championship would all be over. Supported by Alex Barnes on the start line as well, Waddy had a flying start and really went for it. He pushed hard on the first leg in conditions that weren't his favourite and he was leading the race over Poole at the turns. 

On the way back, Gibbs had a more favourable run down from the turns and started to pull away from Waddy. With his title hopes fading, a last push from Waddy saw him start to suffer and began dropping away. Alex, who'd had a quiet race in third, tried to pick up the challenge late on but was too far back and ultimately had to settle for second. Waddy, despite a valiant effort, was narrowly beaten to third with Gibbs winning the championship. 

In the Men's Novice Scull category, Sam Botting competed in his first final as a sculler. The conditions were already pretty awkward but Sam sculled well to stay upright and got into a nice little battle with a sculler from Poole (yes them again!) which he won by a length at the finish. A great result for a sculler who only had his first outing in the single mid-season. 

Elsewhere, there were positive results for Lymington's non-sculling entries. In the Women's Junior Fours category, our Lymington crew of Anna Melin, Ellie Potter, Lena Mills, Eliza Butchers and super cox Tim Bull progressed in a comfortable third for the final. In the final, the girls had a really good row in difficult conditions and were in contention for a top three spot all the way. However, they missed out on third to soon-to-be-promoted Coalporters and had to settle for a fighting fourth. 

Finally, Lymington had an entry in the Men's Senior Fours, the blue ribbon event of the Association. A mixed crew that featured Senior oarsmen Dave Manns, Masters rower Tim Bull, J/S status Richard Wadsworth and Junior rower Sam Botting, teamed with cox Livvi Bull, had a great row to secure third place by only half a length over BTC. 

The club now has a two week break and returns to action at the final regatta of the main season, BTC, with our scullers all back in action. Then, it's onto the South Coast Championships in September where our Masters Four go for Championship glory and our Women's Juniors and Ladies Masters compete in the Open classes. 

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