COALIES PREVIEW

Published: 18th July 2019

Lymington's Junior scullers head into a key weekend at Coalporters Regatta on Saturday. Both club captain Livvi Bull (pictured) & Richard Wadsworth need victories to keep their title challenges on track. Livvi will have talented youngster Ellie Potter in her corner whilst Waddy can call on the support of the experienced Alex Barnes.

Livvi goes into the regatta a point behind in the Women's Junior Sculls category and will be pushing hard to level the score with Itchen youngster Maddie McGregor-Ritchie. With the score at 3-2-1 in McGregor-Ritchie's favour, Livvi could equalise with three races left to go. Kath Jones of BTC holds the other point and is among the entries as well.

The three points holders are split across the four categories. McGregor-Ritchie takes on Charlotte Starkey in heat one (at 8.30am) with Jones following in heat two. Livvi goes in the final heat and takes on novice sculler Hiscock from BTC.

The two semi-finals will include the four heat winners and the two overall fastest losers with three spots up for grabs in the final. The places available in the final will be filled by the two semi-final winners and the fastest loser from those two races.

Livvi will have some support in her category this weekend for the first time as talented 15-year-old Ellie Potter joins the fray, racing up a status as her own novice category does not have any races at Coalporters Regatta.

She faces a tough heat in Jones and Emily Faithful, the latter having beaten her by just half a length the last time they raced. However, Ellie is, in theory, quick enough to get among the two fastest loser spots and could potentially qualify for the semi-finals. This would be a fantastic experience for the Lymo teenager. 

In the Men's Junior Sculls category, Richard "Waddy" Wadsworth will need his head on a swivel in order to take a third championship point this season. The category is wide open in 2019 and, remarkably, Waddy held onto the championship lead all the way until Poole regatta two weeks ago. This was despite having not won a race since Ryde, a whopping seven weeks. 

He last appeared at Shanklin nearly two months ago, where a capsize stopped him taking a third championship point, and Wadsworth does still remain the favourite on flat conditions. 

Will Gibbs, of Poole, has gone from strength to strength since winning novice status and his first junior point at Shanklin, albeit after Wadsworth capsized with a healthy lead, and claimed a second point in rough conditions at Poole last time out. This leaves him level with Waddy at 2-2-1-1.

Joel Smith has a championship point after he won the race at Swanage (twice) and Elder, of Southsea, took the point (but not the race win) at his home regatta to leave him on a point.

Waddy races in heat one, immediately after Livvi, and faces Ballard (a novice sculler from Poole) and Sam Erwin of Christchurch. Gibbs is currently scheduled to go in heat four but he currently has no opponent, so that is likely to scratched with Gibbs moved into another heat. Elder is in heat 3 and takes on novice sculler Gavin de Gourcey of BTC.

Waddy's team-mate Alex Barnes, easily the most experienced sculler in the category, has, on paper, the most competitive heat. He goes one-on-one against Smith and, although the Ryde sculler leads their head-to-head battle 3-1, they have barely been separated by a length at 3 of their four races together. 

While there is a good chance Alex could sneak a win on flat water, he'll be targeting one of the two (possibly three) fastest loser spots to get into the semi-finals.

From there, the two semi-final winners and the fastest loser will battle it out for the point.

Racing commences at 8.30am from Northam Bridge in Southampton.


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