BTC REGATTA REPORT
22nd August 2019
Lymington rounded off the main HDARA season in style with one last victory at BTC's annual regatta, which had been moved to the calmer water of the river Itchen due to the weather forecast.
Proving they operate best when they are under pressure, Lymington's four scullers arrived at Coalporters Rowing Club and their Northam Bridge based venue with hopes to see out the campaign on a high.
All eyes were on youngster Ellie Potter, who already had one novice sculls win under her belt, to see if she could produce another top two finish. She progressed into the final with relative ease, beating ever-present Southsea sculler Bryony Reeve and Shanklin's Rebecca Debenham in the heat.
Once there, Ellie faced category favourite Pip Hiscock, from BTC, who had reached the higher Junior scull semi-finals earlier in the season and dominated on flat water at Itchen Regatta. However, the Lymington sculler produced her very best performance of the season. She had been loaned a very nice single scull from Poole, so a big thank you goes to them.
With a near-perfect course in lane one on the way down, Ellie kept herself composed and level with Hiscock for the first leg. She then produced a good buoy turn and this, coupled with a mistake from Hiscock, allowed her to escape with a crucial four length advantage.
Ellie then had to work hard as Hiscock began to charge and cut down her advantage, digging deep in the final 100 meters to see out the late sprint of the BTC sculler to hang on for just under a length victory (pictured, courtesy of Paula Williams, HDARA). Not only did this secure her promotion to Junior status, it also secured Lymington the runner's up spot in the Ladies Novice Sculls championship.
Lymington also had Livvi Bull, Alex Barnes and Sam Botting in action in the Junior Sculls categories. Both Livvi and Alex had the misfortune to draw the two eventual winners in their categories in the heat.
Although it ultimately ended up being a tough season for Livvi, who finishes this year as the Ladies Junior Sculls championship runner up, she produced another improved performance against champion Maddie McGregor-Ritchie in a straight head-to-head. Although McGregor-Ritchie was being a little bit polite, Livvi was slightly closer to her than Louise Florence, Southampton, was in the final. Had fastest loser been in effect, Livvi could have made an appearance in the final but she should still be pleased with her efforts.
It was a similar story for Alex in the Men's Junior Sculls. He was beaten by about four lengths by Southsea's Elder, who went on to win, but he kept the Southsea man on his toes for most of the race. Jonjo Findlay, Newport, was a similar distance behind Southsea in the final, so Alex can be pleased with his pace and may have reached the final with a different draw.
Sam Botting, who is still novice status, competed at the higher junior scull status in place of the absent Richard Wadsworth. Sam had what seemed to be his best scull of the season and, in only his fourth race, wasn't too far off the pace of his established junior scull opposition against Findlay and Joel Smith of Ryde. Hopefully Sam will be able to continue sculling over the winter and earn himself a few race wins before too long.
Following the conclusion of the regatta, the HDARA confirmed that Lymington had won the Masters Over 40 Fours Championship, for the second consecutive season, and will represent the association at September's South Coast Championships. It was also confirmed that Lymington had secured the runner's up spots in the Ladies Junior and Novice Sculls championships, courtesy of Livvi Bull and Ellie Potter respectively, but Richard Wadsworth missed out on second overall due to Southsea's win on Saturday.
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