ITCHEN HOST SUCCESSFUL FOURS AND EIGHTS HEAD 

Itchen Imperial Rowing Club hosted the first Hampshire and Dorset Regatta of 2015 in which crews from around the association could race in Fours and Eights. 

The host club left with the most wins on the day, but there were also notable victories for Southampton Solent University and Newport. 

BTC, who are local rivals to Itchen, and Christchurch both secured two victories each from 14 categories. 

The Boys J16 4x category was the closest race of the day at a regatta where the results are based on how long the crews take to complete the Itchen river based course. 

Isle of Wight club Newport where the victors of the Boys J16 race over Itchen Imperial by just four seconds.

Birthday boy Max Maxwell (right) racing for BTC.

Newport finished with a time of 18 minutes 27 seconds, with second placed Itchen crossing the line with a time of 18 minutes 31 seconds. Third place went to Ryde, who were a further six seconds behind the top two.  

The Men's Open 8 category was won by a crew from Christchurch who stormed the course in just under 16 minutes. After completing the race in 15 mins 45 seconds, Christchurch's time was the fastest of the day and they were the only crew to break the 16 minute mark. Runners up Southampton just missed out on beating 16 minutes by 5 seconds, while Itchen earned themselves another podium spot by finishing third. 

Two clubs from Southampton raced in the Men's Veteran 8 event. It was BTC who took the race victory, beating a crew from Coalporters by 17 seconds in the Division One race. 

It was a similar story in the Men's Novice 8's event, a rare category in the Hants and Dorset circuit, with home club Itchen racing a crew from Southampton Solent University, who are based at Coalporters. On this occasion Itchen would prove to be the winners, with Solent having to wait until later in the day to secure a first place. 

Westover pulled out a good performance in the Men's IM3 4+ category, taking the race victory over the University of Southampton in second and Newport in third. 

Itchen picked up their second prize of the day after winning the Women's Open 4+ race, finishing the course in 18 minutes and seven seconds. Both second and third place went to rivals BTC.

Solent University earned themselves an excellent win in the Women's IM3 4+ race after finishing in a time of 17 minutes and 55 seconds, which was nearly a minute ahead of Newport, who finished in 18 minutes, 49 seconds. Itchen were on the podium again in third. 

Solent would also get a second place finish in the Women's Coastal Novice Open 4+ category, just losing out to Southampton Rowing Club who won in a time of 19 minutes, 41 seconds. Solent finished after 20 minutes and 20 seconds with Southsea earning themselves the final spot in the top three. 

Itchen got another first placed finish for Division One, as their J16 Girls 4x crew finished in just under 20 minutes. 

Onto Division Two, the host club were victorious again, this time in the Women's Open 8 race. Itchen won in a time that was nine seconds shy of 18 minutes, but second place was separated by just one second as BTC pipped Southampton to the runner up spot with a time of 18 minutes 25 seconds. 

The Women's IM3 8+ category saw Christchurch take their second win of the day but there was yet another close battle for second where Itchen crossed the line in 18 minutes 26 seconds, just two seconds ahead of the University of Southampton.  

BTC took their second win of the afternoon in the Mens Open 4+, with their crew finishing in a time of 16 minutes 48 seconds. Coalporters in second place finished twenty seconds behind with another BTC crew rounding off the top 3. 

The Mens Coastal Novice 4+ was another relatively close finish with Itchen winning their 5th and final win of the day by beating BTC by just 5 seconds. Christchurch were just a further two seconds down the river, completing the course in 18 minutes 32 seconds. 

Itchen also had an entry in the only non eights or fours event of the day, with Tom Foad and Mark Wardell rowing the course in a pair. The Itchen duo completed the course in a respectable 16 minutes and 43 seconds.

The next scheduled race for the Hampshire and Dorset Association is set to be the BTC Coastal and River Head on the 7th of March. For more details, visit the Hants & Dorset Website.

9th February - Alex Barnes; Jane Maxwell (Photo)