Bexhill Rowing Club celebrated an historic double triumph at the South Coast Championships in Swanage last weekend.
Bexhill became the first club since Ryde in 1987 to win the men’s senior fours for the Bideford Bowl and ladies’ senior fours at the prestigious season-ending regatta.
Club president Gerald Matthews said: “To come away with the two biggest prizes in coastal rowing is a remarkable achievement, and is credit to the hard work, belief and team work that is Bexhill RC.”
The South Coast Championships bring together the premier crews from the Coast Amateur Rowing Association (Kent and Sussex) and Hants & Dorset Rowing Association.
The Bexhill ladies’ senior four crew of Rachel Holdaway, Maisie Hill, Katie Skelton, Emma Young and cox Laura Quinn was drawn on the outside in testing conditions. They led the race from start to finish, holding off the fast finishing Itchen crew.
Bexhill had finished fourth in each of the previous three years, so finally achieving their maiden win is a great achievement for the women’s section of the club.
The men’s senior four of Mark Mitchell, Doug Holdaway, Matt Hellier, Kieran Cahill and cox Rachel Holdaway were looking to put four consecutive second places in the race to bed and they did just that in style.
They dominated the race throughout from the outside and won by the biggest margin of the day to pick up the Bideford Bowl and achieve the ‘Triple Crown’ (also including the CARA Championship and Pompey Grand) for the first time in the club’s history.
Bexhill also tasted success via the men’s junior senior crew of Phil McCorry, Will Knapp, Josh Green and Jack Page. The crew has had mixed results this season and was looking to finish off with a win. Bexhill did just that, leading from start to finish, and holding off a strong Lymington crew to claim the open title.
The open vet 50 crew of Dave Jones, Andy Wilson, Clive Bingham and Mark Cowling was beaten on the line into second, while the ladies’ J16 quad of Abbie Little, Georgina Pepper, Laura Quinn and Charlie Cooper came third in the final race of the day.
The open vet 40 crew of Chris Doswell, Andy Strevens, Warren Harvey-Mortimer and Remuna Pickard rowed well in a tough field to come fourth, and the men’s open junior crew of Will Knapp, Lee Dunstall, Lewis Sealy and Martin Matt finished fifth. Georgina Pepper, Abbie Little, Hollie Andrews and Vinny Hourihane came sixth in the ladies’ senior open.