What’s in store in 2024?

2023 was a great season of coastal rowing, with 8 regattas held and lots of close racing.

In club terms the victors were Herne Bay – winning the CARA League and Shoreham taking the Grand Aggregate. However, those two clubs did not have it all their own way, as 5 clubs took more than 10 wins during the season and every single club gained at least one.

In senior event terms, Deal were the crew to beat – taking Men’s Singles, Pairs and Fours and Women’s Fours (though Worthing took the Women’s Pairs title in dominant fashion). Shoreham and Southsea seemed the forces in the Junior categories, with Shoreham taking the Men’s Fours and Pairs Championships and a number of victories in Women’s Fours and Pairs, and Southsea grabbing the Women’s Junior Fours and Pairs as well as wins in the Men’s Pairs event too.

We saw great progression from the smaller clubs, with Hastings fielding crews and multiple regattas and taking a victory and Eastbourne building out new squads and fielding more crews than we’ve seen for a long while.

So where do we look for the excitement in 2024? Here’s my tips:

Women’s Juniors – both Shoreham and Herne Bay took victories here in 2023 without going up to senior, I suspect they might each be strong again in 2024 now that Southsea have gained promotion to Senior.

Masters 40 and 50 – with the advent of average age in Masters 50s expect more crews here and more close racing between last years winners Herne Bay and Runners up Shoreham and competition from Eastbourne and Hastings too.

Herne Bay took Junior Sculls championship and were undefeated in 2023, can their promising youngsters make the step up and win in Senior to challenge serial winners Deal? Will the promotion of Herne Bay’s finest from this event let some of the Novices from last year show their talent and progress?

Women’s Sculls – with the final establishment of a women’s sculling hierarchy expect more competitors and more close racing here, as 3 different women took victories in novices last year.

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