POOLE Amateur Rowing Club enjoyed their most fruitful South Coast Championship in Deal at the weekend.

They brought home two outright wins and the trophy for the most successful club in the Open events.

Clubs along the whole of the south coast of England from Cornwall to Kent competed at the coxed fours annual event and competition was fierce.

Poole’s junior senior crew of Ali McClenen, Luke Gilmore, father and son Roy and Will Gibbs, with coach-cox Alex Murphy were the club’s only representatives in the prestigious closed championship races.

However, crew absences robbed them of their usual pace and they had to settle for fifth place.

Junior ladies Harriet Hall, Morgan Callaghan, Loren Sandford and Ry Alexa with cox Chez Hill were in the largest field of the day but came through their heat to again take fifth place in their final.

The silverware came courtesy of the more experienced members of the club with both veterans’ crews winning their respective open events.

Firstly, the men’s over-40s’ masters comprising Matt Sewell, Mark Bettley Smith, Ray Murphy and club captain Pete Jacobs with cox Chez Hill made a good start and enjoying the tail wind kept the rate high to gradually increase their lead which had grown to a comfortable four lengths by the finish.

Then, the ladies masters of Helen Daley, Emma Hill, Alison Houlton and Sarah Williamson with Alison’s nephew Will Duff in the cox’s seat went out for their race.

The crew had already taken a good second place in the senior open race against crews younger than themselves but conditions had worsened due to the strengthening wind and they could not quite find their rhythm, allowing Christchurch to take an early length lead. However, going under the pier which at Deal signifies halfway, the crew were into their stride and starting to close.

It was nip and tuck through the last 500m with Christchurch determined not to relinquish their lead and Poole equally keen to push through.

It was in the last 50m that Poole kept their composure and swept by to win by a few metres.

Thanks to the efforts of the club through the whole regatta, Poole won for the first time the Royal Port of Dartmouth Trophy for the most successful club in the open events.

It was their third aggregate success of the year, showing the strength in depth the club has built up over the past 12 months.