Monday, September 2, 2013
West of England rowing championship season comes to a close at Bideford
The curtain came down on the West of England Championship season at the weekend when Bideford hosted the final event of the 10 race series.
There was some extremely close competition in a number of the main championship categories which were only decided after Saturday’s racing.
Bideford Reds ended their highly successful season with three major championships to show for their efforts, picking up a total of five race wins, seven seconds and eight third places at Bideford.
On the same day, the Blues managed five wins of their own, with Milo George involved in three of them.
Although the Reds’ senior men will have been disappointed to just miss out on both the senior C and senior B titles to their rivals from Plymouth it was the juniors who once again took most of the honours and claimed both the men’s and ladies’ J16 championship as well as the ladies J14.
The highly anticipated final race involving the Reds’ and Blues’ junior 16 girls’ crews finally went the way of the Reds combination of Abi Jones, Libbie Willis, Jess Cox and Hannah Vincent who finished the season with 22 points, three ahead of the Blues who came home in third place behind Exeter on Saturday.
This was the Reds’ junior 14 girls’ crew of Kayla Johnson, Georgia O’Connor, Olivia Pearce and Freya Vincent’s first full competitive season of racing and they squeezed home by two points ahead of their rivals from Paignton.
Last but not least for the Reds was the men’s J16 squad of Dan Crowther, Nick Daulibi-Wilson, Alex Rowland, Matt Harris, Eden Brittle and Ross Bennett, who despite failing to win at either Dartmouth or Bideford, inched home in the Championship by just one point ahead of their nearest rivals from Dart Totnes.
Also winning at Bideford for the Reds was the J13 quad of Jude Brittle, James Jordan, Alex Dualibi-Wilson and Isaac Crowther, while the veterans Dave Byrnes and Ali Peake won the masters double sculls event with Byrnes also winning the veteran single sculls race. Dan Crowther and Nick Dualibi-Wilson also won the J16 double scull race.
For the Blues, it was Milo George who got their first win of the day, in the men’s novice sculls, before winning the men’s novice double alongside Owen Godwin. The pair were then joined by Megan Harty and Hannah Myers to win the mixed senior four.
The ladies’ novice coxed quad and the men’s master coxed four also picked up wins for the Blues, with the latter fighting off fierce competition from the Reds to claim victory in front of the home crowds.
The Reds missed out on the Championship of the River to Dart Totnes, but took consolation from winning the Billy Little Trophy, awarded every year to the most successful club in Bideford.