Crews from the two Bideford rowing clubs were joined by a number of the West of England clubs for the Bideford Head race on Saturday.

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Rowers raced over a 4,500 metre stretch of the River Torridge from Halspill down to Bideford old bridge.

Racing was in two separate divisions, with times a little slower in the first race due to the incoming tide.

Fastest crew of the day was the Reds Masters D four (av age 50) of Ali Peake, Dave Byrnes, Dave Powe and Dave Bates who covered the second division course in 15 mins 26 secs.

This was 14 seconds faster than Bideford Blues men’s novice four, who were 10 seconds ahead of third placed Greenbank Falmouth.

The Reds also provided the fastest junior crew, with Dan Crowther, Alex Rowland, Matt Harris, Eden Brittle and cox Abbie Dunn posting a time of 16 mins 25 secs in the second division at junior 16 level to finish a minute clear of the B crew of Declan Monagahan, Ross Bennett, Ryan Roach and Chloe Pennington.

Over a shortened course, the young Reds junior 13 crew of Isaac Crowther, Georgia O’Connor, James Jordan, Jamie Norton and Abbie Jones (cox) were also category winners in a time of 8 mins 18 seconds

Reds men’s Senior A crew of Chris Pascoe, Mark Fishleigh, Luis Wilkins, Glenn Wilkins and Jo Owen were second in the first division, finishing eight seconds behind Plymouth who recorded a time of 17 mins 23 seconds.

Reds Senior C four were fourth overall and second in their class, as were the junior 16 girls four, who were edged out of top spot by their rivals from the Blues, while single sculler Hannah Vincent also took second spot in the J16 section, in a time of 24 mins 20 secs.

Junior successes

Bideford Blues had a large junior squad out on the Torridge.

The men’s novice four of Ollie Roberts-Key, Owen Godwin, Milo George, Will Manners and cox Tina Robertson won their class.

There was also a class victory for Charlie White and Lloyd Barron-Robertson in the men’s junior 16 double, the pair having been put together for the inter regionals at Nottingham later this month.

The Blues’ womens junior 16 quad of Abbie Lawson, Charlotte Berry, Kirsty Snow, Shannon Monaghan and cox Zoe Robertson also took first place. Then the girls split into doubles for the junior 16 event with Abbie and Shelby May coming second and Charlotte and Jo Moulder third.

Pilot gig

Torridge Pilot Gig Club provided the only gig entry, but the crews still managed to be competitive against the other rowing clubs.

The gigs produced some impressive times in comparison to previous years, with the ladies knocking seven minutes off their time and the men three minutes.

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