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Bideford Blues Ladies Junior championship crew of Zoe Robertson, Alice Jackson, Annie Cook and Megan Harty, who took the club’s first senior championship since 1960, are pictured with Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover. (Pic Graham Hobbs)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Bideford played host to the South Coast Championship Regatta and Junior Regatta at the weekend, the first time the event has come to the town since 2004.
The regatta was the culmination to the season’s domestic rowing calendar, featuring the top crews from the three participating associations, COAST (Kent and Sussex), Hants and Dorset and the West of England.
Olympic gold medallist Helen Glover was the special guest, spending most of Saturday signing autographs and chatting with onlookers as well as presenting the winners with their medals.
Bideford Blues finished their season having qualified three crews in the senior championship races.
First champions for
The Ladies Junior championship crew of Zoe Robertson, Alice Jackson, Annie Cook and Megan Harty, who had qualified as runners-up, totally dominated their race to win by four lengths and take the club’s first senior championship since 1960 (see picture on Page 5).
They swapped Zoe and Megan for Nicky Reed and Jessica Myers, with Zoe coxing, in the Ladies Senior race and came home in sixth place.
Men’s Veterans four Steve Clements, Nigel Cann, Colin and Neil Pennington and coxswain Chloe Pennington came fourth.
Other Blues’ crews gained placings in the open race finals after qualifying from their heats.
The Men’s Open Junior four of Tom Loka, Owen Godwin, Milo George and Oli Roberts-Key came sixth . The Men’s Open Novice four of Will Manners, Jack Harty, Milo and Oli won their heat and finished fourth in the final.
Holly and Kristy Webbe, Debbie Norden, Hayley Syvret and cox Sophie Pearce gained third spot in the Ladies’ Open Junior Fours after winning their heat.
Sunday racing saw the junior championships.
Pride of place went to Charlie White in his first season by winning the Men’s Junior 14 sculls by three lengths after having won his heat with ease. Charlie then teamed up with Owen Godwin to place fourth in the Men’s Junior 18 double sculls. Freya Heddinson and Kat Keenan also won their heat, but just missed out on a medal in fourth place.
Alice Jackson and Annie Cook took second and third spots in the Ladies’ 18 sculls and the ladies’ junior 18 fours crews also gained second and third.
Will Manners, Owen Godwin, Oli Roberts-Key and Jack Harty added a third place medal to their tally in the Men’s Junior 18 fours.
Reds’ juniors steal
Bideford Reds had two crews in the championship races, but were unable to gain a place on the podium, while other crews from the club took minor placings in the open races.
The best Reds’ performance came from Ali Peake, Dave Powe, Dave Brynes and Jonty Tokely, who finished second in the junior/senior event.
The Reds also gained third places in the Men’s Veteran Over 40 and Over 50 events.
But Bideford Reds juniors were to the forefront on Sunday, coming away with two victories and a number of minor placings. Top performers were the Ladies’ and Men’s Junior 14 quads, who both finished as champions, with the club’s B crews finishing second and third in their respective races .
The men’s four of Dan Crowther, Nick Wilson, Matt Harris and Eden Brittle were convincing winners and Libby Willis, Jess Cox, Beth Gayson and Abbie Lawson also gave a strong performance to win their event.
The B crew of Kirsty Snow, Charlotte Berry, Chloe Pennington and Abbie Jones came second, while Declan Monaghan, Alex Rowland, Ryan Roach and Will Huxtable were third in their category.
Drew Mackenzie took second in the Junior 16 single sculls and there were further second and third places for the men’s and ladies’ double scull combinations.
In the trophy for the club gaining the most points, the Reds finished third behind Plymouth and Dart Totnes.