Bideford crew for the Henley Regatta

Bideford Blues all set for a place at Henley Regatta

North Devon Gazette

The rowers at Bideford Blues are looking forward to one of the great honours in their sport, as they will perform a ‘Row Past’ at the world-famous Henley Regatta.

This long-awaited opportunity is a celebration of two major anniversaries for the Blues and a chance to showcase the fantastic sport of rowing in North Devon.

“Our slot at the Henley Regatta will be on Saturday, July 2 and a ‘row past’ is for clubs either celebrating an anniversary or for a victorious Henley crew from the past,” said Alastair Peake from Bideford Blues.

Bob Kelly
Bob Kelly

“It was our club’s 150th anniversary in 2020 but, due to Covid, the row past has been rolled over. Ironically, it is also 125 years since the addition of the rowing section of Bideford Blues, which is mainly an athletics club.

“We’ve got a crew of eight for the event, plus a cox, and one of the guys in the boat is the son of one of the oldest surviving members of the Blues. Bob Kelly’s son Martin rows up in Bristol but he is joining us for this event.

“Bob is in a care home now in Cheddar and it will be fantastic to have Martin in the boat, as he will be representing his dad.

Bideford Blues
Bideford Blues

“Henley is a massive event and Olympic legend Steve Redgrave was the person to grant us the row past, as he is the chairman of the Regatta. I had the idea when I saw Exeter Rowing Club do something similar and it is brilliant of everyone at Henley to allow us to still take part, despite the Covid delay.

“The rowing season has only just started locally but we’re looking forward to a great summer on the water. We are a small club at Bideford Blues, membership is great value and we are always happy to welcome new people to the sport.”

The crew for the row past at Henley will be Alastair Peake, Dave Powe, Martin Kelly, Neil Pennington, Colin Pennington, Steve Clements, Harry Fanson, Brian Andrew and Paddy Davison (cox). Have a great day chaps.