Bideford rowers on Olympic waters

Joseph Bulmer

JUNIORS and seniors from the Bideford Reds club were in action at the weekend when they made the long journey up to London to compete in the South Coast Rowing Championships at the purpose-built rowing course at Dorney Lake near Windsor.

The location is the venue for next year’s rowing events at the London Olympics.

The annual championships involve the top crews from the three participating associations all along the South Coast of England, from afar afield as Herne Bay and Dover from the Coast ARA and Southampton and Christchurch from the Hants and Dorset region.

Sir Steve Redgrave was on hand for most of the day to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the rowers and supporters.

Current GB rower Dan Ritchie also presented prizes to many of the winning crews.

Although failing to secure an elusive gold medal, the juniors did pick up a number of silver and bronze medals to reflect the progress they have made during the season.

The top performance came from the men’s Junior 14 quad four of Dan Crowther, Matt Harris, Eden Brittle and Nick Wilson, who missed out on top spot by just half-a-length over the 1, 000 metre course.

Crowther and Wilson also picked up a bronze in the corresponding double sculls race.

There was also bronze for the ladies Junior 14 quad of Kirsty Snow, Libbie Willis, Jess Cox and Abbie Lawson and the men’s Junior 16 four of Adam Crowther, Alex Ferriday, Drew MacKenzie and Miles Lemer.

In the main regatta over the full 2,000 metre course, the Reds’ championship Junior Senior C crew of Luis Wilkins, Karl Rowland, Jon Lamont and Glenn Wilkins finished in fifth place

Following the competition of the domestic rowing season, the Reds are looking to offer the opportunity to all adults who are interested in rowing to attend a ‘learn to row’ course in October.

If anybody is interested they should contact James Williams by email on