Bideford rowing crews impress at West of England Championship regatta

CREWS were faced with a sprint course at the fourth West of England ARA Championship regatta of the season at Exeter last weekend, with both Bideford Blues and Reds returning with a hatful of positive results.

The short course always provides an interesting race spectacle with some very close and tight racing for the large number of spectators and supporters that line the banks.

The Reds finished the day with six crews in the 12 main fours finals, while the Blues picked up three wins, four second places and a third.

Top performers for the Reds were the ladies junior 16 quad of Abby Jones, Libbie Willis, Jess Cox and Hannah Vincent along with cox Adrian Prust who squeezed out the event leaders Totnes in the first round and then went on to beat their home town rivals from the Blues. The boys junior 14 quad of James Jordan, Isaac Crowther, Jude Brittle and Alex Dualibi-Wilson plus cox Beth Gayson continued with their unbeaten run beating the club’s ‘B’ crew and Paignton in the final.

The win means the Reds have now taken a maximum nine championship points from three races, with the B crew second.

Just missing out on a top spot were the Reds’ senior C four and junior 16 quad who both had to settle for second place behind crews from Dart Totnes.

Annie Cook was a winner for the Blues, taking first in the ladies’ senior C scull, while Milo George took first in the men’s senior B scull.

The Blues also enjoyed sculling success in the men’s masters D, where Dave Byrne was a winner.

Byrne was also second in the men’s senior C race and second in the senior C double skull alongside George.

There were also second-place finishes for the ladies’ J16 coxed quad crew and the men’s masters coxed four.

The ladies’ senior C double scull pairing of Annie Cook and Jess Myers were third in their race for the Blues.