The Bideford Reds Club were in action at the third West of England ARA championship regatta of the season, held at Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor, writes Dave Godfrey.

The Bideford Reds winning WJ15 quad (left to right) Eliza Callaghan, Nell Davies, Grace Farrell (cox), Tilly Tucker and Hazel Fowler. Picture DAVE GODFREYThe Bideford Reds winning WJ15 quad (left to right) Eliza Callaghan, Nell Davies, Grace Farrell (cox), Tilly Tucker and Hazel Fowler. Picture DAVE GODFREY

Conditions on the lake were just about ideal and the day provided excellent racing in all sizes of boats and age groups ranging from 12 years old juniors right up to veterans of 60 plus.

The Reds finished the day with two first places, four seconds and three thirds, with their girls Junior 15's providing the highlight of the day with victories in the quad fours and coxless doubles.

The 'A' crew of Hazel Fowler, Nell Davies, Tilly Tucker and Eliza Callaghan along with cox Grace Farrell secured a convincing win after having to race in an elimination heat and final over the 1,000 metre course.

Davies and Tucker then went on to record another win in the corresponding doubles sculls race where again they had to race twice to secure top spot. Fellow squad members Hazel Fowler and Bethan Cooper finished in third place in the same event.

The Bideford Reds ladies’ 8’s crew (left to right) Libbie Willis, Jess Giddy,  Chloe Pennington and Vashti Davies, with cox Eloise Paulin (the Red’s five linked up with the rowers from Castledore (Fowey) and Greenbank Falmouth. Picture DAVE GODFREYThe Bideford Reds ladies’ 8’s crew (left to right) Libbie Willis, Jess Giddy, Chloe Pennington and Vashti Davies, with cox Eloise Paulin (the Red’s five linked up with the rowers from Castledore (Fowey) and Greenbank Falmouth. Picture DAVE GODFREY

The club were able to use their recently purchased eights boat for the first time in a competitive race.

The men's eight of Mark Symons, Ross Bennett, Luis Wilkins, Glyn Brown, Chris Thorne, John Sandwell, Steve Povey and Jon Lamont plus cox Eloise Paulin who came home in second place behind the strong Exeter combination.

For Jon Lamont it was his first competitive race in 22 months after undergoing two major operations.

Vashti Davies, Libbie Willis, Chloe Pennington and Jess Giddy with cox Eloise Paulin linked up with rowers from Castledore (Fowey) and Greenbank Falmouth to form a composite eight that came home second to the winners from Dart Totnes.

The standout performance however for the seniors came from their men's Masters four of Glyn Brown, Chris Thorne, John Sandwell and James Prichard who started the race some 23 seconds behind some of the older veteran crews and despite this significant handicap pulled through three crews to finish in fourth place.

The next event on the calendar will be the City of Exeter Sprint Regatta which is being held on Saturday, July 13.