Bideford Blues bested their neighbours the Reds as they won the Billy Little Cup at Saturday’s Bideford Regatta.

Bideford reds rower Luis Wilkins on his way to victory in the single scull senior C race.Bideford reds rower Luis Wilkins on his way to victory in the single scull senior C race.

It was a busy day of racing on the water of the River Torridge. The Blues' hard work in training paid off with six wins, eight second and four third place finishes.

Those finishes ensured the Blues came away with the all-important Billy Little Cup, which is presented to either the Blues or Reds for the most points on the day between the two Bideford clubs.

For the Reds it was a day of near-misses - they finished second on seven occasions.

They did secure two first place finishes though. Luis Wilkins took first in the men's Senior C single sculls, and the ladies' novice crew of Grace Farrell, Hannah Dennis, Sadie Davies and Emily Bracken were also winners.

Bideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The Blues' six wins came from all ages, from the junior 14 double scull of Harry Fanson and Immy Paiano, all the way up to the men's masters four of Andy Westcott, Dave Powe, Steve Cheel, Alastair Peake and cox Karen Curry.

They were also successful in the mixed open fours, men's junior 18 fours, men's senior C fours and mixed senior C fours.

The regatta was the sixth of 10 races in the West of England Championship season and the weather was ideal for the occasion, although a strong wind made for tricky starts.

The overall gong went to Exeter, who won the Championship of the Torridge with 62 points.

Bideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Among the highlights on a packed day of racing was the return of the Reds' John Hutchings to the water.

The 69-year-old entered the masters' G race for over-65s, but a lack of other entries meant he was pitted in the novice single sculls instead.

Despite racing scullers some 50 years younger, he battled through the heats to reach the final.

Bideford reds crew, Adam Curtis (cox) Emily Bracken, Sadie Davies, Hannah Dennis and Grace Farrell, who rowed to first place in the Novice 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.Bideford reds crew, Adam Curtis (cox) Emily Bracken, Sadie Davies, Hannah Dennis and Grace Farrell, who rowed to first place in the Novice 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.

Bideford Blues Men’s Senior C fours crew.Bideford Blues Men’s Senior C fours crew.

Bideford Blues rowers Harry Fanson and Immy Paiano, who won the junior 14 double sculls at the Bideford Regatta.Bideford Blues rowers Harry Fanson and Immy Paiano, who won the junior 14 double sculls at the Bideford Regatta.

Bideford Reds rower John Hutchings.Bideford Reds rower John Hutchings.

The Bideford Reds crew of (left to right) Hannah Dennis, Yashtie Davies, Libbie Willis and Jess Giddy, on their way to a second place finish in the WSB 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.The Bideford Reds crew of (left to right) Hannah Dennis, Yashtie Davies, Libbie Willis and Jess Giddy, on their way to a second place finish in the WSB 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.

Bideford reds crew, Adam Curtis (cox) Emily Bracken, Sadie Davies, Hannah Dennis and Grace Farrell, who rowed to first place in the Novice 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.Bideford reds crew, Adam Curtis (cox) Emily Bracken, Sadie Davies, Hannah Dennis and Grace Farrell, who rowed to first place in the Novice 4+ category at Bideford Regatta.

Bideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Bideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford Regatta 2019. Picture: Graham Hobbs