THE West of England Amateur Rowing Association season ended in style for Bideford s two clubs on their home water on Saturday. With six wins, five second places and one third at Bideford Regatta it was a great day for the Blues, whose points total gave t

BLUES scoop awards at home regatta

THE West of England Amateur Rowing Association season ended in style for Bideford's two clubs on their home water on Saturday.

With six wins, five second places and one third at Bideford Regatta it was a great day for the Blues, whose points total gave them the Billy Little Cup, contested annually between the two local clubs, for the first time in seven years.

The Reds gained only two wins this year, but they included a tremendous victory for their senior ladies' crew, which gave them the West of England championship.

The crew of Hannah Bright, Claire Spearman, Rebecca Parkyn and Judith Atherton, with Abbie Dunn at coxswain, started the day all square on points with Exeter, but dominated the season's final 'winner-takes-all' race from start to finish to claim the title.

Last year the same crew won both the WEARA Senior C and South Coast Championships.

Picking up their first win of the season was the young Reds' Novice four of Luis Wilkins, Karl Rowlands, Adam Curtis and Steve Povey, with cox Matt Lamont.

Setting the Blues' points rolling were Jessica Myers and Nicky Reed with victory in the Ladies Under 16 double sculls.

Later they teamed up with fellow Kingsley School students Hannah Myers and Alice Jackson, with 16-year-old 'birthday boy' Chris Daniel as coxswain, to also win the Ladies Under 16 quadruple sculls. The points also took them into second place in the WEARA championship

Then it was the turn of the Blues 'old men' Colin Pennington, Dave Byrnes, Nigel Cann and Neil Pennington, with Chris Daniel again cox, winning the Men's Veteran Fours, before the youngsters took over again.

Oli Roberts-Key and Owen Godwin won the Men's Under 14 double sculls and Zoe Robertson and Naomi Locke followed up by winning the Women's Under 14 double sculls.

To round off the day, the penultimate event saw the Mixed Novice Four of Bethan Waters, Ashley Clayton, Tom Pugsley and Chris Glover, with Chris Daniel completing a hat-trick of wins in the coxswain's seat, taking a three-length win.

There were second-place finishes for the Women's Senior C four, the Men's Under 14 quadruple sculls race, two for busy Dave Byrnes in the Men's Senior C single sculls and the Men's Veteran single sculls and also second for Alice Jackson in the Women's Under 16 single sculls, for whom the points meant that she came runner-up in her WEARA championship.

Third-place finishes were gained the Men's Under 16 quadruple sculls

Despite the efforts of the two Bideford Clubs, however, they could not hold off the challenge of Exeter, who won the Grimes Trophy for the Championship of the Torridge