BIDEFORD rowers have started the new West of England Amateur Rowing Association season with wins for both the Reds and the Blues at Plymouth Regatta. The Reds came away with four wins, two seconds and two third places to show for their efforts, while the

BIDEFORD rowers have started the new West of England Amateur Rowing Association season with wins for both the Reds and the Blues at Plymouth Regatta. The Reds came away with four wins, two seconds and two third places to show for their efforts, while the Blues chalked up three wins, plus three seconds and three thirds.Top performers for the Reds were the ladies crew of Hannah Bright, Claire Spearman, Carol Kepple-Compton and Judith Atherton, who gained victories in both the Ladies' Senior B and Senior C coxed fours events. The strength-in-depth of the ladies' section at the club was highlighted by the second place secured by the B crew in the Senior C race.Other wins came in the Junior 18 coxed fours, in which Jon Lamont, Adam Bewes, Steve Povey and Matt Lamont gained a surprise victory ahead of both pre-race favourites from Exmouth. It was also a successful day for the club's junior four of Joe Wilkins, James Harris, Aaron Rowland and Ed Gibbit, who secured their first win in a competitive championship race.The Reds also took second place in the Men's Novice Singles through the efforts of Adam Curtis and Laura Atkinson was third in the Ladies' Novice Singles.First on the water for the Blues was Dave Byrnes, who romped to victory in the Men's Veteran Single Sculls. He later teamed up with Neil Pennington, Nigel Cann and Colin Pennington, with Chris Daniel as coxswain, to also win the Men's Veteran Fours.The club's other winners were Grenville College students Jessica Myers and Alice Jackson, who row under the Blues' banner on the West of England circuit, and won the Womens Junior 14 Double Sculls event. They also joined forces with fellow students Nicky Reed and Hannah Myers to take second place in the Womens Junior 14 Quad Sculls. Nicky and Hannah were also placed third in the Womens Junior 14 Double Sculls.Not to be outdone, the college male students of Tom Pogsley, Thomas Carlyon, Christopher Glover and Tom Loka, took second places in both the Men's J18 Fours and the Men's Novice Fours. Coach Tina Robertson coxswained one race and Ladies' Junior 16 sculler Bethan Waters, who came third in her event, coxswained the other.There was also a third place for Womens Senior C Four Sarah Lee, Jessica Lee, Becka Jeffery and Vicki Bushby, with Sophie Pearce as cox.