Bideford’s rowing clubs got back on the water on Saturday for the first regatta of the West of England Championship season.

Bideford Blues' winning men's junior 18 four crew.Bideford Blues' winning men's junior 18 four crew.

Bideford Reds and Blues travelled to Plymouth, where crosswinds on the Laira Embankment made for some challenging conditions on an otherwise beautiful day.

Both teams started their respective seasons well, coming away with a host of podium finishes.

The Reds took two first places, courtesy of the ladies’ junior 14s.

The quad of Cassie Skene-Smith, Nell Davies, Tilly Tucker and Hazel Fowler, coxed by Emily Bracken, stormed through the field of five other crews to win by a distance.

Bideford Reds' winning Ladies Junior 14 double of Nell Davies and Tilly Tucker.Bideford Reds' winning Ladies Junior 14 double of Nell Davies and Tilly Tucker.

Davies and Tucker then teamed up for the ladies’ junior 14 double sculls, overcoming a strong challenge from Exeter and Greenbank Falmouth to secure top spot.

The Blues’ junior 18 four of Charlie Colwill, Jack Berry, Tom Picillo and Toby Evans continued their good form from last season, taking first place.

There were three second places for the Blues, with Harry Fanson and Ned Pettifer runners up in the men’s junior 13 double. Lorna Colwill, Matt Colwill, Brian Andrew and Kirsty Andrew in the mixed senior C four, and the men’s masters four of Colin Pennington, Steve Clements, Nigel Cann and Neil Pennington, coxed by Frank Branch, also taking second place finishes.

The Reds recorded four second places courtesy of the men’s senior B four, men’s senior C four, ladies’ novice double and ladies’ junior 15 quad. There were also third places courtesy of the men’s B crew in the senior B four, men’s novice four and men’s junior 16 double.

Bideford Reds' Ladies Junior 14 quad (left to right): Cassie Skene-Smith, Nell Davies, Tilly Tucker and Hazel Fowler.Bideford Reds' Ladies Junior 14 quad (left to right): Cassie Skene-Smith, Nell Davies, Tilly Tucker and Hazel Fowler.

The Blues had five third place finishes. Harrison Beer and Jamie Milsom were third in the junior 14 double, as well as in the coxed four with Sean Sykes and Barney Evans, coxed by Lorna Colwill.

There were also third place finishes for the men’s masters four, the men’s novice double sculls and Barney Evans in the men’s junior 14 single sculls.

The season continues this Saturday at Exmoor’s Wimbleball Lake.