Appledore beat Torridge to win men’s and ladies’ rowing races

Appledore's victorious ladies' A crew: Yvette Parkin, Naomi Cudmore, Tash Acres, Carol Norman, Sarah Thomas, Emily Lea, Cox Len WhiteAppledore's victorious ladies' A crew: Yvette Parkin, Naomi Cudmore, Tash Acres, Carol Norman, Sarah Thomas, Emily Lea, Cox Len White

CREWS from Appledore, Torridge, Barnstaple and Bude set off from Bideford New Bridge to cover the nine miles to the New Bridge in Barnstaple for Appledore’s annual Two Bridges race this weekend.

The race sees the men’s crews rowing down the Torridge and then up the River Taw to Barnstaple, where the ladies’ crews take over and row the slightly shorter distance back to the Quay in Appledore.

It was hard for spectators to predict the outcome of the men’s race this year, as the boats passed the Appledore anchor and took different courses to cross the choppy water where the Torridge meets the Taw, before heading out of sight beyond Fremington Quay.

Local knowledge and years of experience paid off for Appledore men’s A, as cox Len White skilfully steered his crew on a fast running incoming tide, helping them to a convincing win in 65 minutes.

After a brief change over on the quayside in Barnstaple, it was the ladies’ turn to line up and head back to Appledore.

The sun was low in the sky but still bright enough to light up the showers of water as the oars in each of the six participating boats broke the surface in perfect time.

Appledore A were again first home, ahead of Torridge A in second and Appledore B in third.

A special mention must go to the four ladies from Torridge – Sue Goatcha, Julia Forrester, Elaine Green and Sandy Brown - who rowed the 14 mile return trip to enable their boat to be in position to race.