An Olympic gold medal rower will be the special guest when Bideford hosts the South Coast Rowing Championships over the weekend of Septembe 8 and 9.

Helen Glover, who lives with her family in Penzance, won her gold medal in stunning style at the Eton Dorney venue in London along with her partner Heather Stanning in the coxless pairs race. The two became the first female rowers from this country ever to win an Olympic god medal.

The Saturday will feature the main senior championship race, together with the open events,while the Sunday will feature races for junior 18s and under.

Champion crews from the South Coast and West of England regions will compete for honours, which include the prestigious Bideford Bowl for the top Senior A fours race..

The magnificent trophy was originally presented for competition at Bideford Regatta in 1930 and was raced for on a regular basis for the Senior Fours until 1953 when it was withdrawn and deposited in a local bank.

Bideford Regatta Committee later agreed to loan the trophy for use at the South Coast Championships and it was presented at the inaugural event in 1957 at Poole and has been used ever since as the prize for the top race.