Wimbleball wins for Bideford crews

Joseph Bulmer

THE West of England championship rowing season started at Wimbleball Reservoir at the weekend with difficult wind conditions that forced the event to be switched away from the main course to another part of the lake, with race lengths halved to a 500 metre sprint.

The top performers were from the Dart Totnes club, which won the points trophy, but they did not have it all their own way, with Bideford Reds taking three first places, eight seconds and two thirds and Bideford Blues three firsts and a third..

Bideford Reds Ladies four of Hannah Lovering-Bright, Claire Spearman, Sarah Fellowes and Rebecca Parkyn, with cox Andy Maynard, held off the challenge of the Totnes crew to secure a one length victory in the women’s Senior A race, while there was a similar result in Senior B, the Reds making one change, with Judith Atherton replacing Rebecca Parkyn.

The Reds’ other victory came in the Junior 14 double scull event where Cassie Allsop and Abbie Dunn came home unapposed.

It nearly, but not quite, for the Reds’ Junior 14 girls quad four of Kirsty Snow, Libbie Willis, Abbie Lawson and Jessica Cox, with cox Adam Crowther. They led for most of the race, but ran out of steam in the closing stages and were beaten by one foot by Dart Totnes juniors in their first ever championship race.

There was similar story for the men’s Senior C four of Ali Peake, Dave Powe, Andy Maynard, James Harris and cox Connor Allsop, who just failed to hold off the Totnes crew by half a length.

Also just missing out on top spot was the clubs Junior 16 quad of Miles Lemmer, Alex Ferriday, Kieron Gayson, Drew MacKenzie and cox Connor Allsop who were just 6 foot adrift of the winning crew.

Bideford Blues gained first place in the Ladies Novice Coxed Four thanks to Jessica and Hannah Myers, Megan Harty, Zoe Robertson and Ali Renny as cox.

There were also victories for their Ladies Junior 18 Double Scull of Annie Cook and Alice Jackson and the Men’s Junior 16 Double Scull of Oli Roberts-Keys and Owen Godwyn.

Other Bideford results: Reds – 2nd Novice 4+; 2nd Junior 14 4x+; 2nd Ladies Novice 4+; 2nd Masters over 40 4+; 2nd Masters 1x - Ali Peake ; Ladies 3rd Junior 16 4x+; 3rd Junior 16 2x.

Blues - 3rd Mens Junior 16 Quad; 4th Mens Vets Sculls and Senior C Sculls; 4th/5th and 6th in the Ladies Junior 16 Single Sculls; 4th in the Ladies Junior 16 Quads; and 4th in the Mens Coxed Vet Fours