Crews from Bideford Blues travelled to Wimbleball Lake for the annual regatta this weekend.
A mixture of heavy rain and sunshine welcomed the rowers to this 1000m course. The rain didn’t dampen their enthusiasm and the club brought home five wins.
The Men’s Vets 4’s of Neil Pennington, Nigel Cann, Steve Clements, Colin Pennington and Chloe Pennington (cox) had a very convincing win whilst Dave Byrnes followed suit with another two wins in the Men’s Sculls Vet’s and Senior B sculls.
The ladies novice fours of Freya Henderson, Abbie Dunn, Zoe Robertson, Kirsty Snow and Tina Robertson (cox) also claimed victory in their race as did the junior mixed fours of Shannon Monaghue, Charlotte Berry, Charlie White and Declan Monaghue.
Charlie White went on to claim the second spot in the junior under 16’s sculling event.
Zoe Robertson, Annie Cook, Freya Henderson and Jess Myers came in second in the Ladies Senior B fours race.
The exciting race of the day had to be the Ladies Junior under 16’s fours race. Only ¼ of a length separated the top three positions with Kirsty Snow, Charlotte Berry, Shelby May and Shannon Monaghue just missing out on second spot and had to settle for third.
The Ladies Senior C pairs of Jess Myers and Annie Cook also finished a very respectable third.
This weekend saw rowers from the Bideford Amateur Athletic Club travel to Totnes for the two day rowing event. Perfect sunny weather welcomed the club to the second Regatta of the season.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday with the 500m sprint racing. The Ladies Novice Coxed Quad of Kirsty Snow, Abbie Dunn, Shelby May, Shannon Monaghue and Tina Robinson (cox) won their heat and went on to win their final.
Jo Moulder and Charlotte won their heat in the Women’s Junior 16’s race but had to settle for second place in the final. Declan Monaghue took part in the Men’s Junior Skulls race and was second in his heat, but sadly this meant he didn’t qualify for the final.
In the Men’s Veteran’s Double race Dave Powe and Dave Bates finished second while Dave Byrnes won the Men’s Veteran’s Skull race.
Sunday was the day for the official WEARA Totnes Regatta and brought yet another win for Bideford Blues. The Men’s Veteran’s crew of Colin Pennington, Nigel Cann, Neil Pennington, Steve Clements and Chloe Pennington (cox) secured a very convincing win.
The Junior 16 Girls Quad of Shelby May, Jo Moulder, Charlotte Berry, Kirsty Snow and Abbie Dunn narrowly missed out by half a length in their race to gain second place in a very exciting race with the Totnes Crew.
Dave Byrnes had to settle for second position this time in the Men’s Senior C Skull’s race.
Crews from Bideford Amateur Athletic Club travelled to Plymouth this weekend for the first of the season’s regatta. Good conditions welcomed the crews to the 1000m course on the River Plym.
After a very convincing win in their heat the Women’s Junior 16 Quad of Shannon Monaghue, Shelby May, Charlotte (Tommy) Berry, Kirsty Snow and Abbie Dunn (cox) had a very exciting battle with Totnes but managed to come home in first position by ½ a length.
In the Men’s Veteran D category the crew of Colin Pennington, Steve Clements, Nigel Cann, Neil Pennington and Zoe Robertson (cox) had to settle for 2nd position after narrowly missing out on a win by ¼ of a length. A great performance especially after giving the winning crew a 10 second lead.
Because of lack of entries the Junior 18 women’s quads had to row in the Men’s Junior 18 quad race and finished a very respectable 2nd.
In the women’s Novice pairs Abbie Dunn and Zoe Robertson finished 4th whilst In the Women’s Junior 16 pairs the duo of Jo Moulder and Charlotte Berry came in a very close 2nd.
In the sculling events Declan Monaghue finished 6th in the Men’s Junior’s while his twin sister Shannon Monaghue pulled back into 5th position despite being swamped by an umpire’s safety boat.
A great start to the rowing season.
Colin Pennington is the new president of the West of England Amateur Rowing Association (WEARA). He takes over from Exeter’s Nigel Wilmington and is the first Blues man to lead WEARA since John Daniels in 2001.
Alastair Peake (left) and David Byrnes, the newly crowned European Champion (right) pictured in Denmark with current world record holder and Olympian, Eskild Ebbesen.
David Byrnes and Alastair Peake
The vets crew made the 580 mile round trip to Deal in Kent for the South Coast Championships on Saturday 14 September. They raced there after winning the West of England veteran championship at Bideford Regatta previously that month. They were up against the champions and runners up from Hants and Dorset and the Coast associations to see who would become the champions of the South Coast.
The crew rowed in coast boats which are shorter and much wider for the conditions the English Channel can present. The Blues came fifth in the final after lying fourth, they were a length behind second and third place up to 1500m mark when a couple of large waves stopped them dead in the water and nearly sank them. After this it was just a case of making it to the finish line without sinking . The conditions continued to deteriorate further with only three more races taking place before the event was called off.
Bideford regatta was the last regatta of the West of England 2013 season on Saturday 31 August. It turned out to be a good day for Milo George with him reaching four finals and taking three first places, he made his debut in the men’s novice sculls the first time he has sculled on his own this season and winning easily. Next he joined Owen Godwin to win their heat and take first place in the men’s novice double final. His last win came in the last race of the regatta with Megan Harty, Hannah Myers and Owen in the mixed senior four. There was disappointment for the ladies junior 16 quad claiming a third place, which give the Reds the championship which they took by winning the race. Silverware came to the ladies novice double of Annie Cook and Jessica Myers dominating the race from start to finish.
There was a fifth place in the men’s junior 16 sculls for Declan Monaghan, in the ladies junior 14 double there was a fourth place for Ellie Walker and Amy Cornish in their first season. The girls were then joined by Jessica Webber and Mya Bosher to claim a fourth in the junior 14 quad. The rowers also picked up a fifth in the ladies novice four, a fourth in the men’s senior c four, and a fourth went to the mixed novice four.
Back winning were the ladies novice coxed quad of Hannah and Jessica Myers, Annie Cook, Zoe Robertson leading from the start line to the finish comfortably. Last to pick up a cup for the club was the men’s master coxed four of Nigel Cann, Steve Clements, Colin, Neil and cox Chloe Pennington. They pulled out a three quarters of length lead by the mid point only for the Reds to push hard at the Blues all the way up the quay to reduce their lead, but the Blues held on to win by two feet in a cracking race in front of the crowd lining the quay.
Thursday saw Bideford Blues descend on a warm sunny River Dart for the Poet of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, races started at nine third in the morning running until nearly six o’clock with the last race being the men’s open eights.
The Blues were up against opposition from the normal West of England clubs but also clubs from West Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and a first for Dartmouth Regatta two clubs from Australia being Cario Bay and Melbourne Rowing clubs.
The day started with a disappointment in the ladies junior 16 quad with the crew of Shannon Monaghan, Charlottie Berry, Kirsty Snow, Abie Lawson and cox Tina Robertson placing second and losing out to championship rivals the Reds, this means it is all to row for at Bideford Regatta on Saturday to reverse the positions and decide the champions.
Winners on the day were the ladies novice double of Annie Cooke and Jessica Myers taking their final by five lengths from Plymouth. Also picking up silverware the mixed senior c four of Megan and Jack Harty, Oli Roberts-Key, Zoe Robertson and mum Tina coxing winning from Shoreham and Plymouth in the final. The club also picked up minor places in finals on the day after progressing through had heats , but there were disappointments with crews getting knocked out in their heats . The club are next racing on Saturday 31 August at the final West of England Regatta at Bideford, first race starts at 12:45.
Saturday 24 August was Torquay Regatta at Hollicombe beach half way between Torquay and Paignton. The conditions were very sunny but with a strong offshore wind blowing, this made the start area difficult for lining up in the early races.
Not long into the programme of races the umpires shortened the course to 800m to take advantage of the shelter of cliffs at Livermead point. The Blues had a small squad completing with the ladies junior 16 quad of Shannon Monaghan, Charlottie Berry, Kirsty Snow, Abie Lawson and cox Colin Pennington racing first.
They lined up with current championship leaders Bideford Reds and Plymouth, the Blues made a great start pulling out to half a length in the first 100m. They continued to row away from the Reds over the course and finished three lengths up on them. This has now put the two Bideford crews joint top of the championship with two regattas remaining. The girls had a quick turn around to next race in the ladies junior 16 doubles with Abie joining Shelby May and Kirsty and Charlotte doubling together, with the latter finishing 2nd and the other girls coming fifth.
Next was the mens masters coxed four of Colin and Neil Pennington, Nigel Cann , Nick Cleasby from the Torquay rowing club and Chloe Pennington as cox , they were racing against Teign Scullers from Teignmouth. The Blues won quite comfortably with a easily verdict. Last out for the club was Declan Monaghan in the men’s junior 16 sculls, with conditions now very choppy he managed a creditable 4th in a field of six. Next is Dartmouth Regatta on Thursday 29 August.
Shannon Monaghan, Charlotte Berry, Kirsty Snow, Abie Lawson and cox Colin Pennington