Appledore & Instow Regatta

Six wins, three 2nds and two 3rds meant another successful regatta for the Bideford Blues this weekend.

Dave Byrnes kicked off the events with a 2nd place in the men’s senior B Sculls whilst Shelby May and Freya Heddison gained 1st place as they cruised through a row over in the women’s junior 18 doubles.

Milo George won 1st in the men’s senior C scull and Jo Moulder and Kirsty Snow had another win in the women’s junior 16’s double.

The men’s veteran crew of Neil Pennington, Colin Pennington, Nigel Cann and Dave Byrne standing in for Steve Clements with Chloe Pennington (cox) had another successful win.

Shannon Monaghan settled for 3rd place in the women’s junior 16 sculls while Jess Myers and Annie Cook came in 4th in the women’s senior C doubles.

Bideford Reds rower Olly Gibbons, standing in for an absent Charlie White paired up with Declan Monaghan from the Bideford Blues to form a mixed club crew in the men’s junior 16 doubles. The pair had an excellent row and managed to secure 2nd place.

Annie Cook and Jess Myers teamed up again, this time with Frances Lethridge, Freya Heddison and Tina Robertson (cox) for the women’s senior C fours. A strong performance resulted in a clear win.

The women junior 16 quad of Shannon Monaghan, Shelby May, Kirsty Snow, Jo Moulder and Zoe Robertson (cox) rowed a fantastic race and despite an extra effort towards the end of the race had to settle for 2nd place.

The final win for the club came from the mixed senior C crew of Frances Lethridge, Annie Cook, Milo George, Dave Byrne and Tina Robertson (cox).

Finally, Declan Monaghan took 3rd place in the men’s junior 16 scull race. All in all a very good day’s rowing for the home club.

British Rowing Junior Championships

Junior Championships Charle and NickThe North Devon duo of Charlie White and Nick Dualibi-Wilson travelled to Nottingham on Saturday for the British Rowing Junior Championships. Charlie who rows for Bideford Amateur Athletic Club (the Blues) and Nick who rows for Bideford Amateur Rowing Club (the Reds) teamed up for the double skull event which attracts experienced young rowers from all over the country.

They finished 5th fastest over the 1500m time trial course on Saturday and qualified for the semi-finals which was held on Sunday. They finished second in the semi-finals and went on to bring home a bronze medal by finishing 3rd in the A category of the 2000m final. Both clubs are extremely proud of the lads for this amazing achievement.

Falmouth Regatta

A small team of rowers from Bideford Amateur Athletic Club travelled to Falmouth on Saturday to take part in the annual regatta. Bringing home four wins made the trip a very successful one.

The ladies junior quad of Kirsty Snow, Charlotte Berry, Shelby May and Shannon Monaghue with Zoe Robertson (cox) gave a fantastic performance winning their race by a clear length ahead of the Bideford Reds.

The ladies junior 16’s double of Kirsty Snow and Charlotte Berry also had first position whilst Dave Byrnes had two wins in the Masters single skull and the men’s senior B single skull.

The veteran crew of Neil Pennington, Nigel Cann, Steve Clements, and Colin Pennington with Chloe Pennington (cox) had to settle for second position behind Falmouth who took full advantage of their 15 second head start.

Declan Monaghue finished a very respectable 3rd place in the junior 16’s men’s single skull whilst sister Shannon finished in 5th place in the ladies junior 16’s single skull.

Wimbleball Regatta

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.

Totnes Regatta

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.

Plymouth Regatta

PlymouthRegatta2014Crews 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.

Rowing European Champions


Alastair Peake (left) and David Byrnes, the newly crowned European Champion (right) pictured in Denmark with current world record holder and Olympian, Eskild Ebbesen.

South Coast Championships

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.