A HUGE crowd of spectators saw the latest round of the West of England Amateur Rowing Association Championship at the Appledore and Instow Regatta.
Local clubs Bideford Blues and Bideford Reds recorded eight race wins between them, watched by hundreds of people lining the quay.
The most exciting finish came in the women’s junior 16 quads where the Reds crew just beat the Blues, only to be disqualified.
Having been neck-and-neck over the closing stages of the course, the Reds – Abby Jones, Libbie Willis, Jess Cox and Hannah Vincent – edged ahead on the line.
The coxes in both boats had raised their hands to alert the umpire to an incident and the officials ruled the Reds were at fault for taking the Blues’ water and hitting them.
After beating the Reds at Paignton the previous week, the win for the Blues crew of Shannon Monaghan, Charlotte Berry, Kirsty Snow and Abbie Lawson cut their rivals’ championship lead to just one point with three races remaining.
It was a two-horse Blues race in the women’s junior 18 doubles, which saw the A crew of Annie Cook and Jessica Myers taking first place ahead of the B team.
The club also had second places in the men’s novice doubles, mixed open fours and women’s novice quads, and thirds in the women’s junior 14 quads, men’s senior c fours, men’s junior 16 sculls and women’s novice quads.
Bideford Reds’ junior 14 quad of Kayla Johnson, Georgia O’Connor, Olivia Pearce and Freya Vincent hold a three-point lead over pre-season favourites Paignton after winning yesterday’s race.
The boys took first and second, with the A crew of Isaac Crowther, Alex Dulalibi-Wilson, Jude Brittle and Jamie Norton winning the race to close the gap to just two points on current leaders Dart-Totnes.
Other victories for the Reds came in the junior 16 quads through Dan Crowther, Nick Dulalibi-Wilson, Eden Brittle and Alex Rowland, with Wilson and Crowther also picking up a win in the corresponding double sculls.
There were also wins for the Reds’ veterans and the senior B four of Adam Curtis, James Williams, Jon Lamont and Richard Prust.
The next regatta is at Torquay on Saturday, followed by Dartmouth and Bideford.