Record entries at Wimbleball Regatta

Wimbleball Regatta took place on Saturday (28th June), the third of this season’s ten West of England ARA’s Championship Regattas. It was raced over a 1000m eight-lane course with J13 crews competing over 500m.

The event attracted 226 crews from J13 crews to masters H to race in 56 races, in both cases the greatest numbers ever.

By 9:30 the first boat trailer and competitors had arrived, the smell of bacon baps was wafting across the regatta field and boats were being unloaded and rigged. The first race was due at 12:00.  

At 11:45, the heavens opened and there was a torrential downpour. Crews assembling for the first races sheltered under the road bridge, the umpires and boat drivers donned waterproofs and struggled to keep loudhailers and paperwork dry.

Despite this the first race, a heat of the women’s J16 single sculls started on time and the regatta was underway, and thanks to the umpires, the regatta continued to run on time all day.

After the rain storm, which lasted about half an hour, conditions were perfect – sunny with a light breeze and the water was flat.  

The premier event, the men’s senior A (=IM1) coxed fours was won by Exeter by one length over Dart Totnes and they were presented with the Wilkinson Sword Trophy.

There were many close races including a dead heat between Dart Totnes and Exeter in the women’s J18 doubles.

The women’s J13 double also proved compelling with the home crew winning by a length, holding off a spirited challenge from Paignton.

The Championship of the Lake, the award to the club with the highest number of points, was closely fought between two of the region’s largest clubs, Exeter and Dart Totnes, with Exeter winning by just two points.  

The next event in the West of England ARA’s Championship Regatta series is on Saturday 12 July at Exeter. Find out more here: www.weara.co.uk/events.

By Andrea & Stephen Worley

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