Sprint Eights Spark ‘Bewdley Roar’
This year, Bewdley Rowing Club introduced a thrilling new event as part of its popular regatta weekend at the end of July – the Mug House Sprint Eights.
Open to any Eight, regardless of status, age or gender, the Sprint Eights event was raced upstream over just 200m, starting and finishing within view of the clubhouse and the whole of Bewdley town. The prize was £450, provided by the event’s sponsor The Mug House pub.
“The aim of this event was to put on a real show for spectators and competitors alike”, said Simon Collingridge, Bewdley’s Captain. “People watching regattas don’t always see the start of races, often the most exciting part, so to have two eights racing flat out for just 35-40 strokes makes an impressive and thrilling event, and the crowd loved it!”.
The crowds got so involved on the day that it was reminiscent of the London 2012 Olympic Regatta at Eton Dorney, with a ‘Bewdley Roar’ accompanying the start of each race.
A total of 12 eights were entered from 10 different clubs (Bristol Ariel, Worcester, Bewdley, Trafford, Green Templeton, City of Oxford, Liverpool University, Stourport, Monmouth and Nottingham), with Temple Green’s entry being a women’s eight.
Every race was close until, after the heats, quarters, and semis, two local clubs – Worcester RC and Stourport BC – lined up on the start line for the Final. It looked like the whole town had followed the noise and made their way down to the river in time to watch as the race was started, and up went a huge ‘Bewdley Roar’. Both eights shot up the course, each rating over 45, and it was nip and tuck on every stroke.
Stourport managed to nudge ahead at the crucial time, forging a half-length lead in the last few meters to take the £450 prize.
The event proved to be a real highlight of the day, with spectators, competitors and sponsors all saying how successful it had been. Watch out for next year!