Bexhill wins Bideford Bowl

Swanage played host to the 58th South Coast Championships on Saturday with crews competing from Hants & Dorset ARA, (H&D ARA) the Coast ARA (CARA) and the West of England ARA (WEARA). 

With six Championship events interspersed by supporting events for juniors and non-championship categories, there was plenty of racing for everyone. 

The Men’s Senior Championship for the Bideford Bowl was won in style by Bexhill Rowing Club meaning the Sussex-based club took the trophy for both Senior Championship events. 

Bexhill went into the Men’s Senior Championship as one of the favourites having already enjoyed a triumphant season, and they didn’t disappoint. 

Last year’s winners of the Bideford Bowl, Itchen Imperial Rowing Club, also showed their strength. The Southampton-based club won the Ladies’ Junior Championship and were second by just a foot to Bexhill in the closest race of the day, the Ladies’ Senior Championship. 

After racing had finished, Itchen Imperial Club Captain, Chris Foad said, “In addition to the two championship events, we also came first and second in the ladies’ junior open, and first in the men’s novice open and masters’ 40 open. 

“This number of wins made us the most successful club of the Championships and is a fitting end to a fantastic year which saw us clinch six Hants & Dorset Championships.”

In the Masters’ event, which opened the regatta, the experienced Poole Rowing Club crew of Pete Jacobs, Ray Wilson, Ray Murphy, Matt Sewell were coxed by Chez Hill to victory ahead of Folkestone and Hastings. 

Deal Rowing Club had two crews qualify for the Men’s Junior Championship event, their ‘A’ crew taking the honours by just under a length ahead of Shanklin Rowing Club.

With strong winds forecast for the weekend, Sunday’s Junior and Small Boats Regatta was cancelled on Friday afternoon, however the Organising Committee reacted quickly and made provision for a number of the junior competitors to race on the Saturday afternoon.

In between updating the crowds on the racing, commentator Kevin Ayles said, “We were a bit concerned about the weather this morning, but we got things going eventually and have had some fantastic racing.”

The 2015 South Coast Rowing Championships will be held on Wimbleball Lake on 12-13 September.

Full results* from the 2014 Championships will soon be available at:

By James Lee

*Please note that the results in this article are provisional and may be subject to change.