A strong turnout of boat categories and ages saw Loughborough Boat Club achieve several well deserved victories at Bewdley Regatta on the River Severn. Two days of side-by-side knockout racing featured Club Members aged from 14 to 65 racing against many of the West Midlands strongest clubs. Hot weather, tricky crosswinds, and a twisting 800 meter course bordered by rocks and reeds made for exciting and competitive races where skill at steering counted for as much as speed and fitness.

Highlight of the weekend was the ‘Sprint Eight’ event, in which the strongest 8 man (and women) crews race flat out over a shortened course with no holds barred and no time to take your foot off the gas. Think ‘Formula One’ over a 200 meter track…! The setting on Bewdley’s waterfront right in front of the pubs ensures a maximum crowd of noisy spectators, adding to the frenzy. The Loughborough men and women’s crews both performed enthusiastically, but were outgunned in size and weight by some of the larger clubs. However, it is encouraging that the Club is once again developing a regular turnout in Eights, which are at the heart of this inclusive team sport.

Victory for Charlotte Shields in the Women’s Novice Single Scull marked a key point in any rower’s career, namely their first win, which was celebrated in the traditional manner by a dunking in the river! Another notable victory came from Age 14 Junior Double Scullers Nicole and Tara, who showed particular promise in this competitive category. Further wins were recorded by the club’s Mixed Eight (combined men and women) against Bridgnorth, the Senior Quadruple Scull against hosts Bewdley, and the Master’s Pair of Andy Hill and Jerry Heygate against Ross RC, after a fierce contest featuring a clash of oars and an Umpiring appeal at the finish.

The Club’s next regatta is scheduled at Stourport on the weekend of 13th August.