Appledore regatta started with the mens A which right from the start was a close race. Appledore, Torridge and Ilfracombe broke away from the pack and halfway down the first leg it was a two boat race out of Torridge and Ilfracombe. With good turns from both crews it was still neck and neck and it was down the final leg that the strength and stamina of the Ilfracombe crew that nudged them in front to take the win. A great result and start to the regatta. Ilfracombe ladies A then comfortably took 3rd, after a fight down the first leg as all crews battled for position and a good pace set by Gail Clemence.
The Mens B and Ilfracombe had two boats in this race. With good starts from all crews the boats were all level. Then Rapparee and Rogue (Ilfracombe boats) edged their bows forward stroke for stroke it was Rogue in the lead then Rapparee you could hear the coxes ‘encouraging’ their crews from the land! And by the first buoy turn Rapparee had edged it first to get the mark but Rogue weren’t going to make it easy for them they stayed on their tails and pushed them all the way a good result for both the Ilfracombe crews taking 1st and 2nd.
The ladies B were then up and after a disastrous start when Appledore unfortunately drifted in their path Ilfracombe had a lot of ground to make up. Having to put the power in down the long first stretch to catch the other boats Ilfracombe ladies showed their fitness. By the first buoy Ilfracombe had caught up and with excellent coxing from David Waters and good power from Jade Rendle and Sarah Barclay they managed to pass 4 boats. They held their own down the next leg avoiding a boat that was weaving (later Disqualified!) and by the last leg they put in all they had and came a strong 4th a good row from Paula Middlecote in her first regatta.
The Juniors had a long straight race (different from the senior races) and it was good to see a hard fought race between all crew. Ilfracombe’s U16 settled in, after oar clashing on the start line as Barnstaple had to drift over due to Appledore entering the line, and with a superb pace were soon clear of most of the pack. It was neck and neck with Bude as they headed for the finish line. With awesome power from the engine room of Tom Jeffery and Toma Lazarov, the crew remained with Bude all the way, with all giving everything. Bude just finished ahead of Ilfracombe as they crossed the finish line.
The Ladies Vets, after a good start, settled into a good position as they headed down the first leg, reaching the first buoy in second position. Once turned, the crew raced away as they chased down first place. On the second turn, Appledore managed to get on the inside as Ilfracombe took a wider approach and got ahead into second position. Ilfracombe ladies then dug deep to make up lost ground, with good power from everyone in the crew, they were gaining with every stroke, and maintained there position crossing the line in 3rd. The Men’s Vets, after a clean start, paced their way down the first leg with Colin Emery keeping control, keeping level with Torridge for much of the first leg. However, Torridge then edged ahead allowing them the mark on the first turn, with Ilfracombe getting the call over Appledore. With a tight turn on the buoy, Appledore had to go wide, and Ilfracombe powered away sitting in a comfortable second place. Another close turn on the second mark, with Jerry Rendle and Chris Crow assisting. The men maintained their good form and position on the home leg to cross the line 2nd.
The last race was the mixed and the pressure was on as Torridge were neck and neck on points to win the regatta overall. After a clear start, Ilfracombe, Torridge and Appledore battled it out as the headed for the first buoy. Ilfracombe just edged ahead to get the mark and with a tight turn, with good stroke side power from Karis Frost and Andy Baker, they managed to race away. But Appledore and Torridge did not give up and after the second turn, all three crew had to dig deep on the home stretch. With a good pace set by Mike Davison, Ilfracombe remained settled, getting their bow ahead and crossing the line in first place.