This year, as part of their very popular regatta weekend, Bewdley Rowing Club introduced a thrilling new event – 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, with £450 prize money up for grabs, 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 2 Eights racing flat out for just 35- 40 strokes makes an impressive and thrilling event, and the crowd loved it!”. In fact the crowds got so involved it was reminiscent of the Olympics at Eton Dorney with our very own “Bewdley Roar!” accompanying the start of each race.
12 Eights entered from a total of 10 clubs (Bristol Ariel, Worcester, Bewdley, Trafford, Green Templeton, City of Oxford, Liverpool University, Stourport, Monmouth, Nottingham), with Temple Green’s entry being a Women’s Eight and every race was close. With heats, quarters, semis we had two local clubs, Worcester RC and Stourport BC, lining 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” with every spectator really getting involved . Both Eights shot up the course each rating over 45, and it was nip and tuck every stroke with Stourport just nudging ahead in the last few meters to take the prize by ½ length.
It 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!
The regatta itself saw over 300 entries on both days over the weekend of high quality racing. Clubs and Universities from all over the country came to take part, competing in singles through to eights, novice through to Elite.
There was another first for the club – to have a blind competitor take part in the women’s novice single sculls event. The sculler from Worcester Rowing Club was lead down the course by another sculler with a microphone radio headset who talked her through the race.
Bewdley itself saw many wins for the club over the two day event for all areas of the club – junior, senior and masters. With a notable womens novice single event which saw four women from Bewdley all compete against one another in a large entry event; needless to say Bewdley won!