EXETER Rowing Club cemented their position as the top West of England club, in both championship fours and singles events, with their performances at Dartmouth Regatta.

Having been neck and neck with Bideford Blues in the race to secure top spot in the fours table, the ten points Exeter secured on the River Dart enabled them to finish with a total of 120, just two-and-a-half ahead of Blues, with the Fowey- based Castledore club third on 92.5.

Exeter were also convincing winners of the single sculls, heading the table with an impressive 28 wins, some nine ahead of Plymouth, with Dart-Totnes in third spot on 18.

What is even more impressive is the fact that most of their victories in local regattas have come from the efforts of their talented squad of juniors, with the Exeter seniors only con- tributing to any degree at their own regatta and also at Falmouth during the mid-season.

Although single sculler Phoebe Muir, from Exeter, was a convincing winner of both the girls’ Junior 18 and 16 categories, where she finished well clear of the chasing pack with 20 and 24 points respectively, the top performer throughout the season was Junior 14 single sculler Izzy Burridge, from Dart-Totnes, who picked up a massive 27 points from her unbeaten nine starts. That was the highest total accumulated by any rower during the ten-race championship season.

Honours in the other single scull categories were spread among the West of England clubs with Torquay’s Elliot Barton winning the men’s Senior A singles and Rebecca Butchart (Plymouth) finishing as the top female – winning both the Senior A and Senior B categories with ten and 13 points respectively.

Declan Monaghan, from Bideford Blues, finished six points ahead of Paignton’s Rob Harris at Senior C level, while even more convincing was Falmouth-Greenbank’s Lex Kerr, in the Junior 18 di- vision, who ended the sea- son nine points clear of his three nearest challengers.

Young Will Cleasby, from Torquay, looks to be following in his father’s footsteps, following victory in the Junior 16 title race, and equally convincing was Exeter’s Ed Fuller, in the Junior 14 age group. He was 11 points clear of second-place Torin Peel (Dartmouth).

The dramatic progress being made at the Castledore club over the past 12 months was highlighted by the four top places they secured in the Championship fours as well as a joint second spot in the girls’ Junior 18 fours.

Their squad of junior women finished in top spot in both the Junior 16 and Junior 14 quads and were only edged out of top spot in the Junior 18 category by the talented Exeter squad.

At the other end of the age scale the Fowey ladies’ Masters crew finished four points clear of their rivals, while in another keenly contested category, they ended the year just two points ahead of their nearest challengers from Dartmouth in the women’s Senior B section.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.