OLYMPIC legend Sir Steve Redgrave was on hand to witness a bumper crop of rowing action at Stourport Regatta over the weekend.
Six-hundred crews from across the country raced along the River Severn, watched by 3,000 spectators over the two days of racing.
The Great Britain five-time Olympic gold medal winner came down to his first regatta outside London for the first time in nearly 30 years to support his son, who was racing for Upper Thames RC.
The event was hailed as a huge success for Stourport Boat Club by chairman and regatta organiser Fed Caswill.
He said: “I think this is Steve’s first provincial regatta since he became a member of the Great Britain squad 30 years ago, so it was great to see him here.
“I’ve met him on several occasions and he’s always been very chatty.
“He came to support his son and was like any normal parent by helping out.
“It was a good weekend, we had big crowds and the big turnout of crews we expected as well.
“The regatta allows us to support British rowing, give our members a chance to race on their home water and show that Stourport is a more than credible club at lots of different levels.”
The tournament was hampered by a powercut on Saturday morning that forced volunteers to be creative, but when the electricity returned at 10am, so did the magic at the regatta.
With Sir Steve watching, Stourport emerged triumphant with 23 wins over the weekend, but with the hosts not included in the competition, second-placed Ross were awarded the Jack Roberts Plaque.
The Da Hoop Cup for the most successful masters squad was won by Nottingham Boat Club.
Upper Thames Rowing Club had the most junior wins with Stourport in second place.
One of the highlights of the tournament came on Sunday, when a swiftly assembled eight of Pete Spencer, Tim Haywood, Al Barnett, Jo Dyer, Justin Connor, Dan Brighton, Ben Adams and cox Siobhan Adams drew a massive cheer from the home crowd by beating University of Birmingham.
Three crews from Stourport BC’s learn to row course also raced in the fledgling explorer category.
Caswill also praised the volunteers for their hard work.
He said: “Everybody worked exceptionally hard, we had people working 14 hour days and we can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”
Neighbours Bewdley also savoured seven wins, with one of the highlights being the junior 16s coxless quad of Tim Hopkins, Oli Bushnell, James Alexander and Kieran Showell defeating an Upper Thames quartet featuring Sir Steve’s son. Stourport BC’s next event will be the Masters and Juniors Head on Saturday, October 9.