Cornish racing ends gig competition season

16:38 02 November 2012

Sidmouth gig club

Sidmouth gig club

Archant

Members of Sidmouth Gig Club decamped to the picturesque Helford estuary recently to compete in two prestigious races deep in the heart of gig rowing territory.

The Helford Head of the River race is a gruelling row of some four and a half miles from the mouth up to the headwaters at the village of Gweek and took place on the Saturday. Sidmouth had competed in the same event for the first time last year and were anxious to do well. The Two Castles Race was a whole new experience for the club and took place the next day at Falmouth over a shorter course from St Anthony’s Head at the mouth of the Carrick Roads into Falmouth docks finishing at the National Maritime Museum.

The occasion saw the new wooden gig Keith Owen return to the county of her build for the first time drawing many admirers as she was lined up on the sandy beach at Helford Passage with 20 plus gigs from all over Cornwall and beyond. The mixed crew confidently rowed out to the line and got away reasonably well in the middle of the field at the staggered start. However, a strong head wind that persisted throughout the race began to challenge stamina and fitness and meant all crews posted slower times than last year. Sidmouth rowers showed tremendous spirit and kept rowing hard for 55 minutes crossing the line with much more experienced crews still within their sights. On collecting the Rubber Duck trophy at the prize giving Chairman Nigel Winchester stated “We’ll be ‘quack’ next year!”.

Something of a blue riband field assembled to row at Falmouth the next day and Sidmouth were determined to be in the mix. Concerns over the 45 minute row to the start line were quickly allayed as the rowers enjoyed the stunning scenery and took advantage of the following breeze.

Successfully vying for a slot on the favoured end of the line Sidmouth accelerated off to a good start surging through, wind spray and wake as 24 crews strained at their oars to break away from the main fleet.

As the tail enders fell behind Sidmouth became embroiled in an intensive battle with two other gigs over the last half of the course.

Passing the escorting committee boat, the crew were uplifted by cheering from club supporters who had managed to get onboard and pulled on every last reserve of strength to stay in contention as Keith Owen turned past the last pier into the home stretch. Crossing the line in a highly respectable 15th place, the crew quickly forgot their pain and fatigue as they watched the considerable number of gigs they had beaten finishing in procession behind them.

While elated by the performances and the opportunity to savour the close camaraderie of the wider gig community, the weekend sadly marked the end of the racing year.

Buoyed with enthusiasm the club now looks forward to some hard winter training from the relative comfort of Lyme Regis where Alma will be based. Anyone interested in rowing a gig whether as a means of keeping fit or purely for enjoyment would be most welcome to join in. Visit Sidmouth Gig Club website for details.

Other Sport Stories

15:25
Action from the petanque at Ottery St Mary

Honiton Petanque Club’s match at Ottery St Mary ended in another narrow 3-2 defeat, their third consecutive loss by the same score line.

Read more
14:44
Sidmouth Tennis Club's Davis Cup  Legacy event group who took part.

Six youngsters were presented with free tennis rackets by Sidmouth Tennis Club coaches on Sunday after graduating from the Club’s Davis Cup Legacy coaching programme writes Kate Truman.

Read more
14:44

Sidmouth Town tasted cup glory on Wednesday night when they won the Morrison Bell Cup, writes Steve Birley.

Read more
14:44
Mark Channon with the match ball after his hat-trick for Tipton St John

Tipton St John were 10 wicket winners when they entertained Marldon in their latest match, writes Phil Wright.

Read more
14:44
Sidbury batsman Ben Pollard faces the Branscombe opening bowler

Sidbury were winners when they entertained Branscombe in a fixture that was able to proceed thanks to the new all-weather wicket at their Millfield home.

Read more
14:44
Members' race at Ottery St Mary. P1081-10-10TI Point 2 Point at OSM. The 1st Race.

Horse racing enthusiasts are promised a fantastic family day out on Bank Holiday Monday (May 30), writes Donna Harris.

Read more
14:43
Cricket - generic picture

Matchday three of the Tolchards Devon League was washed out, writes Stephen Birley.

Read more
14:43
East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH

The re-arranged Eggesford fixture at Upcott Cross featured riding doubles for Jamie Thomas and Will Biddick, writes Granville Taylor.

Read more
14:42
Sidmouth Running Club's vice chairman Becky Robson presents cups to eleven year old Thomas Fletcher, Naoni Garrick and twelve year old Kate Marriott at the Sid Vale Athletics meeting on Sunday Ref shsp 21-16SH 5822. Picture: Simon Horn.

Sidmouth Running Club were once again tasked with setting out the track, course and organising the races at the 60th Sid Vale Athletic meeting at Sidford on Sunday, writes Terry Bewes.

Read more
14:42

Sidmouth runner Jennifer Bentley had only one thing on her mind on Saturday as she headed off to Cornwall to take part in the Delicious Kernow Run, writes Terry Bewes.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications