Friday, May 16, 2014
The Sidmouth gig crew thoroughly enjoyed their involvement in the Scillies Gig Racing event and that helped drive thoughts towards the Sidmouth Gig Regatta which is being held in the Town on July 13.
The club’s Lois Kelly says: “The Scillies was the pinnacle event for us this year. To be able to join in the 25th year celebrations of the Scilly Islands Gig Championships, which were superbly, was something I shall remember for a long time. Lining up at St
Agnes with around 90 beautifully crafted, brightly coloured gigs each with a team of six rowers and a cox, was something to behold.”
The race took the gig crews across to St Mary’s and the Sidmouth crew. On board ‘Keith Owen’ were one of 15 of the 90 competing teams to have women aged over 50 amongst the crew and the Sidmouth boat did exceptionally well to finish seventh. The club’s veteran’s crew (that for the age of 40 and above) finished 23 out of the 46 racing in their category.
Lois Kelly continues: “It is a marvellous sport which is always exciting when rowing on the open sea. It is wonderful to see the cliffs and shore from the boat. It helps you get fit and it is exciting to row competitively in regattas held up and down our coast. It is, I feel, the ultimate team sport because you absolutely have to rely on, and support your crew, but without doubt other gig clubs are unendingly friendly, supportive and the camaraderie arising from a non-professional sport cannot be surpassed. We lend each other crew members and boats and oars but come an actual race, the adrenalin flows and winning is the most important factor.”
The one aspect currently missing from the Sidmouth Gig Club crews is a contingent of younger members. Kelly says: “We are looking forward to new younger members joining because what we do lack is fit younger men and women to race.”