Sidmouth Gig Club crews impress at Head of River race in Cornwall

Sidmouth Gig Club members at the Head of River race meeting in Cornwall. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Sidmouth Gig Club members at the Head of River race meeting in Cornwall. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The first Saturday of October saw Sidmouth Gig Club enter two mixed crews in the Helford Head of the River Race for the seventh year in succession, writes Nick Thompson.

Sidmouth’s B crew at the start of the Head of River race meeting in Cornwall. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Sidmouth’s B crew at the start of the Head of River race meeting in Cornwall. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The first Saturday of October saw Sidmouth Gig Club enter two mixed crews in the Helford Head of the River Race for the seventh year in succession, writes Nick Thompson.

The pre-race forecast was for 40 mile an hour winds and heavy rain. However, luck was on their side, the rain cleared but the blustery wind made conditions very challenging especially at the start of the race which is in open sea water.

The race marks the end of the season’s competitions and is a gruelling 7.7kms, starting out at the head of the River Helford in Cornwall and rowing up stream to Gweek.

En route you row past such famous spots as the romantic and mystical Frenchman’s Creek, not that the rowers were in a position to enjoy the idyllic countryside.


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The race is a handicapped timed race with both Sidmouth crews setting off together in the sixth group. The A crew, consisting of Linda Wheate, Scotty Rowson , Rachel Horwood, James Tarr, Kirsten Welch and Pete Blackmore with a guest cox Paddy Cronin from Devoran, had an excellent race finishing in 13th place in a time of 43:14.

The B crew was Jacqui Blackmore, Philomena Steer, Greg McQueen, Nigel Winchester, Heather Bewick and John Richardson, coxed by Julie Turner.

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They rowed hard for 50:04 minutes and finished 21st.

The next day the crews took a leisure boat out on the Helford estuary in the sunshine and calm waters. What a difference a day makes!

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