Tow it? No! Let’s row it! - Sidmouth crews row gigs to Lyme Regis for winter rowing

Sidmouth gig crew on their way to Lyme Regis

Sidmouth gig crew on their way to Lyme Regis - Credit: Archant

During the winter months, Sidmouth Gig Club keeps one of their boats at Lyme Regis, where the harbour and slipway makes launching much simpler than at Sidmouth, where we must launch from the beach, writes Jeremy Cloke.

We could tow the boat there by road trailer, but this year decided it would be much more fun to row the 15 miles along the coast from Sidmouth to Lyme.

The event was so popular we decided to take both gigs on Sunday, November 5, changing crews at Branscombe and Seaton beaches, before making the final push to Lyme.

With wind off the land and only a few squally showers, the sea was fairly calm, and the wind was following, making an enjoyable, sociable row.

Both boats were launched at 10am, and we set off in good spirits. First stop: crew change - Branscombe.

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However, an experienced crew rowed Keith Owen all the way with little change in personnel. They knew they’d had a row!!

Arriving at low tide at Lyme Regis about 2pm, Alma was moved to its storage point near the lifeboat station, and Keith Owen was loaded on a road trailer and towed home to Sidmouth.

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A celebratory drink was enjoyed by all and special thanks were expressed to Megan Rodgers for organising the whole event.

In all over 30 members took part in this epic row and a good time was had by all.

The club will be rowing in Alma at Lyme Regis on Sunday mornings over the winter; rowing at Sidmouth starts again in April. Meanwhile, a new boat is being built for the club in Fowey and the club plans to take two boats to the 2018 World Championships in the Scilly Isles next May.

Rowing at Sidmouth in the summer months is on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 5pm, and Sunday mornings from 9am. The club welcomes new members; if you’re interested, please search ‘Sidmouth Gig Club’ or email Stephen Gray at

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