Lyme Regis gig crew impress at Under-14 County Championships
- Credit: Archant
Lyme Gig Club sent a crew of juniors to the annual Under-14 County Championships held in Hayle, Cornwall, writes Tony Ford.
This is the main championships for the juniors and is the first time Lyme Regis Gig Club have entered a crew.
The crew entered were a mixture of A and B crew rowers. Going as first timers, the club had no expectations, but also knew they were sending a committed team of rowers into the heartland of Cornish Pilot Gig Rowing – lambs to the proverbial slaughter – they were not!
The racing is made up of a number of knock-out rounds, each of three boats, along a 700m straight line sprint course and some 31 crews were in action.
Lyme faced Tamar Tavy and Coverack B in round one. These were dispensed with through some ruthless disciplined rowing, taking Lyme through and not having to rely upon a fastest losers spot.
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Next up, in round two, Lyme faced Cadgwith and Pothleven. They came in second in the heat, but qualified to the next round as the fastest loser from all the heats, knocking a full 10 seconds off their round one time.
This put them into the quarter-finals and faced a heat against the two fastest crews of the day so far in Brixham and again Cadgwith.
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Lyme were trailing in third and with only two losers from the four heats qualifying it looked like the end, but, as a result of a clear step up in the stroke rate with 150m to go they caught the tail of the leading crews and made it, by a whisker, to the semi-finals and the final six crews. This certainly did show the crew had superb collective determination.
In their semi-final the crew were once again drawn against the rated Brixham crew and favourites Coverack.
Again, despite the standard of the other crews, the Lyme crew held their nerve. At the halfway point they had lost a boat length on the other crews, but gradually started to pull back on them.
In the end they ran out of water and were left to finish third and sixth overall, just 10 seconds behind eventual champions Rame.
The day’s runners-up were Coverack and third were Brixham.
Most of this crew have another year in this age category and with the squad at full strength the club will return in 2018, this time with real expectations. Congratulations to Emma, Aiden, Tom, Seb, Saffie and Pearl.
Thanks to Hayle Gig Club for a brilliant regatta, Rame Gig Club for support, Diana Dixon for coxing and managing things on the day, Kate for support and Kerry Maguire for all the planning.