Sidmouth all set for a busy weekend of gig racing and surf life saving action

PUBLISHED: 10:25 13 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 13 July 2019

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club 'Longest Day Challenge' of 20018. This Sunday (July 14) it is the 20019 Longest Day Challenge with action getting underway from 2.15pm pff Sidmouth beach. Picture SIMON HORN

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club 'Longest Day Challenge' of 20018. This Sunday (July 14) it is the 20019 Longest Day Challenge with action getting underway from 2.15pm pff Sidmouth beach. Picture SIMON HORN

Simon Horn

The second weekend of July is set to to see Sidmouth sea front a serious hive of activity as the town plays host top two major water sports events.

Gigs all set for racing at the 2018 Sidmouth Gig Club Regatta. Sunday (July 14) sees the 2019 Sidmouth Gig Club Regatta take place. Picture SIDMOUTH GIG CLUBGigs all set for racing at the 2018 Sidmouth Gig Club Regatta. Sunday (July 14) sees the 2019 Sidmouth Gig Club Regatta take place. Picture SIDMOUTH GIG CLUB

Saturday sees the staging of the 2019 Sidmouth Gig Club Regatta with gig crews from around the South West taking part in a series of races.

This year Sidmouth Gig Club will be joined by boats from Bristol, Weymouth, Swanage, Bridport, Poole, Exmouth, Portland, Langstone, Lyme Regis and Combwich; making a total of 14 boats.

Each year the club selects a date when there will be a low tide, leaving plenty of sandy beach for the boats to land on to change crews between races.

The races will start at 10am and continue through to mid-afternoon.

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club 'Longest Day Challenge' of 20018. This Sunday (July 14) it is the 20019 Longest Day Challenge with action getting underway from 2.15pm pff Sidmouth beach. Picture SSLSCSidmouth Surf Life Saving Club 'Longest Day Challenge' of 20018. This Sunday (July 14) it is the 20019 Longest Day Challenge with action getting underway from 2.15pm pff Sidmouth beach. Picture SSLSC

There will be men's and ladies' crews, plus vets, super vets and mixed, taking part in the racing.

A new addition to this year's regatta is the inclusion of junior racing.

The course starts just off Clifton Beach and follows a triangle, with the home leg close to the shore, and easily visible from the esplanade.

Spectators are warmly invited to follow the races from the beach and the Esplanade, and enjoy the refreshments which the club will be providing.

Sunday then sees Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club hosting the Longest Day Challenge when Sidmouth beach will be filled with competitors battling the ocean, and each other, in surf lifesaving board and ski racing events in Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club's second, 'Longest Day Ocean Challenge' event - following the successful first event last year

This event provides opportunities for all ages, from eight to 60, to participate in an ocean-based event - as well as a spectacle for on-lookers.

The event is growing year on year with a 15km-long distance ocean ski and outrigger event for 2019 attracting some of the best endurance paddlers in the country. There are expected to be around 200 competitors taking part in the two elements of the event. Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club, Sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth Sailing Club will provide in-water support and water safety cover. Local law firm Gilbert and Stephens will support the event as uniform sponsors for the club. Races will run between 12.15pm and 2.30pm when paddlers will take to the water, bringing the sea alive with colour and activity.

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