Sidmouth Gig Club crews engage in ‘one-off’ Summer Solstice experience

PUBLISHED: 11:26 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:17 27 June 2018

Sidmouth Gig Club crews during their Summer Solstice row

Sidmouth Gig Club crews during their Summer Solstice row


It all started with a jovial suggestion that we should ‘row out to welcome the dawn on summer solstice day at 4am…’, writes Jeremy Cloke.

Sidmouth Gig Club crews during their Summer Solstice rowSidmouth Gig Club crews during their Summer Solstice row

Surprisingly, when the laughter subsided, one, then two and finally three crews came forward to row in this ‘one off’ experience.

And so, on Thursday, June 21, (summer solstice), three crews of Sidmouth rowers met at the beach at 4am in the gloom and launched Little Picket, Keith Owen and Alma – all three of our rowing gigs – and made the steady row out in convoy to be in position ready to welcome the solstice.

It was a still and almost eerie atmosphere with a glassy calm sea as the sun finally started to rise over the Branscombe cliffs.

It was made even more atmospheric by Barry Morton’s highly authentic druid outfit!

All three gigs took up parallel positions and crews raised their oars in a solstice salute as the sun broke.

As daybreak took hold, the three crews rowed a circular course along the Esplanade and back to the beach to be followed by bed and/or breakfast.

This coming Sunday (July 1), the club is planning a social row to Budleigh where we will meet up with Exmouth Gig Club for a joint barbecue.

Plans are also progressing well for our own Regatta on Sunday, July 15, at the Clifton end of the Esplanade. All are welcome.

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