Sidmouth Gig Club marks a successful year with announcement of a new boat.

The Sidmouth Gig Club men's A crew from the Scillies World Championship received the award for the b

The Sidmouth Gig Club men's A crew from the Scillies World Championship received the award for the best men's crew. Five of the crew, Barry Morton. Colin Bartlett, Nigel Winchester, Ollie Hemson and Nick Thompson are pictured along with Sidmouth Gig Club chairman Jeremy Cloke and chair of the social committee Julie Turner. - Credit: Archant

Forty members and friends of Sidmouth Gig Club met in the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel for their fourth annual Awards Night Dinner.

Proceedings started with a glass of bubbly in Blinis Bar and were followed by an excellent four course meal in the hotel restaurant.

After the meal it was back to Blinis for the awards ceremony, where the club marked members’ rowing prowess, their contribution to the life of the club, and one or two memorable “disasters”.

The new chairman, Jeremy Cloke announced the exciting news that the club have placed an order for a second racing-standard gig boat, from Hunkins Boat builders in Fowey, to be delivered in 2018.

In terms of the awards: the best men’s crew award was presented to the men’s A crew who rowed in the 2016 Scillies World Championship.

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In that race the crew was Nigel Winchester on Stroke, with Colin Bartlett, Ollie Hemson, Alan Rodgers, Nick Thompson and Barry Morton. Their cox was Lynn Hall.

The winner of the Best New Rower award went to Tom Colwill (men’s) and Sarah McCourt (ladies).

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The Most Improved Male Rower award went to Ollie Hemson and the most improved lady award was shared by Helen Hamilton and Ruth McNeilage. The Splash Trophy went to Barry Morton who had such an influence on the club’s 2016 Boxing Day swim. The theme had been Poldark and Barry, as well as providing many of the costumes, built a 12 foot high Poldark Mine which graced Sidmouth beach on the occasion.

Clearly a mine needs a smoking chimney and Barry improvised a fire of soggy rags; to say that his mine set the beach alight is only a slight exaggeration and the crowd certainly enjoyed the spectacle.

In real life Barry is a Sidmouth retained firemen, and his award of an engraved blade was augmented by a toy water gun!

The Veterans Trophies went to Alan Rodgers and Sarah Green. Sarah later commented that the last time she’d received a sporting award had been in 1978 when she swam at the Fowey Regatta.

The Traveller Trophy for those spreading the name of Sidmouth Gig Club to far flung places went to the group who represented the Jurassic Coast in Bermuda and the Clubman Trophy was shared by the men’s and ladies’ captain’s, Colin Bartlett and Gina Rodgers, for their superb efforts in developing the rowing groups.

Last, but certainly not least in terms of the awards, the Chairman’s Award was presented to Nigel Winchester in recognition of his past years as chairman and his positive support this year.

Sidmouth Gig Club rows on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and Sunday mornings, throughout the summer months.

The club welcome new members for both social and competitive rowing, no previous experience is necessary.

Please contact the secretary Stephen Gray at or search ‘Sidmouth Gig Club’ if you would to find out more or try a taster row.

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