This took place on Sunday at Appledore, with 7 or 8 boats in most of the races. It was an overcast day, rather humid with occasional rain showers, but calm sea conditions and light winds. The first race started at 09.45am, and the organisers managed to fit in 12 separate races, finishing with the 'six decades' race (six rowers in each boat, each born in a different decade) at 3.00pm.
Ilfracombe continued their winning streak, taking first place in seven races, second place in three races and fourth place in two races. Torridge came second overall with two first places, three second places, six third places and a fifth place, and Appledore third equal with Boscastle.
Future regattas are further afield in the next few weeks (Paignton, Devoran, Port Issac and Boscastle to name a few), the next local regatta will be Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club Sprint regatta on Sunday 27th August on the River Taw in Barnstaple. All of the local clubs are expected to be taking part in what should be a colourful spectacle in the middle of town.
Pilot Gig Boat Clubs from as far afield as Bristol and Lyme Regis Joined the North Devon Clubs to take part in the regatta on Saturday. The glorious weather and the calm seas facilitated excellent rowing conditions and a series of hard-fought races around the kite-shaped course marked by buoys clearly visible by the watching crowds from Ilfracombe pier and vantage points on the Capstone and Lantern hill. The different clubs established a colourful temporary village on the beach next to the Lifeboat slipway, with shelters erected for rowing bags and equipment storage for the day. In addition Ilfracombe Pilot Gig Club ran a popular cake, burger and tea and coffee stall on the pier, which was well patronised throughout the day.
Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club showed the benefit of another year’s training, with most crews staying up with the pack right up to the finishing line; the BPGC Ladies Vets crew gained the best result of the day for the club with a second place in their race, behind the Ilfracombe crew.
Barnstaple Pilot Gig Boat Club held their annual awards evening on Sunday 10th January at the Rolle Quay Pub, immediately following on from a rowing training weekend at Appledore. Club members were pleased to be joined for the evening by Councillor John Mathews, Councillor Ian Roome, Peter Woodhams (Landlord at the Rolle Quay Pub), and the Club President Keith Abrahams, all of whom are ardent supporters of the Club and donators of some of the trophies awarded .
Tony Layton (club chairman) and Chris Walter (vice chairman) briefly ran through the highlights of the 2015 rowing season before asking the guests to present their trophies to the club members nominated to receive them. These were as follows:
Boy rower of the year – George Black
Girl rower of the year – Ellie Stephenson
Junior newcomer of the year- Rebecca Moody
Junior member who has contributed most to the club – Ellie Ward
Male rower of the year – Simon Hebbard
Female rower of the year – Kelly Baker
Newcomer of the year – Dawn Buchanan
Adult member who has contributed most to the club – Jo Walter
Tony Layton commented on the wonderful spirit within the Club, as shown by the wide range of nominations for the ‘member who has contributed most to the club’, and the approaching competitive rowing season is looked upon as an opportunity for both the junior and adult sections to build on past successes.
Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club sent 27 rowers to take part in the World Championships in the Sicily Isles for the Bank Holiday weekend and a number of supporters attended as well.
The first event was the Supervet races on the Friday and, as a tribute to David Butt, Barum rowers wore black armbands during the race. David was a good friend to the Club and he gave a great deal of assistance during its formation. In addition many Club members knew David personally and were sorry not to be able to attend his funeral that day.
Racing conditions were difficult for the Barum rowers, with strong winds whipping up confusing wave patterns, but both the Ladies and Men’s crews improved on last year’s performance in the Supervets races, the Ladies placed 17th out of 25, and the Men 24th out of 32.
The two boats Nipper and Lady Freda were used by both the Ladies and Men’s crews on Saturday and Sunday for the remainder of the Championships, and some Barum rowers helped other North Devon Clubs by filling vacant positions for some of the races.
The Ladies crew in Lady Freda were featured on BBC’s Spotlight programme when they were involved in a spectacular collision during their final race. The Barum crew had led their group nearly all of the way to the finish line in St. Mary’s harbour when a boat behind them collided at speed on the stern quarter; this knocked Lady Freda into the path of another boat which struck the bow quarter just as the other boat’s rowers were sweeping their oars back. The Barum rowers took avoiding action but one of the ladies received a heavy blow on the arm and ended up on the floorboards. In the meantime, Ilfracombe’s ladies in Rogue were pulling up rapidly on the outside and crossed the line first, while the three boats involved in the collision drifted past the line. Lady Freda was awarded third place, but North Devon’s honour was upheld by the Ilfracombe boat.
The final 2016 positions were (2015 results in brackets):
Ladies – ‘Nipper’ crew 87 (84); ‘Lady Freda’ crew 99 (111)
Men – ‘Nipper’ crew 120 (107); ‘Lady Freda’ crew 110 (137)
Five Gig clubs took part in the annual Two Bridges race on Saturday, with seven boats in the men’s race and six in the ladies race.
Conditions were good for rowing, with calm seas and light winds. The event started at Bideford new bridge, with the men’s crews battling against the rising tide on the river Torridge until they turned into the river Taw, where the rising tide helped to push them towards Barnstaple. Appledore lead the pack most of the way in ‘Whitford’ to win the men’s race, with some exciting close racing behind them. Barum’s ‘Lady Freda’ had a close race with Bude’s ‘Bedehaven’, eventually finishing in fourth place with the second Barum boat ‘Nipper’ in seventh place.
The waiting ladies crews took over the boats after the men crossed the finishing line at Barnstaple new bridge, which was also the starting line for the ladies race. The ladies raced back to the Anchor slipway at Appledore, again led by Appledore’s crew in Whitford. Barum’s ladies were third in ‘Nipper’.
Appledore have now won two years in succession, will next year make it three?
Clubs and boats taking part were:
Appledore (Whitford and Verbena)
Barnstaple (Lady Freda and Nipper)
Clovelly (Christine H)
Torridge (Will-to Win)
Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club sent three crews (men’s, ladies and juniors) to the historic Docks in Bristol on Saturday 2nd April for the Bristol Club’s annual regatta, and two Supervet crews to Appledore for the annual Supervets championships. Both events used plastic training gig boats because most of the wooden racing gigs are en-route to the Scillies for the World Championships in early May, so crews were allocated boats to race in just prior to the actual race.
The Bristol event took place in the historic harbour area, with the start line to the west of Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the finish line adjacent to the sea lock entrance to the River Avon. It was a full-on sprint event past the SS Great Britain, the rowing club slipway and the popular public quayside to the finish line, approximately eight minutes hard rowing. The sun shone and the watching crowds were entertained with some thrilling racing; crews were set off two at a time for timed races, and the fastest six crews in each category went on to the semi-finals and finals to determine the winning race order. Unfortunately Barum just missed-out on qualifying for the semi-finals, but had better fortune at Appledore.
There were twenty-four Ladies crews and twenty-four Men’s crews at Appledore on Saturday, racing in elimination heats of six boats, starting at the Fish Dock and finishing at Churchfield car park breakwater. The first three crews in each race went on to compete in the semi-finals on Sunday. Barum’s Ladies crew were very unlucky not to qualify on Saturday, missing third place in their heat by less than two metres. The Barum men’s crew easily qualified on Saturday, beating the respected Appledore crew in their event, to go on and take second place in the Sunday semi-final and win a place in the final race. Unfortunately there was a lot of jostling prior to the start of the men’s final for the preferred inside channel, and as a result Barum’s crew clashed oars on both sides and were boxed-out by the other crews. They stayed in touch with the pack all the way to the finish line, with Teign A just getting ahead of Appledore to take the trophy. Final positions were:
4th Lyme Regis
6th Teign B
1st Teign A
3rd Lyme Regis A
5th Weymouth A