Barnstaple, Torridge, Appledore and Clovelly Pilot Gig clubs all attended Rock Rowing Clubs Gig Boat regatta on Sunday at Daymer Beach, on the Camel estuary near Rock. 28 gig boats were assembled on the beach by 9.00am, but at that time the river was blanketed in fog. This slowly cleared in time for the Ladies Veterans race to start at about 10.00am; unfortunately the fog rolled back in again shortly after the start so that all the racing boats were lost in the mist to the spectators on the shore. Fortunately the cox’ns were still able to see the buoys marking out the course and no one got lost. Some 25 minutes later the leading boats in this race emerged from the fog to cross the finishing line as they approached the beach.
The fog finally cleared altogether for all of the remaining races, and it turned into a glorious summer’s day providing fine entertainment for the large crowd of visitors, locals and rowers now assembled on the beach. The Ladies Vets were followed by the Men’s Vets, Ladies B crews, Men’s B crews, Juniors U14 and U16 crews, Ladies A, Men’s A and a Novelty Mixed crew race right at the end.
Because of the large number of entries, some of the races were run as two heats, leading to a complicated scoring system which left a few competitors scratching their heads trying to puzzle it out. The Barnstaple crews generally came about middle of the pack, except for the Ladies Vets who were well placed in the leading group of boats to cross the line.