Exmouth Gig Club took part in their first Gig Racing Regatta at Sidmouth on Sunday 13th July after launching their club just 3 months earlier!
The excited crew of 13 Exmouth Gig Rowers, many of which have only rowed for 2 or 3 months, took to the sea to battle it out against 7 other teams from around the coast including Weymouth, Teignmouth, Lyme Regis, Swanage, Bridport and Sidmouth.
Sporting their brand new rowing kit and rowing their striking orange and black 32ft Pilot, they entered a Men’s, Ladies and a mixed team at the well organized event which is in its second year. After training in the waters around Exmouth together, many of the Exmouth crew members had never witnessed a Gig Race, so it was a treat to watch the first round kick off with the finishing straight running parallel to the Esplanade giving onlookers a great view of the colourful wooden Gigs as they fought for the finish line.
The Exmouth crews rowed hard against a stiffening Northwesterly wind but could not quite match the much more experienced teams they were up against, despite the Exmouth Men’s crew closing the gap on Sidmouth’s boat as they pursued them down the home straight. The support shown to Exmouth on their first appearance showed how welcoming the Gig Community is. The overall winners at the event were the very accomplished crews of Weymouth who were strong throughout all divisions, further backing their success as one of the best Jurassic coast clubs. Club Chairman Ben Atkinson was brimming with pride as the day came to a close saying ‘seeing our crews taking part in racing after only launching the club in March represents a massive achievement for the club and everyone has got so much out of today, giving us all the motivation to enter more regattas as the season continues’.
Exmouth Gig Club hold rowing sessions on Thursday evenings, Saturdays and have recently introduced a session every other Tuesday to cater for the increasing demand. Anyone from the age of 14 can come and have a go regardless of whether they have rowing experience. You can find out more about the club or contact us via our website www.exmouthgigclub.com including information on upcoming events. As the club membership grows, we are looking to attract further funding to cover running costs and update our equipment and we encourage any local businesses to contact us if they want to get involved.