County Gig Championships

Image of the County Gig Championships

The weekend of the 4th and 5th September saw the annual County gig championships take place in Cornwall and hosted by Newquay Rowing Club. Although named the ‘county’ gig championships, a total of 92 womens crews competed, from all over the South West and beyond. This year, the Dutch womens crew, following their 3rd placed result in the world championships came over to challenge defending champions Falmouth.

This year the top three placed crews in each heat of six continued to the second round, as opposed to the first round being timed in previous years in an attempt to eliminate any disadvantages from racing at different points of the days in differing sea conditions. With a small swell and a strong SEE wind the sea conditions were fairly flat, chopping up slightly around lunchtime. The second round saw some strong crews drawn together, making for some fast times. The winner of each heat went through, and the sixteen fastest losers. At the end of day one, only 24 crews remained for the following days racing. All the top crews were looking strong on the first day, making a prediction of the final result a difficult task.

The second day saw crews breathe a sigh of relief as the sea was flatter again, but the weather was not kind as it poured down most of the morning. The Sunday saw a total of 25 junior crews attend, all hoping to challenge last year’s champions Cadgwith.  Five heats of junior crews raced over a slightly shortened course with the wet conditions making for slippery handles. The top 12 crews progressed to the semi finals.

The ladies quarter finals followed with some very tight racing in each race. Only the winners and the top 8 fastest losers progressed and so a fast time was of paramount importance. The rain held off for the junior and ladies semi finals, leaving the strongest crews in each category for the afternoons six boat finals.

The junior course was run over the full ladies course, a real test of fitness as the third race of the day for all crews. Last years winners Cadgwith were hot favourites with Devoran and Helford the likeliest crews to challenge them. The top three crews pulled away from the pack early on with 6 boys in each boat. Cadgwith crossed the line first several lengths clear of second placed Devoran, with Helford following. Fourth and fifth placed Looe and Coveracks crews each had 2 girls and 4 boys in the boat, with all boy crew Rock finishing 6th. This victory led Cadgwith to secure the trophy two years running with at least half of last years crew. Well done to cox/coach Jeb Preston and his squad for this achievement. Caradon A crew were presented with medals for being the highest placed all girls crew. 

The ladies final followed with an extremely strong line up of ladies crews with no real surprises as to who had made the final stage. Defending champions Falmouth looked strong up the first leg, reaching the first buoy in front. The Falmouth crew continued to pull away and finished the race several lengths clear. The following crews were a lot closer, with Caradon ladies putting on a squeeze in the final minute to finish in third with an overlap on second placed Charlestown. Mounts Bay crossed the line just behind Caradon in fourth, their best result of the season. Roseland ladies came in fifth and host club Newquay crossed the line in 6th place.

TOP 12 RESULTS – ladies
1.    Falmouth A
2.    Charlestown A
3.    Caradon A
4.    Mounts Bay A
5.    Roseland A
6.    Newquay A
7.    SRV (Dutch)
8.    Falmouth B
9.    Caradon B
10.    Truro A
11.    Swanage A
12.    Helford A

1.    Cadgwith A
2.    Devoran A
3.    Helford A
4.    Looe A
5.    Coverack A
6.    Rock B
7.    Fowey A
8.    Padstow A
9.    Yealm A
10.   Looe B
11.   Newquay A
12.   Coverack B