Newquay County Gig Championships 2013

September the 29th saw the final event of the 2013 gig racing season – the rescheduled Men’s County Gig Championships at Newquay.

Poor weather had led to the event being postponed from a fortnight previous. This rescheduling meant several changes to crew line-ups – strengthening some, but adversely affecting many others. A total of 90 crews raced over the two weekends, with Falmouth Gig Club out to retain their title.

The line-up for the final saw three crews from Caradon qualify – a feat never before achieved in the history of the championships. The Caradon A crew challenged Falmouth A throughout the two-lap final, but Falmouth worked hard to keep them at bay and secure victory.

Newquay A crew finished almost a minute behind in third, with the Caradon B crew in fourth place. Mounts Bay followed in fifth place, with Caradon C back in sixth. The Caradon B and C crews included three rowers under the age of 18 – showing real potential for the future.

Poor weather had also affected the Ladies Championships earlier in the month, with rough seas delaying the first day’s racing. The title was there for the taking, with Falmouth’s all-conquering Ladies A crew missing several regulars including stroke rower Lena Budd, who had qualified for the World Triathlon Championships in London.

Newquay Ladies A crew rose to the challenge, securing a win on home turf after looking strong throughout the event. Mounts Bay and Caradon managed a repeat of their World Championship positions finishing in second and third respectively. After a consistent season, Fowey came in fourth place with Falmouth ladies in fifth and Teign completing the line up in sixth place. After change at the top of the podium, will Falmouth now look to take back their title in 2014?

An analysis of results from both championships can be found at www.gigrower.co.uk and photos from the event at www.cornwallphotos.co.uk.

The Junior Championship events saw the usual suspects challenging for the top spots, with consistent crews fielded by Cadgwith, Fowey, Coverack and Caradon. The U16 Championships took place on August 4th at Newquay Rowing Club, which can often provide challenging conditions for the young rowers.

Caradon went unbeaten throughout the day to finish 40 seconds clear of 2012 winners Cadgwith in the final. Coverack came in third place, with Fowey finishing in 4th. B crews made up the top six, with Caradon B finishing fifth and Cadgwith B in sixth – boding well for next year’s Championships. The U14 equivalent, comprising of short straight line sprints, was held in late August at Hayle Pool.

Fowey Gig Club retained their 2012 title to finish as champions, with Helford giving them a run for their money in the final race. Coverack finished in third place, with Caradon and Cadgwith in joint fourth. Both Championships were well attended, an optimistic sign for the future of our sport.

Rhiannon Halliday

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