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Extreme Rowing! The World Pilot Gig Championships 2013


This year’s gig championships couldn’t have fallen on a better weekend weather-wise.

While Saturday started out slightly grey the islands were bathed in sunshine for the rest of the weekend, meaning pink noses and cheeks aplenty for both rowers and supporters come Sunday evening (although celebratory beverages could be partially to blame for any rosy glows!). As always Scilly played host to crews from both mainland UK and abroad, with the bright orange clogs of the Dutch clubs becoming quite a talking point, and in total 133 gigs spent the weekend nestled side by side along the Strand on St. Mary’s.

Tresco and Bryher rowing club fielded one women’s and two men’s crews this year. The men’s and ladies’ A crews were both rowing the Alfie Jenkins, a relatively new purpose-built racing gig, while the men’s B crew were in the Emperor. All three crews achieved fantastic results over the course of the weekend, securing themselves enviable positions after the first race, from St. Agnes to St. Mary's, which governs the layout of the groups for the coming weekend. This year the groups ran from A – K, and at the end of the Saturday the ladies were in Group C, the Alfie Jenkins boys in Group B and the Emperor boys in Group D.

Sunday brought two more heats and a lot more sunshine, although the TBRC crews managed to keep their cool and all put in a sterling performance throughout the day. The men’s A crew finished 26th out of 127 crews and were the 2nd men’s crew from Scilly overall, beaten only by the St. Mary’s crew in the Emma Louise. The men’s B crew came an impressive 44th, proving a real threat to fellow Group D competitors which in the final heat included four other Scilly crews. The women came a fantastic 18th out of 125 gigs, storming their way out of group C on Sunday morning and settling comfortably in the middle of Group B.

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