Exmouth Gig Club host their first ever Jurassic League Regatta – and it’s a huge success

PUBLISHED: 17:02 13 June 2018

The gig crews on that start line during the Exmouth Gig Club Regatta that was part of the Jurassic League regatta series.

The gig crews on that start line during the Exmouth Gig Club Regatta that was part of the Jurassic League regatta series.


Exmouth Gig Rowing Club have taken part in other Jurassic League Regattas over the past few years, but last week they ran their first ever regatta.

The Exmouth B crew in action during the Exmouth Gig Club Regatta that wa saprt of the Jurassic League regatta series. The Exmouth B crew in action during the Exmouth Gig Club Regatta that wa saprt of the Jurassic League regatta series.

The regatta was contested by crews from as far away as Langstone (Hayling Island) and including Weymouth and Sidmouth.

Pilot gig boats are based on a model rowing boat from 1839; they are a rugged design made for cutting through waves, each rower has one large, 13ft-long oar.

On the day, the threatening high winds didn’t emerge, leaving the crews with a light breeze, calm waters and a beautiful day.

The regatta base was on the beach, halfway along Queens Drive. Race categories included vets, Under-16s, mixed and men’s ladies’ A and B teams.

Exmouth entered every category apart from the Under-16s as the club are still in the process of looking to develop a young crew.

Club chairman Gary Cook said: “The challenges of hosting an event like this at Exmouth are the sandbanks and width of the deep water channel; for that reason we had to start the races beyond buoy two to ensure the racing line was thinned out before finishing down the channel.

“Although the course, taking on average 20 minutes, was longer than most regattas (usually around 15 minutes) the day was nicely timed and the tide helped the tested crews across the finish line.

“Being one of the newer clubs in the Jurassic League we were happy to achieve some of our best results ever with some great performances by all our crews, including a novice crew of rowers, some of whom had only been club members for a few months.”

In terms of the final places that each of the Exmouth crews finished in, the men’s A crew were sixth, the ladies’ A finished third and there were fourth placed finishes for the men’s B, the ladies’ B and the vets. The ladies’ vets finished sixth and the mixed crew finished third.

The stars of the day were undoubtedly the Bridport Team who managed first place in every category and were happy to walk away with every trophy!

Second places were shared between, Swanage, Weymouth, Langstone and Portland.

Chairman Cook added: “We also had a team on duty dedicated to ensuring that there was no use of any single-use-plastic. All drinks were served in ceramic mugs and all waste that could be was recycled.

“With nearly 300 rowers on the beach, we ended up with not much more than a carrier bag of rubbish.

“The event has taken months in preparation and a big thanks go to all our club members and others that have supported us, in particular, Exmouth Town Council, Calland’s Budgens, and the RNLI who started the first race.”

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