Exmouth Gig Club crew chalk up sub three hour time at iconic Thames Great River Race

PUBLISHED: 22:08 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 22:08 23 September 2019

The Exmouth Gig Team:  L to R - Jo Williams, Sophie Cook (coxswain) , Jen Mills, Graham Deasy, Elizabeth Deasy, Dave Lomas, Dave Churchward, Gary Cook

The Exmouth Gig Team: L to R - Jo Williams, Sophie Cook (coxswain) , Jen Mills, Graham Deasy, Elizabeth Deasy, Dave Lomas, Dave Churchward, Gary Cook

Exmouth Gig Club sent a team to compete in the annual Thames Great River Race which sees crews row the 26.1 miles from Millwall Slipway in the Docklands area of London to Ham House, Richmond, West London.

After an hour from the start,  the Exmouth Gig crew leave Tower Bridge behind them as they head towards the Houses of ParliamentAfter an hour from the start, the Exmouth Gig crew leave Tower Bridge behind them as they head towards the Houses of Parliament

The Exmouth crew were one of 330 crews from all over the world that took part in the 32nd staging of the event that embraced a handicap system with every boat individually timed over the course.

Entries are restricted to traditional style fixed-seat, coxed-craft, powered by oars or paddles. Each boat must carry a passenger and fly a flag.

The Exmouth crew comprised of coxswain Sophie Cook and rowers David Churchward, Gary Cook , Elizabeth Deasy, Graham Deasy , David Lomas, Jen Mills and Jo Williams. Six of the crew rowed at any one time with one of them sitting things out in the pilot seat.

Conditions, on the day, were ideal with plenty of sunshine and very little wind. Rowing in on the flood tide, the race got underway at noon.

The Exmouth crew achieved their pre-race target of a sub three hour time by crossing the finishing line in a time of 2:59:38.

Speaking after the race, one of the crew, Graham Deasy said: "Once we had passed all the iconic London landmarks, the scenery changed to riverside houses and houseboats then parkland.

"It was very different rowing as from this point as the effect of the tide lessened meaning we had to row harder just at a time, when after a couple of hours rowing, our bodies began to tire!"

He continued: The whole experience was fantastic fun and well worth paying the price of a few blisters and aching muscles!"

After the race the Exmouth crew joined in the post-row party mixing with participants from all over the world, sharing their experiences and knowing they had been part of something really rather special.

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