Newquay Ladies County Championships Report
Monday 12th September 2016
The weekend of September 10th/11th saw one of the most fiercely contested events in the Cornish Pilot Gig racing calendar, when ninety-nine of the South West's leading Ladies gig crews battled it out at the Newquay Ladies County Championships.
The racing took place off the Newquay's Harbour wall and was held over two days. Starting on Saturday with a series of qualifying heats each of which saw six Ladies crews competing around a triangular course, a distance of around 1.8 gruelling miles. The quarter, semi and finals being staged on the Sunday.
The first two gigs from each race automatically went through to the next round plus a proportion of the fastest losers. Newquay Rowing Club hosted the very first County Championships in 1970 with their three gigs but since then the sport has grown to such a degree that they now borrow fourteen gigs from other Clubs. Lyme's Rebel was one of these. Each crew compete in randomly selected and unfamiliar gigs,which is a bit of a lottery as some of the boats can be in better race condition than others.
The weather for this year's Newquay Championships was sunny with a southerly off-shore wind, a slight swell and ebbing tide. However, Saturday saw the wind and swell increase as the day went on which gave the early starters an advantage.
Lyme Regis Gig Club's A crew had their best ever Newquay County Championships, fighting their way through the qualifying heats, coming second in their first heat and in their second heat only missing a place in the quarter finals by three seconds. Lyme Regis A crew's overall final position was an excellent 25th. The Lyme Ladies B crew raced valiantly in worsening conditions but were knocked out in the first round.
This year the Newquay County Championships were won by Caradon A, who are also the Isles of Scilly 2016 World Pilot Gig Champions. The home team, Newquay A came in second and Fowey Third.
Lyme Regis Gig Club are fielding three teams in the Men's Newquay Championships, which are taking place over the weekend of September 24th/25th.