Bermuda Regatta Success
Wednesday 16th November 2016
Lyme Regis gig rowers have just returned from twin town of St George’s in Bermuda following a successful week of competing in the island’s first regatta.
With the UK gig rowing season drawing to a close, Lyme Regis Gig Club was delighted to be invited to take part in the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club’s inaugural international regatta.
Putting rivalries aside, the Lyme Regis rowers joined forces with those from surrounding clubs on the Jurassic Coast to form ‘Team Jurassic’, including members from Sidmouth, Weymouth, Portland and Swanage.
Two male and two female crews travelled across the Atlantic to take part in the regatta, where they competed against teams from Bermuda, the Netherlands and USA, as well as a team from Rame, representing Cornwall, and Appledore from Devon.
A series of regattas, held at three locations on the island, saw the local teams – named ‘Lyme Regis’ and ‘Team Jurassic’ for scoring and identification purposes – excel on the customary kite-shaped courses and the choppy waters Mangrove Bay and the Americas Cup arena at Spanish Point.
Chris Walters and Nick Heape show off the winning team’s trophy
The final regatta, held in the sheltered harbour of Lyme’s twin town St George’s, was a sprint race of 1,000 metres. The men’s race was won by the Bermudians, with ‘Team Jurassic’ just beating their Lyme colleagues for the first time.
However, overall the Lyme team were placed first thanks to their clean sweep at Mangrove Bay and Spanish Point, with ‘Team Jurassic’ in second place.
The two Lyme/Jurassic ladies crews came third and sixth out of 11 teams, placing behind the Bermudian ladies in first and the Dutch team in second.
At the awards ceremony after the final regatta, Lyme Regis Gig Club member Phil Hayward presented their Bermudian hosts with a model wooden gig built at Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy.
Phil paid tribute to the organisers, commenting: “This was the best sporting experience of my life. Your hospitality, warmth and friendliness shown towards us was just outstanding. We have been treated as though we were visiting royalty.
“The organisation and attention to detail was superb and I think many of us have learned some lesson on how to put on a successful regatta.”
Rick Spurling, chairman of the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club, said the event had gone “exceedingly well,” adding: “Many people were involved in this regatta and it was a huge commitment to pull this off by many of our members, who are all volunteers.”
The visiting rowers also enjoyed several social events during their visit, including barbecues, beach parties and a non-competition row around the island.
They are now keen to build on their links with Bermuda and the friendships already formed through twinning links between Lyme Regis and St George’s.