Lyme battles Bridport in annual gig regatta

THE August Bank Holiday Saturday saw Lyme Regis Gig Club host its annual rowing regatta with 10 clubs from along the coast competing for the honours.

Luckily, as the weather cleared, the Saturday turned out to be sunny with a light wind from the north west, which strengthened as the day progressed and the tide was high in the morning, low over lunchtime and high again in the evening.

Lyme Regis Gig Club’s regatta is considered one of the best on the gig rowing circuit. The Cobb makes a fantastic base for the event with crews able to change on the pontoon and in Victoria Pool, and the sea wall makes an ideal grandstand from which to watch competitors on the 1.4 mile-course.

The day included 13 races for juniors, ladies, men and finally a mixed race, with each winning team receiving a prize and a trophy for the regatta’s most successful club.

Lyme Regis’ three wooden gigs ‘Rebel’, ‘Black Ven’ and ‘Tempest’ fought it out with visiting gig clubs including Barnstaple in ‘Lady Freda’, Weymouth in ‘Isolda’, Bristol in ‘Isambard’, Poole in ‘Isabella’, Appledore in ‘Verbina’, Exmouth in ‘Shelly Maid’, Portland in ‘Pulpit Rock’, Langston Cutters in ‘Star of Orthney’ Swanage in ‘Winspit’ and Lyme’s local rivals, Bridport, in their new gig ‘Brydian’.

The racing started with the Ladies Vets, for crews over 40 years of age, which was won by Bridport with Lyme coming fifth. This was followed by the Men’s Vets won by Lyme with Bridport coming second.

The junior races started with the U14s, in which Lyme Regis came first and second. The U16s race was next and Lyme Regis again won the race.

The town’s juniors are amongst the best in the 80 clubs in the Cornish Pilot Gig Association with the U14s coming third in the Cornish Championships earlier in the summer.

Next up were the ladies races with the A Race being won by Bridport’s superb crew, and Lyme coming third. The B Race was taken by Bridport with Lyme coming fourth and the C Race was very narrowly won again by Bridport, with Lyme coming a close second.

After lunch the men’s races kicked off with Lyme Regis winning the C Race and Bridport fourth. In the Men’s B, Lyme again won with Bridport fifth and the home team took the A Race too with Bridport third.

All hung in the balance between Lyme Regis and neighbouring Bridport as the Super Vets for over 50s took to the water.

Again Bridport’s strong ladies team came first with Lyme fifth. In the men’s Super Vets, Lyme came second and fourth, beating Bridport into fifth.

Finally, the day ended with a mixed race with crews of three ladies and three men in each. The race was won by Bridport and Lyme coming third, which was enough by one point for the home team to win the day.

The rowing regatta was originally intended to be held earlier in August as part of Lyme Regis Regatta & Carnival Week but had to be rescheduled due to poor weather.

However, the Bank Holiday made for a great day made possible by the hard work of the club’s members and the support of the community at the Cobb, Lyme Regis Sailing Club and Lyme Regis harbourmaster and his team.

Lyme Regis Gig Club is a charity that gives local people the opportunity to participate in the healthy sport of sea rowing, to keep fit, have fun and compete in the South West’s fastest growing sport.

Visit the website for further information.

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