LYME Regis Gig Club staged the very first Masters Gig Racing Regatta to be held in the country last Saturday.
All racing participants were aged 60 or over on the day, which has been nearly three years in the planning after being subject to several cancellations due to the COVID pandemic.
Nearly 200 rowers from Boscastle & Crackington, Bridport, Bristol, Brixham, Dartmouth, Exmouth, Flushing & Mylor, Poole, Rame, Swanage,Torridge and Tamar & Tavy attended.
The harbour was awash with colourful wooden boats and the views from the Cobb were spectacular with perfect rowing conditions.
The 32-feet long, six-oared Cornish pilot gigs rowed around a 1.7km course set in a kite formation, with three buoys to manoeuvre past – always the challenging moments in any race.
Two of the trophies went to Lyme Regis crews with the Men’s A and Mixed A emerging as winners of their respective finals.
One of the club’s veteran teams was recently named world champions after competing at an over 50s event in Appledore.
Congratulations are also due to Tamar & Tavy, who won the women’s final, and to Flushing & Mylor who won the Men’s Plate race, Swanage the Women’s Plate and Torridge B who won the Mixed B trophy.
No such event can take place without superb organisation and co-operation.
Many members of Lyme Regis Gig Club contributed to its success, by buckling down and doing whatever was necessary – from offloading gigs into and out of the water to umpiring the races, to catering and co-ordinating the sequence of events.
The club would also like to thank the Cobb Centre and the harbourmaster for their valuable support.
Marcus Dixon, Lyme Regis Gig Club chairman, said: “The Masters Regatta was such a brilliant success! It reminded me of why I love the sport and how great it is to be in such a fabulous club. All the planning and organisation made for just a perfect regatta.”
The Masters community has grown considerably in recent years, meaning that there is a real appetite for competing with others in this peer group.
It is fully expected that Masters Regattas will be held at other clubs in the future and there is discussion about the possibility of a SuperMasters (over 70 years) competition.