Tamar & Tavy Gig club, only weeks after taking the Cornish Pilot Gig ‘Ginette’ to Scotland to row the 60 mile Caledonian Canal, ventured to London on 12th September for the Great River Race 2015. This is a spectacular boat race up the river Thames. The course is 21 miles from London’s Docklands to Ham House passing under 28 iconic bridge; starting with tower Bridge and ending just after Richmond Bridge. Towing a 33 foot boat through Central London, ready for the start at Mill Wall Slip was an adventure in itself, passing by parliament and the Tower of London. The race attracts huge numbers of spectators and over 330 crews from all over the globe, with the Dutch out in force. Each boat carries a crew, cox, passenger and a large flag. The atmosphere is tremendous, with cheering, fancy dress and a huge range of paddle propelled craft.
Tamar and Tavy Gig Club, ably coxed by chairman Simon Howes, fielded a ladies crew of Lyn Renton (stroke), Denise Nixon, Heidi Brodribb, Charity Lake, Mel Cotton, Amy Ross and Helen Lloyd. A strong head wind on the day meant Dragon boats were prohibited entry by the Port of London Authority, but the rest of the boats took to the water and the race was on! Tamar & Tavy rowed very strongly and had a thoroughly enjoyable race despite the strong headwind. The happy and hardworking crew were welcomed home by the boom of a canon, crossing the line at the 3 hour mark mid-fleet, and finishing strongly with a final burst of 10 more, 10 more and yet 10 more strong stokes to overtake several boats, including some men’s teams, in the last leg of the pursuit race. The team were proud to be wearing new kit sponsored by Hogg’s Bottom Preserves and flying the Devon Flag.