Thanks to very generous donations and sponsorship we have managed to purchase a beautiful set of new oars for our ladies crews, we had a perfect day for wetting them with completely flat glass-like water, and a few mince pies and mulled wine.
Ladies Race Report
Arriving early to wind and dark clouds, and seeing the river flowing fast, we knew we were in for a bumpy ride, it’s not unusual for this particular race as along with being one of the longest races of the season it has a tendency to be unpredictable. By the time the ladies race had began at 11am however, the sun was shining through and had taken the edge off the chill in the air. We were in heat 4 so had a nice little warm up before we took to the start line and took off all the nice warm layers. It should be noted that we had unfortunately had to have a last minute crew change and lost out on bringing a B crew, we had not trained together and had a fairly sloppy start, not helped by another boat zig zagging across the water getting in our way, our wonderful cox did a great job of finding us some clear water to get into our stride, find a good rhythm and get those muscles into action. The act of “finding water” as waves rolled past (and sometimes straight over our poor #1) kept us pre-occupied enough that it didn’t seem long before the first buoy turns were out of the way and the water was in our favour for the next section of the race back to the bridge, we had by this point overtaken Cream of Cornwall with a good lead so took some breaths, relaxed into it and kept going. The usual lumpy water under the bridge tested the fact that we’d not been training as a crew but we got through it and the slog from bridge to the next set of buoys seemed to go on forever, we held our position in the pack and were slowly and steadily gaining on the boats ahead. As soon as we had turned at the buoys and began heading back upstream we felt the water harden as the current and wind pushed against us, our cox did a brilliant job of not letting the momentum drop, reminding us that “Tamar & Tavy can FINISH!” and letting us know that we were gaining on the group ahead, we gave it everything in that last stretch, we began to hear the sound of their oars and then we were past them, and as the counts of “10 hard ones” and the grunting and pain increased we past another, and then another, we had past three boats in the final stretch and then the horn sounded to say it was all over and we’d made it.
COX: Lynn Renton
#6: Sarah Gall
#5: Susan Douglas
#4: Amy Ross
#3: Denise Nixon
#2: Debbie Farmer
#1: Helen Lloyd
LADIES – 54 / 68
MEN – 45 / 64
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.
Caledonian Canal Expedition or..Tamar and Tavy Gig Club “The wee boat with a flag”
23rd to 29th August 2015
Rob Dawe, vice chairman of the club, decided 2 years ago to take on and organise the challenge of rowing the 62 + miles of the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness. Planning came to fruition in the last week of August this year.
Day 1. The 16 strong team set off on the long 600 mile plus journey to Fort William. We arrived to warm sunshine and balmy
Day 2. Our Cornish Pilot Gig, ‘Ginette’, was the safety of the Sailing Club and the morning began with sunshine, bright skies ahead and grey skies behind. Launching from a slipway at Lochaber, with the boat flying the flag of Devon, a short row took the crew to the entrance of the Caledonian Canal at Corpach, Just into the Canal brought us to the eight locks of Neptune’s Staircase, gradually lifting the boat to a height of 70 feet above sea level. This heralded the start of an 8 mile row along the canal to Gairlochy and our first night’s camping.
The ground support team took the boat trailer to Dochgarroch, near Inverness, where parking had been arranged for the week. This proved a good introduction to the easy-going nature of the Highlands, the lock-keeper – who clearly knew nothing of the arrangement, only commented, “Aye, if you say so”.
Day 3. After breakfast, it was into the boat for the rowers and through the lock into Loch Lochy, for its entire length- leaving behind the shadow of Ben Nevis, then back into the Canal to Loch Oich, followed by Canal all the way to Fort Augustus, our next night’s stop.
Day 4. Starting from a beautiful Fort Augustus and a lesson that locks only operate one way – taking boats up, or taking boats down. So although ready at 0930 at the top of the first of 5 locks taking the canal down to Loch Ness, a “double” lift of boats from Loch Ness to the top meant it was 1230 before the gig hit the waters of the Loch. A slow start to a hard day’s row.
Given Loch Ness’ 23 mile length, our next stop was planned roughly halfway along, pulling the boat ashore for the night at Borlum, near Castle Urquhart. The constantly changing and stunning scenery more than made up for the minor discomforts of midges and showers. That evening a trip to a nearby pub/micro brewery producing Loch Ness Ales. There were many friendly greetings at the numerous locks, and great interest from other sailors and pedestrians. In fact, in the course of the journey, the gig became known to fellow travellers and the lock-keepers, as “the wee boat with the flag”.
Day 5. – and the last leg of the row – completing Loch Ness and still in choppy water and a strong SW wind – and back into the Caledonian Canal for the final leg to Inverness. All that was left was to take the gig from its mooring in Inverness through the Sea Lock into the Beauly Firth for a short sea row to the slipway of North Kessock,
A final night of celebration at a well-known eating and music venue – Hootenannys – capped a memorable experience for all.
The rowers: Lynn Renton, Helen Samson-Hill, Tricia Stewart, Helen Lloyd, Ginette Nobbs, Sue Douglass, Simon Howes, Mike Vosper, John Rogers and Chris Dill.
The runners, cyclists and climbers: Rob Dawe, Carolyn Dawe, Ginette Nobbs, Charlie Lloyd and Sam Lloyd.
The ground support crew: Andy Stewart and Brian Nobbs (who built Ginette and towed her up from Weir Quay).
66 MILES, 29 LOCKS, 4 AQUEDUCTS AND 10 BRIDGES!
A GREAT ADVENTURE AND THANKS TO ALL FOR A GREAT TEAM EFFORT!
On 11th July, Tamar & Tavy Gig Club travelled to Daymer Bay for a regatta hosted by Rock Pilot Gig Rowing Club. It was a brilliant sunny, windy day in the gorgeous setting of the Camel estuary. Tamar & Tavy entered Ladies A, B and vets crews and Men’s A and B crews into the racing, rowing against a mix of other clubs with between 14 and 20 boats in each race. The racing conditions were hard with boats battling tide and wind around the course, but all crews rowed strongly and enjoyed taking on the elements. The ladies vets rowed really hard, taking two boats at the first bouy and finishing a creditable 14th. The ladies and men’s B teams both had hard races, battling tide and wind around the course and other boats to the line, both finishing in 13th place. The ladies and men’s A teams were also very strong, with the ladies fighting for water around a couple of buoy turns and the men rowing strongly throughout, both finishing in the middle of the pack. All in all it was a brilliant day of racing and spirits were high. Many thanks to Rock for such a fun and well organised regatta, to Simon Howes for towing the gig and to all rowers and supporters for another great day out.
Photo credit: Katie Turner and Matthew Pinney
Tamar and Tavy Gig Club sent two crews to Appledore on the 11th and 12th April to take part in the Supervet Regatta in the North Devon town, hosted by Appledore Gig Club.
The ladies crew comprising Denise Nixon, Nicky Evans, Lynn Renton, Mel Cotton Helen Samson-Hill and Julie Rendle, coxed by Ian King, rowed first. The choppy conditions and strong current combined to make the conditions quite difficult but the ladies had an excellent start and were in the leading pack virtually from the start.
They eventually finished 3rd behind Falmouth and Torridge but beat Swanage who were the previous years winners.
The men’s crew of Pete Clarke, Ian King, John Rogers, Martin Painter, Simon Howes and Mike Vosper, coxed by Lynn Renton rowed out next. The half a mile sprint started near the historic Appledore shipyard, going past the fish dock and back to the main slipway giving the cheering spectators a good view of the whole race. The men finished well in 6th place.
Despite the long journey both crews enjoyed the day and the hospitality shown by Appledore Gig Club.
On Saturday 14th March, Tamar & Tavy Gig Club entered two ladies and two men’s teams into the Three Rivers Race hosted by Caradon Gig Club. The race was an hour long endurance race with a course that began under the Tamar Bridge. Crews then rowed up river into the mouth of the Tavy, back down to the mouth of the Lynher, and finished back under the bridge. The crews all rowed well, and it was brilliant to be back on the water. The ladies went first, with an A and a B team, the A crew, Julie Rendle, Claire Luxton, Katie Turner, Sarah Gall, Debbie Farmer and Mel Cotton were coxed by Ian King, and the B team, Jennie Smith, Helen Samson-Hill, Charity Philips, Susan Douglass, Amy Dubrovich and Denise Nixon, were coxed by Lynn Renton. Both boats had a great race, enjoying relatively good conditions, despite the cold wind. They both had some tussles with other boats, but both overtook boats, with the A team taking 3 in the run up to the line. The A team finished in 42nd place, and the B team in 55th out of 63 boats.
The men raced second, with the A team, Simon Luke, Kevin Cole, Chris Morton, Jake Rendle, Mark Turner and Roger Hine, coxed by Bill Stacey-Norris, and the B team, Ian King, John Overnels, John Rogers, Pete Keegan, Martin Painter and Peter Clarke, coxed by Chris Dill. Both teams had a great row, with the A team holding their own and passing boats to finish 30th out of the 67 boats competing, and the B team having a great race and finishing in 66th place.
A great day was had by all, with welcome sunshine for the first full club outing of the season. This race is traditionally seen as the start to the gig season, with teams now all looking forward to the world championships on the Isles of Scilly on the May Day weekend.
On Saturday 7th March, Tamar & Tavy Gig Club Ladies got the rowing season off to a good start competing in the Mini Scillies regatta hosted by Helford River Gig Club. They had a lovely sunny day despite the cold temperatures and enjoyed two races. These were both sprint races, similar to those raced at the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly. The crew, Jennie Smith, Lizzie Maunder, Claire Luxton, Susan Douglass, Debbie Farmer and Denise Nixon were coxed by Lynn Renton. They rowed two strong races, and the second race was brilliant, with the ladies passing a good number of boats and fighting to the end to come 15th out of the 22 boats competing. This was the first ever race for 3 of the crew, and for their cox, and a fantastic effort was given by everyone.
Please see the document below for the list of events and regattas we will be attending this year:
Tamar and Tavy Gig Club enjoyed a very successful day on the river on Saturday 9th August competing in the Tamar Challenge hosted by Cotehele Quay Gig Club. They entered three boats of mixed ages; two ladies and one men’s crew into the 9 mile (one hour) endurance race which started in Saltash and ended at Cotehele Quay. The race was handicapped with
Conditions on the river were mixed, with a strong wind making the going very tough on some sections, but providing a welcome tail wind on others. The race was handicapped, with the slowest boats starting first and everyone else trying to overtake them before the finis, and prizes awarded for first past the post and fastest time. Both Ladies crews were in the first group to start, with crews from Rame and Rock. The boats had a tussle up to the first corner, but Tamar & Tavy Ladies A: Claire Luxton, Sandra Anstey, Katie Turner, Lynn Renton, Sarah Gall and Julie Rendle, managed to pull into the lead as they approached Cargreen. Some great coxing from Mark Turner and some strong rowing saw them holding off Rock as they past Weir Quay and they then managed to maintain their lead all the way up to the finish line! Unbelievable!
The B crew, coxed by Becky Masters with Karen Auborn, Nicky Evans, Carolyn Dawe, Helen Samson-Hill, Jennie Smith and Beth Gay also had a fantastic race. They fought for position and rowed very strongly, finishing in 7th place out of the 13 crews competing and holding their own amongst the competition. The men’s crew: Rob Dawe, Simon Luke, Jake Rendle, Ian King, Peter Clarke and John Rogers were coxed by Chris Dill. They started 11 minutes after the first boats, which meant that they had their work cut out as they fought their way past other crews on their way up the river. They proved their worth though, finishing in 12th place, but with the 5th fastest time of the day. Brilliant!
The official results are:
Ladies A 1st (1 hour 6 minutes 44 seconds, 8th)
Ladies B 7th (1 hour 12 minutes, 4 seconds, 12th)
Men 12th (1 hour, 3 minutes, 22 seconds, 5th)
For the full results please click here – Tamar Challenge Results 2014
Huge congratulations go to all teams competing, and especially to the Ladies A, some fantastic results, proving that the hard work and dedication in training really does pay off. Huge thanks also to all the supporters and to the crew who rowed Belinda back to Weir Quay after the racing. Thanks in particular to Mike Vosper who provided safety boat cover and saved us from having to row the race length twice by towing Tamar to Saltash and back from Cotehele, and then coming back to tow Belinda the final stretch of the river. You certainly providing some very welcome relief after a hard day at the oars!
The social rowing season is going well, with some lovely MMR and Thursday evening adventures. These sessions are inclusive of everyone, and designed to let us enjoy our beautiful river without having to worry about training. Thursday evenings often include a stop for refreshments of some kind, and Monday mornings are seeing some exploratory rows to parts of the Tamar and Tavy that we don’t often get to see. One lucky crew even managed to spot the seal up near Pentillie!
Here are a few photos from the season so far:
On the 3rd of August, Tamar & Tavy Gig Club entered an all boys crew into the gruelling, annual under 16’s championship held at Newquay on the 3rd August, along with 25 other clubs. The crew members were Ben Milligan, Ethan Lamerton, Cameron McKay, Will Gardner, Ben Luke, and Elliott Overnell who was the youngest at only 11 yrs old. Coxed by their coach Tricia Stewart, they rowed magnificently!
The Newquay championship is always a very tough race and the sea conditions can be very challenging with large swells. None of the boys had ever rowed on the sea before. They are a relatively new and inexperienced crew who were competing together for the first time. They did exceptionally well, and after 3 heats had qualified for the final of the plate race.
A very large wave hit them on the start line of the final which caused a thole pin to break and get stuck, the boys slowly edged their way at the back of the pack with only 5 out of the six lads able to row. The pin wasn’t freed and replaced until nearly half way to the first marker buoy which left them a lot of ground to make up. Sheer guts and determination saw them digging deep and rowing their hearts out. One by one they managed to overtake four other gigs to finish in 2nd place, with only six seconds between the winning crew and themselves. The courage, determination and guts they showed after such an unlucky start was just a reflexion of what an amazing crew they were to fight all the way to the finishing line after having rowed four very tough races throughout the day. Huge congratulations to them all!
On Wednesday 23rd July, our men’s squad were involved in the rescue of four men from their boat which had become stranded in the mud on the banks of the Pentillie reach of the River Tamar.
The two crews had just started their evening session when the alarm was raised by a passing vessel who asked whether they might be able to assist in a rescue. They arrived on the scene to find the men stranded on their boat, and tried to reach them with the gigs. They were unable to get close enough to pull the boat off the mud due to the outgoing tide, but some quick thinking from the crew and coxes got the gigs close in and one crew member (Pete Keegan) ran across the mud and shepherded the men back to safety. A police rib joined the scene but was unfortunately unable to free the stranded vessel and was in turn caught by the tide. The men were returned to the safety of a police launch at Weir Quay and one of the gigs helped to free the rib.
The crews received a thanks and commendation on their skills and competence from the police. Well done and many thanks to all involved for their good citizenship; the event was a good test of the skills and expertise of the crews and coxes, proving the worth of the club who has a presence on the river seven days a week for either social rowing or race training.
Special thanks go to Pete Keegan for his initiative and quick thinking, to George Masters who helped one of the men to recover, to Mike Blong who aided the recovery of the police rib and to Becky Masters and Chris Dill who were coxing the gigs.
The club had a brilliant day in Salcombe on Sunday 29th June at the Salcombe Estuary Rowing Club regatta. We entered Ladies and Men’s A, B and Supervet teams and two mixed U16 teams. The setting was stunning, and rowing in another beautiful estuary was a lovely treat. The races were challenging, with twelve gigs competing on the mile long course and fighting for water around the numerous very tight buoy turns.
The ladies A were first up, battling their way round, and finishing in 10th place, the Men’s A followed next, finishing in 7th, the ladies B in 9th and the Men’s B in 10th place. The two supervets crews also had a strong row, with the ladies finishing in 4th in their race, and the men narrowly beaten.
The real highlight of the day, however, was watching our two fantastic U16 teams. They had a tough row, with the A team, Molly Friendship, Will Gardner, Cameron Mckie, Ben Luke, Ethan Lamerton and Fen Eastaugh suffering a clash with another boat on one of the buoy turns, but some fantastic coxing from Becky Masters saw them pull away in the home straight and take some boats, earning them a well deserved 1st place! Fantastic! The B team also had a brilliant row, with the crew Martha Walke, Amy Crocker, Anya Anstey, Katie Crocker, Elliott Overnell and Mia Anstey, and coxed by Tricia Stewart rowing their hearts out and proving their strength. It was a brilliant start to their season. Many congratulations to all of them.
Thanks to everyone who came to support the teams, to the rest of the club, to the rowers and coxes, and to Salcombe for hosting such a great day.
(Details below to be confirmed)
Ladies A crew: Sarah Gall, Meg Keegan, Katie Turner, Claire Luxton, Helen Atrill, Lynn Renton, Cox: Mark Turner
Ladies B crew: Helen Lloyd, Julie Eastaugh, Julie Rendle, Jennie Smith, Mel Cotton, Debbie Farmer, Cox:
Ladies supervets: Julie Rendle, Sandra Anstey, Debbie Farmer, Lynn Renton, Mel Cotton, Tricia Stewart, Cox:
Men’s A crew: Simon Luke, John Overnell, Jake Rendle, Mark Turner, Pete Keegan, Andy Morton, Cox: Becky Masters
Men’s B crew: Matt Pinney, Roger Hine, Kevin Cole, Tim Brodribb, Ian King, John Rogers, Cox: Becky Masters
Men’s supervets: Mike Blong, Peter Clarke, John Rogers, David Auborn, Ian King, Martin Painter, Cox: Becky Masters
Junior U16 A crew: Molly Friendship, Will Gardner, Cameron Mckie, Ben Luke, Ethan Lamerton, Fen Eastaugh, Cox: Becky Masters
Juniors U16 B crew: Martha Walke, Amy Crocker, Anya Anstey, Katie Crocker, Elliott Overnell, Mia Anstey, Cox: Tricia Stewart
The weekend of the 21st & 22nd June proved to be a great weekend of racing for us. Our crews took to the river at Saltash for the Mixed and Vets championships hosted by Caradon Gig Club. The Mixed A & B teams competed on Saturday and the Men’s and Ladies Supervets A teams on Sunday. It couldn’t have been better conditions to be on the river (although it was a little warm!), and all teams rowed extremely well amid some fierce competition. The Mixed A had a tough first heat, coming in fourth and narrowly missing out on a place in the top half of the crews, but a fantastic row and a win in their second heat earned them a place in the plate final where they came third. The Mixed B team came third in their heat which meant they went on to row against crews in the top half of the field, where, despite a hard fight they were knocked out in the second heat.
Sunday bought the turn of the Men’s and Ladies Supervet crews. Both battled hard in their first two heats, coming in the second half of the field, but some superb rowing earned them both places in the plate finals. The ladies had a fantastic start to their final, leading for a good portion of the race, before some difficult clashes with another boat left them in third place overall. The men’s crew also had a battle, with some very hard and determined rowing, but they were not quite able to make it past the crew from Salcombe, leaving them in fourth place.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend. Many thanks go to the supporters, rowers, coxes and those who rowed the boat down and back to Weir Quay. Congratulations everyone!
Mixed A crew: Pete Keegan, Mark Turner, Jake Rendle, Katie Turner, Claire Luxton, Sarah Gall, Cox. Simon Howes
Mixed B crew: Andy Morton, Roger Hine, Jon Overnell, Charity Philips, Helen Atrill, Jennie Smith, Cox: Chris Dill
Ladies Supervets crew: Lynn Renton, Helen Samson-Hill, Julie Rendle, Mel Cotton, Karen Auborn, Debbie Farmer, Cox: Mark Turner
Men’s Supervets crew: Mike Blong, Peter Clark, John Rogers, David Auborn, Ian King, Martin Painter, Cox: Becky Masters