THE 2017 PILOT GIG WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS STARTED OFF WITH A BANG FOR ILFRACOMBE PILOT GIG CLUB.
Two of its members, Jeremy Webb and Rhys Deane, rowed to the Isles of Scilly. This was as part of their preparation to row around the UK as part of Island Voyagers. Rowing out of Penzance on Thursday, they made landfall on St Marys after an 18-hour battle against changing winds and strong tides.
Ilfracombe Pilot Gig Club Achieve Impressive First Day Results
Racing began in earnest on Friday evening with the Supervets and Veterans races. The Women’s Supervets race started proceedings and Ilfracombe had a strong showing, placing 21st. The calm sea conditions favoured the Ilfracombe Women’s Veterans crew, storming to a strong 14th place in the following race.
Next was the turn of the Men’s Crews who had a very similar showing. The Men’s Supervets coming in 25th while the Veterans held off a strong Dutch boat to come in 15th.
The Weekend Challenge…
The calm conditions of Friday evaporated for the weekend as strong winds blew in a challenging swell. The women’s A crew pushed through the chop well with consistently strong races. They consolidated their position in group C and finished the weekend in 27th place.
The B crew had a great weekend of rowing. With a mix of fresh rowers and more experienced hands, they rounded out the top 100 in 99th place. Several of the women aided international relations and competed with an American crew, helping them finish the competition in 128th place.
The men’s weekend was hard fought. Both the A and the B crews started the weekend in a slow berth against strong winds and tides. The B crew finished the first race in 108th place. With a colossal effort they jumped 28 places over the weekend. This achievement was more than any other crew and they finish 80th overall. Plaudits must be given to Tom Jeffery, one of Ilfracombe’s junior rowers, who has now made the step up to the men’s crews. Tom kept his head and held the crew together well in difficult conditions.
The A crew fared better in the first race, pushing hard to make it to 39th place. Over the next 2 races they fought their way into group C, narrowly missing out on moving into group B.
The final race was a scrap between Ilfracombe A and neighbouring Torridge A fighting for the lead of group C. The crews were neck and neck for much of the race. Rough swells kicked up the wind and Ilfracombe come out on top to win the group. They finished a rather impressive 25th in the world!
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