Falmouth claims memorable Newquay double

Falmouth A contest the Newquay County Gig Championship Final

The UK’s elite men’s gig rowers converged on Newquay last
weekend (October 8/9), to contest the 2011 Newquay County Gig Championships.

Inclement weather originally saw the Men’s Championships postponed in
September, but conditions were just about hospitable enough on Saturday to ensure a frantic
weekend’s racing on the Cornish coast.

Falmouth’s men arrived in Newquay tasked with claiming a
memorable double, following their women’s crew’s triumph in the Women’s Championships
last month.

British Rowing’s Rhiannon Halliday was on hand to record
their efforts; as well as coxing the Caradon C crew in the early rounds of the tournament:

‘The question on everyone’s lips on Saturday was ‘can
Falmouth do the double?’. The first day of competition saw 62 crews complete Round One in rough, but manageable, conditions.

‘Over the course of the afternoon, however, the wind speed
picked up causing a huge swell, with extremely rough water around the first and
second marks.

‘Coxing in the last race of the day, it was a tough job to
maintain control of the boat and motivate my crew to power in to the waves.

‘The conditions played their part as several crews clashed
around the buoys, resulting in two gigs suffering damage in the sixth race of
the day.

‘Arriving at the harbour on Sunday for the second day’s
racing, we were all thankful that conditions had settled enough for racing to go
ahead as planned.

‘After exciting quarter and semi-finals, six gigs –
including the Falmouth crew – launched at 4.30pm in the eagerly-awaited final.

‘All six crews pushed hard on the first leg, with Falmouth
reaching the buoy first followed closely by Caradon A and Roseland.

‘After a close-fought buoy-turn with much clashing of oars, Falmouth
managed to pull clear from the chasing pack. Par emerged second, leaving the
rest of the field chasing hard to make up the lost time.

‘The sea conditions were still challenging, with the bows of
the gigs ploughing through the waves and crashing back down into the troughs –
throwing bow rowers off their seats at times!

‘Par continued to chase hard all the way to the finish, but
Falmouth powered clear to cross the line almost a minute ahead after the best
part of half-an-hour’s racing.’

After the entertaining and frantic final, Newquay Rowing
Club’s John Cuthill addressed the gathered crowd to underline the significance
of the Cornish Pilot Gig Association working together with British Rowing to
develop and further participation in the sport.

Halliday then presented the victorious Falmouth crew with
their prizes on behalf of British Rowing, capping a triumphant couple of months for
the Cornish club.

Newquay County Gig Championship Results

Position Men’s Women’s Juniors
1 Falmouth A Falmouth A Looe A
2 Par Bay A Charlestown A Cadgwith A
3 Roseland A Mounts Bay A Coverack A
4 Caradon A Newquay A Caradon A
5 Newquay A Dutch Porthleven A
6 Caradon B Caradon A Fowey A
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