Despite the temptation of fate, holding an outdoor event on the same weekend as Glastonbury, the crews and spectators of the Two Bridges race enjoyed glorious sunshine and the best weather of the weekend. In fact, the only wellies in sight were those of the RNLI safety crew!
Appledore, Ilfracombe and Torridge Pilot Gig Clubs all entered crews into the annual ‘Barnstaple Link’ Rotary Club Two Bridges Gig Race.
The men’s crews lined up under the Bideford new bridge and the race started at 0935. The crews raced down the Torridge river, passing a roar of excited spectators in Appledore and then up into the Taw river past Fremington to the finish at the new Barnstaple bridge, a gruelling 8.5 miles in 1 hr 9 minutes! Appledore Men’s A crew, consisting of Nic Williams, Dave Smith, Michael Chid, Kev Hasted, John Nickell, Pete Wilton and coxs Len White were victorious in first place. They were followed in closely by Torridge Men’s A in second, Ilfracombe Men’s A in third, Appledore Men’s B in forth and Torridge Men’s B in fifth.
After a swift turnaround of crews at the slipway in Barnstaple the Ladies crews raced from the Barnstaple new bridge and finished at the Seagate Hotel in Appledore. The two Ladies crews from Torridge came in first and second position, in 53 minutes, followed by Appledore’s Ladies A in third and Ilfracombe’s Ladies A in fourth place.
A mention must go to Mark Paul from Appledore Pilot Gig Club, who, having just rowed 8.5 miles in the Men’s B crew, rescued the child of a fellow club member when he fell into the Taw River; thank you Mark.