On a day that managed to produce some sunshine, Lyme Regis Gig Club launched their second gig Black Ven. An emotional speech by her builder, Gail McGarva, left more than one club member with a tear in the eye, after which Black Ven was named by Lyme Regis’ Mayor, Michaela Ellis and blessed by the Reverend Keith Vivian, an ex-rower himself.
Black Ven entered the water through an arch of oars, accompanied by a sea shanty written especially for her. Sea salt was thrown over her for luck by club members and the public, a tradition introduced to Lyme by Gail, who built both Black Ven and Rebel for the club.
After a ceremonial row around the South Cardinal buoy in Lyme Bay, accompanied by sister Rebel, Old Harry from Swanage, and the Lyme Regis lifeboat, Lyme then held a Ladies and Mens race in heavy seas and a head wind. Both were won by Swanage in Old Harry, with Rebel not far behind, and Black Ven, as the baby, came in last.
Celebrations continued into the evening with much cake, Otter beer and a hog roast. Club Chairman Marcus Dixon said ‘Gail’s speech really encapsulated what it was all about. It’s terrific for us to have a second gig in addition to Rebel, and a fibreglass one on the way… We are in contention now – we just need to get better!’
And with a welter of gigs to help achieve that, that is exactly what Lyme intend to do!
Many thanks to all the rowers from Swanage and Weymouth who came down and helped to make it such a special day.
There were some old faces there as well, for those that remember Mark Holland (Porthleven and Falmouth) he is an active rowing member of the club and was in the A crew for the first race with the new gig.
It was noticeable chatting to many of the members later that they really have embraced the Cornish Pilot Gig Spirit and that the boats are central to the whole Club and they are lovingly cherished by all who are involved in the club.