:: Report by Celia ::
Summer finally arrived in time for the Ladies and Juniors Cornwall County Championships at Newquay, over the weekend of 12th and 13th of September.
Falmouth Ladies A came out on top of the 93 crews who entered, whilst Cadgwith won the Junior finals, out of a total of 27.
For the first time, prizes were also awarded to the best girls-only and mixed junior teams – awarded to Helford B and Torridge A respectively.
It was a weekend of changeable sea conditions, with the Championships starting and finishing with a reassuring calm, disturbed by a strengthening NW wind which built dramatically and then dropped off a little through the course of Saturday’s racing. As the waves rose, the mixed heats of A, B and C crews strung out around the course and times to complete the circuit rose from between 17 and 18 minutes in the early races to an average of over 22 minutes in the later heats of Round 1. With only 6 boats in each heat, the starts came thick and fast and spectators got a great view from the harbour walls as the sun shone down.
Only the top two in each heat, plus the 16 other fastest teams, qualified for Round 2; many of the teams in the later opening heats, therefore paying the price for racing in harder conditions, by being knocked out at this stage. Round 2 saw some closer racing, with only four C teams left to compete amongst the 49 who had qualified. By the end of the day, only 24 crews knew they would be returning to race again on the Sunday and most of the usual favourites were up there as contenders for the finals.
Sunday’s seas were more consistently favourable, with just a slight breeze building towards late morning. In the Ladies Quarter Finals, Caradon A rowed the fastest time in 16:00, closely followed by Falmouth and Mounts Bay.
Meanwhile Round 1 of the Junior Championships kicked off with Mounts Bay A completing the course fastest in a time of 12:38. It’s sometimes dispiriting for the mixed and girls-only crews to have to always compete against all-male teams in junior gig racing but it was good for them to know that this year they had a chance of winning their own allocated prizes. Torridge A’s mixed team qualified for the semis, but the girls-only teams had to be content with one race only – Helford B winning the Girls prize and coming a very credible 16th overall. By mid-afternoon, the Junior teams making it through to the 3rd and final race of the day were Cadgwith, Penryn, Mounts Bay, Helford, Devoran and Fowey. Cadgwith were 2nd to the first mark but came back to overtake Penryn by the finish. A great result, especially in the light of end of season crew changes due to injury and the fact that some of the team are still only 14 years old. Helford came in 3rd.
The Ladies Semi’s whittled the crews down to a final featuring powerful A teams from Rock, Mounts Bay, Caradon, Roseland, Falmouth and Truro. Falmouth looked strong throughout and finished in 15:17, 24 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Roseland, followed by Caradon, just pushing Mounts Bay, by 7 seconds, into 4th.
Great organisation from the Newquay Gig club, putting on the Ladies event for its 29th year, meant racing was over on the Sunday afternoon by 4.30 and the teams gathered on the harbourside for the prize giving and celebrations. Well done to all involved in a great weekend’s racing. See you in a fortnight for the Men’s Championships.
Lots of result analysis, more pics and other stuff to follow so watch this space …
The GigRower Team 😉
:: Ladies Final Video ::
Thank you to Paul from www.FalmouthPhotos.com for this great video of the Final
:: Pics ::
:: Ladies Results ::
:: Junior Results ::