Featured Gig Club :: Looe

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Each month we are going to be doing  ‘Featured Gig Club‘ post and this month it’s Looe Rowing Club, thank you to Mike White for the following answers.

Looe Rowing Club

Club Name
Looe Rowing Club

Clubhouse/Gig Shed location
Esme Couch Boathouse,  Seafront East Looe (Photos to come)

Gigs Currently owned
Skath Gwyn (Plastic Pig!)
New Boat to be delivered December 2010

Gig colours
Light Blue.  Ryder has a yellow rubbing strip, Ryder white.  Painted white inside.

Date(s) they were built and builder(s):
Ryder = 1992
Samphire = 1999
Both boats built by Jim and Dave Currah.  New boat also to be built by Dave and son Tom.

Any other history about the boats (other clubs owned, etc.)?
Ryder is rigged for sailing.
Ryder was named after the last rowing Lifeboat stationed in Looe from 1902-1930 and Samphire after a local beach and plant that grows around Looe.

Number of Club Members:
Approx 60.

Longest-standing members:
Pauline Tamlin, Alison Currah, Dave Currah, Patrick Currah, Robert ‘Chippy’ Chapman, Tamsin Gates and John Currah.

When was the club started?
Looe Pilot Gig Club was formed in 1992, Looe Rowing Club as it is known today, amalgamated with the Flashboat club (Looe Rowing Club) in 2000.  The Flashboat Club had been in existence since the 1950’s.

How has the club progressed since then?
Since 1992 the club has experienced periods of large numbers of crews competing and finishing in the top three at nearly every regatta they attended and winning county championships with the junior crews.  However over the years, numbers dwindled to its lowest point in 2006 and 2007 when we had just one men’s crew (Nicknamed Team Hanson!) competing regularly at regattas with no ladies or juniors rowing competitavly at all.

Since the end of 2007, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, the club has grown to two men’s crews, two ladies crews, around 30 juniors, has a new boathouse on Looe seafront and a new gig on order.  The club has benefited from the help and expertise of British Rowing coach Tom Pattichis and Rhiannon Halliday in developing Indoor Rowing club with the local school with members competing at County, Regional and National competitions with some members becoming County Champions at the recent Schools competition in Newquay.  The club has also benefited from their help in getting members qualified in coaching and helping the club achieve Clubmark Status.

Best ever results in the Worlds?
Mens A 6th in 1993 and Ladies A 6th in 1993.

Any other (gig-rowing!) notable achievements?
Newquay County Championships 2009 – Men’s A 5th – best ever result here.

Junior results: 1992 – U16 County Champions.
1994 – U16s 2nd place.
1995 – U16s 2nd place.
1996 – U16s 2nd place
2000 – U16s 3rd place
2002 – U16s 2nd place
2003 – County Champions
2009 – U14s 2nd and 3rd and C crew finishing 15th.

Club achieved Clubmark status in 2009.

Cornwall Sports Partnership Club of Year as voted by the general public.

Any annual events you organise?
Round the Island Race and summer Regatta

Do you have a juniors section?
Yes – currently enormous at around 30 juniors.  Looe has always been a successful and strong junior club with members going onto race in our senior sections and we are determined to return the club to the top spots in Junior racing.  If 2009 is anything to go by, we are well on the way to achieving this aim.

We have an indoor rowing club approaching 40 juniors and competing in County, Regional and National Schools championships.  Club currently has the Year 9 and 10 boys County Champions and the Year 9 Girls County champions rowing with us.

How do you select your racing crews?
Commitment, technique, fitness.

What month do you select your teams for Scilly?

Club website address

Contact for newcomers
Mike White – 07800 812062

Anything else you think we should know about your club?
Looe Rowing Club as it stands today is a merger of Looe Rowing Club and Looe Pilot Gig Club.  The Pilot Gig Club was established in 1992, the Rowing Club in the 1930’s rowing Flashboats.  There is evidence of Flashboats racing much earlier than that though, as early as 1910.  (Pics to follow.)

The club is still relatively young in terms of the ages of its members and several of these members take on senior roles in the club such as coaching, coxing and committee based roles.  These responsibilities despite our relatively young ages (18-30) shows a lot of grit and determination to return the club to the successes it experienced back in the early 90s and surpass these successes with our crews.

In 2009 we entered two ladies crews at Newquay Championships – the first time this has happened for about 10 years.  Three Junior crews went to both U14 and U16 championships in 2009.  This was the most number of crews we have entered for the County Championships ever.

Random fact
Men’s A crew from 2009 average age was just 21.5yrs old with a combined weight of just 76 stone and we all rowed in junior crews, progressing upwards into our Men’s squad.

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