Ilfracombe Pilot Gig Club 8th in the Nationals



The men’s national gig rowing championships were held in Newquay as per tradition and the weather conditions made for interesting rowing. The wind was 30-38 mph but southerly so the cliffs protected the sea for some but still left very large swell. With 84 crews in attendance Ilfracombe had four men’s crews in attendance which that alone is an achievement. Barnstaple and Appledore had 2 crews each so North Devon was well represented. The first round of heats had 13 rounds and Ilfracombe C were in the very first round. Drawn up against Caradon B who always come in the top 10 the RAF and four other strong crews Ilfracombe had to work hard. With a strong start the Ilfracombe crew went off fast and were up with the first three. With a good pace set by Colin Emery and Richard Jeffery the Ilfracombe crew had water over Coverack and sprinted away from the buoy with Caradon just ahead Ilfracombe settled for 2nd place and went straight through to the second round. Ilfracombe B and D were in the same heat so an inner club race as well as against other clubs. With a fast start all the clubs had to battle against the roll of the swell. Lyme Regis and Ilfracombe were battling for the first turn to get the water and it went to Lyme Regis but Ilfracombe B were hot on their tail and chased them all the way and both went through to the next round. Ilfracombe D were having their own battle with Teignmouth and Bristol …Ilfracombe D had 3 junior rowers Tom Jeffrey, Joe Filer and Keegan Boudier all stepping up to experience rowing against the adult men’s top clubs a great performance from all three. Ilfracombe D didn’t quite qualify for the next round but still came 64th a great result.


Ilfracombe D crew

Ilfracombe A after a long wait were up. With a fast start Ilfracombe A were leading from the off. They powered to the first turn and they were clear of the pack and so Ilfracombe had a clean turn and powered down to the next turn again with every stroke they were widening the gap from Mounts Bay and Cattewater. With a final burst the Ilfracombe mens A came first with one of the fastest times of the day with 14.27mins. And went straight through to the next round.


Ilfracombe had 3 crews through to the next round Ilfracombe B were up against Hayle A, Charlestown A, Bristol B, Salcombe A and Roseland A so a tough draw but they knew this race would push them for a good time result. With another good start and pace set by Mike Davison Ilfracombe were battling and jostling for position and with the swell picking up the crews had a tough turn but Ilfracombe got round with no problems and good power from the stroke side of Rhys Deane and Andrew Baker. The men paced down to the next turn, again a great turn and Simon Frost, Jake Liversage and Ross Avery provided great power to come 4th and had a great time result so had a painful wait to see if they qualified.


The B crew fighting the conditions


The C crew


Ilfracombe C had a tough draw against the World Champions Falmouth! With a great start the men were up with the pack and with a strong buoy turn by Chris Crowe and Jerry Rendle the Ilfracombe crew battled on. The men dug in and gave it their all and with great power by Barry Turner and Grantley South the men came 5th but again had a great time result which gave them ….. overall.

Ilfracombe A were rowing in heat 8 alongside Appledore A and Caradon A who are 2nd in the World. After another cracking start and perfect pace set by Keith Barclay, the boat flew and was level with Caradon A as they headed down the first leg. Caradon pulled away as they approached the first turn and were given water. Ilfracombe reached the turn in second place but with a tight turn, a little nudge of an oar and good stroke side power from John Stanbury and Jeremy Webb, Ilfracombe tried to get inside of Caradon. Appledore A were hot on their tails, but with a big push down the second leg, Ilfracombe remained ahead and widened the gap and with a tight turn on the second buoy, Ilfracombe powered down the final leg and finished in second place with a time of 12.37, and went straight through to the quarter finals.


A crew on the 2nd day


Quarter Finals

The Ilfracombe mens A were in the quarter finals in a heat alongside Appledore, Looe A and b, Teign, Falmouth and Truro. The start for the race was called and Ilfracombe had a fantastic start with Looe and Falmouth. Looe broke free and IIlfracombe and Falmouth were neck and neck all the way but Falmouth had the edge and Ilfracombe came a close third with a great time of 14.49. Appledore came in 6th with a time of 16.26


Semi Finals


Ilfracombe A were the only club outside of Cornwall to qualify!

Ilfracombe went off to a great start and power was put in from the off by Stuart Dagley and Jack Turner. Andy Lear put in a strong performance and the whole crew dug in and put in their all. The crew took 4th place a great result and gave them 8th place overall. A fantastic performance from the crew and for Devon.


Final positions

Ilfracombe A 8th

Ilfracombe B 26th

Ilfracombe C 33rd

Ilfracombe D 64th




Keith Barclay, Jack Turner, John Stanbury, Stuart Dagley, Jeremy Webb, Andrew Lear Cox – David Waters



Michael Davison, Simon Frost, Andrew Baker, Ross Avery, Rhys Deane, Jake Liversedge Cox – Mandy Turner



Colin Emery, Richard Jeffery, Chris Crowe, Barry Turner, Jerry Rendle, Grantley South Cox – Sarah Gosling



Tom Jeffery, Joe Filer, Harry Condliffe, Dan Hutchison, Richard Davey, Keegan Boudier Cox – David Waters