Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club News

Traditional fixed seat rowing boats gather in Bembridge Harbour

Despite the Bembridge Gig Fest being cancelled when Coronavirus restrictions were extended, the event weekend of 10th and 11th July saw rowers from 4 mainland clubs and the Island’s own Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club gathering informally in Bembridge Harbour.

The Thames Barbarians, London Cornish, and Lewes Pilot Gig Clubs, launched from Eastney (having got that far by road trailer) and rowed two 30’ gigs across the Solent on Friday, with other club members making their way by ferry.

Rowers had booked local accommodation for the event dates and decided to come for the weekend anyway! 3 more gigs from the Tudor Sailing Club joined in for a day trip from Portsmouth on Saturday – 2 hours plus of rowing each way … YGRC rowed their wooden Solent Galley, Rosemary (built in 1951 and one of only a handful remaining), from Yarmouth, and brought their gig, Sea Spirit, by road.

More than 50 rowers were involved, with fun races including 2km sprints, and a timed course from Silversands Beach around St Helens Fort and back, with Mixed, Ladies and Men’s crews. Social rows allowed crews to try out different boats and see a bit of area at a more leisurely pace. Everyone agreed there is huge potential for a great event next year when we all hope, having been cancelled in 2019 and ‘20 due to Covid, it’ll be a case of 3rd time lucky!!

For more information on the 2022 event: fiona@bembridgeharbour.co.uk

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club welcomes new rowers, with or without experience, for taster rows out of Yarmouth Harbour - yarmouthgigrowingclub.co.uk 

Bembridge Gig Fest

Rescheduled from last year, we are delighted to announce a new event which is being co-organised by the Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club and Bembridge Harbour Authority to promote fixed seat rowing. Perfectly suited to Island communities, it’s one of Britain’s fastest growing water sports, appealing to all age groups and with several generations of a family often rowing together (and worth noting that worldwide, 70% of gig rowers are women!).

"Bembridge Gig Fest" is a gathering of traditional, fixed seat rowing boats, such as gigs, galleys, skiffs etc, with fun and informal 2k straight line races on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July, supported by Brading Haven Yacht Club.

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club (YGRC) will be bringing their 34' long gig Sea Spirit, with a crew of 7 including the Cox, and the wonderful Rosemary - one of only 5 remaining 30’, 4-oar wooden Solent Galleys, built in 1954 and originally owned and raced by Newport RC. YGRC works in partnership with the West Wight Sports & Community Centre where regular indoor rowing machine sessions are held over the winter months to train race crews for the forthcoming season, and with public sessions to encourage more to enjoy rowing on water.

A number of rowing clubs are making the journey over from the mainland (by oar!) to attend the event, which will include an opportunity on Saturday evening to mingle and chat about all things rowing, whilst enjoying local fare and a bevy or two whilst the sun goes down. Live music will be provided by well known Island musician JC Grimshaw and his band.

Covid-19 safety measures and restrictions are in place across all Bembridge Harbour sites and the event will be subject to the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

Further details on the Harbour website.

Bembridge Gig Fest - 10th & 11th July

Solent Galley 'Rosemary' is back in the water (Despite the temperature)

Work started today on the refurbishment of the club's new (vintage) Solent Galley race boat.

This classic boat is over 60 years old and is the type that still holds the round the Island record for a 'fixed seat' rowing boat!

It is hoped that she will back in the water this spring.

Race Boat

Members of Yarmouth Gig club had great fun challenging local kids and adults to out-row each other on a rowing machine on the morning of January 30th.

Many people attended the annual Farmhouse Breakfast event at West Wight Sports and Community Centre that highlights both the ideals of fitness and good food that was provided by local suppliers and farmers.

Lots were keen to see how far they could row in just 4 minutes and were surprised how hard this type of sprint challenge can be! The gig crew present were very impressed with the effort and enthusiasm demonstrated by all, but especially with several of the 12 years and under children, who showed unexpected levels of natural talent and determination!

Many thanks to the Sports Centre and Buttercup dairy for providing prizes for the winners.

Breakfast Row

We are very happy to announce that Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club has been accepted as an official user of the Community Hall of Yarmouth & District (CHOYD).

As well as being a base for meeting, fundraising events and training, the location of this institution within the heart of Yarmouth will allow the rowing club superb access to the harbour and It is hoped that such a symbiotic relationship with this newly established community organisation will be of equal benefit to the growth of CHOYD

Community Spirit

Thanks to the kind generosity of two of our members, the club now has permanent use of the 60 year old Solent Galley that has been on hire from Newport Rowing Club for the last year. This is a great boat for both training and competition and is one of only 6 of its type still in existence!

We still need to raise enough funds to buy a Gig, but the Galley is a fantastic way of keeping us afloat and competitive.

We have a boat (but we still need another)

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club has been unanimously accepted as a member of the Cornish Pilot Gig Association!

This is a significant achievement and opens up many previously inaccessible avenues for the long term funding and future of the club. We can also now look for support from British Rowing, who aim to substantially increase the accessibility and profile of Gig rowing throughout the UK.

Many thanks to all of you that have taken on important roles, formulated the constitution and designed the way forward for us all.Special thanks for John Derry-Collins for traveling to the West Country as our official representative and making lots of interesting contacts that even include an invitation to race in Holland!!

Well Done all!

Cornish Pilot Gig Association accepts YGRC membership

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club is sponsored by

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club is proud to support the following charities

West Wight Sports and Community Centre - Moa Place - Freshwater - Isle of Wight - PO40 9XH

www.westwight.org.uk - Tel: 01983 752168

Reg Charity no: 273334

Working in Partnership with

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