Club History

The OARdeal crew is the endurance arm of Yarmouth Gig Rowing club and can trace its origins back to a series of rowing machine 'rowathon' type events that were carried out to raise funds for the Africa's Child Development Trust charity from 2009 onwards! This involved lots of sporty people rowing a short section of an 800,000 metre challenge over the course of a weekend.


During the less social hours of both day and night, it became obvious that a core number of people were consistently doing a greater meterage to keep the event on track. The dedication and camaraderie that came from this helped forge the blueprint for the Row 4 Life 1 million metre row, held during the 2011 Cowes week festival, at which the OARdeal team set the new British Record, completing the distance in just under 66 hours of continual rowing!


Although the team had a lot of rowing miles under their collective belts, for the majority of the guys, not much of this had been on water.


Luckily when the crew had the opportunity to row the 70+ miles around the Isle of Wight in support of the Ellen MacArthur trust in 2013, three of the team had the depth of experience to push the others to a decent level of competency.


John Kerr, Daryl Jenner and Russ Waite had all previously coached and raced for Newport Rowing club. Within an intensive 11 week period and along with some boat specific training at Langstone Rowing club, these old hands lifted the rest of the crew to a successful circumnavigation of the a Island that set a new Gig rowing record.


From this point, there was a natural progression that culminated in the formation of Yarmouth Gig Rowing club. The aim now is to build up social rowing and race teams, with the intention of competing in some racing along the south coast and one day to hold our own Gig Racing Regatta at Yarmouth.

From 2013 - 2016, YGRC was asked to organise and take part in the annual Row To Bestival; A two boat ‘fun’ race that ran along side the Bestival charity’s swim across the Solent.


All three years attracted good media attention, whilst fundraising for the Kissy Puppy children’s charity and crew were presented with participation medals on the main Bestival stage.


In 2017, as part of its increasingly symbiotic relationship with West Wight Sports and Community Centre, the club took part in the ‘row marathon’ section (Needles to Bembridge) of the Ultra 40 Quadrathon challenge, in order to celebrate the sports centre’s 40th anniversary.


Gig club members Martin Scotcher, Clare Griffin, Sam Grist, Julie and Pete Dixon all successfully completed several or all of the sequential disciplines (4km sea swim, 140km cycle, 40km row & 40km run) well within the challenge time of 40 hours.


Future plans for the club include a round the Island row world record attempt by the ladies crew and the introduction of indoor rowing as a stand alone sport within WWSCC.

Row to the Bestival

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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