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Traditional fixed seat rowing boats gather in Bembridge Harbour 2021

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 32’ 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! three 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:


Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club welcomes new rowers, with or without experience, for taster rows out of Yarmouth Harbour - Contact the club

convoy out of the Harbour .JPG
Tudor Sailing Club gigs in the foreground.JPG
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