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Rowers in St George’s battle

Dozens of budding gig rowers took to the water off St George’s at the weekend to take part in the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club’s regatta.

The club, which was only formed earlier this year, organised a series of races in the harbour over a short course of just under a mile.

A total of 42 men and women of all ages were divided into six teams of rowers who then did battle in three races.

Rick Spurling, the club’s chairman, hailed the regatta “a great success”. He also revealed that the club was hoping to send a Bermuda team to the upcoming World Gig Championships in the Isles of Scilly next year.

“Our goal is to establish gig rowing island-wide for all, get three more gigs, hold more local regattas year round, use the gigs at events such as the America’s Cup and Gunpowder Plot Reenactment and invite visitors to experience gig rowing and some St George’s history at the same time,” said Mr Spurling.

“We also want to hold an international regatta in Bermuda in 2016 and will be sending a Bermuda team or two to the World Gig Championships in Scilly in May 2016.

“We are very grateful to Steve Lock from Appledore Gig Club in Devon, our trainer and organiser, for playing the key role in getting the traction for rowing gigs.

“We are off and running. Rowing is our maritime heritage, great fun, a friendly team sport, healthy and competitive. We need to begin to form set teams, in particular corporate teams and schools. The possibilities here are enormous.”

After Sunday’s regatta all the competitors returned to the East End Mini Yacht Club for a pot luck supper and refreshments.