The good people of Flushing and Mylor gig club invited Bristol to join them on Sunday 25th June in what turned out to be both great fun and an eventful regatta.
With a large Bristol contingent in Falmouth and Mevagissey, hopes were high for big turn out the following day. Unfortunately, that was not to, however with 3 women (Sarah V, Sarah G and Caroline ) and 3 men (Alex C , Ben and Rich) bolstered by the enviable talents of James Richards, Bristol put on a great show in a slightly different styled racing format.
Luckily Bristol’s rowing was far better than their fancy dress outfits – which were non existent! (Must do better next year). The racing format was far from formal. Fancy dress of mermaids, pirates and seventies flares and platforms amongst the outfits on show. A running start to the call of ‘Ship Ahoy!’ down to the gigs, backing down and turning 3 boats to race to meet Bob with the scrolls and back again to send the team’s pilot in tricorne hat back up beach to deliver the scrolls made for some hilarious and very interesting racing.
First up Bristol women with help from Flushing set the tone. Total chaos ensued in the backing down, or not as it turned out, and making the turn out to sea. Near misses and yells of hold water quickly gave some great laughs onshore which perhaps weren’t emulated within the boats. Soon the three boats were off out to sea with Lyme Regis leading the way followed by the Bristol crew. Out to Bob the boat. Collecting scrolls also not as easy at it would seem and then racing back to deposit the pilot to run up the beach. Flushing in this race supplied the pilot. And Bristol were unlucky to come second.
Next it was time for the men’s team. Aptly named by Lord Ben as BrisPorCov, as an amalgamation of Portreath (Wella and George), Coverack (James) and Bristol. With a pilot and mascot of our own in Rich’s two daughters Bristol were all set. Again a mad race down the beach followed by the carnage of the start and turn. With some great coxing and slight barging from the ever enthusiastic Ms Gosling BrisPorCov were off and running. They rowed through the other boats and with a bit of a melee at Bob. There was some confusion between the cox and Rich, cox shouting ‘don’t jump yet’ and Rich telling his daughter to ‘jump now’ and pilot Charlotte jumped too early and got a tad wet, then lifted her head and got a crack on the back of it from her Dad’s oar ( never living that one down ) But still to qualify for the final.
Bristol could have fielded a full crew for the mixed. However our slightly worse for wear bosun gave his seat to James and the race once again began in earnest. This time JJ from flushing coxing for us. We had a clean start, good rowing with Lord Boudier rowing on bow side for first time, and the women’s stroke pair setting a great rate for us all to follow. The race was won in fine style with our pilot Charlotte able to take a leisurely stroll up the beach to deliver the scroll and qualified for the final.
A break for a beautifully prepared lunch was taken before the finals commenced.
Ladies final was first. Unfortunately without Any Bristol contingent. Lyme Regis won and were also second.
Then time for the Men’s final. Coxed by Sarah G and piloted by Charlotte H a great start with our cox steering us away from the carnage. BrisPorCov set off after Lyme Regis and soon hunted them down with a fabulously nifty bit of coxing to collect the scroll from Bob. Followed by a slightly confused bow side turn Bristol were away as lead boat, even though tide had changed and conditions were choppier we extended our lead to the shore. No confusion this time with our pilot exiting smoothly and running up the beach to collect accolades from the watching crowd.
That just left the mixed final. 2 competitive Lyme crews and Bristol plus James. This time it was agreed that our younger mascot could be joint pilot with Charlotte and so Grace got the hat and scroll to be delivered to Bob the boat rather than collected. The start was an eventful one. Firstly Richard carrying on his habit of hitting people with his oar (sorry Alex), Bristol then gaining the water immediately with great backing down all ready to set off as lead boat, when some very ‘interesting’ coxing from Lyme Regis A crew (and I’m sure a call of ‘ramming speed’ ) led to Bristol’s boat being broad-sided and a very large crack being heard. After the initial shock Bristol went from lead boat to last. But with steely determination, a great long stroke and more than an ounce of annoyance at dubious coxing by Lyme the crew rowed through both Lyme crews to get to the beach in the lead. Charlotte and Grace were out the gig and heading up the beach, followed by Lyme Regis’ pilot. If Charlotte had let go of her little sister’s hand they may have got there, but she did as promised and took Grace to line as pilot, but was pipped to the post.
A great day for all. Lots of fun. Good rowing and great sportsmanship. Here’s to next year.