World Championships 2016 Report

The ladies’ A crew for the Bristol Pilot Gig Club exceeded all expectations at the 27th World Pilot Gig Championship competition on May 1. The A crew placed 10th out of 144 teams this year, making them the best crew outside Cornwall. The crew were doing timed runs every other night from Temple Meads to the Cottage pub, outside the Underfall Yard, in which the clubs’ two racing gigs, Isambard and Young Bristol, were built.

Each rower also undertook grueling indoor circuits together with relentless sessions on the rowing machines. “The training we put ourselves through was tough but it was so inspiring to hear members of the public cheering us on from the harbour side whilst we trained” said Hayla Blacknell, one of the crew’s bow pair.

An estimated 5000 rowers convened in the Isles of Scilly for the competition in which teams from all over the world raced in heats to secure the top spot.

Five other Bristol Pilot Gig teams competed in the competition. The club’s Men’s B crew won their heat seeing them onto the podium to collect the F Group medal. Heidi Sermulins who moved up from the junior squad competed in her first senior event, rowing in bow for the Women’s C crew.

After the ladies’ A team’s stellar performance, they’re moving on to even more competitions in the coming months. “We are really buzzing now after putting Bristol on the map for gig rowing, we are determined to learn from our experience, train even harder and one day take 1st position” said Nicki Britton.

Final Results


Women’s a – 10th / 144
Women’s b – 70th /144
Women’s c – 82nd /144
Men’s a – 26th /135
Men’s b – 61st / 135
Men’s Supervets 8th / 32

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