First non-Cornish crew to win a CPGA major championships....

LYME Regis Gig Club shook up the gig rowing community with a landmark victory in the CPGA Men’s Veteran Championships on Sunday, becoming the first non-Cornish crew to win a CPGA major championships.

This year’s event, hosted by Brixham gig club saw 15 mens and 18 ladies crews compete, including the elite crews and winners from the recent competitions on the Isles of Scilly. The CPGA Vets Championships is the governing bodies main annual competition for over 40s gig rowers.

The racing entailed three rounds of racing, with the top crews eventually making the grand final in the afternoon. Lyme were drawn against some strong crews in the first round, including favourites Caradon, unbeaten in major races for the last three years.

Lyme made a strong start from the inside lane and within two minutes were edging ahead and  held off Caradon who came in a close second. Lyme were pleased to have posted the fastest time of the first round.

Into round two, Lyme were drawn in the middle lane up against the experienced crews from Cattewater, Mevagissey and Teign. Lyme know they had to draw ahead of the competition before the first turn to stand a chance, and with disciplined powerful rowing they did just that, pulling just ahead of Cattewater to take the first turn. Cattewater pushed Lyme hard all the way, but Lyme held them off to win the semi-final. The fastest time in the semis came from the powerful Dart crew.

The line up for the final was Lyme, Caradon, Dart, Cattewater and Appledore. Again drawn in lane one Lyme knew that with a good start they could dictate the race, however they immediately found themselves well down in the other crews, but they draw back and at half way to the first turn were vying for the lead with Dart. The final leg was a 600m straight drive to the line, Lyme  draw further ahead, finally winning by four boat lengths. Caradon were 2nd, Dart 3rd.

The men’s section at Lyme are going from strength to strength. The  supervets getting a double win in Swanage on Saturday. The winter development crew are working towards becoming the clubs fastest crew, with a new development crew in the making.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.