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News Archive > Sport > Provisional rowing fixtures falling into place

Provisional rowing fixtures falling into place

By Tom Howe 20th January 2021

Provisional rowing fixtures falling into place

Coronavirus permitting, the prestigious mens and ladies county pilot gig championships will both return to Newquay this September.

A provisional calendar released by the Cornish Pilot Gig Association lists Newquay Ladies Championships as taking place on the fourth and fifth, followed by the men’s competition on 18 and 19. The town will also host under-16 and 17 championships earlier in the year, with those events pencilled in for July 18.

The outbreak of covid-19 meant Newquay Rowing Club didn’t hold a single event last season, with the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly also falling foul of the restrictions in both 2020 and 2021.

However, tentative plans are now in place to ease rowers back into the water, with Newquay’s own provisional club fixture list due to be released in ‘the next month or so’.

“The whole of last season was destroyed,” chairman Christine Hunter told the Voice. “There were three or four crews that were practising to go to the Scillies and there was one competition that took place in March but that was it. To allow rowing to continue through the pandemic, you had to form rowing bubbles. There was no competition, you would just take a boat out and row around the harbour on your own.

“Our new fixture list is provisional depending on the release of lockdown after Easter and being able to go ahead and do all of the events. There are bits that we do in conjunction with others, like Lifeboat Day and Harbour Sports Day.

Those haven’t been finalised so we can’t release the full fixture list without knowing what those dates are. “There are no Scillies in May. That has already been cancelled because nobody could practice over the winter.

We may be able to travel but there won’t be a championship there. This year is our centenary so we are trying to get some plans together. We will start to do something on May Bank Holiday weekend, when we would normally have been in the Scillies.

“It will be very low key and provisional to begin with and may be something along the lines of people taking some boats out and paddling around the harbour a little bit. Nothing of any formality because we can’t see that there is going to be any gatherings.

I am trying to get something going to get people talking about the club and to do some sort of exhibition. Hopefully by our Silver Day [end of August], we will be able to do more. I am hoping that, by Easter, there will be improvements that mean people can go back into the club again and start rowing.”

Hunter concluded by saying: “The vice-chairman (Wayne Rowe) has worked extremely hard all through the pandemic, maintaining the boats and looking after the gigs while they are in storage, making sure there is no deterioration.

He has done an amazing job keeping the condition of the gigs as good as they possibly can be. There will be a time when they go back in the water but they have all dried out and won’t be seaworthy for a while. The club is trying to rise again and the centenary will be part
of that renaissance.”

By Tom Howe 20th January 2021

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