With so many different and original designs produced, this was certainly going to be a colourful year for the gig rowing community. What better way to catch them all in one place than at the IoS Gig Rowing World Championships?
Our AGAME rowing family has more than tripled in the last year! Since becoming the official kit partner of GigRower we’ve started working with clubs from Zennor all the way to Massachusetts…yes, as far as the USA!
In what is being dubbed as the ‘most colourful championships yet’, I went down to St. Mary’s with my trusty new AGAME ‘A-Frame’, to catch up with all the AGAME kit sides and see them take to the water in search of the ultimate prize in rowing, the Gig Rowing World Championship.
As a first-timer to the championships, I couldn’t have gotten any luckier. Firstly because of my fear of flying, just stepping down onto solid ground again had already set me up for a good day. That aside, the sun was out, the wind had dropped and the water was calm. All the ingredients needed for an exciting day of competitive racing.
While the crews prepared for their races, I was pacing up and down the quay, beach and the main high street in search of anyone in an AGAME garment. Thankfully I didn’t have to look far. A record 66 clubs were present with over 150 boats between them. Everywhere I turned, whether it was vests, baselayers, rowing jackets or leggings, AGAME’s stash was there to be seen.
After some fierce competition amongst the Ladies and Men’s crews, only two could emerge as victors and be crowned World Champions.
This year, for the ladies, it was the turn of Caradon Gig Rowing Club A-Crew to take the title. This was great for two reasons, the first being that this was the first time they had ever won the competition. A great landmark for the club, I’m sure you’d agree. The second, they wear AGAME Kit! This is what Caradon’s Leanne Woodward had to say about the weekend and their victory:
“It’s a huge achievement to win the Ladies World Championships, and the men’s vets as well. The whole club has had some fantastic results at this years WPGC and we all wear our club colours with pride!”
Nicci Hastings also added: “She’s a modest lady [Leanne Woodward] who has refrained from saying how her dad Steve Kent (one of the founders of Caradon Gig Club) has coached her & her sister Naomi Philpot for 16 years to win that championship. They have had various crew members along the way but those three family members have been at the core of the crew and trained tirelessly to achieve that success; never giving up, always determined, always believing. They also won the County Championships at Newquay last September for the first time. Steve Kent is also in our winning Men’s Vets crew.”
“The club encourages all ages & abilities and is committed to the future of the sport. We have a strong junior squad – champions again last year in their categories – and the majority of the crews entered last weekend had at least one past junior (over 17) experiencing their first Scillies. We are proud to welcome H4H crews to our club as well and assist them with training. Kate Bourn, from the winning LA crew, has been their coach over the winter and coxed them at the weekend.”
“Those crews/rowers that wore the new AGAME kit found it comfortable to race in and very proud to be united by the smart design of the new kit.”
For the Men’s competition, the world champions came in the familiar form of the current holders (6 years running now), Falmouth Gig Club A-Crew. The crew of the ‘Black Rock’ are now just one year away from equalling the record of 7 consecutive Gig Rowing World Championship titles. A huge accolade for any club. What’s more, they also wear AGAME kit! Here is what Adam Anderson said about the weekend:
“This year’s World Championships was a big challenge for us as a crew. Not only was the pressure on us following victory at each of the previous 5 year’s competitions, but we also had 2 new crews members bidding for their first World Championship.”
“The weekend started well, with victory in both races on the Saturday, which followed success for our Men’s Supervets on Friday evening, defending their world title. Sunday brought more close racing with both Looe and Caradon showing their quality and putting us under pressure.”
“When the final came, our strong start put us in control and, despite Looe refusing to give up, our fitness showed through and we were able to squeeze away in the final minute to win by 2 lengths. A great victory and a super achievement for Tom and Sam, both winning their first-ever World Championships. Sam, winning his home event as a Scillonian, was the first local male rower to win the event since Nathan Woodcock in 2002, also rowing for Falmouth.”
“A strong showing from our Men’s B crew in 10th place has ensured that our squad is in a great position for the rest of the season, leading through to the County Championships in September.
“The squad were delighted with their performance as a whole and looked unified throughout with their brand new AGAME kit, adding to the professional approach we have adopted which we hope sets us apart from our rivals.”
All in all, it was great to see a sporting community such as Gig Rowing, come together for such a momentous occasion. As the crews set out on the water for their respective races, you could see the fire in their eyes and the desire to win, it was like nothing else mattered.
There were rivalries all over the place, but as soon as the races were finished, it was one big family brought together for their love and passion of the sport (I imagine they shared a drink or two on the Sunday night also).
Lastly, from all at AGAME Sports, we would like to congratulate all who took part and also to the organisers who put on a fantastic event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!