This past Saturday, a group of intrepid rowers took our very own Cornish Pilot Gig, Spirit, to race in Come Boating!'s 18th Annual Regatta. The group consisted of Susan, a 12-week participant and longtime supporter of the Shop, apprentices Maria, Sheamus, and Eli, Janet, Susan's friend who has been a competitive rower in the past and came out of rowing retirement for this event, Taylor, a friend and supporter of the Apprenticeshop, and Nicole, who rows with Come Boating! in Belfast and was recruited at the last minute.
The regatta started at noon and ranged over a 4.2 nautical mile race course. There were a total of 9 gigs and 8 smaller boats participating, including an outrigger canoe. The day started off calm and cloudy, but as the start got closer, the wind picked up dramatically, creating a lot of chop. Still, despite the weather conditions, this neophyte team was rowing at a fast clip - around 28 strokes per minute for a total of 64 minutes.
The race was not altogether without drama. As the crew was going around the second turn in the course, they were abruptly hit by another boat (which subsequently apologized). They also broke one thole pin during the race that proceeded to get stuck in the hole. And veteran rower Janet got terrible muscle cramps. In spite of all these challenges, the team finished strong in 4th place in their division.