AFTER an arduous winter’s training, Portland Gig Rowing Club got the new season off to a competitive start.

They travelled with boat Pulpit Rock to their first race of the season, hosted by Caradon Gig Rowing Club in Cornwall.

This was the first time that Portland had entered the event and they faced a gruelling five-mile course taking in the rivers Tamar, Tavy and Lynher.

Portland Ladies powered on from the back of the pack after clashing oars at the start of the race, finishing second in their pod of 14, with a time of 59mins 12secs. This placed them 24th out of 52 overall.

The men’s team put in a gallant effort and placed a respectable 41st out of 51 boats with a time of 54mins 33secs. The combined team placing for Portland was 29th overall.

In the Weymouth Mini Regatta, Portland was represented by the junior, ladies A and B, men’s A and B, ladies’ vets A and B, men’s vets and mixed crews.

All of the crews put in a superb effort over the 1.6-mile course and the juniors once again made their presence felt.

They achieved a solid third place and, with rowers between the ages of 13 and 15, were the youngest crew of the day.

The ladies’ vets A, rowing Chesil, fought hard through the field to finish second behind Weymouth. The ladies’ vets B maintained their pace to finish in the middle of the pack.

In the mixed race, Pulpit Rock stormed home to finish third.

The club are making their final preparations for the 25th World Pilot Gig Rowing Championships, hosted by the Isles of Scilly on May 2-4.

The islanders will be represented by a 30-strong squad and two boats in the most prestigious event of the gig rowing year.

The club are also taking part in the Portland Fish & Ships event this weekend.

Portland Gig Rowing Club is based at Portland Marina, Osprey Quay and is a registered charity that offers the opportunity to row to all members of the community.

Got to for more information.