BRIDPORT Gig Rowing Club men’s squad took three crews to Cornwall for the Newquay County Championships.

More than 70 teams from all over the south west including Bristol and Hayling Island compete over two days' racing in

borrowed boats for a place in the final on Sunday afternoon.

This is the first year Bridport have entered three teams and reflects the growth seen in the men’s squad this year.

The event was postponed from the original date due to poor weather.

Thirteen heats made up round one with the men’s A were drawn in heat three rowing in Hayle Gig ‘Azook’.

Conditions were good with a large Atlantic swell coming across the course but shelter from the south westerly wind by the land.

The two fastest boats in each heat proceed automatically into round two along with fastest losers, so all is to play for in every race.

The men’s A coxed by Gemma Smith completed their round one race in 13 minutes 34 seconds.

Finishing in third place the crew secured themselves a place in round two.

The B team raced in Devoran Gig ‘Falcon’ in heat 12 going around the course in 15 minutes 34 seconds coxed by Hayley Williams.

They secured fifth place but missed out on a place in round two.

The C team, also coxed by Smith, had a tough heat of mainly A crews and rowed well in a time of 16 minutes 14 seconds but unfortunately did not qualify for round two.

In round two, Bridport A, rowing in Newquay Gig ‘Hope’, secured another third and a spot in the quarter-finals with a quicker time of 13 minutes 19 seconds.

Bridport A waited until heat seven, setting off in berth four the crew rowed their strongest race yet to finish with a superb sub 13 minute time of 12 minutes 54 seconds.

Narrowly missing out on a semi-final position, the crew were elated to finish 14th overall at the championships.

This is the highest a Bridport crew have ever finished at this event, equal to their 2015 result.

Falmouth A took home the trophy, with Caradon A and Looe A finishing second and third respectively.

The B crew finished 67th and the C crew 69th out of 70.

Men’s captain and A crew rower, Kevin Batchelor said: “The excellent result reflects the dedication, commitment and time put in by the crew throughout the season.”

Bridport A cox Gemma Smith said this about their performance: “The A crew put in an outstanding effort at the championships improving in technique and power over each race to outperform many other top clubs and finish as the top Dorset club.

"We are very proud and hope to improve on this next year. It’s an exciting time for the men’s squad.”

The crews will now resume winter training in preparation for next season which begins in March.

For more information on squad, general or novice gig rowing – visit