Wow what a two days at our 2015 Brightlingsea Gig Festival!! 17 row boats and 150 people eagerly took to the water to compete in the first of the summer series on Saturday. A full tide and a good breeze made it a real coastal race, waves breaking the bow gave the crews a welcome cooling spray and added something a little extra to the event. This was not a race for the faint hearted, the head on wind made for heavy going with all needing to dig deep to pull the Gigs through. Record Reign from Maldon showed their athleticism and crossed the finish line in 25 minutes 10 seconds putting in a great effort and taking top points for the mixed team.
Chasing them down all the way was our own Vanduara who put in a valiant effort and achieved 25:50 to take second place. For many the finishing hooter was a welcome sound, for others it was only short lived as the Men’s race followed very quickly after. Mersea’s Mehalah was the first Harker’s Yard Gig to cross the line with our Vanduara once again close behind. Our ladies team produced the best result of the day finishing in 1st place with a whopping 2 minute 30 second lead over the next gig….a really impress row girls!!!!! well done.
We enjoyed the facilities of the Essex University Sailing Club, where Ian & Ray made us very welcome. The post-race refreshments were very welcome and enjoyed by all, it was great to see our club working together to make this special day a success.
The festival was closed on Sunday with a longer distance 6 mile race which took the course ‘up stream’ past the boat yards and historic oyster beds. For those that stayed it was no easy day either!! The wind once again called for crews to dig in and row hard, just what was needed after the previous days efforts!! Our men’s team finished in 1st place and picked up a very nice looking gig trophy.
Well done and thank you to all that made the effort to travel and join us, we will see you on the water again soon.