Caradon Gig Club hosted the annual mixed and vets county gig championships at Saltash over the weekend of June 26 and 27.

Saturday morning was calm and unbelievably hot and sticky. Not ideal conditions for racing.

The early morning start of 9am on the Sat­urday saw Dart's mixed supervets crew lining up in Lanvorrek in the second heat of the morning.

They were drawn in lane six – the best lane to have for the first mark – and the only Dart crew of the weekend to draw the envied inside lane.

They had a strong row – a misunderstanding saw the crew fighting for second place – the crew not realising that the first four went through to the next round.

The mixed vets crew were out next in Lantic and they had a great row, coming home easily in first place.

The semi-finals followed later in the morning, with the supervets crew, rowing in Rogue, coming through third in their race behind Lyme Regis and Helford.

The mixed vets crew's semi-final was again an easy race for them.

Rowing in Hope, they came home in first place. Both crews had a long wait until the finals.

The mixed supervets race was first. Dart, again rowing in Lan­vorek, struggled from the start to keep up with the pack. Caradon went on to win by a large margin. Dart came in sixth but were happy as the original field was 16 crews.

Mixed super vets crew: Peta Chivers, Clare Thorp, Paul Ku­nert, Michael Bryant-Mole, Tony Doidge and Wendy Jones, ably coxed by Helen from Cattewater Gig Club.

The mixed vets final was the penultimate race of the day. The crew drew Blackbird and were placed in lane two.

The crew knew that the first leg of the race was the most important and the crew had a battle royal with Ilfra­combe who had the in­side berth.

The crew gave everything they had to pull past Ilfracombe, moving into third place just before the first mark, behind Caradon and Helford. They maintained the place though to the finish.

Mixed vets crew: Kate Cooke, Dave Sha­ram, Chris Gale, Rupert Kempley, Paula Hine and Katharine Money cox Clare Thorp.

The ladies' and men's vets sections of the championships followed on Sunday and what a change in the weather. Grey, raining and windy. The ladies field was down from 36 last year to 27 – maybe the weather was to blame.

Dart ladies' vets, rowing in Speedwell, were out in the fourth heat of the first round.

Unfortunately three of the crews pulled out, so after a short delay, Dart and Caradon B were amalgamated with heat five. Dart rowed well to come in second behind Caradon B.

The men's vets, rowing in Black Ven, were drawn in heat three of the first round. They had an easy row to come home first.

The semis saw the Dart ladies out in Anne Glanville, rowing from lane two. With a strong southerly wind blowing up the Tamar, the boats flew down the first leg. Unfortunately, the strong crews of Caradon, Torridge and Salcombe were inside Dart.

Caradon pulled into the lead half way down the first leg. Unfortu­nately, although Dart were in second place, they did not have the water over Salcombe.

Salcombe took the mark wide and Dart didn't give them room to manoeuvre and the oars of the two gigs got tangled.

This allowed Tor­ridge to come in close round the mark and take second place. Dart pulled away into third place but Salcombe overtook them on the final leg, meaning Dart came home in fourth.

The men's vets semi saw Dart rowing in Hope. They came in first again, which delighted the crew.

The last race of the day for Dart was the final race of the day – the men's vets final. By this time the sun had come out and the wind moderated.

Dart lined up in lane four, rowing in Minna­dhu. Caradon were rowing in lane five and Dart held their own well along the first leg.

Ilfracombe were in lane three and the two boats tried hard to squeeze Dart out.

Eventually the boats spread out, with Cara­don leading and Ilfra­combe in second place. Dart had another super-human push to get the first mark over Cattewater who continued to push Dart all the way to the finish line. Dart men's vets were delighted with third place behind Caradon and Ilfracombe.

Ladies' vets crew: Peta Chivers, Lucy Swash, Alison Bland, Katharine Money, Kate Cooke, Clare Thorp coxed by Richard Bland.

Men's vets crew: Adrian Bailey, Dave Sharam, Chris Gale, Rupert Kempley, Andy Pom­eroy and Tony Doidge coxed by Clare Thorp.