Salcombe ladies win the Brunel Challenge

Thursday 6th October 2016 10:01 pm

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Seven Dart Gig Club ­members took part in the Brunel Challenge, hosted

by Tamar Tavy Gig Club, on Saturday, October 1.

The race was inaugurated in 2006 to commemorate the ­centenary of the Royal Albert railway bridge built by Brunel over the Tamar at Saltash.

It is a six-mile race ­beginning at Weir Quay at Bere Alston, then three miles downriver around the bridge and back again.

Twelve gigs took part, with crews from Salcombe, Cotehele Quay, Torridge, Tamar Tavy, Cattewater and Dart braving the heavy showers and chilly autumnal wind.

All crews are handicapped according to age and gender, with the youngest male ­rowers bearing the largest handicap. In theory, all crews should cross the finish line in a row, but rowing prowess determines the winner.

The fastest time was 58.47 minutes, achieved by a crew of young men from Cotehele Quay. They finished fifth overall, though, because of their large handicap. The winning crew were ladies from Salcombe who rowed the course in 62.02. Dart’s four men and two ladies rowed strongly and finished seventh in a time of 62.20.

The crew comprised Katharine Money, Peta Chivers, Matt Bennett, Tony Doidge, Paul Kunert and Michael Bryant-Mole, coxed by Trevor Pretty.

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