BRIDPORT Gig Rowing Club's men’s and ladies' squads travelled to Saltash in Cornwall for their first event of the 2017 racing season.

The Three Rivers event sees racing over a roughly 10km course, starting and finishing under the Brunel Bridge, with a series of bowside and strokeside turns with and against the strong tidal flow.

Three ladies and two men’s teams have been training hard over the winter for this marathon style race – the longest race in the calendar.

Battling both wind and tide, the ladies set off in heats of 15 boats, two minutes apart.

The ladies' A in heat two finished 28th out of 73 boats in a time of one hour one minute and 56 seconds, rowing in racing gig, Dagger.

The ladies' B, in Blaez, finished just behind in 30th place with a time of 1:02.16. Both times were considerable improvements of last year, getting the season off to a competitive start.

The ladies' C crew, rowing in Rebel, kindly provided by Lyme Regis Gig Club completed with a time of 1:10.55 resulting in 67th place.

This is the first time Bridport has entered a C crew at this event, and with the help of a new racing gig which is on order – will be able to enter C crews at lots of events this season.

The men’s A were next to race once all the ladies' heats had finished.

They set off in heat two and rowed a very strong but controlled race to finish in a time of 52 minutes and 45 seconds putting them in 15th place out of 80 boats. Their best ever result at this event.

The men's B crew were placed 50th out of 80 boats, taking 59 minutes, 35 seconds to complete the race.

Two of the men’s B crew had never raced at Saltash before. The crew gelled really well and stayed strong to shave minutes off of last year's time.

This positive start to the racing season has the crews eagerly looking towards their next event in Dartmouth in April, followed by the World Championships at the beginning of May.

Crews will begin evening training as of this week and can be seen training at the weekends also.

If you would like to get involved in rowing – squad or general, visit the website: